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Courses

Persian Patterns 

Exploring the geometric genius of the Persian master-craftsmen

18, 19 January 2020   Details

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £120 incl. materials  Fully booked
Explore the geometric genius of the Persian master-craftsmen. Learn the art of compass and straight-edge construction and create a dazzling portfolio of geometric patterns from the Persian tradition. 
"A brilliant course so clearly and patiently taught. Such a lovely few days and plenty to work
with after the course. Totally inspiring!" 
Patricia Gidney (UK) January 2017 Persian Patterns course participant

My words are truly inadequate to express the way I feel about the Course, your work, your studio ... within seconds of walking through the door my eyes welled up with tears of utter heartfelt Joy so struck by the beauty, grace & feeling contained within the images that adorned the walls.

It felt like a coming home, something in me recognised something in them & it felt like coming home. 

It’s been a mind blowing & momentous 3 days of discovery, initiation & finding my way back into a world so expansive yet containing filled with love, grace, spiritual connection & beauty ... I cannot believe how much I’ve discovered not only about myself but about the universe all contained within these works each one a portal of information within which one can choose to enter or observe while constructing. Extraordinary, inspiring ... 

I truly cannot wait until I return. 

Sara Hall (UK) June 2019 SAOG Studios Persian Patterns course participant

Bookings now open:

Persian Patterns  14, 15 November 2020

Book today

Geometric Patterns of Morocco and Al-Andalus

with Daniel Docherty

27 January 2020 - 31 January 2020

The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, London

One place remaining!  Details/Bookings

 

Mandalas of the World

with Daniel Docherty 

4-8 February 2020  

SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £335 
Details/Booking 

 

Mandalas, in essence, can be understood to be diagrams, patterns and pictures that are distillations of cosmic wisdom and harmony; repositories of archetypal intelligence.

Mandalas offer a potentially powerful means of deepening one’s spiritual and contemplative practice. This is especially true when they are constructed - using the traditional tools of compass and straightedge - in a considered and contemplative manner.

During this week-long course, Daniel Docherty will guide participants through the construction of a number of mandalas from different traditions including mandalas that embody significant planetary patterns. We will explore their inherent symbolism and cosmic correspondences. Participants will

also make their our own inks and paints from plant and mineral in

order to colour and ensoul their designs. 

This course has been a total joy, and it has been full of spiritual and cosmic revelation. The way Daniel teaches perfectly fits the way that I learn best. He treats the material with such reverence and poetic beauty. I feel this week has opened up a path for me, and I feel it will play an important part in my life from now on. I always felt barred from the artistic world, not feeling in any way that I possessed artistic talent but this course has given me access to an artistic passion. I only wish I had been introduced to this way of understanding and practising sacred art earlier! Thank you so much. 

John Wadsworth:

PhD research student at CCCU and author of Your Zodiac Soul: Working with the Twelve Zodiac Gateways to Create Balance, Happiness & Wholeness 

The Art and Craft of Labyrinth 

A five-day course exploring the philosophy and practice of labyrinths 

with Daniel Docherty

24-28 February 2020 Details

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £335 incl. materials  Book now

Feedback from recent course participants ...

'Wonderful course with a good mix of theoretical techniques, practical skills and magic!'

'An outstanding course. Rich in techniques to go along with the mind boggling art of sacred geometry.' 

'Just brilliant with a touch of magic!'  

Click for further feedback

 

Geometry of the Islamic World

with Daniel Docherty

{and contributions from Ameet Hindocha @ambigraph}

1-7 March 2020

10:00-17:00   Cost: £410 incl. materials  Book now

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

Come and join us on this practical journey of discovery as we travel half way around the globe to source the finest examples of Islamic Geometric Pattern; Persia, Turkey, Syria, India, and Moorish Morocco and Al-Andalus will feature in our travels. The genius of the craftsmen geometers from the Islamic Golden Age has never been surpassed; their pursuit and devotion for a unifying language embodying their Religion, Art and Science - without parallel.

The principles underlying Islamic Geometric Pattern are timeless and as relevant today as they have ever been or will be!

'There is nothing more timely than the Timeless'  Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr

It is deeply encouraging, in a world and culture that in the main continues to promote a fragmentary

and materialistic approach to Religion, Art and Science, that a resurgence of interest

and practice in Islamic Geometry is well underway.

