Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

with David Cranswick PhD and Daniel Docherty

5 - 9 December 2022

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
  Cost: £385  Details/bookings

Last few places

'I leaned more in five days than in three years of Art at university'  June 2018 course participant

Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

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

Feedback past course

'... beyond expectations ...'

'What a wonderful couple of days!

Thanks so much. You hit the "beginners" note perfectly.

So much fascinating information. I really hope to be back for more ...'

'Heartfelt philosophy that resonates with our deepest wish expressed through design, colour and skilled instruction.

Who could not feel gratitude at this sharing.'

'Absolutely amazing and fantastic. I had a great weekend. I’ve been exploring geometry for just over a year now and this was a wonderful weekend of getting my foundation stones in a better order, sorted and a little more settled. I think it’s always good to revisit the fundamentals. I learnt so much and was reminded of a lot I had forgotten. I feel much more confident in my skills after the weekend. I’ll definitely be back to do another, it helped me put some of the pieces of the puzzle together. For me, it’s essential to remember the sacredness of these images every time I draw a pattern. It’s an adventure and an initiation into something magical and this weekend really brought that home to me. As ever Daniel, I’m truly grateful to you ... thank you so much for remaining open ... for holding the light and offering a portal to the divine for those who wish to step through it ...

It’s heaven on Earth! '

"I was astounded at how wonderful the sacred geometry weekend was! I had a feeling it would be magical, but we explored far more than I had expected we would, and feel so much more excited and confident in my ability to play with elegantly simple and intricately complex shapes and patterns.

Daniel is a fantastic teacher, with whimsical humour, simple instructions for all levels, excellent baking and coffee-making skills, and so much generosity of spirit and wisdom.

The SAOG studio is warmly inviting, and exquisite with its mix of timeless beauty in the form of books, art and natural art materials, tea and snack selection and large windows with natural light streaming in throughout the day. I would be content to live in such a space.

Who knew numbers and geometry could be so much fun? This weekend has opened my eyes to the awe-inspiring designs of Life and expressions of Love in ways that I didn't know existed!"


The Dance of Earth and Mercury

- Meeting the Sage;

Befriending the trickster -
with Daniel Docherty

7, 8 January 2023

SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £140 Bookings

Mercury, winged-sandalled messenger god, mediator between heaven and earth, and patron of the alchemical arts, healers, practitioners of sacred number, geometry and cosmology! 

Smallest and swiftest of heavenly wanderers, Mercury's merry dance is a wonder to behold; where the patterns of Earth and Venus often resound in beautiful fivefold (phi) form, Earth and Mercury appear to manifest many threefold patterns and pi ratios. The legendary Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice-greatest Hermes), reputed author of the Corpus Hermetica, is akin to Mercurius.

Each and every one of us has been thrice-blessed by Hermes Trismegistus whilst in our mother's womb (nine mo{o}nths equates to three turns of Mercury around the sun!!!).

Through two-days of contemplative pattern exploration at SAOG Studios, we hope to begin a journey of re-membrance and friendship with our most esteemed of fleet-footed heavenly neighbours ...

Dance of Mercury
Dance of Mercury
Dance of Mercury
Mercury's 22  'kisses' every seven years
Geometry of the Planets
Dance of Mercury
Dance of Mercury.jpeg
Dance of Mercury
Dance of Mercury course at SAOG Studios
Dance of Mercury
Geometry of Morocco and Al-Andalus

with Daniel Docherty 

 13 - 15 January 2023

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

SAOG Studios 

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

Alhambra Geometry
Alhambra Geometry
Geometry of the Alhambra

Some of the finest examples of Islamic Geometric Pattern are to be found in such monuments as the Andalusian Alhambra, the Bou Inania and Ben Youssef Madrasas of Fez and Marrakesh. During this three-day course we will learn how to construct a number of these beautiful patterns - ranging from the simple to highly sophisticated - using the traditional geometer's tools of compass and straightedge.

This course will be led in a gentle, easy to follow, step-by-step manner, suitable for

both beginners and experienced alike.


The Golden Ratio: 

Jewel of Geometry and Cosmos

11, 12 February 2023

 with Daniel Docherty
10:00-17:00  Cost: £140 
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Kite of Life with golden squiggles

Kite of Life with Golden squiggles - SAOG Studios March 2020

‘I was very lucky to attend a weekend workshop facilitated by Daniel Docherty on the Golden Ratio. It wasn’t just a workshop, but a coming together of hearts and minds in a friendly and fun weekend, where, through a journey of curated discovery we explored the ancient magical principles of the structure and form of The Golden Ratio and other Sacred Geometric principles. 

