The Greatest Outdoors

Category: Craft Sessions

Coppersmithing weekend!

Here is what one person made over the weekend. Total beginner, no experience… ok, yes that person was me. It is amazing what you can do with this incredibly versatile metal! What about that amazing cast iron anvil? How gorgeous is it?

Leaves and a bangle – working with copper is magical and rewarding! It was quite astonishing the different effects you could get from tiny changes in simple processes. Alchemy!

What it starts off with – annealing, working with custom made chisels and releasing your inner jeweler.

All the copper used was reclaimed and recycled – and some of these tools were several decades old. The anvil was reused railway tracks. So much learnt over a single workshop.

New exciting year!

Check out what we have on this year!

Forest School

Holywood Steiner School

Forest School has started again. We are now full for the Holywood Steiner School! We have our full quota and class is closed!

The Quarries, Bangor

Arrow making

We are starting up again at The Quarries in Bangor. Located at 402 Gransha Road it is a beautiful traditional Ulster farm which has been sensitively managed by Joan Woods and Tina Kersting.

It is teeming with wildlife and is blessed with two forests – one more recently planted native woodland and a 200 year old forest which surrounds the Quarry.

Surveying frogs

We have looked for frogs, found a fallen buzzard, collected tinder from birch and found millions of mushrooms. Tales were told by the fires in winter and more discoveries will be made over the coming spring and summer.

If you are interested in joining, sessions are held on Tuesdays, from 3.30 – 5.30 pm. Each session costs £15.

Get in touch by filling in this form or contacting us at 07540075991. For the month of February we are offering half price for one session two or more new sign ups!

Arts and Crafts Sessions

Leaf made by first timer attending our copper smithing class. Two more are coming up in Feb and March.
No experience necessary

We are delighted to continue to offer our wonderful craft sessions this year.

Introducing our first adult course this year at the Holywood Steiner School

From Fleece to Fabric: The Hidden Magic of Wool and Coppersmithing with Lake and Oak will be running at the Holywood Steiner School.

Fleece to Fabric: 5, 12 and 19 Feb

Coppersmithing: 19 and 26 Mar

For both activities start at age 12+ years. Click onto the links to find out more about each course.

Here are some highlights.

Fleece to Fabric

In the first lesson you will learn how to wash raw wool
In lesson 2, we card and create yarn!

These pictures do not do the sessions justice. What takes place is nothing short of a review of the entirety of our development as human beings and the important wool and other fibres have played in our lives. From the story of Theseus and the Minotaur to the Wool Guilds of Florence to the songs of the women of the Shetlands, the course is a tour de force in Emma’s skill as a textile creative.

If you are interested in this course click on this link for a full description and to book.


Like wool, our relationship with copper is also ancient. A soft metal that can be worked easily it is also warm, bright and gorgeous. Spend the day creating something with will literally last forever.

If you are interested in this course click on this link for a full description and to book.

Dragons and Leaves: Our first Copper Smithing session

All pictures by Caron Ang

Our first copper smithing session was a blast, no pun intended. Let the pictures speak for themselves…

A very pleasing final result indeed for a first time copper smith
Setting up the session was a serious business… the equipment took over two months to put together
Matthew made anvils from scratch – well from logs and steel plates!!! That took him two weeks!!!
The tools of the trade – hammers, chisels and other implements of medieval torture
It was a full house – of mostly blokes… hammering and smithing away

The nice thing about all of our activities is that you leave feeling that you have accomplished something you thought that you could never do.

Here is the man himself showing how it is done
A graceful willow leaf!
Copper working was a highly valued skill in the Bronze Age
Some other lovely finished pieces
Delicate rings were made by the only female paticipant!
A beautiful oak leaf

If you would like to sign up for this coming Saturday – 2 October fill in this form! Or email Come along and surprise yourself!

A great start to the year!

Elements is one year old! that anniversary passed by pretty much unnoticed because we have been so busy… here is what we have been up to then in Insta images…

This session is full!!!
Our first Forest School

We have just restarted this. To book go to this form! Or email

Finally the BEST THING EVER!!! Our Craft Programme!!!

Go to these various pages to book.

