Workshops and Courses

Annual Art Courses at The Dower House,

March & September

The Dower House hosted its first week of art courses, from the 16th to 22nd of September 2018, with an exhibition of work inspired by Islay, with tea and amazing cakes on Friday afternoon when everyone was invited.

Rose Hatcher came all the way from Dorset to teach her own style of wet felt making for 4 days, with stunning results for all of us who were learning for the first time and others who had some experience, but improving their skills. Most of us had little idea of what wet felting involved and loved the beauty and therapeutic quality of the process.

Mary-Ann Featherstone, with Emma Baker, spent the day of Storm Ali with those who made it just before a tree blocked the road. We created mosaics learning the skills of designing, sticking and grouting, using personal stones and shells, mosaic glass tiles and ideas of our own to create a unique mosaic to take home. There was entertainment from 2 experienced kayakers, who went out to play in the wind and waves, only to be videoed getting knocked over by their kayaks on the shore.  Better to stay in the boats next time!

See video on

Our final day, was wet felt making in 1 room and Mary-Ann taught how to design, prepare and paint a slate in acrylics to those who had not painted since school days…a few years before. Everyone can learn new skills and the ladies who painted produced pictures to be proud of.

After the success of the whole week, learning new skills, making new friends and retreating from the world outside for a while. We are working out dates for our next day workshops, as well as an opportunity for residential breaks for those from further afield. Everyone will be welcome, you don’t need experience, just a will to have a go and enjoy yourself. We are disabled friendly.

For more information see our website   Tel 01496300038                                                           or email Mary-Ann


Relax and discover new skills in tranquil surroundings on our beautiful Isle of Islay. 


Day Courses and Residential Arts

March 18th & September 16th 2019


Come and join us on a week offering a variety of arts and crafts.

Day workshops cost £70 including lunch

Overnight accommodation available £85 per night full board

Non participating partners sharing room £85 per night full board

3 to 5 nights full board 

Suitable for many disabilities. (see Apartment information)

Non participating partners, sharing room very welcome. Other activities available.


Day Course Schedule:


Monday Wet felt making  – 10am to 4.30pm

Tuesday Wet felt making  – 10am to 4.30pm

Wednesday Mosaics  – 10am to 4.30am

Thursday Painting on slate  – 10am to 4.30pm

Friday Exhibition of work with tea and cakes


Residential week March 2019

Suggested itinerary will be flexible

Monday 18th 

8am – 9am breakfast

10am Wet felt making with Rose Hatcher 

1pm Lunch + free time to walk, relax or sketch

2pm – 4.30pm Wet felt making

4.30pm Tea/coffee and cakes

6pm Evening meal

7.30pm – 8.15pm Stitch a simple sketch book to use as Islay workshop notebook

Tuesday 19th

8am – 9am breakfast

10am Drive to Islay Woollen Mill and Finlaggan (Seat of the Lord of the Isles)

1pm  Bowmore  free to explore & places for lunch (not provided)

2pm – 4.30pm Walk to Port Ellen lighthouse and Singing Sands

4.30pm Tea/coffee and cakes available at The Dower House

6pm Evening meal

7.30pm – 8pm Introduction to Mosaics

Share photos of the day

Wednesday 20th

8am – 9am Breakfast

10am Local walk to collect materials for Mosaic making with Emma Baker and Mary-Ann Featherstone

1pm Lunch + free time to walk, relax or sketch

2pm – 4.30pm Making Mosaics

4.30pm Tea/coffee and cakes

6pm Evening meal

7.30pm – 8.15pm Film and book night of Islay history

Thursday 21st

8am – 9am Breakfast

10am Painting on slate with Mary-Ann

1pm Lunch + free time to walk, relax or sketch

2pm – 4.30pm  Workshop of your choice (either felt making, mosaics or painting on slate)

4.30pm Tea/coffee and cakes

6pm Evening meal with traditional music at the Islay Hotel (cost not included)

Friday 22nd

8am – 9am Breakfast

10am Opportunity to finish items with resident artists in attendance 

1pm Lunch + free time to walk, relax or sketch

2pm – 4.30pm Mount finished items for display

4.30pm Tea/coffee and cakes

6pm Evening meal and celebration of our week together


If anyone wishes to come along for the week with a partner, but does not want to partake in any of the workshops on offer, there are a wide variety of activities to enjoy during your stay including wildlife walks, kayaking, fat biking, whisky tours. Please ask for details.

E-mail Mary-Ann on….


Tel. 01496300038 (You can leave a message and I will get back to you)