At Clayhill Arts, all our courses have been developed to enhance your creative skills, expand your network and elevate your business practice. Through a combination of year-round research into the creative industries and regular discourse with our audience, we have developed our programme to be at the cutting edge of arts education.


We want to keep your learning connected to the ever-changing world around us, so we choose a different theme for each year. Our themes form an important part of our overall educational offering and are celebrated throughout the year in our messaging.

The 2022 theme is 'Our Environment'.  We have lots of nature-inspired courses planned in this year's programme, including several sustainable-focused courses such as Organic Screen printing, Working with Earth pigments and a Masterclass in Nature Photography to name just a few.

The theme for 2021 was ‘Physical/Digital’ as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can read about that in Katherine's blog post here.


 Picture By Jim Wileman - Artist Lotte Scott has created a charred wooden sculpture echoing the history of Somerset peat cutting. Her installation for Somerset Art Weeks Festival is called ‘A Long Hundred’, the traditional term for 120 peat turves – a practical amount to store and keep a cottage fire well fuelled. The sculpture is made from 120 pieces of  pine which was felled in the nearby nature reserve to return the area to bog habitat.

Taking place in the Abbot’s Fish House, Meare, Glastonbury, the installation also includes large drawings created with pigments from the local peat.

Somerset Art Weeks Festival – 21 Sept to 6 Oct

For further info: Gillian Taylor 07761 546075

Our Curriculum

Our regular curriculum is comprised of residential courses in which we focus on the three key areas of
creative, practical and business skills.
We have Masterclasses with industry experts, as well as regular life drawing evenings and online events
such as our
Creative Forums and our Clayhill Connect networking meetups.

We also have a series of recurring themed weeks which change throughout the year.
We are calling these ‘Hot Topics, ‘International Weeks’ and ‘Heritage Weeks’.

"At Clayhill Arts, we believe learning is empowering and that you should be able to access it throughout your life and career."

- Deborah Parkes, Director and co-founder


In light of the Coronavirus crisis, people have turned to the arts like never before but there are still so many ways in which art and creativity are failing to reach people; through lack of diversity, ever-increasing financial hurdles, generational disconnect, mental health problems and more besides. We want to seek out those critical challenges faced by our audience and help make them part of the conversation.

As part of our continuing programme, we are planning a series of ‘Hot Topics’ throughout the year where we will be shining a spotlight on those areas within the arts where the biggest challenges lie; championing underrated artists, sharing information and research, hosting interviews and live discussions and, of course, using our workshops to bring those all-important role model tutors to our classes.

One of the first of these ‘Hot Topic’ weeks is focused on the issue of the representation of women in the tech and games industry. You can read some more about this in Katherine’s blog post.



We are also excited to introduce our new regular ‘International Week’ spotlights, where we will highlight arts and culture from our neighbours from across the globe.  More than ever we live in a globalized world.  We may be based in the English countryside but in a technologically connected society, the reach of art goes far and wide, and so we want to find a way to celebrate that culture from across the globe in our little corner of Somerset.

We will be holding workshops on world crafts, looking at the historical influence and contemporary artists, and will even be hosting some internationally-themed immersive events for all those travellers itching to be transported abroad again.

This is kicking off in May 2022 with ‘Japan week’ where we will be focusing on the Japanese history of craftsmanship, as well as the country’s continuing influence on global arts and culture. Have look at the course we have planned with Rob Jones.


At our heart is a deep connection with the land, our local history and the tradition of craft-making.  Many of these ancient arts are becoming lost, so we want to create opportunities to learn about these skills within the vitally important historical context in which they developed.  But heritage is about more than ancient history.  It is also about the places and events in the UK, that is meaningful to every generation – be it an ever-changing mural in Bristol or a Somerset cider festival.

To celebrate this, we are going to be highlighting local crafts, industries and events through a series of themed ‘Heritage Weeks’ where we will run traditional craft workshops, host lectures and unearth some creative historical gems on our social media channels.

The first of our Heritage Weeks is going to be focused on Somerset and the incredible history of performing arts throughout this wonderful county, as a result of our free-spirited ‘festival culture’.  Keep an eye out on our social media to see what we have in store for you.

" As an independent establishment, we can offer access to the more adventurous courses missing from the curriculum of many traditional institutions, while the format of short courses allows you the flexibility to fit learning around your life. We truly are an alternative art school!"

- Katherine O'Shea, Head of Programme & Operations


Get involved

To find out more about becoming a Clayhill Arts tutor please have to look at our Tutors page.

Or you can speak to our Head of Programme at katherine@clayhillarts.co.uk if you would like to be involved in any way.

You can also get in touch via our contact form

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