Lifestyle

Friday Favourites: Sculpture School Workshops

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Summer is almost over, meaning more than half of the year has flown by; we wonder how you’re doing with your New Year’s resolutions? At The Amazing Blog we are trying to keep on track with a few, one of which included having fun whilst learning a new skills. Before the end of the year, we hope you’ll join us at The Sculpture School for a workshop to tick off that ‘do something new and creative’ resolution from all our lists.

Located in Devon, The Sculpture School, is one of the few establishments in the UK dedicated to teaching contemporary realist sculpture. It’s opened its doors to a new studio and workshops - perfect to help get your creative juices flowing. Tutored by Andrew Sinclair MRBS, the world-class sculptor behind the infamous David Bowie bronze sculpture in Aylesbury. You’ll have the chance to learn professional techniques and methods in order to create your own masterpieces.

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Andrew Sinclair’s portfolio has an impressive range of works of art from commission at the Royal Box at Ascot, Epsom Racecourse and Crosby Hall, to his most recent work a monument for the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment; unveiled in May in Halifax (home of the Regiment for over 300 years). His techniques have taken him around the globe, with Andrew is his colleague and co-founder Diane Coates, whose renowned for her dynamic forms, anatomical detail and sensuous lines; so who better than these two to inspire and teach you how to sculpt? Diane had always focused on painting and pastel arts; however, in 2006, she ventured into the field of sculpting. In particular, she’s recognised for her naked bronze sculptures, and has taken her work internationally with collections across Europe and the Middle East. Together they founded The Sculpture School, with the aim of changing education in sculpture and craftsmanship.

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Whether you are a beginner, experienced, or a professional sculptor they’ll be a workshop tailored for you, plus you’ll even leave the course with a sculpture of your own. These are some of the upcoming dates available:

  •       10-13 September: Level 2 Figurative Sculpture

  •        18 September: Taste of Sculpture

  •        1-4 October: Tutored Sculptor’s Retreat

  •        25-27 October: Moulding and Casting

  •    5-8 November: Level 2 Portrait Sculpture

  •        3-6 December: Level 1 Figurative Sculpture

Price wise, the workshops range from £65 to £645 per person and have a length of one to three days long. The price rates vary according to the duration of the program and the type of workshop. To see the full price list, sign up and learn more, visit The Sculpture School website here and see some of the great testimonials here.

Urban Cordial

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As the temperature rises, our taste buds are craving something refreshing to cool us down, and the array of choice in the soft drinks sector is greater than ever before. However, with our awareness primed these days to know exactly what we are drinking, the challenge now is to source the perfect taste, but without all those sugary additives which are going to send our glucose levels rocketing. Fortunately, we at  The Amazing Blog only have to look as far as  Urban Cordial who have brought their delicious concoctions to market with a mouth-watering array of pairings. How do Strawberry & Sage , Pear & Ginger, Blackberry & Lavender or Apple, Lemon & Fennel  sound as an introduction to the range? Pretty impressive, when further investigation revealed that these tantalising flavours are just the tip of the iceberg - or should that be ice cube?

Now, a cordial may conjure up images of Grandma’s pantry, but these colourful offerings pack quite a punch in the zing department - both in each bottle’s contents, and also outside on each brightly illustrated label. All of course are alcohol free, and made from the best ingredients, although Urban Cordial are justly proud of bringing these to us with a laudable mission of sourcing their fruit on quality of taste and nutrients, rather than how they may be shaped! In a bid to incorporate a solution to the serious global problem of food surplus, Urban Cordial do not discriminate on appearance and is to be congratulated on saving over 30 tonnes of fruit from landfill.

Each bottle costs £5.50 plus £4.99 p&p, and the complete range is available for the bargain bulk price of £44.00 and with p&p free on orders over £40 here everyone’s a winner! However, some small independent grocery stores and also one or two of the larger high street names are taking up the option to supply, so getting our hands on these wonderful libations, is thankfully, becoming easier for all of us.

Essence of Harris – Huisinis and Losgaintir Glass Candles

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One of our favourite things about the summertime at The Amazing Blog is being able to chill out under an umbrella at the coast. We love hearing the waves crash against the shore and feeling the sand between our toes. It can all feel so cosy and vibrant at the same time. Unfortunately, jetting off to our dessert island paradise for now will have to remain a bit of a dream; but, we can make our homes smell like one as Essence of Harris ’s candles offers us the perfect evocative aroma.

Essence of Harris was co-founded in 2015 by Deenie MacLeod, who was born and raised on the Isle of Harris located in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The rugged landscape, golden beaches, and clear blue waters inspired MacLeod to partner with Jamie McGowan, a Glasgow native, to design candles and home fragrances. Their mission with Essence of Harris is so ‘everyone who visits the island can take away a small piece to cherish’.

We tried two of the five candles from the company’s Classic Collection inspired by the Isle’s beaches. The first was the Huisinis Glass Candle, which has a very evident sweet and citrusy scent. It’s bubbly, taking after notes of champagne, and has grapefruit, Brazilian orange, and pink pomelo. It also has hints of rhubarb adding to its tartness and watermelon packing freshness. We found this candle was perfect to light during the late morning and afternoon for an uplifting smell. The second one we tested was the Losgaintir Glass Candle. It has an exotic mix of fresh bergamot (green citrus fruit), orange, and amber, which give the candle tangy top notes that jump out at you. However, the scent has warmth due to its coconut, vanilla, and almond base notes. We recommend using this one in the late afternoon or during sunset to create a snug atmosphere before eating dinner.

