Our Scion Touring Workshops


You may be aware that we recently collaborated with Sanderson Design Group on a collaborative project, producing designs for wallpaper and other products that will be launched later this year.

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To further our relationship with Scion and other brand names such as Clarke & Clarke, we recently took our workshops on a mini UK tour running creative sessions in Bolton, Milton Keynes and Loughborough.

This wonderful idea came from our staff team, namely Bridie Dunbabin, our Studio Team lead, with Charlotte Gibson from Scion. They felt it would be a great idea to keep up and progress the collaborative relationship with this fabulous company.

I was part of the team of staff and members to travelled to Bolton to help present a workshop to the staff at Clarke & Clarke. Not only were these workshops fun and full of team bonding and design ideas, but they were also hugely successful and meant that hardworking Sanderson staff could take time out of their busy working schedules to partake in arts and crafts. Play and fun are essential to guide mental well-being and is a fabulous thing to do during a working day. It helps staff to bond and to come together to produce art pieces not for work person, but just for the sheer joy it brings.

Staff members from Scion Charlotte and Charlotte, who are the lead team from our collaboration, travelled to each location to meet our team and co-facilitate the workshops.

I’m sure you’ll be intrigued to know what went on during these sessions, so read further to find out more…

We started off early to arrive at the workshop. On arrival we were welcomed in, offered coffee and comfort breaks. We had a lovely space laid out to work our workshop magic from, where a set-up of plants, material, paper, pens, glue sticks and the like were beautifully adorning the tables.

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Once we had finished our cuppa, staff arrived from various departments. We welcomed them in. Everyone chose a seat. In no time at all, we were all chatting as we worked, enjoying each creative idea, such as time based drawing exercises, colour collages in a random composition with the paper, material and coloured pens.

 We drew a charcoal shape of our chosen plant subject with a continuous line drawing. This involves not lifting the charcoal from the page as the drawing takes shape. Next, we stepped out of our comfort zones to produce a portrait of the person next to us, drawn through acetate, holding that clear sheet up in front of the person’s face and tracing out then shape of their face and adding features. It was quite tricky but also incredibly fun; lots of giggles ensued. It was a lovely way to bond with another person, looking deeply at their face which is something we may not always do in our faster-paced modern world.

We then went on to do drawing with scissors. This is where you literally take scissors, choose a subject to ‘draw’ (in our case plants), and follow the shape of the lines around the chosen plant and interpret that onto your cut-out. Next was negative space drawing, which I find can be tricky to do. This process involves choosing a part of the plant to draw as if you’re just drawing the outline of it, then shading in the background so you get an almost 3D effect to it. We then took that paper, turned it over and drew gridding onto the back and cut into squares that we selected pieces of and put together on a fresh sheet of paper to form a collage.

My favourite part of the workshop was where we wrote three things we love about our home, the simple things that give us the most pleasure. Here is what our staff and members chose at our Bolton workshop:



  • Lupin’s ear (Lupin is Bridie’s dog!)

  • Prisms that shine in my room when sunny

  • The first lit fire of the year in my open fire


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My son

Smell of roast dinner

Cut grass and cooking pasta


We then passed our sheets around to draw each other’s simple pleasure. One of the group drew Bill’s son and it turned out to be a good likeness although she had never met him.

The workshop ended with a collaborative college to finish where shapes were place onto a larger roll of paper. This piece was taken to each individual workshop, to bring the shapes together to form a final collage.

We got treated to a gorgeous lunch before we left to sustain us on our drive home.

Rosie, our Product Team Lead, who attended at the Milton Keynes location, shared:


“We attended at Sanderson’s group distribution depot. 

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A few of the attendees met us feeling that this was a waste of their time. This soon turned around, as by the end of the session, a participant said it was a lovely session, adding that it was one of the best mornings of their work and lots of fun.”

 The reason we planned our workshop tours in May was in line with Mental Health Awareness month. At the end, all of the participants were full and hugs and had a really fun time. Those who said they didn’t have a creative bone in their body were so surprised at what they created. It was clear that it did wonders for their wellbeing. It was a great day for them, full of warmth and creative adventure.

Carl is one of our members who attended a workshop. Here is what he wrote about his experience:

“So, on the Wednesday in question, I had an opportunity to go to one of the offices that Scion have around the country. Mine happened to be located in Milton Keynes. It was just like another workshop day, but with a twist. We were invited on behalf of the two Charlottes to show staff members of Scion how the magic is made.

Travelling there with a couple of others from the studio, one being a Member/Technician (Bill), and lead Artist (Rosie), we made our long slog to get there. Once we got there, we had to start straight away, due to a bit of traffic on the way. But needless to say that we went about our business! The takes were timed exercises, one, being drawing a continuous line, the other drawing the negative space around a particular object, then cutting it up into nine squares and then rearranging them on a separate piece of paper. There were a couple more, but you get the idea.

At the end of the day it was a relief, but it was worth it. Both groups enjoyed themselves and participated to the fullest. On my part, it was great to be part of the venture, as it’s my way of repayment. Even though Designs wouldn’t want anything, but I felt it was the best way to repay them for putting some trust into me. I really enjoyed the experience, and would definitely do it again. Plus Scion’s hospitality was excellent.

 It was excellent. Plus Bill and Rosie were on top form too. Massive thanks guys.”


Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator