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New Practitioners at The Base this Autumn

We are excited to introduce to you this Autumn four new practitioners collaborating with us at The Base. In our new programme we have six new workshops from working with silver clay and freehand embroidery to picture framing and learning calligraphy.


Francesca Mclean

"There is something about calligraphy that calms the mind and is also a rewarding hobby in that you see visible improvements each time you practice"

Francesca is an Illustrator and Calligrapher based in Wiltshire. Since graduating with an MA in Illustration from Camberwell College of Arts in 2016, Francesca has been creating pattern designs and illustrations based on the beautiful Wiltshire countryside and its wildlife, interpreting this inspiration into vibrant, modern designs.

An important part of Francesca’s practice is Modern Calligraphy, which is often incorporated into her illustrated designs. She also creates wedding stationary, which the beautiful art of calligraphy is integral to.The designs are showcased on a variety of home-ware products, including cushions, tea-towels, mugs, as well as art prints and greetings cards. All of Francesca’s products are made in the UK in small quantities with an eco-friendly ethos. From creating handwritten place settings to printing calligraphy large scale for items such as welcome signs, Francesca sees calligraphy as more than merely ‘fancy writing’, but a way of drawing letters that is illustrative and unique. She also enjoys teaching calligraphy due to its therapeutic qualities.

If you’d like to learn about calligraphy, you can join Francesca with Introduction to Modern Calligraphy on Sunday 16th October from 1pm – 3pm or you feel like getting in the festive mood, join her with her Christmas Calligraphy workshopSunday 4th December from 2pm-5pm

Emma Roy

“The possibilities to create things with silver clay is literally endless. I am overjoyed to be able to share my passion with you.”

Emma Roy is the Founder of the Silver Clay Academy and Jewellery by Emma Roy, and has been working with Silver Clay since 2017. She started to make silver keepsake jewellery for family and friends, and soon after started experimenting with what else she could create with this fabulous material. Inspired by the beautiful Berkshire countryside surrounding her home.

“I was mesmerised how this dull grey lump of clay could be transformed as if by magic to a thing of beauty. I was hooked and knew my future was in Metal clay!”

If you want to discover the possibilities of silver clay, then join Emma on her Silver and Semi-Precious Stone Pendantworkshop on Sunday 13th November from 10am to 5pm

Laura Cranstoun

“I have enjoyed making bespoke Picture Frames for years, seeing my lovely client's memories, artwork and special treasures. I deeply understand the importance of celebrating of memories. Blending those moments of pride, love, courage and beauty to create stunning pieces to adorn your immediate environment, feels very natural to me.”

Laura is an Artist and a Professional Picture Framer under the name 'The Cherished Wall'. Laura trained as Picture Framer over 12 years ago and operates from a studio in Thatcham and serving local customers with her bespoke framing service. Having come back to painting and Art herself during lockdown - Laura soon found herself caught between the straight lines of framing and the more expressive freedom of painting and collage. But the passion around the display and presentation of art grew further. Laura now coaches and supports artists who want to learn more about Picture Framing and help build this into their art practice. Either in workshops, courses or 121 tuition at the studio.

If you fancy trying your hand at framing then join Laura on her Introduction to Picture Framing & Mounting workshop on Saturday 22nd October from 2pm to 4pm.

Debbie Weldon

“I hope to lead workshops and teach others the basics so they can flourish”

Debbie’s early inspiration came from watching her mom using her sewing machine and hand embroidery. She is her inspiration and now sparks off conversations like a mentor. Debbie’s starting point is always the material which then takes her on a journey to see what can happen and how she can change its origin. Her colour palette is often influenced from growing up in South Africa surrounded by nature.

She studied a degree in Textile Crafts in the Yorkshire Dales and later gained her Masters in Art Psychotherapy which has enabled her to help people through the use of art.

Starting up her own business of exhibiting and workshops from home, encourages her to talk about her own bespoke pieces and this often inspires to lead her projects in different ways.

If you fancy trying your hand at freehand embroidery, Debbie's next workshop with us will be in Spring of 2023