Gift Vouchers

Woodsetton Art Pottery's Workshop

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After a long week, there's nothing better than doing relaxing and creative activity. We think that pottery achieves just that, allowing us to take the time-out immersing ourselves in something that doesn't involve work, emails or social media. Something we actively try and encourage at The Amazing Blog, so we were excited to learn more about the Woodsetton Art Pottery's classes.

We came across Woodsetton Art Pottery's is the brainchild of Lorraine Bates, who aims to tailor classes, ensuring everyone leaves with a newfound knowledge (whether you're brand new to pottery, or more experienced). Based in Woodsetton, West Midlands, there is a space for everyone, from beginner classes to throwing and glazing. With a maximum of seven people per workshop, the courses aim to improve everyone’s creative skills, gaining optimum knowledge and interaction with a pottery professional. The studio is also well equipped, with electric potter wheels and a range of equipment for hand builders and sculptures.

The beginner's pottery course includes hand building, extruding and sculpting. The aim is that every student will learn to throw on the wheel, giving the opportunity to let your inner child out (and to get your hands dirty in the process). If you choose only to do this course, then you can make use of Lorraine's extensive experience, paying £2 per piece for her to tidy/turn your work, with subsequent biscuit firing, glazing and glaze firing. This means that however skilled you prove to be (or not), you will leave with a professionally finished piece.

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For a more advanced course, Lorraine offers throwing courses. These are a day long, with a maximum of five students, allowing each person access to their own wheel - improving throwing and turning techniques. Alternatively, if glazing is your interest, then there is also a separate glazing workshop. Here you will learn to apply different glazes, colours and dippings, to make your pieces true works of art. The created pots can also be decorated with sponging, stencilling and brushing.

The Raku Day workshop is slightly different, allowing students to bring in their own works from home (size permitting), to decorate and glaze in the workshop. The extensive experience of Woodsetton Pottery will ensure that you leave with new glaze recipes, with the focus being to teach correct mixing techniques, including ways in which to reduce oxidisation.

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If you’re interested in enhancing your creative personality, the workshops run from 10am-4pm during both the week, and on Saturdays. There is also the possibility to arrange a group workshop for you and your friends. Up to six wonderfully decorated objects are included in the fee, which will be bisque fired and glazed, and available for collection within four weeks. Generally, day courses are £75 each (Monday to Friday) and £90 on Saturdays, You can also purchase gift vouchers as a special treat for loved ones. You might like to attend a workshop in August (subject to availability)⚱17th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated handbuilding and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques.⚱25th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated hand-building and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques. Otherwise from September onwards course dates will 3 months in advance. Please visit their Tumblr page here to see an extensive list of specific workshops and prices. Enjoy!

Blackbook Winery

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Battersea was not the first place that sprung to mind when we heard about an exciting new winery at The Amazing Blog. However, that is precisely what Sergio Verillo and his wife Lynsey have done, underneath one of the many railway arches in the area, lining the commuter routes into London. Working with a select group of English vineyards, based in East Anglia, Essex and Oxfordshire, this entrepreneurial couple have introduced a range of wines of superior quality … but don’t just take our word for it - ‘Chez Bruce’ in Wandsworth is just one of the Michelin starred restaurants to carry their bottles of magic. 

Blackbook is part of a dynamic and growing wine scene in London. Urban wineries are fast becoming commonplace in major cities around the world. An urban winery sources its grapes from a variety of growers, and produces all wine on its site. Blackbook source their grapes from carefully selected English growers, in order to produce still and sparkling single vineyard English wines. Although their concentration is on pinot noir and chardonnay, they include some additional varietals each year. Blackbook follows a traditional winemaking approach with low sulphur wines, and indigenous ferments as a means to preserve the varietal character.

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Blackbook’s inaugural wine was a 2017 English Rosé, made from pinot noir grapes from Clayhill Vineyard in Essex. This was awarded a silver medal at the Drinks Business Global Rosé Masters, and is now listed within a number of high end wine bars and restaurants across London. Following hot on the heels of the Rosé, comes a 2017 Pinot Noir, and a 2017 Chardonnay - all of which stem from the soil in our very own country. Nurtured by the micro climate which East Anglia enjoys, this is particularly good for the high sugar content in the Pinot Noir and Bacchus grapes, and similarly, the sandy loam soils of Oxfordshire are ideal for sourcing theur Seyval Blanc.

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Sergio and Lynsey are justifiably proud of Blackbook, and are allowing us all the chance to go along and find out more from the founders themselves. They are currently running winery tours twice weekly: Wednesdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 4pm. The tour lasts for an hour and costs just £15 per person; all aspects of the wine making process are covered by Sergio himself, and each guest receives an exclusive ‘Cellar Door Discount’ on the wines available. Gift vouchers can also be purchased, and redeemed against any available date through their shop here.

The Blackbook wines are also available online with the 2017 Rosé priced at £17.50, and both the 2017 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at £18.50 each. For further details, contact Blackbook directly - understandably all visits are by appointment. You’ll find them located at the following address: Blackbook Winery - Arch 41, London Stone Business Estate, London, SW8 3QR, and the nearest station is Queenstown Road. Enjoy!