Craft School


The WI Craft School in Oxfordshire brings together experts in their field to offer a wide variety of art and craft courses ranging from patchwork, flower arranging, watercolours, silver jewellery and willow work, to stained glass, calligraphy, carving, textiles and sugarcraft – the choice is endless and caters for all abilities and interests.

Online booking is now LIVE! Our phone lines are incredibly busy so please bear with us! Skip the queues and book online below!

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



This course is suitable for students who have completed the Level 1 course, or equivalent and will teach you how to combine wiring with tambour. You will learn how to couch down a wire using the tambour technique to create a 3D flower, and in addition how to embellish this with a Victorian wired flower.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



‘Under the Sea’ lives a wondrous micro-world of marine life with its amazing variety of creatures and colours which provides a rich source of inspiration to the budding textile artist. Learn various techniques including needlefelting, embroidery, die-cutting and collage. Use a mixture of different textile and craft materials and together with these techniques, make items and elements to assemble on a felted fabric background.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



An exciting course exploring the properties of ordinary printed paper and turning it into a glorious designer evening bag. By mixing prepared magazine papers together with lining, stitch, wax and a little silk embellishment, you will create a unique accessory that you will be proud to carry on a night out.

WI Member: From £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



An exciting course exploring the properties of ordinary printed paper and turning it into a glorious designer evening bag. By mixing prepared magazine papers together with lining, stitch, wax and a little silk embellishment, you will create a unique accessory that you will be proud to carry on a night out.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



An exciting course exploring the properties of ordinary printed paper and turning it into a designer book complete with hand painted pages. Using easy techniques, this is a wonderful way to use those discarded magazines to produce a stunning, and useful, item or two!

 

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member : From £400.00



WI Member: From £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



This is a course aimed at beginners and students with some knowledge that will show you how the French impressionists painted landscapes.

Using photographs of impressionist painters such as Monet, Morrisot and Cezanne you will be shown how to mix colours, use the paint thick and thin, use white to lighten colours and how to use both brush and palette knife to achieve a different style and effect pertaining to the particular artist. By the end of the course you will have completed a number of exercises and have a couple of paintings to take home with you.

Jonathan Newey is an award-winning artist with over 20 years of experience in teaching drawing and painting. He specialises in watercolour, acrylic and coloured pencil drawing.

WI Member: From £300.00


Non Member: From £340.00



Using photographs supplied by the tutor you will be shown how to mix colours, use the paint thick and thin, use white to lighten colours and how to paint spring flowers in the landscape. By the end of the course you will have completed a number of exercises and have a couple of paintings to take home with you.

Jonathan Newey is an award-winning artist with over 20 years of experience in teaching drawing and painting. He specialises in watercolour, acrylic and coloured pencil drawing.

WI Member: From £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



The central aim of this course is to make something new and wearable from old, or broken, items.  Students can share, or swap amongst themselves and add beads and stones from the huge collection of pearls and beads brought by the tutor. The course includes all the required new wires and clasps to make something fresh.  New jewellery can include necklaces, bracelets, pendants and/or earrings (clip on, or pierced). Skills learned on this course can be transferred to other jewellery-making and crafts. All tools and materials are available from the tutor. 

NB: This course is designed to create costume jewellery. It does not include soldering, precious metal work, or setting gemstones and does not include the mending of fine jewellery pieces.

Frances Benton is a trained teacher and a lively story-teller and promises an entertaining and informative course! Frances Benton has been making jewellery and pearl-knotting for many years, having begun her interest in pearls when she was in her twenties. Forty years on, she still travels the world to source her pearls and is an accomplished jewellery-maker, selling her unique pieces all over the UK. She is a registered WI speaker on 12 UK Federations and has been giving talks and demonstrations to WI’s all over the country for 3 years.

Her website has more details: www.tears-of-the-dragon.co.uk

Notes to Students:

Students are asked to bring a quantity of broken, or unwanted jewellery items and loose beads. 

Ask around your WI for donations, or go charity-shopping with renewed energy!

Cost of new materials required are included in the price of the day school.

Approximate cost of basic new materials to produce wearable items is around £15. Students may use only their own materials, or they may choose to spend more on the day. 

WI Member: From £400.00


Non Member: From £440.00



Come and try your hand at modern hand-weaving.  If you’ve never tried this traditional craft before then you’re in for a treat! Using a simple rigid-heddle loom and a selection of supplied colourful hand-knitting yarns, learn how to warp up a loom, start weaving and finish off a beautiful shoulder bag to take home with you. 

Suitable for beginners.

WI Member: From £185.00


Non Member: From £205.00



Have you ever wondered how artists paint along to music in church or from dreams they have had? This Christian-themed art session will allow you to paint from an image triggered from your imagination or from a vision in response to a piece of music and a related story from scripture provided by your tutor. Everyone will produce different styles of artwork and will receive individual help if they need it. There will be a short practice piece before engaging with the theme and work on a larger painting. The painting will be 'loose' rather than detailed. Suitable for beginners. This will be a fun session, not too serious.

NOTES FOR STUDENTS

There is a materials cost of £15 for this workshop which is payable to the tutor.  

Please bring your own paint brushes (suitable for loose and detailed work), else you will be able to buy these directly from your tutor on the day.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



This is part one of four of Michele's little art course. Learning the basics of drawing and then a complete introduction to painting in watercolours. Perfect for the total beginner who wants to take their first steps on an exciting creative journey. Each part will encourage and develop your techniques and skills. It will then be easy to follow on to the next step.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



This is a follow on from Part 1: 'How to Draw' and 'Beginners Watercolours'. This time you will tackle watercolour landscapes. You will consider the techniques of big washes, textures, composition and perspective, and discover how to put it all together. At the end of the course you will be able to construct beautiful landscapes with confidence.

WI Member: From £300.00


Non Member: From £340.00



The follow on from the Drawing and Watercolours for Beginners, Parts 1 and 2. Now Michele will introduce you to pastels and show you how to use them on their own and with other water based media to create wonderful effects. You will have fun developing your creative skills even further!

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Following on from the Little Art Courses Drawing, Landscape, Pastels and mixed media, this is an opportunity to learn how to develop and use your imagination creatively. Using various media and subject matter, we will discover that creativity together!

This course will be run as a workshop. The tutor will demonstrate ideas and inspire students to have the confidence to find their own subject matter and develop the courage to try new things whilst developing the technical skills to do it. The tutor will provide lots of different media to experiment with. An exciting course with lots of one to one help, demonstrations, inspirational ideas and lots of fun too!

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



A thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the beautiful effects that can be achieved with this delightful medium. It will cover all the basics you need to know.

WI Member: From £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



This course is an exciting opportunity for you to express emotions, moods, sentiments and even your innermost feelings in purely abstract terms. Richard will explain how working with lines, shapes and colours can produce unique and expressive pieces of abstract art.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Want to draw? This course will show you how. Come and take those first creative steps and see how fulfilling and fun it is. Learning to draw is learning how to look at things in a simpler way and then becoming familiar with the techniques to translate what you have seen on to paper. You will be amazed at what you can achieve when shown how, and how your confidence will grow.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Explore texture, colour, line and shape during this course, using natural form objects as a starting point - all provided by the tutor. Emphasis will be on using a sketch book as a springboard to work towards a finished painting in gouache. Sketch books can be very exciting in their own right to explore different medial ideas and to create and develop composition. Approximate additional cost to students for materials: £8. Students to bring their own sketchbook (approx A4 size). If you require further information, please contact Denman on 01865 391 991.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Come to Denman and its lovely grounds for a restful break from all the hectic festive preparations and indulge yourself by creating your own beaded Christmas decorations. Using tiny seed beads and lots of deliciously sparkly crystal beads you will create a beautiful beaded bauble, a beaded snowflake and light-catching beaded icicle to hang on your Christmas tree. They also make the ideal gift for loved ones that cannot be found in any shop, however, after all your efforts you may find it hard to part with them! This course is suitable for those with some beading experience. All equipment and materials can be purchased or borrowed from the tutor (cost is approx £20). However, students may like to bring some or all of the following: Equipment: Beading mat, beading needle and thread, ruler/tape measure, double-sided sticky tape, small sharp scissors. Materials: 3” diameter glass/plastic Christmas bauble, size 6/0, 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm and 8mm crystal bicones or Czech facetted beads, 12mm and 25mm or 30mm bugle beads, 1 x 15mm drop bead, 2 x 15mm bead caps, 2 x 6mm crystal ‘Marguerite’ flower beads, 1 x 3.75” snowflake wire form with six arms. Note: It is advisable to use Swarovski where crystal is mentioned as the beads are of uniform size and have larger holes than cheaper beads.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



The delicate leaves of this statement necklace are made using increasing and decreasing peyote stitch in the ‘zig zag’ technique embellished with Swarovski crystals and pearls.  The dainty strap is made in Russian Snake Chain embellished with pearls. This necklace is suitable for the intermediate or advanced beader who has a good knowledge of peyote stitch. The aim of the class is to learn how to make the leaves and the chain and how to attach them all together.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The full description for this course is not yet available. It will be added shortly. In the meantime, if you require further information, please contact Denman on 01865 391991.