The candles are hand poured on the island and made of 100 per cent ethically sourced soy wax and natural ingredients. While MacLeod’s hometown has enormously helped and influenced her, Essence of Harris is committed to supporting a sustainable community on the Isle. The brand is ‘consciously considering the environment, investing in the local community, and creating a prosperous local economy’. Each candle comes in a simple and sturdy yet elegant glass jar and should burn for approximately 30 hours.

When we typically think of island getaways, Scottish beaches are not at the top of our lists, but after smelling these candles, we’re ready to book a ticket on the next flight. You can bring the aroma to your own home by purchasing the Huisinis and Losgaintir Glass Candles (20cl) here, each for £12.95.

Together Health – Complexes and Boosts Food Supplements

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While we at The Amazing Blog try to maintain healthy and balanced diets, London has delicious food on practically every corner. So, to fill the gaps in our diets, we often take vitamins, but many vitamins are hard to travel with and contain harsh preservatives. That’s where Together Health ’s all-natural food supplements, packaged in portable sachets, come in. 

The brand was launched in the UK by two brothers, Lee and Daniel Robertshaw, who found it difficult to sustain a healthy lifestyle amidst busy schedules and unhealthy yet conveniently located food. They partnered with health and nutrition experts to develop food supplements that ‘support as many people on their own journey to find a path to health that works for, and not against, them’. The company is 100 per cent transparent about the supplements’ ingredients that are naturally derived from the ocean and plants and contain no artificial additives or processing aids. We tried eight of the different supplements Together Health offers, four from the Boosts collection and four from the Complexes collection .

The Boost supplements are designed to give you extra vitamins and antioxidants in your diet. The four we tried were Curcumin & Turmeric Complex (helps reduce inflammation), Marine Magnesium contains five natural forms of magnesium minerals), Plant Based Coenzyme Q10 (generates energy in cells), and Vegan Vitamin D3 (helps absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food). One of our favourites from this collection was the Curcumin & Turmeric Complex, which contains organic turmeric root and 95 per cent curcumin extract. These two ingredients have been used for centuries for their natural healing properties as they are antioxidant-rich, neutralise harmful free radicals, and have anti-inflammatory properties

The Complex supplements target specific needs for you to live a healthier life. We tested the Joint Aid Herbal Complex (helps reduce inflammation in joints), Multibiotic Fermented Food (improves digestive and general health), Night Time Complex aids sleep onset and duration), and Stress Aid Complex (reduces stress with food-based vitamins and ocean minerals). Our favourite of this collection was the Night Time Complex. It contains five forms of ocean-sourced magnesium: oxide, hydroxide, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride. Since the magnesium is naturally derived rather than synthetically made, it allows your body to absorb it faster. The supplement also has 5-HTP from Griffonia extract to synthesise serotonin and hops extract to regulate inconsistent sleep patterns or inability to fall asleep. We found that taking two capsules 30 minutes before bed had us sleeping better throughout the night and waking up well-rested. 

Each supplement comes in a ‘vegecap’ made from Pinus Elliottii tree plant cellulose, and you can take it apart to mix into food or drink if you don’t like taking pills. There are approximately 30-60 vegecaps packed in each resealable sachet that can last for two months and is travel-friendly. Together Health has a helpful product recommender here if you aren’t sure what kind of supplement would be best for you. You can buy the supplements here starting from £6.99

Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery Course

With summer in full force now, we’ve been looking for new ways to relax and rewind for our weekends at The Amazing Blog, which had us stumbling upon the Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery School. While we love our makeup, skincare, and wellness products; but we also like sourcing and designing gorgeous jewellery. So, we were excited to learn about the many jewellery-making classes that this school offers. Located in Dorset, just 20 miles off the coast, Flux ‘n’ Flame provides the ideal countryside escape for the weekend or a day to relax, put aside your phone, and bring home a piece of one-of-a-kind jewellery at the end.

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Since its founding in 2003, Flux ‘n’ Flame has grown to become one of the top independent jewellery schools in the UK. Jesa and Al Dickson joined their combined 45 years of experience as professional jewellery designers and makers to create an experience like no other. Classes are kept at a maximum of eight people to ensure an intimate, friendly, and comfortable atmosphere in Flux ‘n’ Flame’s professional and fully equipped workshop.

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In the class, you learn the many practical skills of jewellery making such as soldering, sawing, and filing. You also learn different techniques from the best while being given the freedom to work on your own project at your own pace. No matter your skill level, a complete beginner like us or an expert, the teacher provides support and guidance during throughout the process. For more advanced jewellery makers, you can perfect your existing skills and learn new ones. Endless tea, coffee, and biscuits are also provided to stimulate the creative process. Let’s not forget at the end of the course you get to take home a piece of jewellery (necklace, rings, bracelets, and more) that you’ve worked hard to make and will have your friends asking where you bought it.

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Whether you want to do anything to escape our bustling city, learn a new skill, or build up an existing talent, Flux ‘n’ Flame offers the perfect class for you. Each class is seven hours long and prices vary depending on how many days of classes you would like. A one-day course is £115 per person, a two-day course is £225 per person, and a three-day course is £315 per person. You can find the class calendar here and book a class hereWe can’t wait to book in and show off our new designs!