Exploring Sketchbooks : information & pricing

Time & Location

27 May, 19:00 – 02 Jun, 20:00

La Vecchia Scuola, 66046 Colle Case CH, Italy

About The Event

27th May – 2nd June 2018: This workshop will be specifically directed towards sketchbook exploration and playful development to explore design ideas on paper and on cloth. We shall make our own books and fill them with plenty of drawing, collage, stitch & mark making using the local area of Abruzzo as our inspiration.


“Dionne’s Summer School has been a great success and an amazing experience visiting stunning locations with lovely companions and following a creative programme which inspired, motivated and challenged in equal measures . Dionne is a brilliant teacher and skilled communicator and this week has enabled me to develop an exciting repertoire for future work . I just can’t wait to return to continue this creative journey. Many thanks to Dionne , Mark and the friends I made at La Vecchia Scuola”



This 5 day summer school provides you with the opportunity to explore drawing, design, textiles print and stitch in an inspiring atmosphere with a highly experienced tutor. You’ll leave with a bundle of experiments and ideas which will inspire and full further projects for many moons to come…not to mention great memories of a fantastic creative adventure in this wonderful region of Italy.


Each day of the workshop I will pick you up at 9.30am at Hotel Al Duca and return you there for 5.30pm after a full day of creativity & just in time for aperitivi! Evenings are free time for you to enjoy…


  • The workshop only price is £495 inc. materials, excursions, refreshments and lunches

  • Book your own flights [usually Stansted - Pescara, but there are alternatives]

  • Book your own accommodation [£250 – £360 10% at Al Duca Hotel] 

  • Airport transfer 50 euros [payable locally].

  • Only 6 students per week.

Example itinerary:


Arrive in Abruzzo.  Airport pick up is in the evening about 6pm, to tie in with the incoming Stansted flight.  There's a lovely welcome meal awaiting you when we arrive in Atessa.

Day one 

Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. The Abruzzese coast line is dotted with spectacular ‘Trabocchi’ [wooden fishing platforms] – they are a truly special feature of the Abruzzo region & perfect visual stimuli! We shall enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near the beach.


Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola I shall introduce a technique to help you develop the images collected that morning.


Day two

Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. We shall venture into the mountains and work ‘en plein air’ to capture the amazing vistas and landscapes of the Appeninnes: followed by a traditional mountain lunch at a local Agriturismo.


Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola, I’ll demonstrate another new technique useful for developing that mornings images and incorporate yesterdays ideas and techniques.


Evening- Enjoy an aperitif at La Vecchio Scuola whilst listening to an informative talk about my work and career.


Day three

Morning – Tornareccio, the nearest village, is known for its honey and its mosaics – we shall spend the morning investigating the latter through the small alleys, streets and piazzas of this pleasant hillside village: then its lunch at the local restaurant: Meditteraneo


Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola we shall look at incorporating further techniques into your new repertoire and discuss how you might move forward with your work.


Day four

Morning – Its market day in Atessa…. we shall make a late start so you can absorb the sights and sounds of the local town: There are numerous amazing Baroque churches, beautiful cobble streets and ancient arches & doorways to explore: you can enjoy lunch in one of the numerous restaurants and bars of Atessa


Afternoon – Time for some individual development and 1:1 discussion to help clarify your ideas


Day five

Morning – Developing and resolving images and ideas…


Local lunch…


Afternoon – This is a great time to consider different methods of finishing/mounting/presentation pieces. You’ll have time to complete your work as well as review and evaluate [individually and with the group]…sadly its time to say goodbye….


We can collect you from the hotel in the afternoon for a departure from Pescara airport returning to Stansted


What workshop supplies will you need to bring? 

Not very much as most things you’ll need will be at the studio – we shall be making our own sketchbooks, so make sure you have space in your suitcase to take it home!


Drawing/sketching media – pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal – whatever your prefer.

Something water-soluble would be most beneficial – coloured Caran D’ache type pastels are ideal.


Small water container &/or refillable brush


Bear in mind it may be very warm – you may like a hat/suncream & a refillable water bottle…


What supplies/materials/equipment will be provided for you at La Vecchio Scuola? 

Papers, fabrics, threads, scissors…PLUS as a bonus for 2018 a hand printed tote bag to carry all your supplies!!




Hotel Al Duca in Atessa is well placed in the centre of Atessa where there are a range of bars and restaurants all in strolling distance.[antonio.cinalli@hotelalduca.it] : Antonio is lovely and has agreed to offer a 10% discount on his B&B rates for my students. 


I have had a tour of this hotel and it is perfect: its a small, well run hotel which has been recently re-modelled. Its exceptionally clean and the restaurant is well regarded in the area – there’s free wifi and access to the local swimming pool a short walk away.



Most students are happy for me to collect and deliver them throughout the week: Independent travellers may wish to hire a car – Abruzzo is a rural area, the roads aren’t as busy as in other Italian locations, but a Sat Nav or Google Maps is extremely useful.

Car hire is available form the Airport and the Railway station.




Non participating guests and partners are more than welcome to join in on meals and ‘extras’ yet would need to make their own transport arrangements. [Advance notice and payment would be appreciated]

I can suggest a range of activities and excursions to suit their interests: mountain walks and cycling are very popular…yet also a quick search in Trip Advisor for activities in the area will highlight many opportunities



©Dionne Swift 2018 All rights reserved

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