Concrete//Poetry : caught by hand

Sat 18 + Sun 19 April: 10am-4pm both days
PLUS Fri 15 May: 6-8pm 

£98 + £10 for materials* per person: £108 total is for 2 full days plus final 2-hour session.
*Materials cost covers clay, slip/glazes, tools and kiln firing

A 2-day workshop with artist Jill Skulina and writer Rebecca Sharp: sculpting visual poetry into ceramic objects. Forms of visual or ‘concrete’ poetry play with the physical layout and other visual elements of words, to communicate meaning through the poem’s visual appearance. You will construct a visual poem to ‘translate’ into clay through hand-building, carving, mark-making and printing techniques. Your final pieces will be fired and glazed, which you will collect on the final shorter session- Friday 15th May:6-8pm.


To book, please email:

You will be sent details to make full payment to secure your place.

Refunds are not possible unless your place can be filled. 


Day 1                        Sat 18 April 10am-4pm: PLAY

Concrete poetry with Rebecca Sharp. Exploring techniques, looking at examples and navigating the relationship between form and meaning in concrete/visual poetry; an accessible, engaging and often humorous form that can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

Constructing ceramic forms with Jill Skulina. The allure of clay lies in its tactile nature and its ability to be formed in many ways allowing for an expressive, spontaneous, precious and/or decorative aesthetic. You will use clay hand-building techniques to work through ideas and begin creating ambitious ceramic forms. Learning methods for hand-building and mark-making using tools, press moulds, found objects and stamps.

Day 2                        Sun 19 April 10am-4pm: MANIFEST

Guided by both Jill and Rebecca, you will form or refine your concrete poem into a clay object that works in partnership with your writing – using your poem as a conduit for shaping your ceramic piece, you can draw, score, write or any other appropriate techniques learned over the weekend to create the desired meaning and character of your piece.

Your work will be taken to Dundee Ceramics Workshop to be dried, glazed and fired by Jill.

Day 3                        Fri 15 May 6-8pm: Collect + Reflect

Collect your end result!
We’ll share our final pieces and consider how the poems/texts have translated into the solid form; and vice versa – how the solid form affects our reading and understanding of the poem, and of the object as a whole.

If there is time and you wish to do so, we will have an area ready for you to photograph your work. We’ll guide you through this – just bring a camera, the one on your phone will do.

REBECCA SHARP is a writer from Glasgow, now based in Fife; whose work spans theatre, poetry and prose, with a specialism in interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Recent plays include The Wakeful Chamber (A Play, A Pie & A Pint with Sound Festival – Lemon Tree, Aberdeen and Òran Mór, Glasgow 2015); and The Air That Carries The Weight (Traverse theatre, Edinburgh; Stellar Quines theatre company 2016). Through her work in poetry she has combined poems with music and performance in The Ballad of Juniper Davy and Sonny Lumiere (publication and performances with artist Elizabeth Willow and METAL Liverpool, 2010); poems and textiles in Fathoming: setting poetry to silk (with artist Eva Fulinova, 2011); poems and paintings in Unmapped (exhibition and publication of poems and paintings with artist Anna King, 2013); and poems with perfume in Five Charms for the Potingair (2017), developed through her installation as Poet-Perfumer in Residence with StAnza poetry festival. Her short poetry-play The Tiger Act was published by Roncadora Press with book artist / printmaker Hugh Bryden (2013).

Rebecca’s interest in concrete poetry stems from her endless curiosity in how meaning, feeling and form intersect; and how work is experienced or activated by the reader/viewer. She wrote and taught a hypertext/visual fiction course at Glasgow University, authoring the paper Visual Text: concrete poetry, hyperfiction and the future of the narrative form (2003). Her concrete poem The Declaration of Barrbru was a commission for the anthology Scotia Extremis (Luath Press 2019, eds Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone). In 2020 her commissioned concrete poem Font will be installed to the Corbenic Poetry Path in Perthshire, created by stone carver Martin Reilly.

JILL SKULINA is a Dundee-based artist of diverse skills, knowledge and experience. Working out of WASPS Artists Studios, she creates sculptural work using textiles, ceramics and found objects. Her work shows memories of life events: memories which may be inaccurate, misremembered or one-sided; which traverse timelines, with imagery appearing at times incongruous to the narrative of each piece. The work makes no attempt to ‘correct’ the memories or straighten the timeline.