WI Member: From £300.00


Non Member: From £340.00



You will learn how to construct beautiful beaded flowers, leaves, foliage and butterflies. These can be applied to hairpins and tiara bands, or assembled as corsages or posies, so you can choose to make them to be either worn or used as interior decorations.  Phone 01865 391 991 for more information.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



This bead weaving course will explore stitches with a Russian connection. St Petersburg Chain stitch will be used to create a beautifully sinuous set including a necklace and a matching (but different) bracelet, and Russian Chevron Chain stitch will be used to create a pretty pair of earrings (plus a necklace or bracelet if there is time) to complete the ensemble to provide a full suite of jewellery to wear home! Suitable for beginners and improvers. All equipment and materials can be purchased or borrowed from the tutor. However, students may like to bring some or all of the following: Equipment: Beading mat, size 10 beading needle, thread, ruler/tape measure, small sharp scissors. Materials: Japanese size 6/o, 8/o and 11/o seed beads, 4mm crystal bicones or czech facetted beads, toggles clasps, earring hooks. The approx cost of materials is £10-15.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Scared of the sewing machine? You won’t be after this class.

There is much joy and satisfaction that comes from being able to say, “I made that” so what better way to get you started than with this great new sewing course designed for beginners or as a refresher for those who have not sewn for many years.

During this sewing course you will learn the sewing machine basics such as how to thread your machine, how to sew in a straight line and how to create a seam. There will be plenty of time for practice and step by step demonstrations throughout. You will also complete a mini project outcome during this course.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member : From £370.00



A wide variety of hand carved and sustainably sourced woodblock designs to choose from, and a lovely selection of colours to work with. The inks used are non-toxic, 100% vegan and amazingly quick to dry. A simple, but effective craft that is both fun and therapeutic – you will create your own hand printed apron, tea-towel, napkin set, greeting cards and reusable shopping bag! No prior knowledge of printing is required -  but Paula Milner, The Crafty Lass will talk you through each stage of the process for you to take home and then proudly display your new and exciting makes.

Approx. cost of craft materials, as a guide for students:  For all items in the course £30.00 per person (1 x Apron, 1 x Tea-Towel, 1 x Set of 4 Napkins, 6 Greeting cards, 1 x reusable Shopping Bag, ‘spare/demo’ papers and fabrics.) Additional items will be available for purchase on the day.

WI Member : From £330.00


Non Member : From £370.00



A wide variety of hand carved and sustainably sourced woodblock designs to choose from, and a lovely selection of colours to work with. The inks used are non-toxic, 100% vegan and amazingly quick to dry. A simple, but effective craft that is both fun and therapeutic – you will create your own hand printed apron, tea-towel, greeting cards & reusable shopping bag! Then, you will also design and print a 1m x 0.5,m piece of fabric… and then turn this into a lampshade! No prior knowledge of printing is required -  but Paula Milner, The Crafty Lass will talk you through each stage of the process for you to take home and then proudly display your new and exciting makes.

Approx. cost of craft materials, as a guide for students:  For all items in the course £35.00 per person (1 x Apron, 1 x Tea-Towel, 6 Greeting cards, 1 x reusable Shopping Bag, ‘spare/demo’ papers and fabrics, 1m x 0.5 metre plain fabric, Lampshade Making Kit) Additional items will be available for purchase on the day

WI Member: From £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



Try your hand at a medley of different craft projects with a contemporary twist. You will make a number of different small projects to give you lots of lovely ideas for your WI craft sessions, to decorate your home or give away as special presents. There will be a range of projects to try, using beautiful fabrics, felts, buttons, threads, beads, papers and all sorts!

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Try your hand at a medley of different craft projects with a contemporary twist. You will make a number of small projects to give you lots of lovely ideas for your WI craft sessions, to decorate your home or to give away as special presents. There will be a range of projects to try, using beautiful fabrics, felts, buttons, threads, beads, papers and all sorts! The projects are quick and simple. They take around an hour or so to make, and are intended to give you lots of ideas to share with others.

WI Member: From £125.00


Non Member: From £145.00



Have you got piles of buttons lying around or just a button collector-holic?! This is a fun day which gives you several projects to made a dent in your button stash and show off your beauties to best effect. We will use buttons to create decorations, pictures, accessories, jewellery and greetings cards and lots of other ideas too.

WI Member: From £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



Calligraphy simply means beautiful writing, and during the day workshop we will study calligraphy made with a broad edged pen and based on a tenth century manuscript. This for complete beginners and for anyone who has long admired calligraphy and wants to know how to start. Demonstrations and individual tuition will be designed to cater for your particular needs, and materials will be supplied.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



MODERN CALLIGRAPHY. Whether you are a beginner or returning to improve what you have already learnt, these two days will give you all you need to confidently personalise your own style of this beautiful script. You will be using a fine point nib which is perfect for left handers too. We will practice the techniques in mastering this script and look at layout and design. Using fantastic new metallic ink, you should go home with a fabulous piece, picture, card etc. for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day.

