Retreats

Join us in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside for our very special retreats.
Our 2022 Deco-Delicious retreat is all set to take place in March (11th – 13th) and September (23rd – 25th).
Heather and Melanie have cooked up some fabulous and sparkly Art Deco-inspired elements for you. Their exclusive new designs can be worked individually as completed jewellery, or both artists’ elements can be combined together.

The Deco-Delicious designs
Two gorgeous pieces of jewellery, inspired by the intricate and desirable designs of the Art Deco era. Heather and Melanie have a wealth of decadently Deco history to share with you as you bead these unique and innovative elements. Attendees will be provided with a list of requirements for each project, but Heather Melanie have also created Deco-Delicious kits for the projects which are available for pre-order for attendees.

The Dancer

From the poised elegance of an Erté lady with her Fox hounds, to the joie de vivre of a Sonia Delauney fabric, the Art Deco era encapsulated freedom. Fashion, Theatre, Music and Dance threw away the rule books and revelled in a new freedom of self expression. For the first time too, the divide between classes began to blur a little. From the minute King Oliver serenaded the gangsters of Chicago with his Jazz, the door nudged opened for anyone to rise from obscurity if they could hold a note, carry a tune or dance up a storm. 

At the other end of the social spectrum, architects and artisans fashioned ever more sleek and exquisite buildings as palaces for industry, entertainment and relaxation. 

Many of these buildings remain with us; their precise symmetry sits satisfyingly well in the urban landscape, with an enduring sense of rightness to their proportions.

Communication was also key; accessible magazines carried fashion plates for the iconic couture fashion houses and jewellery ateliers. If Cartier diamonds and pearls were beyond reach, then Woolworth stores carried amazingly creative and affordable lines in paste and celluloid; costume jewellery became an industry with its own stars and designers. 

We are revisiting this era for our 2022 retreats because it is so enticing and inspiring. I looked first, at the building decoration of the period, borrowing a sun motif from a door, a snippet of industrial machining from a lamp, sketching out the lines and curves. Next, I added details gleaned from the precise engineering of Cartier, fringing inspired by a flapper dress and beaded details from a Paul Poiret dress. As always, the design is ‘elemental’ in construction, so the elements can be re-configured in many ways.

With an exquisite, mother of pearl inspired cabochon at its centre, the Dancer would look perfect nestled on a bias cut gown, peeking out from a fur-lined balloon coat from an Erté or Poirot fashion plate, yet equally at home with a little black dress, or T-shirt and jeans. 

La Vedette

Champagne spilled as the crowd jumped out of their seats when she leapt from the arch to slide across the stage in a perfectly-controlled split. Reaching beyond her pointed toes and folded so far forward that her dancing earrings brushed against the floor, she looked up from beneath those thick, long lashes, turned her face towards the stunned audience and flashed them a winning smile. The curtain fell and she ran backstage, heart racing and elated; the Danse Sauvage had been a show-stopper, they were still whooping and cheering. Reaching for her silken robe and kicking the dressing room door shut in one choreographed movement, the ‘Black Pearl’ threw herself into the chair, rocked back and stretched out her slender limbs, smiling and breathing in the evening’s success.

Her reverie was broken by two sharp knocks at the door as it opened. The Count beamed at her, “Mia cara Josephine, dolce ragazza, baby, baby, you’ve taken Paris by storm! Tonight Pablo invites us to take caviar and Champagne chez Prunier for everyone to see.” Her eyes upon his, she threw off her robe, wiggled free from the exotic, banana skirt, then slid into her golden satin gown and turned for him to fasten it. Reaching behind the mirror to her velvet bag of treasures she drew out the finishing touch for the evening look and placed a glittering long necklace about her neck. Watching her reflection she ran her hand down to the end of the shining tassel, smoothing it in place. Josephine laughed, kissed the Count hard and fast on the lips, then scooped up her fox fur from the chair, grabbed his hand and the two of them swept from the little room.

Suspended from slinky, crystal beaded ribbons, a sparkling square frames the largest of three bezeled chatons, finished off with a delicately beaded, divinely swishy tassel, giving La Vedette more than a hint of Chinoiserie. Thoroughly elemental, as ever, there is plenty of scope for playing with the design and techniques to construct gorgeous new creations.

Our sample Itinerary

Friday 10:00
Meet and greet with coffee, Introduction
12:00 Lunch
13:00–15:30 Beading session with either Heather or Melanie
15:30 Tea
16:00–17:30 Beading session with either Heather or Melanie
18:30 Meet in bar
19:00 Dinner
Optional: Informal beading

Saturday 08:00 Breakfast
09:00–11:00 Beading session with either Heather or Melanie
11:00 Coffee
11:30–13:00 Beading session with either Heather or Melanie
End of 1st workshop. If you have been with Heather you will now move to Melanie – and vice versa!
13:00 Lunch
14:00–15:30 Beading session with Heather or Melanie
15:30: Tea
16:00–17:00: Beading session with Heather or Melanie
18:30 Meet in bar
19:00 Dinner
Optional: Informal beading

Sunday 08:00 Breakfast
09:00–11:00 Beading session with Heather or Melanie
11:00 Coffee
11:30–13:00 Beading session with Heather or Melanie
13:00 Lunch
14:00–15:30 Beading session with Heather or Melanie
15:30 Tea and home

Additional Information

Elemental Retreat costs
Included in the fee
Three days of classes with Heather and Melanie, plus the following:
Friday
Coffee or tea on arrival
Lunch
Coffee or tea in afternoon break
Dinner
Bed
Saturday
Breakfast
Morning coffee or tea
Lunch
Coffee or tea in afternoon break
Dinner
Bed
Sunday
Breakfast
Morning coffee or tea
Lunch
Coffee or tea before departure
Drinking water will be provided in the teaching rooms.

Not included in the fee
Transport to and from the venue
Drinks in the bar or with lunch/dinner
Any beading supplies or kits
Extra nights at the hotel. We have negotiated special rates for you for nights either before or after your retreat.
£115.00 – single occupancy bed and breakfast or £145.00 for dinner, bed and breakfast
£140.00 – for a double room for bed and breakfast and £199.00 for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Please contact Guyers House directly quoting the reference ‘Elemental Retreats’.
Call the hotel on +44 (0)1249 713399 or email Nicki at events@guyershouse.com Please book your retreat first, to be sure you are listed, to receive these special rates.

Fee per person
Sharing a room – £530
Single room – £560

Terms

A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the fee will secure your place (£265 per person for a shared room, £280 per person for a single room), with the full balance payable 8 weeks prior to the first day of the event you are booking

Refunds

We are unable to offer refunds under any circumstances so we do ask you to make sure that your travel insurance covers you for any unforeseen problems that may prevent you attending. If you are able to find someone to take your place we will be happy to transfer your fee to them with your written permission.

Should the event be cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions we will notify you about refunds and re-booking arrangements.