Sworders is proud to be supporting The Creative Dimension Trust's launch of a new series of unique lectures and workshops aimed specifically at adults, with courses starting this month.
17 February 2022
The range of courses provide adults with the opportunity to learn from TCDT’s outstanding tutors and supporters through the launch of close group online and studio-based workshops and webinars.
As a fundraising initiative, all proceeds will go towards TCDT’s commendable charitable work, which encourages disadvantaged young people to learn fine hand skills, through world-class tuition, to inspire future careers.
Penny Bendall | Founder and CEO of The Creative Dimension Trust
Penny Bendall, TCDT’S Founder and CEO, is a conservator of ceramics with 25 years of experience and a Royal Warrant. She works nationally and internationally for private clients and institutions including The Fitzwilliam Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Historic Royal Palaces, Burghley House, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s.
Let’s speak to her to find out more about the Trust and its new initiative -
Tell us about the initiation of The Creative Dimension Trust. When did it launch and what inspired you to create it?
Hello and a very big thank you to Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers for supporting The Creative Dimension Trust. The project was launched in 2015 with gilding and marquetry workshops held for 24 young students in London. The pilot was such a success we sought charitable status and seven years later are running around forty workshops annually across the UK. Our young students are hungry to learn techniques taught to a very high standard that can provide possible career paths. Young people who are passionate about sports can go to training on Saturdays. Likewise for drama and music students. We are providing an environment where students who have a passion for working with their hands can attend FREE Saturday workshops taught to the highest level.
You work with leading global specialists to enable young people (and now adults) to develop fine hand skills to inspire future careers. Tell us about a craftsperson that you have recently started working with.
We are really excited to be running a new workshop ‘Contemporary Couture Embroidery’ with Hand & Lock, a company based in Central London that can be traced back to 1767! Hand & Lock have worked with Christian Dior, Norman Hartnell, and Hardy Amies on gowns for the Queen, Queen Mother, and later Princess Diana and were awarded the Royal Warrant in 1972. They now work internationally in theatre, film, tv, and fashion houses. 10 lucky students will be attending a workshop with this historic company in February 2022.
You yourself are a skilled conservator of ceramics. How has your training impacted your life, both professionally and personally?
I have been extremely fortunate with my career having worked with international clients for a long time. My work has taken me to China, Singapore, New York, Orlando, and many other places. It is a tremendous opportunity to show young people what they can get involved in if they have a passion for working with their hands.
Your core vision is to support and encourage less advantaged young people to gain the skills they need to work in careers where fine hand skills are a prerequisite. Do you stay in touch with previous students? How are they progressing in their careers?
Last year we formed an alumni committee with six wonderful students. They are now all following their own paths in Architecture, Fine Art, Sculpture and Engineering. They run our alumni Instagram account which posts regularly about opportunities we hear about and alumni stories. They also have now started visiting schools to inspire a younger audience to sign up for our workshops.
PLASTER CARVING with Adam Williamson, International Calligrapher, Geometer, and Stone/Wood Carver | Saturday 5 March
There are a number of fascinating courses that are newly open to adults in your 2022 schedule, ranging from plaster carving to wardrobe upcycling. Are courses entry level, or does a prior knowledge of the specialism help?
Absolutely anyone can sign up for our new adult workshops. The tutors are very experienced and can teach all levels!
Which of the courses would you most like to take yourself?
SUGARCRAFT with Kathryn Cuthbertson. Kathryn was Head Pastry Chef to Her Majesty the Queen and is totally brilliant. She ran an amazing workshop for our young students a while back and there is absolutely nothing she doesn’t know in her area of expertise!
DECORATING CUPCAKES with Kathryn Cuthbertson MVO, Professional Pastry Chef | Tuesday 12 April
The proceeds from the adult workshop fees (which are all extremely reasonable) go back to funding your programme of free courses for disadvantaged young people. Do you plan to continue adult workshops for the foreseeable future?
We will definitely expand on our offering of adult workshops next year. So many people have mentioned they would love to have a go on the workshops we provide for young people. It’s wonderful to nurture the creative side of all of us! Please do tell us if there is anything in particular you would like to learn and we can see what we can do!
For full course listings for 2022, and to book tickets, please visit The Creative Dimension Trust's website here.
For more information about the work of the Trust and the courses offered, please contact: francesca@
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