5 new things you could learn in the Scottish Borders

So if your new year resolutions include learning something new, we have some fun ideas  for you  in the Scottish Borders.  Bread or chocolate making, working with wood, assembling your own pictures or painting with felt.  So get creative and learn something new.

Loaf of bread

Nourish yourself with a real bread making course with Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters, Macbiehill Farmhouse, near West Linton

Bread Matters offers courses at all levels of experience: from Daily Bread to the Bread Matters Fundamentals or Sourdough Special. Andrew also offers courses on Baking for a Living or setting up a community bakery. The Bread Matters studio is powered by renewable energy and the lovely view from the window over to the Broughton Hills takes in some of the 5 acre organic agro forestry project that supplies Bread Matters with its food and fuel and a diverse landscape.  I’ve taken a course here and can highly recommend the experience.  Great for new and experienced bakers.

Make chocolate with UK World Chocolate Master, Ruth Hinks at Cocoa Black, peebles 

Immerse yourself in chocolate and pastry with the UK World Chocolate Master.  With classes and recipes developed by Ruth Hinks, the school provides tuition for all levels from beginner to professional. Whether you’re looking to spend a lazy afternoon preparing French patisserie, a chef seeking to develop your pastry section, or are training for international culinary competition they have a course to suit.  As featured on BBC1, The Chocolate & Pastry School teaches the skills required to bring WOW! to your culinary adventures.

Learn a new skill with The Big Tree Society, Harestanes, Jedburgh

Learn how to work with wood and green wood and make a stool, chair or baskets from willow or a spoon. Their popular courses offer the opportunity to combine your head, hands and heart to create your own beautiful piece and appreciate the natural resources that surround us.

Join Linda Lovatt of Beastie Assemblage at the Lovatt Gallery, Jedburgh to make your own Beastie assemblage

Have a go at making your own ‘Beastie’ in one of Linda’s  workshops at Lovatt Gallery in Jedburgh. You could make your own picture or freestanding assemblage. It will involve being creative with copper foil, soft soldering, twirling wires, beads and found objects.  Just remember to bring your spectacles (if you need them) and any pieces of precious china, keys or jewellery you would like to incorporate into your creation. Although they have a large selection of china in the gallery you can use.  The workshops last about 2.5 hours.  All materials and refreshments provided.  Workshops are for four people and cost £45 per person.

Join Textile Artist Moy MacKay at her Selkirk workshop and learn the art of felt painting

Glasgow Art School trained Moy will guide you through the various stages of creating your own unique felted paintings following her innovative process that she has developed over the years.   She fuels her passion for colour and texture with an unceasing inspiration drawn from her surroundings in the beautiful Tweed Valley, using merino fleece fibres in the same way that a painter uses brushstrokes. In November 2016 Moy appeared on sky tv Landscape Artist of the Year. She was shortlisted to the final 3 in her heat.  Moy works from the WASPS artist studios in Selkirk as well as running her beautiful and inspiring gallery in Peebles.

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