Creative Development Course

A unique residential course, taught by Fellows, to help you achieve your calligraphic potential.

The three-year, part-time course provides a structure of tuition, support and guidance for calligraphers who want to develop their work in a more personal direction. Instead of a teaching course, it’s a programme which gives time and encouragement to students to find their own way ahead.

We are now inviting applications for the 2025 CDC intake, which should be submitted by 1 December 2024


Application Form 2024

We are currently accepting applications for 2025/26, with the first weekend for the new intake taking place in March 2025. Applications should be submitted by 1st December 2024

Dates & Venues

The dates and venues for the course from 2024 are:

11 – 13 October 2024 (for current second- and third-year students)
Residential weekend at The Hayes, Swanwick, Derbyshire DE55 1AU

1 December 2024
Deadline for 2025 applicants
18 January 2025
Introductory Afternoon for new applicants at The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT
14 - 16 March 2025
Residential weekend at Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL


Six skilled tutors, who are all Fellows of the SSI, give students the guidance to develop their own ideas, skills, imagination and ways of working. For participants, working with a group of people at a similar level of skill and with similar objectives is supportive and creative.

The course comprises two residential weekends of study, held in the Autumn and Spring, for three years with two different tutors working as a team for each year group. New entrants form a group which stays together through the three years. Following the end of the third year, students show work in progress at the AGM & Open Day.

Applicants will be invited to attend an Introductory Day in London in Spring so that they can meet the other applicants. They are asked to bring a selection of work in progress and completed pieces. Writing is not taught on the scheme (although there is some practical work) so when you join the Course you are expected to have reasonably good writing skills. The important requirements are potential, commitment and enthusiasm. The more work you can do over the three years the more you will get out of the experience, and almost as a by-product, the better your writing will be.

The tutors are Year 1, Sylvie Gokulsing and Juliet Bankes; Year 2, Vivien Lunniss and Mary Noble; Year 3, Cherrell Avery and Tim Noad.  Sylvie Gokulsing is the Course Convenor.

Any potential student who is accepted onto the Creative Development Course, but who is put off for financial reasons, may apply for an SSI Bursary. This discretionary award covers a percentage of the tuition and accommodation fees for all three years.

If you would like to know more about the CDC and the bursary, please contact either Sylvie Gokulsing (Course Convenor) or Frank Zobel (Course Administrator). They will be able to provide you with further details and answer most of your questions. The CDC is open to all members of the Society.

 If you would like to join the Course, applications should be submitted by 14 March 2024.

1 review for Creative Development Course

  1. Gwyneth Hibbett

    Once you have spent some time mastering calligraphic scripts and started using your lettering for creative projects, the question of “What next?” may arise. The Creative Development Course is a chance to follow your educational path still further and be able to access input and advice from some of the most respected and knowledgeable calligraphers around. Opportunities for exploring your own calligraphic and lettering work in a structured way are few and far between, so it is worth doing. It’s a chance to play in the big kids playground!

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