Pyrites Summer Craft Camp 2020

Providing an opportunity for children and their parents/friends of all ages
engage in meaningful craft activities. 

Adults without children also welcome. 

Have a fun-filled week of creativity and joy. 

All meals provided & shared together - organic where possible.

"The best holiday ever" 

Dates for 2020 :

Sunday 26th - Saturday 1st Aug 2020 
Ashen Plains - Woodland Campsite


Thank you all that attended 2019 - a great craft camp was had by all and the new site proved to be enjoyed by all!




Craft Camp Booking Form


 For all reservation enquiries:

Contact us at 



Ashen Plains site information

This spacious and secluded camp site is surrounded by natural beech woodland in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is extremely quiet, away from any residential or commercial properties. As soon as you arrive you know you are in the heart of the countryside, yet there is easy access from the M5 and M4.

The well-sheltered site is made up of level and gently sloping park land, surrounded by natural woodland. Totalling over 50 acres, The all-grass pitches are suitable for caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents and tents.

There is a newly fitted toilet block with the very latest Franke shower system.

The best approach is from the A4135, Dursley to Tetbury road. Don't attempt to use the steep, narrow roads fron North Nibley and Waterley Bottom.

From Dursley (and M5)
Take the A4135 towards Tetbury. At the top of the first steep section of Whiteway Hill, turn sharp right, following a signpost to Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club. The site is on the left, opposite the Dursley Sculpture Trail signpost.

From the A46 (and M4)
Take the A4135 towards Dursley. Through Kingscote past Hunters Hall public house on left. Ahead on long winding Whiteway Hill fol signpost Dursley. Just before dropping down into Dursley, fork left, following a signpost to Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club. The site is on the left, opposite the Dursley Sculpture Trail signpost.







  • A Registration Form for craft activities will be sent to you following receipt of your Application Form & confirmation of your Deposit for £250/ one family Booking - Paid by either cheque or bank transfer Banking details on Application Form - when you have transferred your deposit - email to confirm! & you will be sent the link to sign up for Craft Activities.
  • Application forms should be sent together with a non-refundable deposit of £250 per family booking. NB: On an early cancellation of your booking, your deposit can be deferred as your deposit for the following year.
  • Please note that balance to fees are to be paid by 1st June 2020. After this date latter application forms should be returned with full fee.
  • Dogs are allowed but must be carefully under the supervision of owners at all times - best achieved by having the dog on a lead at all times. Fowling will not be tolerated -& where this occurs dogs & owner/s will be asked to leave the site.        


Prices listed below:

  • 3 years and younger are welcomed Free. NB:If joining creche under 3yrs must be accompanied by parent.
  • 4 & 5 years (creche only): £200 per child
  • Children 6–11 yrs: £225 per child
  • 12 yrs plus & Adults: £350
  • 'None workshop' Participants (food included): £250 for the week
  • Camping Fee only for extra nights £5/night.
  • Camping & Food for visitors (by prior arrangement only ) £30/24 hrs
  • Day visitors -no craft activity possible: but due to catering limitations no meals for visitors can be provided unless arranged.  
  • No unaccompanied children/youths under 16 years.


Please bring your own tent, sleeping gear, crockery & cutlery. Facilities will be basic, ie field kitchen & washing up facilities.

Tents allowed in all areas  - Camping vehicles in certain areas only. All vehicles once unloaded should be taken out of the camping fields and parked in the designated parking areas. If the weather is too wet on arrival or departure your camping gear will be taken into the fields for you


We try to keep the site tidy at all times. There is a designated Recycling area - please sort out your recycling appropriately. Each family will be given a black bin bag for their non-recyclable refuse - please use and deposit in the various trailers that will be pointed out. 


We encourage responsible and social drinking remembering that we are a 'Family Camp' and have a large number of children present. Where inappropriate drinking is noticed you will be asked to stop. Please do not leave your bottles & cans lying around the site - use the appropriate wheely bins provided by the kitchen area. 

We want you to have a good time but be 'socially aware' of your fellow campers and the neighbours in the valleys around.



As many of you that have attended over the years will be aware 'sound ' travels in the valleys.  - we  do notify our neighbours of the Craft Camp event and have to be respectful of a sensible noise curfew of 11.00pm. 