Jill graduated with a BDes hons (2003) and an MFA (2007) both from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. She has been a Professional member of the Society of Scottish Artists since 2018; Clay became a pivotal part of Jill’s work on receiving the Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award Fife, Development Programme in 2016. Since then her artwork has been exhibited across Scotland and Internationally; last year she created 2 solo exhibitions Together To Grow (Projects 1, Meadow Mill, Dundee) and Wholly Expletive (Nomas* Projects, Ward Rd, Dundee) showing new ceramics works investigating the story of Mary giving birth to Jesus, with particular focus on the biblical interpretation of events, and how her own experience as a mother affected that reading. The artist has been invited to exhibit at WASPS Project Space, Hanson St Studios, Glasgow, later this year and will be collaborating with 4 other artist on a group show at Patriothall, Edinburgh, in July.

To fund her artistic practice Jill regularly works for Dundee Rep Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre either as wardrobe supervisor or costume maker for performances such as Oor Wullie (2019); The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil (2016); Much Ado About Nothing (2016) and Sweeney Todd (2010) for Dundee Rep; YAMA (2014) and Ritualia (2018) for SDT; she teaches sewing classes at V&A Dundee and hand building with clay at Dundee Ceramics Workshop (she is also the workshops technician); and has recently started working with Costume Designer Jane Petrie as her workshop manager. 

Jill and Rebecca have been good friends since first meeting in 2014. Jill invited Rebecca to write the foreword for her exhibition Together To Grow and to chair the accompanying artist talk. In 2017 Rebecca commissioned Jill to create a Poetry Parasol, upon her invitation to represent Scotland at the Festival Internacional de Poesía, Granada, Nicaragua; supported by Creative Scotland. The Parasol contains lines of poetry, as well as embroidery and illustrations emblematic of Scotland and Nicaragua. It continues to accompany Scottish poets who are invited to read at the Festival, passed like a baton from one to the next; signed by each poet who makes the trip.

Platform sessions

Saturday 22nd Feb 2020


Platform returns for 2020 with guest poets Juana Adcock and original Platform co-founder and favourite Lindsay Macgregor. And a rare chance to see Edinburgh-based duo, Various Moons: poet and musician Colin Donati and cellist Robin Mason.

Entry is £5 on the door. Please book your place by emailing

Please note the new earlier start time of 7.00pm. All welcome.
Easily accessible by train from both Edinburgh & Dundee.

The session will also include a wildcard open mic spot for a single short poem – so bring along one of your best and put your name in the hat for the wildcard draw.

Don’t forget cash/change for raffle tickets, and importantly – to buy books from the poets!

LINDSAY MACGREGOR lives in Biggar, South Lanarkshire. She started writing poetry at the Maggie’s Centre, Fife, in 2007, and went on to study a short course with the Open University where her tutor was Chris Powici.  A couple of years later, she gave up her job as a political lobbyist with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to complete an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee.

Lindsay was a recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award in 2015 and her pamphlet, The Weepers, was published by Calder Wood press in the same year.

JUANA ADCOCK is a poet, translator and performer. Her Spanish-language poetry collection, Manca, explores the anatomy of violence in the Mexican drug war and was named by Reforma‘s distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best books published in 2014. In 2016 she was named one of the ‘Ten New Voices from Europe’ by Literature Across Frontiers, and she has performed at numerous literary festivals internationally. Her English-language debut, Split (Blue Diode Press, 2019) was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice.



Off-kilter originals by Colin Donati with cloudbursts of celloistic exuberance from Robin Mason. ‘In a space somewhere between Tim Buckley and Radiohead’ Ian McDonough




Platform Sessions returns for the autumn with another dazzling line-up of poetry and music. Guest poets are Stewart Conn and Anna Crowe, with music from duo Rachel Simpson and Seth Bennett.  Be sure to catch this October date, before Platform takes a break for winter (returning in February).

Entry is £5 on the door. To book a place please email

Please note the new earlier start time of 7.00pm. All welcome.
Easily accessible by train from both Edinburgh & Dundee.

The session will also include a wildcard open mic spot for a single short poem – so bring along one of your best and put your name in the hat for the wildcard draw.

STEWART CONN has appeared at book festivals from Aberdeen to Zagreb; and reads from his work on the Poetry Archive website. His Bloodaxe publications include The Breakfast Room (2011 SMIT Scottish Poetry Book of the Year) and a new and selected volume The Touch of Time. Most recently Aspects of Edinburgh, with drawings by John Knight, catches the flavour of the city where he has lived for many years, and whose inaugural makar he was from 2002 to 2005.

