Taster Sessions

As part of The Cultural Spring programme and following on from our recent Community Get Together sessions held across all ten Cultural Spring wards we are organising a range of free taster sessions in a variety of art forms, including stained glass making, local storytelling, ceramics, upcycling, learning to play the ukulele, proggy mats, drawing, creative writing and many more.

These two hour sessions in a range of local venues aim to provide local residents with the opportunity of trying something new, having fun and taking part alongside friends you might not have met yet! All sessions are facilitated by professional artists.

Sessions will be happening across the Cultural Spring area during May/June/July and where sessions prove to be popular we’ll look at supporting longer projects on a particular activity.

No previous experience is necessary, beginners welcome, bring a family member / friend or just yourself, we look forward to meeting you.

Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult or group leader. Some sessions have limited capacity due to the nature of the activity, these are clearly marked in the activity information below and require you to contact Emma Horsman on 0191 427 8197 or
emma.horsman@theculturalspring.org.uk to reserve your place. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you have any questions about any of the activities please contact Emma on the details above and keep checking out our website for further details
http://www.theculturalspring.org.uk and the other events coming up through The Cultural Spring.

Biddick and All Saints

Chuter Ede Community Association

Every Wednesday, 15th October - 17th December 5pm-7pm

Ceramic Christmas Decorations with Mark Burns Cassell

This festive-themed ten week course

offers participants the opportunity to work

alongside local ceramic artist Mark Burns

Cassell in the creation of their very own hand-made ceramic Christmas decorations.


Whether you'd like to deck your halls with

hand-cut ceramic angels, create your very

own tree decorations, ceramic Santa sweetie

holder, or 3D nativity set from clay - come and join the fun!


As part of the course we will cover glazing techniques, enabling everyone to glaze their works for a beautiful finish. All work will be taken away by the artist at the end of the sessions for firing in the kiln, and will be returned in time for Christmas.


Ages: minimum age 6 years.

Maximum number:15


West Harton Action Station

Every Thursday, 2nd October - 4th December, 10am-12noon
Felt Needle Making with Claire Finlay


Boldon Colliery


Boldon Community Association

Every Thursday 2nd October - 4th December, 10am-12noon
Craft Making with Kath Price.


Every Tuesday, 7th October - 9th December, 5pm-7pm

Jewellery Making with Claire Finlay


Castletown Community Glass Shop, Cranleigh Road.

Every Tuesday 7th October - 9th December, 5pm-7pm
Glass making with Sue Woolhouse & Margaret Quinnan


Beginners as well as more experienced learners are welcome to come and try their hand at fusing glass.


Through careful instruction, Sue Woolhouse will demonstrate how to cut glass safety and confidently, and assist you in creating a number of glass pieces, including glass jewellery, small bowls and dishes over the 8 week glass fusing course.  Sue will take away your glass pieces to fuse them returning with the fired glass each week.


Towards the end of the course, there will be an opportunity to attend a double glass making session at Sue's studio in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle.


Ages: minimum age 6 years.

Maximum number: 10.

Fee: £25


Red House

St. Cuthbert's Church Hall
Tuesdays, 7th October - 4th November, 10am - 12noon
Craft Sessions with Claudia Van Lieshout Smit and Kath Price


Hylton Red House Nursery

Lantern Making with Gilly Rogers
(Details TBC)



Downhill Skate Park

Spray Painting with Frank Styles


Southwick Old Town Hall

Creative Writing with Fiona Evans
What makes a good story? These sessions will explore storytelling through monologue. Facilitated by Fiona Evans, an award-winning playwright who writes for theatre, radio, television and film. She graduated from the BBC Writers' Academy 2007 and has written for long running shows including Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City & Hollyoaks. Her play Scarborough enjoyed a sell-out run at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008, and last year her Radio 3 play The Startling Truths of Old World Sparrows, directed by Pauline Harris, won the Silver award at the Grand Prix Nova International Radio Drama Festival. This session is suitable for participants aged 16 +.

Details TBC.

St. Peter's

Quaker Meeting House/HOPs

Thursdays 2nd October - 4th December, 6pm-8pm.

Ceramics and Sea Glass with Mark Burns Cassell


The natural world: Ceramics and fused sea glass


Working alongside local ceramic artist Mark Burns Cassell, participants will come together on this ten week course to create their very own inspired ceramic and fused glass plaques and sculptural pieces. 


Taking inspiration from the natural world and the season, autumn, we will focus on the textures and colours of the natural world around us, taking elements of leaves, trees, water, earth and silhouette as our main themes. From these themes participants will be supported by the artist in the creation of their very own ceramic pieces. The course includes two sessions on glazing, offering the opportunity to experiment with layering of ceramics, glaze, and sea glass. All completed work will be taken away by the artist at the end of the course and fused in the kiln before being returned to participants for collection.


Ages: minimum age x years.

Maximum number: 15


Thursdays, 2nd October - 4th December, 6pm - 8pm
Digital Media with Media Savvy and Leon Garshong

St Andrew's Church Hall

Thursdays, 9th October - 11th December, 5pm - 7pm.

Musical instruments with Sam Burt

Whitburn and Marsden


Whitburn Village Hall

Fridays  6-8pm (Dates TBC)
Singing with Jane Lindenburg from Music In The Minster 

How to get involved in The Cultural Spring.

If you are involved in a community association, community group, community interest group, or you are an artist or individual who would like to be involved in The Cultural Spring.

Please get in touch through social media or the contact form.

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