An important feature of the camp will be food preparation and cooking using organic ingredients where possible prepared in a field kitchen. All meals will be prepared and shared together around the campfire. Staff will organize for different craft groups to assist in preparing lunch & Supper. Breakfast is also provided. 

DIETS:You will be asked on your Application form to fill in any dietary requirements. Please respect the cook's efforts in providing for you. Unfortunately, we had many this year that specified special diets that were prepared but not taken. This would seem to be the case where a diet is a life style choice.

Can I ask you to be honest and considerate in your dietary specifications and stick to them - many thanks.

Craft Workshops

All of the craft activities will offer a comprehensive experience, in many cases starting with the process of obtaining and preparing the raw materials and moving through to make a handcrafted item. 

Your Craft Camp Fee includes tuition, materials and Food. However in some workshops like the Leather workshops where a second item is wanting to be made or a larger item where material costs would exceed the budget then a surcharge may have to be made  - this is done directly with the tutor.







NB: Final balance to your Craft Camp Fee is 

expected by 1st June. 


Craft Groups & Activities

Please read below for samples of Craft activities offered. New workshop activities will be posted as & when they arise. If a workshop advertised is not sufficiently subscribed to, then it may have to be cancelled - but you will be notified & offered your 2nd or 3rd choice activity.

Many of the workshop activities are doubled to accommodate different age groups and interests.

There is also a creche for 3 > 5 yr olds -  NB younger children will have to accompanied by parent/guardian.


N.B  This is a list of all potential Workshops Activities - For exactly what is on offer in any particular year Please click on Craft camp Application Form (above) to view workshop and age groups for this year's Craft Camp.

 Adult CreativeTextile workshop 2019;

  Tutors: Liz Thomas & Marianne van der Tass

  Suitable age: Teenagers & adults.


.”Combining wool, silk or muslin we will design and make samples together and then apply the techniques of shibori, Nuno-felt, eco print and plant dye.

Things to make include a shibori scarf and one of the following projects:- slippers, hats, an eco-printed Nuno-felted gilet or a cushion cover.

"Let’s have some fun exploring our creativity together”


Weaving workshop:

New Tutor for 2019: Tutor: Charlotte Cook


 Using naturally dyed wool to weave a wall hanging on a hazel stick around a fish-shaped or D-Frame loom.                                              

Suitable Age: Teenagers & Adults





1.Leatherwork: John Hagger – Professional Leatherworker -

Using traditionally tanned leather to design and make a variety of items, bags, belts mobile phone cases etc

Suitable Age: Teenagers & Adults


2.Leatherwork: Jeannie Ireland.

Sustainable Craft Creations

Suitable age:12yrs &upwards 

 2.Leather.jpg NEW PIC TO FOLLOW

Recycle, upcycle and transform - using traditional craft skills from leatherwork, felt making, sewing, printing and weaving.  Design and make unique bags, hats, belts, footwear, flags, banners and much more using recycled materials.  Bring your own clothes to repair and transform, or use the materials we have assembled.   Get creative without costing the Earth.

Eg.hats, bags, sandals, tool cases   & Native American style beaded items.


3.Leatherwork: Lisandro Serra Delmar - Gaucho Ninja Leatherwork

Suitable age: 14 yrs & upwards. 


Discover the art of leatherworking using traditional Argentinian Gaucho techniques by the hand of the creative Japanese insight and craftsmanship. Learn how to lace, make japanese tabi shoes, lakota moccasins, belts, sheaths, bags using natural tanned leather.

4. New leather workshop for 2019 Jess Paske - Medieaval  Tooled Leather work

Suitable age 14yrs & upwards

Saxon museum pouch Lenborough hoard (10)r.jpg

 My work has a definite focus on tooling designs in to the leather in an organic way that is sympathetic  with the overall project, it isn't just about putting a nice picture into leather. We will work together to create something unique and personal using veg-tanned leather and traditional wet-forming methods, embossing, sewing and staining. I would particularly like to help people finish off things started at craft camp; a wet-formed and tooled sheath for a hand forged knife, or incorporating a brass casting into a bag as examples. I also like to work to known historical periods such as the bronze age as this can also involve working with bone and wood, and would happily share the knowledge on how to make a 3000 year old pouch or even a Viking/medieval pair of Turnshoes and a game of Nine Men's Morris. Jess Paske


5.Raw Hide Drum making workshop:Dan & Naomi Westall

Suitable age: 14 yrs & upwards.


