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From time to time we will post articles about our courses and events and links to things that we think will interest you.


Please feel free to leave us a comment or ask us a question.

By Janet, Mar 13 2013 01:03PM

Earlier this month 18 artists, makers and creative business owners travelled via train, taxi and sat nav to Northamptonshire to take part in our Creative Business Day.

This was the first time we’d taken The Refectory Table ‘on the road’. The tickets sold out a week before the event and people travelled from across the country – including Liverpool, Worcestershire, London, Camarthenshire and Leicestershire for the day.

Our delegates were delighted and surprised by the venue – a converted Water Tower with fabulous contemporary art and architectural features. The Water Tower is the home of Rosalind Stoddart and is perfectly compatible with the ethos and approach we take to our workshop days at The Refectory Table – relaxed, friendly, welcoming and creative.

During the day the group explored four key topics - the creative business mindset - the factors that are common to the most successful creative businesses; a lively session to help think about new products and customers; Internet marketing, and tell your story - a session on how to write and talk about your work. Everyone went home with a personal action plan having made a commitment to work on new developments they had identified during the day.

The sun shone so we were all able to have lunch outside; our participants also welcomed the mid-afternoon cake break before they went into their final session.

At the end of the event people left tired, but full of energy and ideas for their creative businesses and practice.

We're planning more road trips to interesting places. If you'd like to be among the first to hear about them follow us on Twitter or sign up for our email newsletter.

Here’s some of the great feedback from the day, thank you everyone, it was a pleasure meeting you:

The course was very inspiring & motivating. A lovely relaxed feel. Enjoyable.

Katy McDonald, Printmaker Read Katy's blog about the event

A very worthwhile event – definitely worth the travel & expense. By mid-morning the journey from Liverpool was already worth it. Thank you.

Elaine Jenkins, Jeweller

Lovely open venue, friendly people and lovely lunch and especially cake thanks!

Karen Slade, Historical Crafts

Challenging, stimulating, stretching.

Jo Roberts, Visual artist

Worthwhile, informative, friendly, inspiring. Lovely hosts, delicious lunch, great venue.

Josephine Gomersall, Designer Maker

Excellent – inspiring environment, light airy spaces, beautiful outdoor access, great food.

Patricia Taylor, Textiles

Beautiful venue, very scenic. Friendly and accommodating. Food was fresh and yummy!

Vicki Collins, Designer Maker

A great value day of exploring what your creative business is/can be. GO ON IT!

Lizzie Holt, Maker

Welcoming, friendly & very tasty!

Melanie Johns, Silversmith

Great for business development.

Kate Chell, Jeweller

You can read more about the Water Tower in the previous post.

By Janet, Feb 11 2013 07:55PM

We're in Northamptonshire on the 5th of March running a Creative Business Day these popular and very well received days are designed to help artists, makers and all creative practitioners identify and develop key aspects of their creative business.

The workshop’s suitable for people at all career stages and will works for people that have just started out as well as more mature practitioners.

This day has been specially developed for The Water Tower, the beautiful home and creative workspace of Rosalind Stoddart, Independent Cultural Engineer & Artist.

The Water Tower was shortlisted in 2011 for the Architects Journal Award for Best Project under £250,000 – the internal staircase was moved outside of the Tower to provide living accommodation in the water tower, releasing the remaining building for various uses. Seen as a sculptural addition, the staircase is a black monolith, inspired by the work of American artist Richard Serra.

Rosalind’s practice has established her as a major contributor and influence on the visual arts scene in Northamptonshire and beyond. She describes herself as an Independent Cultural Engineer – engineering connections between people to create new cultural events and projects. This work to date has resulted in her commissioning projects with jazz singers, storytellers, printmakers, filmmakers and yoga practitioner.

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art started as a gallery that Rosalind curated and ran within her own home for twelve years and became a highly regarded gallery. The project has now moved off-site and Rosalind has been able to rearrange the space, relocating her fully equipped print studio - complete with etching press, into a well appointed outbuilding, and turning the vacated studio into a yoga space. These spaces can be hired, and Rosalind has recently hosted two 2-week print residencies in the print space.

We’ll be working on the ground floor with access the gardens during breaks. The fantastic garden is a site for permanent sculpture and temporary installations, and an ever-changing plethora of bird life!

You can find out more or book a place on this friendly and sociable creative business day here.

Finally, thank you Rosalind – we’re looking forward to it!

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