ANNA CROWE, co-founder and former Artistic Director of StAnza; her translations from Catalan and Spanish (Bloodaxe and Arc) brought a Society of Authors Travelling Scholarship, and her poetry has been translated and anthologised, and recorded for the Poetry Archive. She was awarded the Peterloo Prize (twice), the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, and three PBS Choices/ Recommendations. She enjoys collaborating with artists in other disciplines, such as painters, sculptors, photographers, textile artists and calligraphers. Her third collection is Not on the Side of the Gods (Arc, September 2019).

Flugelhorn player RACHEL SIMPSON and double bassist SETH BENNETT collaborate on sparse, minimal, original compositions. They weave fragments of baroque and jazz into free improvisations to create something new and original.


The Message is in the Medium- Summer School

Claire Heminsley

Tuesday 2nd to Friday 5th July


4 day course fee £195

Message [mesij] n indirect communication from one person to another; errand; inspired teaching, revelation; moral or social teaching.

Medium (pl media, mediums) [meedi-um] n material in which an artist works; substance within which objects exist or through which a force is transmitted.


The success of the workshop ‘The Message is in the Medium’ held in March has prompted Claire to expand it into a 4 day summer school. The extra 2 days will give even more time to develop ideas and experiment with textile techniques.

The course will explore the possibilities of incorporating a message within a textile piece. We will develop ideas, which convey a message through the use of imagery, layers, shape, the written word and textile techniques e.g. hand and machine stitch, mono and low tech screen print.

We will examine how a variety of media and techniques can be used to communicate a message and lead you to new starting points for your textile work.

You will work individually, but with strong support from Claire and will have a chance to discuss and share ideas with the rest of the group. There will be machine stitch and other technical demonstrations throughout the week. Some materials will be supplied, a list of ‘things and thoughts to bring’ will be sent after booking.

This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience.

For further information or to book a place on the summer school please contact Claire here

Claire’s websites…..








Claire Heminsley studied textiles at The Glasgow School of Art.

She set up INCAHOOTS over 30 years ago and expanded her work to include illustration. During this time she has worked on a wide range of commissions, exhibitions and projects. Claire works with a broad range of media and consequently has a diverse output, from detailed scraperboard prints to more experimental sculptural and mixed media pieces for exhibition. Her most recent solo exhibition ‘Objects of Celebration’ embodies all aspects of her practice.

Alongside this she has taught design, textiles and illustration in further and higher education and for workshops throughout Scotland. Her design practice feeds into her teaching and vice versa providing a perfect combination.



The new season of Platform Sessions kicks off with poets Jon Plunkett & Judith Taylor with music from The New Ordnance Survey Players.  Entry is £5 on the door. To book a place please email All welcome.

Born among the granite and drumlins of Ireland, JON PLUNKETT now lives and writes in Scotland. He is a widely published slam winner and collaborator, often working with musicians and artists to present poetry in new ways. Jon is founder of The Corbenic Poetry Path and in 2018 he took the reins of ‘Poetry Scotland’. His collection ‘A Melody of Sorts’ was published with Red Squirrel Press earlier this year.

JUDITH TAYLOR comes from Perthshire and now lives and works in Aberdeen. She is the author of two pamphlet collections – ‘Earthlight’ (Koo Press, 2006) and ‘Local Colour’ (Calder Wood Press, 2010). Her first full-length collection,’Not in Nightingale Country’, was published in 2017 by Red Squirrel Press. She is one of the Poetry Editors of ‘Pushing Out the Boat’ magazine.

A creative side-project of Rebecca Sharp (clarsach, writer, Platform organiser) and Emil Thompson (guitar & vocals, from The Yonderlees), THE NEW ORDNANCE SURVEY PLAYERS promise musical wanderings about place and time.

The session will also include a wildcard open mic spot for a single short poem – so bring along one of your best and put your name in the hat for the wildcard draw.


