Saturday, July 14, 2007

Historical Heirlooms Course - Students Needed

I know I have mentioned the Historical Heirlooms Course in a recent post and some of you have asked me about it. Having called Urchfont recently to find out if they have enough students I was disappointed to hear that they still need a couple before they can confirm the course will run in September. As I am not sure where they advertise (I have never seen this advertised myself) I thought I would do my bit and advertise the course.......

The Tutor - Janet Crowther: Janet is an experienced teacher and textile artist with a passion for sharing knowledge. She exhibits her work regularly, lectures and tutors workshops and summer schools (email With Val's death, Janet agreed to run Val's course, Historical Heirlooms machine embroidery, also starting in September, at Urchfont. Janet says, she is not taking on Val's mantle but taking her legacy onwards.

The idea of the course is not just to produce work that 'looks old' but to use the techniques as a basis for some fantastic modern work - 'the heirlooms of the future'..

The course leaflet reads as follows:

Historical Heirlooms (Machine Embroidery) City and Guilds 7822 Level 2 Certificate in Design and Craft.

One year Part-Time course Residential Weekends at Urchfont Manor (I'll tell you more about Urchfont below).

The course is aimed at the more experienced machine embroiderer. It is for embroiderers interested in innovative ideas and who wish to develop original work, the heirlooms of the future.

The course covers research into machine embroidery since 1828, when the earliest machines were available (A fascinating subject). One finished piece will be developed form the history of machine embroidery, the machines, the embroiderers and their embroidery. The exploration of ageing and distressing techniques on a variety of materials will be developed using a variety of mediums and processes. This will form an essential part of the second assessment piece. The finished pieces will be based on research and development from any recognised historical period or style.

The design elements of a 7822 course will be explored through a range of experimental and innovative samples linked to the techniques of historic machine embroidery and to the aging processes.
The course is intended to take the broadest possible approach to design and machine embroidery.Two finished pieces, a set of ten samples and a folder of work will be assessed.

Dates for the year: 21 - 23 Sept 07, 7 - 9 Dec 07, 25 - 27 Jan 08, 8 - 10 Mar, 2 - 4 May, 6 - 7 June and 4 - 6 July 08 (which is the Graduation weekend/Urchfont open day).

In addition to attending on these dates students are expected to undertake work on their projects in the intervening weeks. Tutor support Will be given throughout the course.

Course fees: The fees include all meals, accommodation, tuition and C&G registration. Non Residents rates include the same with the exception of no breakfast and accommodation (Obviously) The fees are payable by 10 monthly instalments for the academic year and are:

Fiddlers Cottage Single £112, Manor House Single £142, Seymour House Single £130, Coach House £138 and Non Resident £84.

Students meet the costs of their materials for the course.

Contact Urchfont - 01380 840 495, or email

Now - Urchfont itself - the place is a beautiful Manor House set in lovely grounds in Wiltshire, UK. It is very easy to get to and they are very helpful with advise for travelling.

As you can see from the fees above - they vary by the type of accommodation - the rest is the same for all. The Manor House is the main building, Seymour House and Fiddlers Cottage are close to the edge of the 'estate' but that's only a 2 min stroll through the beautiful garden! The Coach House is opposite the Manor and has two study rooms - which is often where these courses are run - so ultra convenient! When I lived 50 miles away I, personally, would stay either in the Coach House, so that I could work late into the night, or in Seymour house. All meals are provided in the Manor House Dining Room and are brilliant - breakfast used to be my favourite as you could have both cereals, toast and a fully cooked!! Yummy! Lunch is usually a great selection of salads with a couple of hot options like Quiche, and the Dinners - well what can I say - three courses of the most delicious home cooked food you could imagine! Being a vegetarian we are also well looked after!

There now if that is not enough to make you sign up instantly - if you have a subscription to Workshop on the Web you can see the tutorial Janet did after studying the Historical Heirlooms course with Val here..

I look forward to seeing you at Urchfont in September!!


downunderdale said...

Hi Anna

I am desperately trying to be a distance learning student for this course - so any help would be great - Janet is asking them and if I help make up one of the necessary people it has to be good - surely??

chrissieday said...

I also aproacehed Urchfont to be a distance learner on this course but have heard nothing it appears Dale has started !!