 Making Native American Lakota Ash Frame Drum & Beater, skinned & laced with deerskin.

Various other Rawhide products -description to follow.



Willow Basketry: Erica Adams 

Traditional Willow Basketry: 

Using willow and other materials which will be processed in various ways, participants will be instructed in the traditional methods of Willow Basket making and garden structures.

Suitable Age: Teenagers & Adults

 Willow Baskets.jpg



Rush Basketry workshop: Linda Lamieux

Introducing ecologically grown and sustainably harvested  Somerset river rush. Containers such as water-bottle carriers, jewellery boxes with lids, quivers, tinder pouches carried a belt, possibles satchels and boater-style hats will be offered woven on a mould as well as straps and ingenious fastenings from found materials. Enjoy weaving with a beautiful, soft and forgiving natural material.


Rush Basketry workshop.jpg




Straw Bee Skep workshop: Paul Hand

Paul Hand- Experienced Rush/coil / and bee step maker. Can do baskets etc made using straw coiling method

Suitable age:  Adults for bee hive skeps and min age 12yrs and upwards if you wish you could make a Bumblebee skep. 



Bee skeps.P1030411.jpg 



Honeybee & Bumblebee skeps Workshop:

Paul has kept bumblebees from the age of six and has made straw skeps and kept honeybees in them for the last 40 years. He has travelled and spent time all over the British isles researching coiled work using rush & straw and loves the techniques which are so versatile and adaptable. he  likes the honey and pollen he produces but also makes juggling balls, bread dough rising baskets and beautiful containers for around the house and garden

Based in Leintwardine on the Shropshire Herefordshire border he loves to share his enthusiasm for honey bees fruit trees mushrooms and nature as a whole.







NEW: Traditional Bow making: Phil Brook

Suitable age: 14yrs & upwards

 Bow making.jpeg

Bows have been a part of our culture for thousands of years, so long and so important are they to us, that perhaps none of us would be here if it wasn’t for the skill and patience of our ancestors.  Hunting, inter- tribal conflict and symbols of power that built nations like our small islands, these beautiful pieces of art are much more than killing tools. Each Bow is a personal statement of skill and craftsmanship that is, or some might suggest artwork. 

We explore Bow design through the ages, designs straight from the prehistoric record and find the right design for you. You’ll learn how to craft your Bow using simple Bushcraft tools, utilising the knowledge and skill that’s been passed on from one generation of Bowyers to another over time. 

You’ll finish this workshop with a Bow, longbow or flatbow where you’ll know the timber was sustainably felled and prepared by us, using native species and traditional methods. 

You’ll of made the Bow, made a string, constructed your own arrows and have the knowledge to do it again. But most important of all you’ll become apart of the growing number of people coming back to traditional archery, relying on your own knowledge and skill and not that of machines or Modern materials to make your equipment. In my opinion The core values of Bushcraft.    

This course is run by Traditional Bowyer Phil Brooke who runs Chosen Paths Bushcraft and is head instructor at Woodcraft School. 

Woodsman, Bushcraft Specialist & Traditional Bowyer. 





Green Woodwork:


 1.Green Woodwork: Richard Turley & Mark Philips

Suitable Age: Teenagers & Adults

Green wood work.jpg

Using the traditional pole lathe and green woodworking tools, various household items, stools etc will be produced with local woods.


Wood Carving:

 Wood carving -Axel Keim - Professional Wood Carver/Sculptor

Suitable age: 14yrs and upwards

Wood Carving.jpg

 Using a variety of hardwoods to carve 2 & 3-dimensional forms / The Green Man to House name etc


1.Clay & Kiln Building workshop: Sue Harker & Fiona Cullen


 Adults Ceramic workshop



Construction of a Dragon Kiln - Hand-building Earthenware pots & artefacts using traditional methods & techniques.  Construct and fire in a brick Dragon Kiln in the field. 