CREATIVE CARTOGRAPHIES: Mapping imaginative landscapes

CREATIVE CARTOGRAPHIES: Mapping imaginative landscapes

Rebecca Sharp

Creative/Writing course

Sat 23 + Sun 24 Feb 2019

Two day course fee- £85 

In this (very) creative writing course, you will develop innovative techniques for creating detailed imaginative worlds with originality and depth. We’ll explore elements in all forms of writing – poetry, prose, performance and creative non-fiction – with a particular focus on map-making. Beginners and seasoned writers and artists will be supported; all that’s required is an interest in the subject matter and a willingness to experiment. Drawing from a wide range of reference points – literature, philosophy, cultural theory, visual art, music/sound, even scent…

Rebecca’s own work includes devising and realising complex interdisciplinary projects. Using words and a range of accessible visual techniques, she will guide you in developing multi-layered creative works – the use of sound and performance elements are also possible and can be discussed.

Days 1 + 2:  Introduction and reference points – a talk by Rebecca Sharp.
Developing ideas and techniques towards a finished work; or work that can be taken further.
Creative exercises will include walking, writing, mapping, basic drawing/mark-making, one-to-one time, project planning, editing, and some sharing.

For further information or any questions please contact us here

To book a place on the course click on this eventbrite link


After booking a place, the course schedule and details of what to bring will be provided.

If you have any questions about what’s involved, please contact: Rebecca Sharp








                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “…a wonderful weekend with Rebecca Sharp exploring our creative voices in stimulating new ways… Highly recommended.” (Plotting, Scheming and Dreaming participant – Off the Rails, Sept 2018)


“I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and find it hard to believe.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“I wisely started with a map, and made the story fit…” JRR Tolkien

Plotting, Scheming and Dreaming: Making Worlds with Words

A two-day creative writing course with Rebecca Sharp.

All levels welcome.

10am-4.30pm both days

Course fee £80

In this (very) creative writing course, you will develop innovative techniques for creating detailed imaginative worlds with originality and depth. We’ll explore elements in all forms of writing – poetry, prose, performance and creative non-fiction. You might intend to focus on one, or else try something new – all styles will be catered for. Rebecca’s own work includes devising and realising complex interdisciplinary projects: she will support you with an idea you may already be working on, or else guide you in starting something new. Activities will include creative exercises (not just writing!), one-to-one time, walking, mapping, project planning, editing, and some sharing.

To book your place on the workshop contact us here 

If you have any questions about what’s involved, please contact:

The course schedule and details of what to bring will be provided after booking.

Rebecca Sharp is a writer and artist, originally from Glasgow and now based in Fife. Her work spans theatre / performance, poetry and prose; including a wide range of interdisciplinary, site-specific and collaborative projects, working with other artists across multiple art forms.

Her plays include – Last Child (Arches theatre, Glasgow 2001 and HERE Arts Center, NYC 2002); Danger: Hollow Sidewalk (Arches theatre, 2006); The Wakeful Chamber (Lemon Tree, Aberdeen and Oran Mor, Glasgow 2015 – A Play, A Pie and A Pint + Sound Festival co-commission, score by Pippa Murphy); and The Air That Carries The Weight (Traverse theatre, Edinburgh 2016 – Stellar Quines theatre company, design by John Byrne).

Other work for performance includes: For the Bees (2014), with Mr McFall’s Chamber and composer Ailie Robertson; The Unmaking of Mary Somerville (2014), with Stellar Quines Theatre company and Scottish National Portrait Gallery; and Rules of the Moon (2013) with sound artist Philip Jeck.

Poetry includes: The Ballad of Juniper Davy and Sonny Lumiere (2010), publication and performance of poems and original score, with fine artist Elizabeth Willow and METAL Liverpool; Fathoming: setting poetry to silk (2011), poems and silk objects with textile artist Eva Fulinova; Unmapped (2013), exhibition and publication of poems and paintings with artist Anna King (RGI Kelly Gallery and StAnza Poetry Festival); and Five Charms for the Potingair (2017), poems and essential oil scent-blends.

Prose work includes Little Forks, publication supported by Creative Scotland and Gaelic Books Council, which toured as a performed reading in English and Gaelic 2012-14; and Found Tarot (2017), site-specific story-making with Verdant Works Museum, Dundee.

Current projects include Poetry Apothecary, an ongoing series of limited editions and participatory workshops exploring creative writing and natural perfumery; and The Beginners with sound artist Simon Whetham, exploring layers of habitation and landscape in north Fife.


Production shot from the play The Air That Carries The Weight by Rebecca Sharp.  Performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in March 2016.  Directed by Muriel Romanes, set by John Byrne, lighting and costume design by Jeanine Byrne, sound by Pippa Murphy.  Photo by Marc Marnie.