This course will appeal to all lovers of Islamic Pattern, beginners and experienced alike, who would like to develop and deepen their understanding of this rich art form and the principles informing it. At the end of the course participants will have Head, Heart and Hands satisfied and in harmony!!

And a full portfolio of beautiful patterns from across the Islamic world.

Course participants will have the opportunity to translate a favourite design into glazed ceramic tiles.

There will also be the opportunity during the course for those interested for an excursion to the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum, London.

 
Weaving the Cosmos:
Sacred Geometry and the Art of Hexagonal Weave Basketry
 with Daniel Docherty
14 March 2020
10:00-17:00  Cost: £65
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Learn the art of hexagonal-weave basketry while discovering pattern and unity in nature and many of the world’s traditional cultures. Deepen your understanding of fundamental design principles such as the Golden Ratio. 
Book today!​
 

The Golden Ratio: 

Jewel of Geometry and Cosmos

15 March 2020

 with Daniel Docherty
10:00-17:00  Cost: £65  Details
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
 
The Dance of Earth and Venus

21, 22 March 2020

with Daniel Docherty

10:00-17:00   Cost: £130

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
   Book Today

The Dance of Earth and Venus results in one of the most beautiful and breathtaking rhythms and patterns of the solar system. Every eight Earth years (13 Venus years) they dance a pentagonal form in space akin to the pip-star inside your apple or the petals of a primrose flower! During this course we will learn how to draw this incredible pattern using the traditional tools of compass and straight-edge; we will explore the key aspects of Earth and Venus' cycles that determine such extraordinary heavenly harmony.

And time allowing ... with copper leaf and watercolour paint made from malachite and azurite - which in the Hermetic/Alchemical tradition have forever been associated with the planet Venus - we will create stunning mandalas embodying the Earth/Venus dance ...

 

Mandala and the Art of Henna

with Daniel Docherty and Sheetle Shah

28, 29 March 2020

10:00-17:00   Cost: £130   Book Today​

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

 

Join Daniel Docherty and Sheetle Shah for this practical two-day course exploring sacred pattern and the art of henna.

On the first day of the course Daniel will give an overview of the practice and philosophy of Mandalas from various traditions.

Participants will be introduced to certain key characteristics and significant  symbolism inherent within traditional Mandalas. We will learn how to construct a some of these sacred patterns using the traditional tools of compass and straightedge.

Sheetle, a henna artist with 20 years of experience with this traditional art form, will guide participants through the processes of making and preparing henna paste 'from  scratch'. You will learn how to apply intricate patterns to paper, hands or feet depending on your preference! Henna is a natural pigment with remarkable staining qualities. You will learn how it is traditionally applied to hands and feet during festivals and celebrations; today, henna is also applied for ‘belly blessings’, cosmetic tattoos, semi-permanent face painting, hair dye and has developed many other creative roles.

 

Willow Basketry

Backpacks and Bike Baskets

with Annemarie O'Sullivan

8-10 May 2020

10:00-17:00   Cost: £225

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
 Book Today
 

Architecture & Geometry

Exploration of the Use of Geometry in Building Design

16, 17 May 2020

with Jon Allen 
10:00-17:00  Cost: £130  Book Today
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

“Buildings are Alive, Magic is Afoot”  J. A.

...There are no geometric rules that will guarantee a beautiful building, just as there are no rules of grammar that will guarantee a fine novel, or rules of musical composition that will automatically create a masterpiece. Beauty does not come about by following rules: though neither does it come about by ignorance of the rules. Beauty is not a slave to, nor a simple product of, them. Beauty is always inspired - and beyond what thinking alone can grasp or explain.

Geometry will often be used in conjunction with symbolic number and significant measure. Indeed, as was well understood by Pythagoras and all who followed after him, geometry is one particular expression and embodiment of Number ...

Some of the geometric tools used in building design (and to be explored during this two-day course) are:

• the interrelated set of primary ratios found in the first three regular polygons

• proportional progressions and combinations of root and other rectangles

• musical or ‘mean’ relationships

• combinations of polygons

Extr. from GEOMETRY IN ARCHITECTURAL COMPOSITION Some Guidelines - an essay (yet to be published) by

JON ALLEN (jon@jonallenarchitect.co.uk)

 

The Craftsman's Secret

23, 24 May 2020

with Adam Tetlow
10:00-17:00  Cost: £130  
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Book today
Harmonic design has long been a secret of the craft schools.
Using traditional methods we will explore the magic and mystery of harmonic geometry and how to marry these primordial forms to reveal the craftsman's secret;
an essential design tool which unifies the arts of the quadrivium.
 

