Creswell Gets More Creative

A continuation of the successful health and wellbeing project, Creswell Gets Creative, with participants now taking the initiative to plan two workshops a year for the local community.

The project was launched in 2019, to combat loneliness and isolation by bringing older people together to get creative. Those taking part have recognised the value of being involved, they enjoy the benefits to their mental health by coming together regularly, sharing their life stories, making friends and offering support when times are hard and now they want to share these benefits with others.

March 2024: March was another busy month for our Creswell Gets More Creative project with a visit to an artist’s studio in Ripley and a pottery workshop in our home venue in Creswell. Heather Brown’s studio was an inspiration and everyone loved the candle-making workshop she delivered. It was a busy day as we also paid a visit to the Denby Pottery Village for lunch as well as having a good look around.

We’ve worked with ceramicist Lynne Staniland several times before and booked her again to show us how to make a coiled pot. As usual, the style of vessels produced was so diverse, no two pots were the same!

Key Information

Creswell, Derbyshire

Funders & Supporters

People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery East Midlands

February 2024 The group returned to two artforms they’d tried and enjoyed before.  First, we invited local contemporary jeweller Laura Baxter to do some enamelling, an ancient technique that has become popular again with modern jewellers. The delicate and complex process involves fusing tiny glass particles with heat to form a solid layer of colour onto metal, we used copper. The metal had been pre-cut into butterflies of varying shapes and sizes and Laura took us through the process step by step including how to use her mini kiln. The results were impressive and everyone was thrilled with the results.

Later in February, we invited our old friend and glass artist Dawn Turner to deliver another of her fabulous fused glass workshops. Participants enjoyed seeing Dawn again and in amongst catching up made some beautiful pieces of work that were taken away for firing. We’re looking forward to seeing the finished work when it’s returned in a few weeks.

January 2024. Members were invited to bring a friend to the workshop, to share the benefits they’ve had from participating in the project. Linda Gresty, one of our members lead the workshop and demonstrated the art Pergamano, a traditional art form that involves pressing out a design onto parchment paper. After the demo, members then helped their friends to decorate a greetings card.

It was a lovely atmosphere, really social with lots of very happy people enjoying time together.

December 2023. We brought the year’s activities to a close with a morning of festive fun and games organised by members Sheila and Tina who worked so hard organising everything.

There was a full house and I don’t think we’ve laughed so much for a long time! Snatch Bingo, in particular, had us in stitches, the moral of the story…  don’t be fooled by impressive wrapping!


November 2023. Festive Night Lights & Snowflakes and Stars. On the 10th of November artist Laura Baxter returned and led a session making Festive Night Lights, decorated with winter-themed motifs cut from thin sheets of brass.

Snowflakes and Stars was the title of the second workshop, on the 25th of November. Pam Robertson and Lynne Ingram shared their skills and supported the group in making some delicate snowflake-inspired decorations made from crystal beads and intricate paper stars. Both required a high level of concentration but the results were well worth it!

October 2023: Rag Rugging & Brass Flower Stems. Rag Rugging dates from the early 19th century and was developed by Yorkshire mill workers who used the factory by-products to make rugs for their homes.

Our workshop was delivered by artist Angela Howell who showed us how to make a rug using recycled fabric. Participants created some beautiful designs and continued working on their rugs at home, sharing photos of their finished pieces. These rugs will surely bring pleasure for many years to come. “I enjoyed the session, it brings back memories. Thank you”. Jenny

Laura Baxter is an artist working with metal to make delicate jewellery inspired by nature. She showed us how to craft wildflowers using thin sheets of brass, cutting and adding texture with various tools, resulting in really stunning pieces.

“Thank you, such a brilliant session. I’d love to do more!” Sheila M


September 2023: Acetate Drawing. The group enjoyed a workshop with the brilliant Lucie Maycock, using various images, including local landmarks, as a starting point for their artwork. They then chose coloured or clear acetate and POSCA pens to create beautiful images.

