Over the years many famous artists have flocked to Cornwall for its ethereal light and paint-worthy landscapes, and holidaymakers continue to be drawn to this part of the country for inspirational escapes to the coast.
A trip to Cornwall might have creatives exploring the many galleries in Cornish towns, painting en plein air along the Cornish Coast Path or taking part in the workshops run by the many local artists and artistic establishments.
Falmouth is well known for its arts scene, with the creative university set at its heart and many of its alumni choosing here as their home and business base. For visitors in search of a hands-on art holiday in Cornwall, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favourite local workshops. From pottery classes in historic art hubs to natural dye lessons set in secret gardens, see below for our list of upcoming creative workshops based in the Falmouth and Helford River area.
John Howard Print
John Howard is an award-winning painter and printmaker who offers opportunities for new and experienced printmakers to develop their skills and expertise in an iconic eco-building on the riverside in Penryn. Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and Associate Lecturer at Falmouth University, he’s a friendly and approachable tutor with plenty of experience.
His five-day or ten-day Summer Printmaking School running on Monday 25th July, Monday 1st August, or Monday 5th September is suitable for all printmakers, from complete beginners to experienced practitioners. Participants will explore a range of printmaking techniques or focus on developing a particular area of expertise. Tickets for John Howard’s Summer Schools can be found here.
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society (known affectionately as The Poly) has been encouraging innovation and culture for over 175 years and is an important cultural hub in Cornwall. A live arts venue, arts cinema, gallery, community pottery centre and Makers Guild, The Poly is set in a beautiful historic building in the heart of Falmouth and is the perfect place to express creativity and learn something new.
Take the plunge with the Poly’s Pottery courses by Head Potter, Karl Owen, which run for six weeks for either beginners, throwing enthusiasts or experienced potters. Attendees can learn the techniques of pinch pots, coil pots and slab making while being encouraged to experiment with traditional decorative methods such as slip and glazing.
Explore The Poly’s upcoming workshops here.
Based in Constantine, just outside of Falmouth, stumbling into Potager Garden Café feels like walking into a secret garden. A team of dedicated volunteers help out with planting and landscaping at Potager, resulting in a beautifully cared for outdoor allotment and greenhouse garden. Inside, the greenhouse is lush and vibrant with several tables and chairs spread out for workshops and dining. Fitting in with its community feel, the café holds regular craft workshops that are accompanied by fresh lunches and refreshments.
Join artist, educator and nature-based facilitator, Noami Hannam on Saturday 23rd July for her workshop ‘Natural Dyes of Summer’. Participants will learn how to extract colour from flowers, barks and leaves and will leave with their own bundle of dyed silk and swatch sheet.
Later in the summer on Monday 15th August, Naomi is back teaching her workshops but this time the focus is on felt-pouch making using raw sheep wool. The morning class will teach attendees how to work with raw wool as well as offer the opportunity to relax in Potager’s beautiful glass house. This workshop is suitable for children over 10 when accompanied by an adult.
Tickets and more information about Potager’s workshops can be found here.
Inspire Makers is based on the Old High Street below our Grade II listed Maker’s Loft in Falmouth, and is the home to the work of over 50 curated contemporary Cornish artists and makers. As well as holding regular exhibitions, the owner Vicki also offers a workshop programme with a wide range of classes to inspire you to find your own creative path, introducing you to the world of fused glass, ceramics, jewellery, lampshade making, book-binding, printing, painting and much more.
Join silversmith and owner of Porth Jewellery Laura Talbot on Saturday 2nd July to learn how to create a sea glass ring, necklace or bangle in her sea glass jewellery workshop. Participants can bring their own sea glass finds or choose from the Porth Jewellery collection. By the end of the session, they will leave with their own piece of handcrafted silver jewellery.
On Friday 9th September Laura Talbot is back but this time she is teaching participants how to make three stacking rings from sterling silver wire. Choose from seven different designs and learn about sizing, soldering and texturing wire.
Find out more about Inspire Makers and their upcoming workshops here.