Medieval Gilding

23, 24 May 2020

with Lucie Rose Galvani
10:00-17:00  Cost: £140  (incl. all materials)
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East) 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
 Book today

 

The artwork in medieval manuscripts is called illumination partly because the gold included in the paintings around the text was bringing light to the page and thus it was illuminated. Raised gilding on manuscript gesso is one of the most used techniques for applying gold leaf on designs in medieval manuscripts. This technique gives the most shine and mirror like effect to the gold and the slight relief enables the gold to catch light coming from every direction. 

During this two days course participants will make a first small test piece and a second larger motif (around 10cm x10cm) using the technique of raised gilding. The background will be painted with watercolours and pigments. The choice of motif is up to the participant. Examples of geometric shapes and ornate initial letters will be provided.

We will work with real gold leaf  and we will go through the recipe for manuscript gesso.

 

Special event:

Patterns of the Planets

A celebration of the Dance of Earth and Venus

and other Heavenly Harmonies 

{to coincide with the 'Kiss' (or Venus's inferior conjunction) on the 3rd of June}

1-5 June 2020

with Daniel Docherty
Guest contributors to include Tom Bree, John Martineau, John Wadsworth +++
10:00-17:00  
Cost: £385 (limited conc. available upon request)
Book today 
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

Art of Ottoman Floral Illumination

Three-day art workshop led by Sharmina Haq 

(https://www.instagram.com/sharmina.haq)

12-14 June 2020

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £195 incl. materials  
Book today
 

Images: Sharmina Haq

A unique three-day practical painting workshop where participants will explore and take inspiration from exquisite silk fabrics from the Ottoman Empire. These luxurious textiles were characterised by large-scale stylised floral patterns including carnations, tulips, roses, hyacinths and cherry blossoms and highlighted by shimmering gold and silver threads which are now emblematic of the classical Ottoman style.

Participants will study different stylised flowers and motifs and will learn how

to draw floral and çintemani motifs inspired from lavish Ottoman textiles.

The underlying geometry, symbolism and repetition of patterns will be explored. 

Participants will design and transfer a composition onto watercolour paper and will learn

traditional shading techniques and how to outline, paint and illuminate with real gold.

During the course we will learn the traditional methods involved in Islamic manuscript illumination ... participants will be guided through the processes involved in paper sizing, stretching, staining (with hollyhock/natural dyes) and burnishing as well as being introduced to the processes and procedures involved in making mineral pigments and watercolour/gouache paints.

We will also make real ‘shell gold’ to use in our paintings.

Suitable for beginners or intermediate level with an interest in patterns and art.

See link for taste of July 2019 course:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz86QZXHUl4/

 
Wild ColourDye/Pigment/Pattern

with Deborah Barker and Daniel Docherty 

15-19 June 2020

10:00-17:00   Cost: £385   Book Today​​

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

Join us for this exciting and new collaborative course with two leading exponents of 'closed-loop' creating! Experience the joy and satisfaction of foraging and re-fashioning natural materials to create stunning dyes and inks, pigments and paints ... Learn the essentials of sacred geometry and how to create beautiful fabric print designs and 'resist' patterns using a variety of different methods and materials.

This course will be infused with a deep wonder and reverence for the bountiful gifts of the Earth and their harmonious and wholesome potential ...

Visit and follow@field_folk on Instagram for a taste of the stunning and important work of Deborah Barker

 

Silverpoint Drawing workshop

Discover the classical art of silverpoint

with Dr David Cranswick

3-5 July 2020

10:00-17:00   Cost: £195  Book Today​​

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

Silverpoint, along with copper point and gold point, was the main tool for drawing from the 14th century onwards until the development of graphite in the early 19th century. Drawing with metal point is a very different technique to drawing with graphite pencil, it gives the work a luminosity and refinement of line that is unique to this medium. 

