The workshop was set up by Gavin Pond and Pam Brown in October 2009.
We believe that there is a morality in craftwork that can inspire confidence and self-belief. Practical intelligence is often neither acknowledged nor respected, which results in many talented people's strengths not being recognised or nurtured, and as a consequence they lose self-confidence. Have a look at this TED talk for a reflection on education in our modern world.
We live in a society where we are encouraged constantly to buy the new and disregard the old. This leads to a lack of care and respect for our surroundings and blinds us to the true worth of things. By striving to create something to the best of our ability and to see it through to the end, we learn to respect ourselves and our surroundings. By working in this way we hope to open new doors and widen horizons.
As well as offering a programme of courses the workshop is available as a community resource where everyone is welcome to come and share our facilities – be that the space, the equipment or our knowledge. By having mixed groups in the workshop we find that we all learn something from each other.
So if you are interested in any of our facilities but don’t see a suitable slot on the ‘workshops’ page, please contact us and see what we can arrange. We pride ourselves on being flexible and will always try to meet the needs of the person before us. We also have space for rent if you want to run your own workshop.
Whilst Gavin is the main tutor we also employ other experienced tutors to both assist and lead groups. Everyone who works for us has a full police check and is covered by our insurance.
In 2011 we won an award from Nailsworth Town council. The local paper, Stroud Life, wrote the following – “Pam Brown and Gavin Pond from Nailsworth Community Workshop were awarded the Nailsworth Festival Arts Award. The pair are among those breathing new life into the Nailsworth Subscription Rooms, formerly the Boys’ Club, by setting up a community workshop, providing craft facilities for all.”
Gavin has 20 years experience of teaching people from all walks of life. He has studied baroque lute and guitar making at West Dean College in West Sussex, worked in a hand-made pottery studio, and has extensive experience of working with people with special needs and challenging behaviour. For 10 years he worked at The Acorn School as the Craft teacher where he taught musical instrument making, carpentry, pottery, silversmithing, and blacksmithing. He has also built and restored furniture. He is a visiting tutor at West Dean College.
Pam has a background in fundraising and administration with a major national charity. She is a qualified Kindergarten teacher and has taught in several Kindergartens in the area. For many years she was school secretary at The Acorn School in Nailsworth, leaving this post to lead The Acorn Kindergarten. Pam organises and co-ordinates all aspects of the Workshop.