Winter is around the corner and the rather magical town of Swellendam has come up with a plan to cure your hibernating tendencies! During the winter months of May, June, July and August, the town will be hosting their very first Winter School. Swellendam is full of gifted artists, talented musicians, creative writers, enthusiastic hobbyists, crazy adventurers, knowledgeable experts, inspiring entrepreneurs, meditation muses and more and they’ve come together to create a wonderful offering.
A wide variety of short courses and workshops will be on offer from Home Crafts and Personal Development, to Food & Wine, Flora & Fauna and Fine Arts.
I was recently invited to visit the town and to meet some of the facilitators and to get an inside peak into what’s on the cards. I discovered a fabulous, passionate community, plenty of spirit and creativity and all in the most beautiful natural setting.
David Schlapobersky and Felicity Potter will be offering three and five day Clay Exploration workshops. On my recent visit to Swellendam, we joined David for an intoxicating afternoon of clay and pottery making. The studio is situated in their beautiful garden and David and Felicity are wonderful hosts. If you have the desire to to get your hands dirty, spend some time at a potter’s wheel and simply create then this is for you. I highly recommend you join them!
For the nature lovers, join Jonathan Booysen for an immersion into nature where he’ll teach you about local birds, mammals and flora. Field trips, observing and walking will be part of the experience as you delve into the beautiful Swellendam countryside.
Always wanted to make your own home-made preserves, chutneys and pickles but lacked the know-how? Let Natalie Turck and the Wildebraam team show you how. You will prepare, cook and bottle your own products – Blackberry & Fig Jam, Peach Atchar, Chilli Beetroot and Piccallili. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about starting your own business and ask any insider questions.
Esme Kruger will be offering a three and five day workshop which will teach you how to do silkscreen and block printing and how to create your own unique products. You’ll learn about the concept of stenciling, appropriate tools, materials, processes and fibers. As well as how to prepare your own screen, paper and acetate stencils and do regular repeat prints.
Join Bev Missing, the founder of Rain, and learn how to make your own soaps. Learn the theory and history of soap making, all about natural colourants, essential oils and perfumes. You’ll make your very own cold process and glycerine soaps using various creative techniques. This workshop is ideal if you’d like to upscale and start your own craft soapmaking business.
The Winter School has over 40 courses: from Rock Climbing to Rock School, from Bread Baking to Cheese Making, from Horse Harmony to Self-Empowerment, from Botanical Art to Furniture Painting… and so much more. There’s really something for everyone.
Courses are either three days or five days in length and will be in venues all over Swellendam – some of them in facilitators’ homes, some in conference rooms and some in very surprising places.