WI Member: From £125.00


Non Member: From £145.00



For anyone who has long admired calligraphy and wants to know how to start. Demonstrations and individual tuition will be designed to cater for your particular needs.

WI Member: From £185.00


Non Member: From £205.00



Learn the techniques of illumination (gilding) and enjoy creating your own decorated and illuminated letters or decorative motifs , which can perhaps be used to enhance your calligraphy, illuminate a miniature or create a single, vibrant decorative letter, using line, colour and gold ( the “real” stuff or gold gouache). Even the smallest amount of gold added to work makes it stunning.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The hand that springs most to mind when the word calligraphy is mentioned is Gothic, or Black Letter as it is often known. It is characterised by its closed spaced upright strokes and has become much used to represent anything 'Olde English'. We will work from historic examples and study basic calligraphy techniques, initially with a fibre tip pen and progressing to a broad edged metal nib. No previous experience of calligraphy is expected, but those with some experience are very welcome.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The italic hand was developed during the Italian Renaissance as a means of speeding up the laborious process of handwriting a document. It is characterised by its forward slope, elliptical ‘o’ and 45 degree pen angle. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful hand of all, and can be a stepping-off point for the study of other hands, including copperplate, which was an 18th century development of italic. During the course, you will study the basics of calligraphic techniques, the use of the broad-edged pen, inks and metal nibs. You will study in detail each of the letters in both the upper and lower case alphabets, and study the basics of design. Finally we will complete a project based on a short poem or piece of prose that you have brought with you. NOTES FOR STUDENTS Students to bring: Wide fibre tip calligraphy pen (5mm). These can be found in most art shops including WH Smith, and are made by Berol, Pilot, Edding, etc. If you live in a remote area, you can obtain these online or on the phone from the company below. It is important to have a wide nib, please do not just bring narrow nibs. Mitchell Roundhand nibs numbers 0, 3 and 4 with reservoirs and a holder. Black ink (not waterproof ink – ordinary fountain pen ink is fine). A3 layout paper (cartridge paper for finished work will be available for sale). Rag or tissues. Pencil, sharpener, ruler, rubber. A short piece of prose, poem or something that has a particular meaning for you. If you have trouble obtaining any of these please phone 'Blots' on 0161 720 6916 (www.blotspens.co.uk).

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The full description for this course is not yet available. It will be added shortly. In the meantime, if you require further information, please contact Denman on 01865 391991.

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The beautiful and complex patterns that we are all familiar with in Celtic art were actually developed from earlier examples of interlacing designs from the Romans, and much earlier Chinese work. Though it is difficult when looking at them to imagine the methods of construction, it is actually quite a simple method that can be learned by anyone without an artistic background. During the course you will cover square knots and triangular knots, which can be applied in many areas of the arts and crafts, such as embroidery, patchwork, calligraphy, woodcarving and stained glass. No previous knowledge is required.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Ponds, lakes or sea, water produces a profusion of life. On this course we will be using the traditional chinese equipment and techniques to paint various aspects of life, whether on, in or beside the water. This will include fish, frogs, birds and beautiful flowers that thrive around water. We will also include a watery landscape in our compositions.

On this course you will be using the traditional equipment of chinese ink, paper and brushes to paint, using the free style method, a variety of subjects around a Watery theme. This will include fish, frogs, birds and flowers that you will find around water.

You will learn the traditional way by watching the tutor, then having a copy to work against.

The tutor will bring brushes and paper to buy, at a cost of approx £15. Please bring any chinese brushes you may have, but Please Do Not buy anything from shops such as 'The Range' or 'the Works' as they are unsuitable.

Please bring any watercolour paints you may have, (cheap tubes are better than expensive pans) The tutor will bring the black chinese ink.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



The nights are drawing in, but the warmth of summer lingers bringing the perfume of summer flowers on the breeze. On this course we will use the traditional chinese equipment to paint a selection of summer flowers, both in freestyle on paper, and meticulous on a silk fan. Subjects could include peonies, hibiscus and lilies, along with insects and birds.

On this course You will be using chinese ink, paper and brushes to complete a variety of freestyle paintings. You will also use the meticulous method to paint on a silk fan. The subjects will be summer flowers, embellished with birds and insects. Subjects could include peonies, chrysanthemums, lilies, or other popular flowers. You will also add colourful birds and insects to your compositions.

You will learn by the traditional way of watching and copying the tutor.

The tutor will bring chinese brushes, paper and fans to buy, at a cost of approx £16.Please bring any chinese brushes you may have, but Please Do Not buy any from such shops as 'the Works' or 'the Range' as they are unsuitable.

Please bring any watercolour paints you may have ( cheap tubes are better than expensive pans), the tutor will bring the chinese ink.