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Textile Art Summer Schools, Abruzzo, Italy

Duration: 1 week

Price: £595

Book with: Dionne
at Dionne Swift: Textile Artist

La Vecchia Scuola
Colle Case 15
Torrareccio, CH 66046

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About the Course

This 6 day workshop focuses on drawing and mark making: observing and responding, being bold and taking a risk. I couldn’t create any of my stitched pieces without drawing a composition first: this workshop is the backbone of all of the rest of the creative processes & should be your first port of call. I know drawing can be a dirty word to some, but I make accessible, understandable, enjoyable and totally achievable 🙂
[note there are other weeks available too focussing on print and stitch]
This summer school provides you with the opportunity to explore in an inspiring atmosphere with a highly experienced tutor. You’ll leave with a bundle of experiments and ideas which will inspire and full further projects for many moons to come…not to mention great memories of a fantastic creative adventure in this wonderful region of Italy.
NEW for 2019 Monday to Monday to exploit the various weekend activities and festa in the area PLUS from Stansted they are nice daytime flights & cheaper being midweek! The workshop is now 6 days long to ensure the full Italian experience with optional extras ie...pasta or pizza making workshops.
“Dionne’s Summer School has been a great success and an amazing experience visiting stunning locations with lovely companions and following a creative programme which inspired, motivated and challenged in equal measures . Dionne is a brilliant teacher and skilled communicator and this week has enabled me to develop an exciting repertoire for future work . I just can’t wait to return to continue this creative journey. Many thanks to Dionne and the friends I made at La Vecchia Scuola”
The workshop only price is £595: This includes 6 days of the workshop, materials and equipment, lunches and refreshments on the workshop days, workshop transport, excursions and welcome meal. [Early Bird goes up on 1st January 2019!]
You are responsible for booking flights [approx £60 – £200 return] and accommodation at Hotel Al Duca [£250 – £360, I shall pay your deposit], airport transfer 50 euros [payable locally]. 6 students per week.
Example itinerary:
Arrival day – I will be there to greet you on arrival at Pescara Airport. It's a 1 hour transfer to Atessa and Hotel Al Duca, once you have freshened up everyone is invited to a welcome meal at the hotel.
Each day of the workshop I will pick you up at 9.30am at Hotel Al Duca and return you there for 5.30pm after a full day of creativity & just in time for aperitivi! Evenings are free time for you to enjoy…
Day one
Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. The Abrussese coast line is dotted with spectacular ‘Trabocchi’ [wooden fishing platforms] – they are a truly special feature of the Abruzzo region & perfect visual stimuli! We shall enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near the beach.
Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola I shall introduce a technique to help you develop the images collected that morning.
Day two
Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. We shall venture into the mountains and work ‘en plein air’ to capture the amazing vistas and landscapes of the Appeninnes: followed by a traditional mountain lunch at a local Agriturismo.
Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola, I’ll demonstrate another new technique useful for developing that mornings images and incorporate yesterdays ideas and techniques.
Evening- Enjoy an aperitif at La Vecchio Scuola whilst listening to an informative talk about my work and career.
Day three
Morning – Tornareccio, the nearest village, is known for its honey and its mosaics – we shall spend the morning investigating the latter through the small alleys, streets and piazzas of this pleasant hillside village: then its lunch at the local restaurant: Meditteraneo
Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola we shall look at incorporating further techniques into your new repertoire and discuss how you might move forward with your work.
Day four
Morning – Its market day in Atessa…. we shall make a late start so you can absorb the sights and sounds of the local town: There are numerous amazing Baroque churches, beautiful cobble streets and ancient arches & doorways to explore: you can enjoy lunch in one of the numerous restaurants and bars of Atessa
Afternoon – Time for some individual development and 1:1 discussion to help clarify your ideas
Day five & six
Morning – Developing and resolving images and ideas…
Local lunch…
Afternoon – This is a great time to consider different methods of finishing/mounting/presentation pieces. You’ll have time to complete your work as well as review and evaluate [individually and with the group]…sadly its time to say goodbye….
Departure day. I collect you from the hotel for a departure from Pescara airport returning to Stansted