Students will be taught how to prepare traditional silverpoint grounds and and will be guided through the stages of silverpoint, copper point and gold point drawing. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover this extraordinary technique. Students are welcome from all levels of experience, no previous drawing experience is required. 

Dr David Cranswick trained at the Royal Academy, London, and has a PhD in traditional painting materials and techniques.

David teaches at The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts as well as universities in Azerbaijan and China;

he is artist in residence at Cowdray House.

David will be joining us at SAOG Studios for two further 2020 courses ...

3-7 August 2020

Alchemy of Pigment and Paint - incorporating exercises on the ancient colour palette

30 Nov - 4 Dec 2020

Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern together with Daniel Docherty

Learn the alchemy and processes involved in making your own paints.

With compass and straight-edge create mandalas that resonate with the planetary patterns.

 

Order in Space:

A practical exploration of the five fundamental 'Platonic' forms

with Daniel Docherty and Nicholas G. Durnan

13-17 July 2020   Bookings

10:00-17:00   Cost: £385

SAOG Studios/Ruskin East,
 Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
​​

Join Daniel Docherty and master stone-mason Nicholas G. Durnan for this week-long course where participants will learn the principles of Order in Space through a deep study and immersion in the Five Platonic Solids. Daniel will lead the Monday and Tuesday sessions where we will familiarise and befriend the forms as we draw, model and weave them in various ways and at various scales. The focus of Wednesday/Thursday and Friday will be on the Carving of the Forms in Alabaster and Caen Limestone. It is possible and likely that particpants will be able to carve a full set of all five 'Platonic' solids.
 

... I had such a fabulous weekend! It was Awesome to carve The 5 Platonic Solids & I loved every minute. I have a deeper understanding of them after carving them & I feel like I’ve been initiated into something rather sacred. I’ve also discovered that I utterly adore carving stone ...
Another truly nourishing & enriching time at the SAOG Studio, I grow every time I come.
A million Thank You’s Daniel & Nick & until next time.
I’d absolutely love to carve more! Please let me know about any future plans & if I’m in the country I’ll be there!

Sara Hall - Participant on SAOG Studios' Intro. to the Platonic Solids and Carving the Platonic Solids in Stone courses Oct. 2019

 

Alchemy of Pigment and Paint

(incorporating exercises on the ancient colour palette)

with David Cranswick PhD   (Renaissance Art Studio)

3-7 August 2020
SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £385  Book today
'I feel inspired, overwhelmed, excited ... A wonderful therapeutic week, so much knowledge and new stuff and an array of beautiful colours. Thank you Daniel and David.' Molly Mahon

Learn the alchemy and processes involved in making your own set of watercolour and gouache paints.

The roots, berries and minerals that we will be precipitating, grinding and binding, all have

layered correspondences that link to the planetary archetypes. Other mediums, methods and recipes such as egg tempera, encaustic, casein and oil paint will also be explored.

Click for further details and to view images from previous
 Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern courses
'I feel on the Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern course that I was really entering into a deep organic process that was steeped in tradition and spiritually. I found it tremendously inspiring, nurturing and a deeply powerful experience - amazingly good!'  Dec. 2017 course participant
 

Celtic Pattern, Geometry and Imagination

A five-day extended course with Adam Tetlow
Bookings open for 14-18 September 2020
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £335  Book now
Details
'The course was very exciting! Adam is an excellent teacher,
the location is wonderful and everything forces me to book further courses!'

Werner from Switzerland.

(Participant on SAOG Studio's Sept. 2019 Celtic Pattern, Geometry and Imagination course)

Geometry of Ancient Egypt

A three-day course with Adam Tetlow

16-18 October 2020
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £195  Book now
Join us on a journey through the geometric arts of Ancient Egypt ...
The profound relationship between qualitative geometry and the forms of architecture and sculpture is no where better expressed than in the ancient egyptian tradition.
During this course we will be drawing inspiration from the work of
R.A. Schwaller de Lubitcz, John Michell and others.
Adam Tetlow is an artist, writer and teacher.

He graduated from the PSTA's MA programme in 2003 under the esteemed tutelage of

Prof. Keith Critchlow and master geometer, Paul Marchant 

He is the author of Celtic Pattern - Visual Rhythms of the Ancient Mind, co-author of Sacred Number, and contributor to Quadrivium and Designa (all published by Wooden Books). In 2019, Adam gave keynote addresses for the Temenos Academy's Fourth John Michell Symposium, Megalithomania and Rilko.