Daniel taught us how to create a range of incredibly beautiful designs using just a compass and ruler. Despite most of the group being at either a beginners or intermediate level, Daniel skilfully took us step by step through to some relatively complex structures. 

Daniel has a very special way of never making any one feel that they ‘can not’ do anything and with the most jovial warm and friendly manner he supported all of us seamlessly. Daniel wove in many fascinating points of knowledge and philosophy both ancient and modern, and throughout reminded us of the humanity of this important study and its universal, binding principles. I absolutely loved the 2 day course and I would have loved more! It was incredibly good value and I felt so blessed to be working as part of a small group with such a warm and learned professional who clearly has a true passion to skilfully connect all his students to the magical realm of such sacred principles and I recommend everyone to discover this joyful skill made simple.'

Rebecca (Oct. 2021 course participant)

Sacred Art of Geometry 

an introductory course

with Daniel Docherty

18, 19 February 2023
SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £140  Bookings
Delve into the deep mysteries of Sacred Geometry - 'Art of the Ever-True', under the gentle guidance of SAOG Studios' senior tutor Daniel Docherty. You will learn how to draw the primary four, five and six fold  'Creation' Diagrams with the traditional geometer's tools of compass and straightedge. You will be introduced to the inherent symbolism of these symmetries and how they may be developed into a myriad of pattern possibilities. The pace of this weekend course will be set with beginners in mind and there will be time to enjoy conversation and colour ... and of course tea, coffee and cake!!!
Sacred Art of Geomety: an introductory couse
Sacred Geomety introductory couse
Sacred Geomety: introductory couse
Sacred Geomety: an introductory couse

So grateful to be able to share some time in the workshop this weekend.  It was a real pleasure and so inspiring to be in your incredible studio, which is such an incredible space oozing with such amazing creative energy.  

Andrew Cohan - March 2022

Tracking the Source.png

Story and Sacred Geometry

with Ashley Ramsden and Daniel Docherty


24 - 26 February 2023

Friday/Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm; Sunday 9.30 am - 12.30 pm  Cost: £225

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East) 

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

'Once upon a time, yesterday, today, tomorrow ...'

All sacred stories and patterns are born from mystery into the circle of the here and now.

Underpinning all great stories are archetypal rhythms and patterns. 

Learning to read this spatial script is a key to understanding the magic of a story's picture language.

A story moves us, Why? it takes us on a journey at the end of which we are changed, perhaps troubled or simply reassured.

Through a focussed introduction to the practice of sacred geometry we will explore order in space and how eternal creative principles, such as the spatial dynamics of the six directions, sacred to so many traditions, inform and structure so many a good yarn!. We will ponder what this dressing up world of metaphors is all about and we will hopefully come to some playful insights of who we might be and why we're here at all.

"Only by the form, the pattern

Can words or music reach

The stillness"  T.S.Eliot


The Dance of Earth and Venus

with Daniel Docherty

3 - 5 March 2023

10:00-17:00   Cost: £225  Book today 

SAOG Studios 

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Dance of Venus at Sacred Art of Geometry Studios
Dance of Venus, SAOG Studios
Dance of Venus with Daniel Docherty

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 ...

'The dance of venus course was a mind-blowing, heart-opening experience!'

'Thank you for a magical course where time and space merged and disappeared!

Thank you for your kindness, poetry, patience, gift of sharing the spheres, planets and other joys ... I travelled out of my comfort zone and into magical realms of remembering and letting go. I have been transported way beyond any expectations ...'

(extr. from 2019 course participants feedback)


Art of Mughal Floral Illumination

Three-day art workshop led by Sharmina Haq 


10 - 12 March 2023

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

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

Images: Sharmina Haq

A unique three-day practical painting workshop where participants will explore and draw inspiration from the stunning floral art of Shah Jahan’s Mughal courts.

Suitable for beginners or intermediate level with an interest in pattern, art and traditional methods and materials.