1.Children's Clay workshop & Paper Slip Kiln: Sam Makumba

Suitable age: 10yrs & upwards  



1. Making and firing of Raku ware in a Paper slip Kiln.


Stone Carving: Gregg Tricker -Professional artist/sculptor

Suitable Age: 12 yrs & upward


Using local Limestone & other materials to carve a design of your choice.            



 Metal work:

1.Blacksmithing workshop: Garrick Nelson, Tim Ferguson & John – professional Blacksmith

Suitable Age:14yrs & upwards 


Traditional blacksmithing to produce a variety of artefacts


2.Blacksmithing workshop: Melissa Savage & George

Suitable age: 10yrs -14yrs  


Introduction to basic Blacksmithing using portable forges in the Field.

3. Knifemaking: Tutor to be arranged for 2019 

Suitable Age: 14yrs & upwards

Knife making.jpg

Forge your own knife, make handle & sheath

4. Copper Work: To be arranged

 Suitable age: 12 yrs & upwards

Fold formed copper bowl.jpg

Creative Copper work to produce a variety of functional & decorative items,


 Bronze casting workshop:

5. Bronze casting workshop: Phil Walters

Suitable 14 yrs & upwards

Bronze casting.jpg

For those wishing to explore the artistic medium of Lost wax Bronze casting

Model & cast in tin or bronze your own artefact.


Traditional Soap Making & Essential Plant oils: 

Tutors; Alexci Swan & Sarah Houghton

Suitable age: 14 yrs and upwards

Soap making.jpg


'Mother nature gives us what we need for many healing lotions and potions. Come and play with local plants to infuse their wonderful smells and healing qualities into your traditionally made soap produced using natural oils and fats. Take your soap away wrapped in plant died fabric tied with plant fibre ribbon. Using our senses fully we will begin to understand the qualities of the plants and the natural materials we will be using.  We will also learn how to make herbal teas, decoctions, infused oils, hydrosols, flower essences, tinctures, creams and ointments and drink sunshine tea every day!'


Stained Glass Workshop:

1. Stained Glass Workshop: Johannes Steuck -Artist

Traditional leaded glass techniques to make a window hanging 
Suitable Age: 12 yrs & upwards


NEW Bead Weaving workshop for 2018


Bead Weaving workshop.jpeg











 Bead Weaving: Susannah Thomson

Suitable age: Teenagers & adults

Using the best quality Japanese glass seed and cylinder beads you will learn a range of stitches and techniques with these tiny beads to make jewellery, boxes and other objects, with just beads, needle and thread. If you ever wear reading glasses, you’ll need to bring them.




 Nature Workshops:

1.Pathfinder & Bush Craft workshop: Nick Lee

Come and learn about the ways of the ancient Native American scout. Learn how to hunt like the scouts with camouflage techniques and games. Learn how to immerse yourself in nature by taking part in native sit spots. Then try your hand at going an overnight scout mission to learn the secrets of fire and shelter. All combined with stories of the ancients. Featuring primitive fire lighting, shelter building, stone tools, Wild food and a wealth of other activities based in the natural environment. Sleep out alone one night.

Suitable age: 10 yrs & upwards




*1.Nature & Nurture: Hattie Duke  

      Suitable age: (8-12 yrs)


          Exploring the natural environment through woodland skills and traditional crafts    

          including fire craft, weaving, printing and much more.


2. Craft Tasters:  Carol Harvey & Will Harvey

            Suitable for girls and boys 8-12, please remember your wellies. 


          All our activities will have starting points in nature and will encourage children’s imagination  

           and creativity. We will be creating felt slippers in our wellies while having fun with

           games, sawing and hammering to create woodland  creatures, creating batik on cloth

           and either leaving as picture or sowing into a bag, making beads and firing in a tin over

           the fire, creating ponchos that we add to during the week using simple stitches, needle

           felting and anything else we can imagine and as a finale, we will be creating candles with

           a difference. 



3. Children’s Workshop: ( 6 & 7yrs ) One or Two groups depending on applications

    Earth, Water, Air & Fire

1. Children’s Workshop: Ruth Gardener.

Exploring Nature for younger children through Earth, Water, Air and Fire through stories, play, crafts and activities.



All day creche option during workshop times -children 3yrs & under must be accompanied by a parent!

For two to Five-year-olds.

Evening entertainment:

Stories for young & old. Drumming sessions - Saunas & 'chill out time'