Natural Fibre & Heritage Craft Festival 2024

Come meet our festival artists as they showcase their work created with natural textiles & fibres

Experience the magic of the Natural Fibre & Heritage Craft Festival at Coldharbour Mill, a three-week celebration dedicated to the timeless arts of natural fibres and heritage crafts. Engage with 12 talented local artists as they showcase their skills and promote sustainable, traditional crafts. This festival is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in hands-on workshops, learn new techniques, and witness live demonstrations by skilled artisans, all set against the historic backdrop of Coldharbour Mill.

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, the festival offers something for everyone. Participate in interactive workshops led by our expert artists, explore the rich history of natural fibres, and discover the beauty of heritage crafts. Join us at Coldharbour Mill to celebrate creativity, sustainability, and the vibrant local artisan community.

Visiting the festival is part of our general admission, so there is no additional cost and if you book one of our festival workshops your general admission is included.

We will be open Wednesday - Saturday during the festival period

Check out our 12 Festival Artists...

The Woven Briar (Bec Briar)

Wheel & Spindle Spinning

The Woven Briar is shepherd and weaver, Bec Briar.

I grow and forage materials from the West Somerset landscape to create textiles and craft materials that are fully traceable and sustainable.
I offer tuition in my workshop in Ford, where I teach how to take raw fleece through all stages to pun, plied yarn, as well as dyeing wool, making natural inks and weaving.
I keep rare breed sheep for their fleeces, blade shorn to improve the quality of fibre and the welfare of the animal.
I am weaving a sense of belonging and connection to the landscape I live in.

Workshops with this artist...

Introduction to Spinning Wheel Spinning

Friday 23rd August: 10:30am – 2:30pm
Saturday 7th September: 10:30 – 2:30pm
£40 per person

Backstrap Band Weaving

Saturday 31st August: 10:30am – 12:30pm
£35 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Jacqui Carey

Braiding

Jacqui has been a practicing craftsperson since completing her BA(Hons) degree in textiles in 1985, and is internationally renowned for her work as a braidmaker and for het expertise in historic English needlework.

Jacqui’s creative work is rooted in history yet pushes out boundaries beyond the traditional, connecting and interlacing seemingly diverse subjects. Meanwhile, her object-based research work has been recognised for her many ground-breaking discoveries about obsolete techniques from the past.

Jacqui’s willingness to share he knowledge has seen her exhibit and teach worldwide and she is the author of over ten books.

Workshops with this artist...

Early English Looped Braids

Monday 26th August: 10:30 – 12:30
Friday 30th August: 10:30-12:30
Saturday 7th September: 10:30 – 12:30

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Wendy Greaves

Free Machine Embroidery

Landscapes have long been a source of inspiration for many artists but it is within the realm of textiles that I believe it comes alive.

Since moving to North Devon my style has changed as I feel that I understand the coast more intimately. My recent collection reflects my love of the North Devon coast and the patterns, colours and textures that emerge through the large overhanging caverns, the differing seaweeds that are abundant in the murky rock pools and the debris that is dramatically tossed aside by the fierce Atlantic.

Workshops with this artist...

Free Motion Embroidery

Wednesday 28th August: 11:30am – 2:30pm
£60 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Jane Hardstaff

Book Binding

I have enjoyed various crafts throughout my life, but once I found bookbinding, I was immediately hooked!

I am a member of the Society of Bookbinders and currently studying for my City & Guilds Diploma with Shepherds Bookbinders in London, having achieved distinction for both levels 1 & 2.

I love to share my skills and passion for this traditional craft and run workshops in my home and at other venues.

Workshops with this artist...

Folded Books

Thursday 29th August: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
£35 per person

Traditional Hardback Books

Friday 23rd August: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£45 per person

Japanese Stab Bound Album

Friday 6th September: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£35 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Lia Duarte Jenkinson

Loom Weaving

I am originally from Portugal but now live in Somerset. My interest in textiles started at an early age having been taught to embroider, knit and crochet as a child. 

I have taught myself how to weave on a variety of looms.

I love exploring different techniques and yarns and I try to use local wool as much as possible.

When not busy working on commissions I like to weave just for the joy of weaving

Workshops with this artist...

Weaving a Krokbragd Coaster on a Table Loom

Monday 26th August: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Friday 30th August: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Saturday 31st August: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Thursday 5th September: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Friday 6th September: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Saturday 7th September: 10:30am – 12:30pm

£60 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Katas Historical Makes (Caz Loader)

Natural Dyeing

Caz has been experimenting with natural dyes for over 10 years after being intrigued by what colours were available historically. Using locally available plants and British wool, she explores the many techniques used through history to extract dyes from plants and the variety of colours that are achievable.

