When Retreat House Chester decided to decorate a tree for the Christmas Tree Festival in the Cathedral Cloisters, the idea for a mosaic Christmas Star workshop was born. Craft is a well-known retreat activity, being both creative and reflective, and we are keen to make it a regular part of our programme.
This first workshop was made possible by the fact that Aleta Doran - of Aleta Doran Mosaics and British Association of Modern Mosaic - could share her skills with us and run the morning. Part of the RHC vision is that we can offer a reflective place for local people to share their talents and knowledge, so we were very glad to welcome Chester-based Aleta to introduce us to the art of mosaic.
Delighting in the array of material, participants were guided in the creation of glass mosaic – beginner-style – and were introduced to the ‘marmalade’ theme of our tree, marmalade featuring in both the story of the retreat house and in our fundraising appeal. We then ventured into making our own two stars – one marmalade star for the tree, and one for home. In this way, we were making something for ourselves and something for others. We reflected that we were discovering something worthwhile just in the very act of making our mosaics and trying something new to us.
Aleta said, "Glass mosaic tiles are perfect for making Christmas decorations because they reflect light so beautifully. For this workshop we had lots of different types of glass to choose from and the participants made some wonderful stars. It was a pleasure to work with this lovely group!"
The fact that the morning involved delicious marmalade cake was also very pleasing! Again using local talent, our cake was made especially for us by local caterer Amy Edwards. On a damp November morning, eating marmalade cake and making mosaic stars, alongside others, fed both body and soul.
We hope you’ll be able to visit our tree in the lovely Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival. Watch out, too, for more activity workshops… and cake!