Make Yourself a Home: The Farmer’s Arms (Residential) Craft School with Tom Philipson
Date: 23 April 2022
Time: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
£800 - £1,050
The Farmer’s Arms, Lowick Green, Ulverston – LA12 8DT
A 6-day residential craft and making school for up to 8 participants (up to 6 residential & 2 non-residential places available).
Sat. & Sun. April 23rd (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 24th (9.30am – 4pm)
Sat. & Sun. July 23rd (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 24th (9.30am – 4pm)
Sat. & Sun. Oct 8th (9.30am – 5.30pm) & 9th (9.30am – 4pm)
We’re delighted to offer this intensive 6 day all-inclusive course to skill up and inspire beginner and intermediate makers alike. Based in the Lake District at our The Farmer’s Arms workshops, tutor Tom Philipson (Director of Making) and artist Karen Guthrie have devised three hands-on weekend sessions inspired by their work refurbishing The Farmer’s Arms cafe with bespoke textiles and furnishings, lighting and antiques. Spread across the year, each school weekend explores and experiments with beautiful natural materials to make delightful objects for everyday use.
Learning in a range of well equipped workshops and outdoor spaces at The Farmer’s Arms, school participants will gain wide-ranging skills in pottery and wood crafts, with special sessions on making with Japanese shoji paper and with textiles. With one-to-one guidance from Tom as well as visiting speakers and our in-house potters Adam Sutherland and Francis Lloyd-Jones, you will make a beautiful and functional bowl, a unique lamp and a stool for use in or outdoors.
At each session we will study and handle curated examples from Grizedale Arts’ own collections of antique and contemporary craft objects and furniture, discussing design and fabrication in detail. Tom’s bespoke fixtures in The Farmer’s Arms will also provide examples and inspiration for participants’ work.
*Residential (6 places): £1050 per person including all tuition, materials, 6 nights accommodation, meals & snacks
*Live out (2 places): £800 per person including all tuition, materials, lunch, dinner & snacks
*We are able to offer up to 2 fully subsidised residential places for applicants facing financial challenges. If your application is dependent on an offer of a subsidised place (NB you will still be required to finance your own travel to us) please state this and your circumstances (in confidence) clearly in your application.
All tuition, tools and materials are included in the course fee, and to make things even easier we offer inclusive accommodation in comfy, newly refurbished rooms at The Farmer’s Arms itself. All meals, from the wonderful Farmer’s Arms garden and kitchen, are included in the course fees.
School in Detail:
Session 1 (Spring): After an introduction to The Farmer’s Arms workshop and facilities, we will examine Tom’s range of pottery and domestic products, outlining the techniques we will use across the school and hearing how Tom has developed his creative vocabulary with continuous experimentation and play. The goal of our first weekend is for each participant to craft a beautiful pressed pottery bowl using a bespoke wooden mould, adding incised and natural wood grain textures to make each vessel unique. You’ll then create and use your own glazes to decorate your bowl, which we will fire for you at our workshops. Tom has perfected this innovative mould-made technique over the last decade, and you can see examples of his products in our online shop. During these first two sessions we will also learn how to select the best timber and how to craft your own wooden moulds, how to make unique tools to hand decorate with, and many tips for working with clay and glazes. You will have time to study and handle the range of pottery produced by Grizedale Arts for artists such as Laure Prouvost, as well as tableware made at The Farmer’s Arms for everyday use, learning how to build and adapt your own skills.
Session 2 (Summer): Our second weekend focuses on making a three legged stool, a deceptively simple cornerstone of rustic domestic furniture for centuries. You will learn Tom’s ingenious eco-friendly construction techniques, using minimal material to create simple yet sophisticated furniture, much of which is in daily use at The Farmer’s Arms. We will also look at examples of antique and modern stools from Grizedale’s collections, to inspire our work. You will learn how to use bamboo and timber offcuts in combination with simple joinery to design and craft your own stool to take home, how to screen print onto natural fabrics and how to add a cushion to your stool. We will also study the furnishing textiles in use throughout The Farmer’s Arms, learning how simple hacks can embellish any interior.
Session 3 (Autumn): Our third and final session unites many of the skills learned in the previous two. You will design and make your own table lamp, hand-crafting a base and shade from easily found natural materials. We will draw inspiration from the many light fittings Tom has made for The Farmer’s Arms, as well as from the vintage lights in use around the inn, looking at how their fabrication and design contributes to the distinctive atmosphere of interiors. Tom will teach you how to shape Japanese shoji paper, bark and wood to make shades which illuminate beautifully, and you will learn how to craft a complementary base from wood or clay.
We hope participants will help direct sessions two and three with some of their own ideas for project developments and experiments.
More about Tom Philipson:
Tom is a skilled and innovative maker with over three decades of experience. Trained in cabinet making and furniture restoration, he joined Grizedale Arts full-time in 2021, having worked on many of our previous projects including architecture schools, artist’s commissions, on-line making workshops and the ‘Dream of Kiwanosato’ in rural Japan. He has led the refurbishment of The Farmer’s Arms – a listed building – since April 2021, preserving unique historic components throughout and working on the redesign of the cafe space and bedrooms using upcycled, reclaimed and bespoke furnishings throughout. Many of Tom’s wares are available in the Honest Shop at The Farmer’s Arms.
You can take a look at Tom’s online teaching (from lockdown times) on our Youtube channel here. His Instagram is also an excellent source of inspiration.
More about Accommodation & Board:
Residential course fees include a light supper for arrivals on the Friday night; breakfast, lunch, tea & dinner on the Saturday; and breakfast, lunch & tea on the Sunday. Special dietary requirements are happily accommodated with advance warning.
Our inclusive accommodation is provided in The Farmer’s Loft, a 3 bedroom apartment at the inn and in our five newly-refurbished inn bedrooms. The Loft has a kitchen, dining room / lounge and a separate W.C and shower room. The inn bedrooms are simple, single rooms with their own hand basin. There are 2 ensuite: one single and one double. These will be assigned at our discretion. Other bedrooms share a bathroom (with bath, shower & W.C) and a separate additional W.C. There is also a communal kitchenette close to the inn bedrooms. Please note that all our accommodation is reached via stairs. Unfortunately we are unable to offer an accessible bedroom at this time.
Meals and snacks will be provided from the inn’s kitchens and served downstairs in our dining room, or in good weather, outside in our garden.
Applications to take part are now open until March 13th 2022 – follow the link here to find out more.