Mandalas of the World

with Daniel Docherty 

27 - 31 March 2023

10:00-17:00   Cost: £385

SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
New Jerusalem Diagram
Kiss of Venus at SAOG Studios
Sacred Geometry Mandalas.jpg
Sacred Art of Geometry
Mandalas of the World at SAOG Studios

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 - May 2019

This has been a very inspiring week exploring the mandalas of the world. The special space of the studio has supported me feel into the sacredness of these forms and patterns of the cosmos. Thank you Daniel for pouring your wisdom, insight and loving energy and sharing that amazing knowledge with us. One of the highlights of the course was the natural paint and ink making ... This has made the process of constructing and painting complete. I’m very inspired to continue this wonderful work at home and I am looking forward to coming back to this special place and teacher.

Nadeshda (Art of Yantra teacher/co-founder) Feb. 2020​​


The Alchemical Art of Astrology

with John Wadsworth and Daniel Docherty

12 - 16 April 2023

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

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

An experiential introduction to the twelve signs of the zodiac wheel, the sun, moon and planets, and the twelve houses or mansions of the sky.  Astrologer John Wadsworth will guide us soulfully and poetically into the world of astrology, revealing the harmonic patterns between the twelve signs and the seven traditional planets that create the cosmic wholensss that has been known from antiquity as the Ptolemaic Order.  We will explore the nested layers of myth and perennial wisdom within the astrological tradition that reveal the symbolic resonances of the signs, planets, houses and aspects of a birth chart.  We will explore the different levels of the zodiac, its form and function as ceremonial calendar, developmental journey through life, map of the psyche, mandala of the soul. And we will explore the alchemical properties of the planets, and experience their animated presence through colour and sound, mask, movement and gesture.


Throughout the week Daniel Docherty will guide us through the various geometric constructions that structure and inform the astrological patterns. We will approach this work in a gently guided and contemplative way where the inherent symbolism of the forms will be elucidated as we go. One of the many patterns that we will explore and work with during the week will be a labyrinth imbued with planetary and zodiac significance. We will also have the opportunity during the course to create a sacred artwork of our own astrological chart.

Alchemical Astrology
Alchemical Astrology
Alchemical Astrology

Inks and Ochres:

An introduction to foraged colour

with Daniel Docherty and Vija Docherty 

26 - 28 May 2023

10:00-17:00   Cost: £245  Book Today​​ 

SAOG Studios 

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

A practical and participatory three-day introductory course for anyone wanting to develop a deeper relationship to ink and ochre. We will walk in the beautiful Ashdown Forest and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; we will reverently forage minerals and materials which we will transform - through various alchemical processes - into pigment, paint and ink. These endeavours will be accompanied by exercises in contemplative pattern making and nature inspired studies in various mediums including traditional watercolour and egg tempera.

The Inks and Ochres course has been a wonderfully nourishing, joyful and dynamic learning experience for me.

I absolutely enjoyed the experiential interactive and nature-oriented elements of the course.

Thank you so much.

Niloufar - Autumn 2022 

Just wonderful !

Clarissa Grandi - Autumn 2021

Thank you both for a weekend of gentle yet industrious interaction with many important soul feeding forces, exploration and wonder, relationships and contribution, creation and contemplation  ... Sarah Francis - Autumn 2021

a HUGE THANK YOU for the weekend Ink and Ochres course at SAOG Studios ...

 I LOVED everything about it! It felt a real privilege to have both Daniel and Vija teaching at the same time! ... The foraging walk was fab! Making the inks and Ochres brilliant, and my favourite bit ... playing with the paint and especially the egg as the medium was absolutely wonderful.

Sara Hall - Autumn 2021

Handmade Paints

From Genesis to Revelation:

Chartres, Story and Sacred Geometry

Next course/pilgrimage: 7 - 18 June 2023 
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East) and Chartres, France 
  Cost: £970  

Join Daniel Docherty (SAOG Studios co-founder and senior tutor),

Roi Gal-Or (International School of Storytelling co-founder) and guests, for this inspirational course/pilgrimage. The initial six days of the course will be held at

Emerson College, UK. The culminating five/six days of the programme

will take place in and around the Cathedral of Chartres, France.


Finding the Still-Point

Polarity and Paradox through Sacred Geometry and Story

with Daniel Docherty​ and Roi Gal-Or

2023 course dates tbc soon

(Friday 2.30pm - 6pm; Saturday 10am - 5.30pm; Sunday 10am - 4.30pm)

Cost: £225 

Email: to register your interest in our 2023 course

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Finding the Still Point

During these times of intense turmoil, confusion and division, you are invited to step into a sacred space of poise and creative potential. We will seek to deepen our understanding of the dynamics of polarity and paradox through the contemplation of Traditional Stories and exercises in Sacred Geometry. Through this endeavour we hope to cultivate our understanding of, and relationship to, the 'Still Point’ ...