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

What workshop supplies will you need to bring?
Drawing/sketching media – pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal – whatever your prefer.
A hard back sketchbook minimum A3 size [preferably A2] - I like wire bound Pink Pig books with decent paper that can handle a bit of water.
Bear in mind it may be very warm – you may like a hat/suncream & a refillable water bottle…
What supplies/materials/equipment will be provided for you at La Vecchia Scuola?
Papers, scissors, tapes, paint 7 other mediums etc…
Getting there
The nearest airport is Pescara there are regular flights from Stansted, UK and other European airports. I will co-ordination collection from the main Stansted flight.
Some students find it easier to fly to Rome – there is a bus that connects from right outside the terminal [of both the Roman airports] to Pescara [approx 2.5 hours €27 bookable online] Prontobus If you aim to arrive to coincide with airport collections/drop offs, I can whizz by the bus station to collect you as well 🙂
Hotel Al Duca in Atessa [] : Antonio is lovely and has agreed to offer a 10% discount on his B&B rates for my students. Al Duca is well placed in the centre of Atessa where there are a range of bars and restaurants all in strolling distance.
I have had a tour of this hotel and it is perfect: its a small, well run hotel which has been recently re-modelled. Its exceptionally clean and the restaurant is well regarded in the area – there’s free wifi and access to the local swimming pool a short walk away. For guests, Antonio will also offer a set price dinner for 15 euros.
Rooms 201, 202 & 203 have balconies and view across the town to the sea in the distance. 302/303/304/402 also have views but no balcony.
Approx prices: Single room 40/45 euros, Twin 65 euros, Double 65 euros
If partners or family would like to join you after you've completed the workshop, I could recommend that you extend your stay at Casa Pietra : a delightful self catering Farmhouse in a beautiful spot, there are 4 double ensuite rooms in the main house and the Casetta sleeps 2 to 4 guests. Robert, the English speaking owner can offer suggestions for further activities and places to visit.
Please see the FAQ and previous images on my Facebook page, then get in touch if you have any queries.

Want to review this course?

I just loved everything about this course. From the moment Dionne met me at the airport to getting the flight home it was fun, friendly, creative, relaxing, energising, challenging and inspirational. Dionne had organised everything superbly, she is such an excellent tutor and great fun to be with. The hotel, the food the wine and the gelato could not be improved on. I cannot recommend this workshop holiday highly enough, I sincerly hope to go again another year. If you are thinking of going then just book it, you will not regret it. xxx

- - #13483

Dionne did a brilliant job of tailoring the course to the needs and skill levels of the participants whilst inspiring confidence and encouraging us to try new techniques. What was particularly good was that everything that we did could be done at home with minimal outlay, no fancy or expensive equipment and materials required.
Atessa, Torrareccio, Abruzzo and the coastline were delightful and inspirational. Just when you thought that the week could not get any better - it did, with fantastic food, local wines and such a warm welcome from the locals.
I shouldn’t be writing such a glowing review as there may not be space when I want to go again, it’s so good. Just go, you will not regret it for an instant.

- - #13232

I can’t recommend enough attending any of Dionnes classes or summer schools. She devotes so much time and attention on ensuring you get the best out of your experience. Italy was stunningly inspiring because Dionne made it so utterly accessible and with meticulous attention to detail, from the travel arrangements to the hotel the itinerary. It was magical and spellbinding and you come away with a head full of ideas armed with new skills and confidence, and a promise to return. The food, the company, the coursework, the visual delights. Dionne could inspire anyone - even on a wet November day sitting on soggy cardboard. When you add Abruzzo to the mix it’s heady and addictive. Don’t miss it. Just wonderful xxxx

- - #13205

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Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.

  • Accessible by public transport
  • Accommodation offered
  • Romantic
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for events & groups
  • Suitable for stag and hen dos
  • Teen friendly

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