Copper Smithing

Fabulous Fungi

Fleece to Fabric

The Autumn Programme

We are all looking forward to the autumn programme. Inspired by our success with Gabriel’s drawing classes and a request to have more, we have put together an all singing all dancing programme which has something for everyone… from metalwork to working with wool to more drawing… and of course weekly forest school we will have something for everyone!

Thank you to Iona Shop in Holywood and Eden Pottery for supporting us. And of course all the wonderful people whom we have worked with… and will be working with in the future. You make everything possible.

So here it goes!!!

Copper Smithing: 25 Sept, 2 October

Learn how to work copper with our new Forest School teacher Matthew Walton. Matthew graduated from the Art College recently and brings his many skills to our party! Copper smithing is only one of them. During this session learn to beat and fold copper. From a copper pipe Matthew will take you through the process of creating your own piece of art or jewelery.

Time: 10 am – 4 pm

Venue: The Quarries

Cost: £60

All material and equipment provided.

Book here

Fungi Drawings with Gabriel Knight

As the autumn gets underway fungi start to read their little heads. These most mysterious members of the botanical world have fascinated us for millennia. The original superfood they have been used by humans to have deeper insight into their lives. Have deeper insight into them with Gabriel. Gabriel’s course was so popular the last time that it was sold out at the end. Make sure you book early! Use this form to book.

Dates:9, 16, 23, 30 October
Time:10 am – 12 pm
Age range:12 +
Cost:£20 per person per session or £70 for 4 week black booking in advance

Fleece to Fabric: The Hidden Magic of Handcrafting Wool

Hand spinning

Book here for this course.

Emma has written a short introduction about herself!

Hello, I’m Emma and it is my pleasure and my privilege to welcome you to this course.

Textiles, Costume and Folklore are the passions I carry throughout my professional life and these courses are an incredible opportunity
to share that passion with you. It is my great hope that you will feel and embrace the tactile power of the materials under your fingers and the transformative power of creation in your minds and hearts. I am here to facilitate this for you with over 25 years of experience, expertise and enthusiasm. Above all else, ‘Making’ is a way to connect to yourself and to the world around you. Creativity is a process and a practice which just cannot be overrated.

My experience as a teacher over the years ranges from Kindergarten handwork classes and soft crafts through to extensive felting and fibre
workshops, interiors and dressmaking classes and the pursuit of my own practice as a writer and fibre artist.

The only warning I issue is that working like this is addictive, get ready to be seduced by the integrated worlds of artisan craft and story!

Tapestry weaving

Here is an outline of her course:

Welcome to this creative, productive, hands-on exploration of the culture, history and evolution of wool textiles.

This workshop celebrates wool and its intrinsic connection to oral traditions, cottage industry and industrial processes.
It includes insight into the materials used and a discussion of the folklore and rich traditions of textiles in our part of the world and beyond.

Over the three weeks participants will gain skills in the traditional arts of Fibre Preparation, Wet-felting, Needle-felting, Spinning and Nalbinding.
The course will feed your creative and artistic self while deepening your appreciation of sheep’s wool and all its uses.
You’ll leave with a new insight and passion for working with this incredible material and also your own beautiful, useful pieces of craft and art.
I sincerely look forward to sharing my passion and practical knowledge with you and to enjoying this textile journey together.

Traditional knitted thrums

Day One. 06/11/21

Handling your wool.
The linguistics of textiles.
A short introduction to needle-felting.
Wet-Felting project to take home.

Day Two. 13/11/21

Processing your wool.
Experience the tactile stages of wool-crafting.
Scouring, carding, combing, hand-spinning, wheel-spinning, and weaving.
Make and learn to use your own hand spindle.

Day Three. 20/11/21

Transforming your wool.
A look at the wide use of wool in human culture.
The properties, composition and function of common and exotic animal fibres.
Create your own tailored choice of nalbinded accessory or fabric.
(Nalbinding is a type of proto-knitting with a single needle)

All natural, high quality, organic and locally sourced materials.
All materials and equipment are provided.
Environmentally conscious. Perfect for gift making.

5 to 8 participants.
4 hours duration.

Important Note.
If you are pregnant or immune-compromised please notify me in advance of booking.

Time: 10 – 2 pm

Cost: £50 per person of £142 for advanced block booking

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