The Art of Projective Geometry

Spirals, Buds and Vortex Forms

with Sophia Montefiore

New course dates tbc 

Cost: £195 (limited conc. available upon request)
Book today 
SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
Projective Geometry at SAOG Studios
Projective Geometry: Spirals, Buds and Vortex Patterns
Projective Geometry: Spirals, Buds and Vortex Patterns
Projective Geometry: Spirals, Buds and Vortex Patterns
Projective Geometry: Spirals, Buds and Vortex Patterns

We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming back Australian based Artist/Educator and Projective Geometry expert Sophia Montefiore to SAOG Studios at the earliest opportunity. Participants will be introduced to the fundamental and profound principles of this unique art form through drawing/construction and colour work focussing on Spirals, Buds and Vortex Forms.  


Just back home from my travels after the UK. Thanks to Sophia, Vija, Daniel and all who attended the course for making it such an enjoyable and instructive learning experience. There was some really beautiful work done by everyone. For my part, I hope to be able to continue working on projective geometry and to build on what we have learnt in the two days at Emerson, it was magic ...

Keith Wiskin July 2019


... so grateful for all that I learnt and was blessed to receive over the two days ...

It is amazing how much you can learn and I gained so much inspiration from everyone.

Thank you Sophia, Daniel and Vija.

I hope that there will be a part 2!

Lucy Horswill July 2019


Mandala and the Art of Henna

with Daniel Docherty and Sheetle Shah

1, 2 July 2023 (tbc)

10:00-17:00   Cost: £140   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 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.

Emma Kunz Mandalas
Mandala Art at SAOG Studios
Mandala Art at SAOG Studios
Mandala and Henna Art
Mandala Art at SAOG Studios
Mandala Art at SAOG Studios

Islamic Geometry and Tile-Making

with Daniel Docherty

18 - 22 Sept. 2023

10:00-17:00   Cost: £385  Bookings

SAOG Studios (Ruskin East)

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

Good company, Fantastic Tutors, Amazing Geometry ... life doesn’t get any better than that!

Thanks for another informative, awesome & awe inspiring course. I shall be back!

Sara Hall

It was such fun to spend glorious days immersing ourselves in the Geometry of Islamic Design.

Daniel has a gift for helping you to see the hidden treasures behind these beautiful patterns and their significance as an art form, an expression of the Divine, and as a means to explore oneself.

Thank you Daniel for your wisdom, your beautiful Studio, and for making these teachings so valuable to us.

Vashon Sarkisian

 Islamic Pattern
Islamic Geometry
Islamic Patterns
Islamic Geometry
Persian Pattern
Islamic Geometry

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

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. By the end of the course participants will have constructed a portfolio of beautiful patterns from across the Islamic world and learned the processes involved  in creating a stunning collection of glazed ceramic tiles.

Further feedback from March 2020 course ...

Not too many words left in my brain after this intensive course …

But it was Perfect!

Great mixture of drawing, excursion to London, tile-making etc …

I enjoyed all of it very much, very inspiring also with different teachers.

The love and passion in your presentations comes ‘’across’’ and makes all these patterns ‘’living patterns’’.

I am very much looking forward to coming to the new next course with you!!

Love and regards,



Thank you for your patience helping us construct these beautiful patterns.

I really enjoyed this week, it really helped me to quieten my mind and concentrate fully.

I felt very present (I, astral, etheric and physical body) working well together.

Dr Farah


Wonderful, inspiring room and beautiful surroundings.

Perfect course with a good balance of theory, explanations and practical work.


Moroccan Tiles.JPG
Islamic Tile Making at SAOG Studios
Islamic Tile Making
Islamic Tile Making
Weaving the Cosmos:

Sacred Geometry and the Art of Hexagonal Weave Basketry

with Daniel Docherty

30 September, 1 October 2023

10:00-17:00   Cost: £185  Book today 

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.

Basketry and Sacred Geometry
Basketry and Sacred Geometry
Basketry at SAOG Studios
Persian Pattern
Exploring the geometric genius of the Persian master-craftsmen

with Daniel Docherty

New course dates tbc
SAOG Studios 
Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX, UK
10:00-17:00   Cost: £195  Bookings
Persian Pattern
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

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