Stonecircle Geometry and the Secrets of Megalithic Architecture

A three-day course with Adam Tetlow

6-8 November 2020
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £195  Book now
Come and explore the unique and breathtaking geometry behind some of the world's most ancient
architecture. From Stonehenge to Castlerigg, learn the methods of these ancient geometers.

 

√2 grid systems and the Silver Ratio

(with particular emphasis on one and two piece patterns from the Alhambra)

 with Ameet Hindocha

Thursday/Friday 12, 13 November 2020
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £130  Book now
Construct a root 2 master grid with Ameet Hindocha and learn how to extrapolate numerous Islamic Geometric Patterns from it. Particular emphasis will be placed on the drawing out of one and two piece patterns from the magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada, Sth Spain.  
Of possible interest:
The above Thurs/Fri. √2 grid systems and the Silver Ratio course is followed by a weekend
Persian Patterns course led by Daniel Docherty (see below).

Persian Patterns 

Exploring the geometric genius of the Persian master-craftsmen

14, 15 November 2020   Details

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £130  Book today
Explore the geometric genius of the Persian master-craftsmen. Learn the art of compass and straight-edge construction and create a dazzling portfolio of geometric patterns from the Persian tradition. 
"A brilliant course so clearly and patiently taught. Such a lovely few days and plenty to work
with after the course. Totally inspiring!" 
Patricia Gidney (UK) January 2017 Persian Patterns course participant

My words are truly inadequate to express the way I feel about the Course, your work, your studio ... within seconds of walking through the door my eyes welled up with tears of utter heartfelt Joy so struck by the beauty, grace & feeling contained within the images that adorned the walls.

It felt like a coming home, something in me recognised something in them & it felt like coming home. 

It’s been a mind blowing & momentous 3 days of discovery, initiation & finding my way back into a world so expansive yet containing filled with love, grace, spiritual connection & beauty ... I cannot believe how much I’ve discovered not only about myself but about the universe all contained within these works each one a portal of information within which one can choose to enter or observe while constructing. Extraordinary, inspiring ... 

I truly cannot wait until I return. 

Sara Hall (UK) June 2019 SAOG Studios Persian Patterns course participant

30 November - 4 December 2020
SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £385  Book today
'I leaned more in five days than in three years of Art at university'  June 2018 course participant

Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

with David Cranswick PhD and Daniel Docherty

Learn the alchemy and processes involved in making your own set of watercolour and gouache paints.

The roots, berries and minerals that we will be precipitating, grinding and binding, all have

layered correspondences that link to the planetary archetypes.

Using compasses and straight-edge we will create mandalas that also resonate with the planetary patterns.

The symbolism and character of colour in different traditions will be explored as we apply our paints to patterns to reveal works of dazzling beauty to adorn the home and nourish the soul.

Click for further details and to view images from previous
 Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern courses
'I feel on the Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern course that I was really entering into a deep organic process that was steeped in tradition and spiritually. I found it tremendously inspiring, nurturing and a deeply powerful experience - amazingly good!'  Dec. 2017 course participant
 

Moroccan Geometry and The Art of Zouaq Painting

with Daniel Docherty and Natasha Mann 

(http://www.natasha-mann.com)

New 2020 dates tbc soon

10:00-17:00   Cost: £385  Book today!
SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK

The first two days of this course will focus on the construction of a number of beautiful Moroccan patterns using the traditional geometers' tools of compass and straightedge. Daniel Docherty will lead these classes in a gently guided, step-by-step manner suitable for both beginners and experienced alike.

The following three days, led by Natasha Mann, will introduce students to the Art of Zouaq.

Zouaq is a painting technique original to Morocco which creates arresting and powerful designs.

Found painted onto ceilings, doors, furniture and wooden objects it is an integral part

of the decoration of private homes and sacred spaces in Morocco.

Students will also be given an introduction to the history of Zouaq and its different styles.

Using the traditional techniques of egg tempera painting using hand ground natural pigments from earth and minerals, participants will choose their favourite design from their portfolio of Moroccan geometric patterns, to create a stunning painting on wood to take home.

Details