The result was a stunning array of colours and transparency detail.

August 2023: Rolled Paper Art & Zentangle. During August two workshops were delivered, Rolled Paper Art and Zentangle. Sheila Robinson delivered the Rolled Paper session, demonstrating how to create images from finely rolled paper, such a simple concept that achieves really imaginative artwork.

On the 25th of August, Gail Stafford returned to take our Zentangle skills to the next level and participants proudly took home some beautifully intricate pictures.


June 2023: Terrarium & Soap Making. Florist Sheila Robinson showed the group how to make a miniature garden using a glass container and provided us with a variety of plants, stones and other natural materials. We were invited to bring some of our own materials too, from places that were special to us, for example shells from a favourite beach. Each and every terrarium was a thing of beauty and will be cherished forever.


We also organised a trip to Sheffield to the Soap Loaf Company for a soap-making workshop followed by afternoon tea. Everyone made a bar of soap to their own unique recipe and then another product of choice. Popular choices were lip balm, moisturiser and body scrubs and as you can imagine, the journey home was a very fragrant one!

May 2023: Lino Printing & Pergamano Artist Dave Elsom shared his creative skills by delivering a lino printing workshop for the group in May. This can be quite a challenging art form to master but Dave’s, patience, charm and sense of fun inspired and supported everyone to create a lovely framed picture to take home.

We’ve had a pergamano workshop before and the group enjoyed it so much we invited Linda Gresty to join us again. For those of you who don’t know what pergamano is, it’s a centuries-old European art form decorating parchment by embellishing and decorating paper by embossing, perforating, stippling, cutting and colouring.

In this session the group learned how to use colour and made a bookmark and coaster. This craft is particularly mindful and absorbing and the two hours just flew by!


April 2023: Pompoms and Clay Portraits. We enjoyed a talk about the craftwork and customs of Peru followed by a workshop to make traditional Peruvian pompoms.

Everyone who attended enjoyed it and here are a couple of comments from those who took part.

Brilliant session.’ Annette

‘I loved seeing the different customs and crafts’ – Helen

A really enjoyable session, I can’t wait to have another go at home.’ – Lynne

Later in the month we invited the very talented ceramicist Lynne Staniland to visit the Creswell Events Centre to deliver a clay portrait workshop.

Though this was a bit daunting initially, with Lynne’s expert tuition everyone relaxed once they realised their portrait didn’t have to be realistic. They soon started to have fun with the clay and created some wonderfully expressive heads. The photograph shows them pre firing and we’re all looking forward to seeing how they turn out.

March 2023: Sharing creative skills with the community.  We’re very excited that this project has moved into a new phase with participants sharing their creative skills with their local community.

In March members of the group ran a workshop with residents of Victoria House in Creswell and pupils from Hodthorpe Primary School who attend the after-school club. Both sessions were Easter themed and members volunteered to both plan and take the lead delivering the workshops. They were a great success for everyone involved, especially the volunteers who felt a real sense of achievement.

Andrea Priest, manager of Victoria House would love to welcome us back and said:

‘It was a fantastic morning, we all loved it. You were all lovely helpful people and enjoyable to be around. Lots of beautiful flower arrangements were made, cards and bunting. We are really looking forward to seeing you all again, if you can fit us in.’

February. Members of Creswell Gets More Creative worked with basket maker Maggie Cooper to make willow plant supports and bird feeders for the garden, now all installed in readiness for the Spring.

The following session was led by Jane Wells making leather necklaces from kits created by artist Sara Longmate. For those who had time, we also made colourful indoor garlands.

January: Pewter Embossing. On the 20th January, we welcomed artist Caroline Buchwald to deliver a pewter embossing workshop. We worked with Caroline back in 2020 and made a picture frame and it was such a different activity the group were keen to invite her back This time round we embossed a panel to decorate a journal and over two hours, under Caroline’s expert instruction some beautiful work was created, all unique.

Post Details

February 6, 2024

By Kate

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