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The Studio Club - Roots and Wings
Somewhere, as a society, we lost our roots. We became adrift from the natural world.
I don't know when it was - the beginning of agriculture? the enclosures? the industrial revolution?
I don't know what is to blame - the education system? the financial system? consumerism? capitalism?
I've heard all these and more - but actually I don't think it really matters.
What matters is that we feel our way back, step by step, moment by moment, until we feel we belong again. Deeply belong. Until we feel our roots grow back.
This is what the Studio Club is - an attempt to help us all settle back into the seasons, into making things with our hands, watching things grow, eating well, celebrating the world in all its seasons.
It isn't a course to be completed or a programme to follow - there are no musts or homework or things that need to be completed. You will not find any productivity hacks or ambitious plans.
Instead it is a series of gentle resources that can be picked up and put down, all carefully designed to gradually settle you back into being part of the seasons.
- At the heart of the club is a beautifully illustrated monthly e-magazine. It is based on my life, lived here in the middle of rural Scotland. It covers what I am doing in the garden, what natural dyes I am collecting and using, what seasonal recipes I am loving, what books are on my bedside table. There are articles on natural history (for November I am writing about the amazing, quite mind boggling, world of lichens) and profiles of people who are doing amazing and inspirationally joyful things in the world. It is a fifteen to twenty minute read that sets you up for the month.
- There is also a series of e-courses is published through the year - natural dyeing, foraging, herbal recipes, growing cut flowers, decorative mending, rewilding your garden. They are all topics that combine learning about things with some actual doing - if you've ever fancied having a go at something and not known where to begin, these are for you. They get stored in the Club Library and are yours to keep forever.
- Supplies for most things used in the e-courses are sold in the shop and I use my bulk buying ability to supply these at a lower price to Studio Club Members - so a little like a co-op, but I package it all up prettily. There are flower and vegetable seeds that will take you through the year, craft and dye supplies, jars, tins and vintage fabrics.
- I run a private Facebook group for all Studio Club Members - this allows me to share extra things, links, videos, explanations - it also allows me to answer questions that come up frequently. There is a genuine community building up there, so it allows things like seed swaps to flourish and for people to share their skills and experience and cheer each other on. For people who don't use Facebook, for whatever reason, I can also tag Studio Club Members as my 'close friends' on Instagram and share some of the extras on stories there.
My aim with the Studio Club is to gently guide people into the seasons, to encourage them to step away from the hustle filled world of competition and perfection for a bit, to enter into something more calm, gentle and joyous.
We all know this is a difficult and anxious time to be living through, and I believe that connecting with nature in a deliberate way can help us all, giving us solace, giving us courage, allowing us to become both rooted, and with wings.
There are three ways to become a member of the Studio Club - arranged so that cost is not a barrier - you can find out about what is included and how to join here.