Caz has combined her love of history and natural dyeing and can be seen regularly displaying the colours of the Anglo-Saxon and Viking age to the public across the South West as part of Draca Beorder Reenactment.

Workshops with this artist...

Solar Dyeing: Colours from Nature

Friday 23rd August: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday 6th September: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

£35 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Jennie Loader

Wet Feltmaking

Jennie has been working with wool fibre, taking traditional wet felting techniques and translating them to create contemporary work, the nearly 20 years.

Through workshops, demonstrations and talks she loves to inspire and support others to explore the sustainable and transformational properties that make wool such a rich material with which to work and feltmaking such an interesting and versatile heritage craft.

Workshops with this artist...

Felt Vessels

Saturday 31st August: 11:00am – 3:00pm

£40 per person

Intro to Nuno Felting

Wednesday 21st August: 11:00am – 3:00pm
£40 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Paula Simpson

Embroidery

Paula is an experienced textiles teacher who has 20+ years’ experience teaching children and adults. Influenced by the Slow Stitch movement she has a mindful and contemporary approach to hand stitching using natural and recycled fabrics and threads.

Her recent textile pieces are inspired by the natural environment on her walks at the coast and in the Somerset countryside.

Workshops with this artist...

Create a Stitched Bobbin

Thursday 22nd August: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£40 per person

Contemporary Kantha

Thursday 29th August: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£40 per person

Hand Stitched Seascape

Wednesday 4th September: 10:30am – 3:30pm
£80 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Philippa Reid

Quilling

Philippa Reid is an award-winning paper artist whose medium is Quilling – the centuries-old art of rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper to create images, decorations, sculptures and jewellery.
A fully Accredited (Higher Level) Fellow of the international Quilling Guild, she is also an enthusiastic member of the Guild’s committee in the UK.

In addition to teaching quilling and creating paper jewellery, Philippa also edits the Guild’s highly-regarded members’ magazine, ‘Quillers Today’.

Her book ‘QUILLING The art of paper filigree’, published in 2019 by Crowood Press, is an illustrated practical guide to all internationally-recognised quilling techniques.

Workshops with this artist...

Introduction to Paper Quilling

Thursday 22nd August: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£35 per person

Antique Quilling Techniques

Saturday 7th September: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£35 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Amy Stevens

Weaving

Amy Stevens is a textile designer and maker, who focuses on her connection and memories of the natural world. She is a hand weaver who creates bespoke designs, combining both printing and weaving to help capture a narrative.

Growing up in rural Surrey, Amy has spent most of her childhood exploring nature alongside her family, she represents these subtle retellings of her adventures and memories in a woven story. Combining hand painted print designs directly onto her own woven cloth, Amy creates unique hand-crafted pieces which are personal and one-of-a-kind.

Workshops with this artist...

Weave a Coaster

Thursday 5th September: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£35 per person

Children's Weave a Fish

Thursday 22nd August: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
£20 per person

Painted Warp

Thursday 26th August: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
£30 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Pam Martin

Button Making & Hand Quilting

Pam Martin is a Somerset based stitch-maker, with a passion for combining her other lifelong loves of history and the natural world.

Having lived, worked and exhibited on the Somerset Levels for the past 15 years, she most enjoys creating with natural materials and exploring ways of working traditional crafts with a contemporary take.

A inveterate teacher holding a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an MA in Adult Education, learning for life is her mantra and she takes immense pleasure in developing knowledge and skills for herself and others.

Workshops with this artist...

Yorkshire & Devon Button Making

Friday 30th August: 10:30am – 1:30pm
£35 per person

Recycled Tea Bag Page Saver

Saturday 24th August: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
£30 per person

General admission is included in any workshop purchases

Hilary Tudgee

Tapestry Weaving

Originally trained as a cartographic draughtswoman, Hilary believes this discipline has had an effect on all her artwork. Whilst experimenting in various mediums of Arts and Crafts, she leans towards the figurative hoping to create images that not only recall some past pleasure, but create another.

All her work is either inspired by her Somerset surroundings, or extensive travels. Most of the work is pictorial, however she has investigated global variations in flat weaving and ethnic variations in pattern. Recently, she had used needle felting on top of the woven background to create greater detail int he finished works.