Craft Centre Development RIBA Award

The Lantern Craft Centre Development

Our new Craft Centre, having been opened on the 27th September 2014, was entered for the prestigious RIBA Regional Awards 2015. Emma, Clare and Simon attended a dinner in Bath on the 1st May on behalf of the Lantern Community at which the winners would be announced. We are very happy to report that our architects,  CaSA  won an award for the design of the buildings.

Ian Walker Architect, Clare, Emma, Simon, Adrian Wood Architect

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Good Progress!

We are pleased to report that all is going well in the Old Pottery development; see new photos in the page above.The new porch offers a warm and welcoming entrance. All of our homes need a name to “personalise” them ….  what could be the name for the “Old Pottery” we wonder?

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Another Day…. Another Development …. the “Old Pottery!”

Having only recently completed our Craft Centre Development, without pausing for breath, we have begun developing the old pottery! This will be new residential accommodation.

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OPENWe are now very happy to say that our Craft Centre is ready for “Opening!”

This will take place on two separate days, the wider invitation being  on the 27th September. We do hope that you can join us and you can be assured of a warm welcome!

A great deal of activity is taking place beforehand, with equipment and tools being moved from the “old” to the “new” and everybody acclimatising themselves to their new working environments. The Land Group are hard at work, creating flower borders and landscaping and installing our central water feature.


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An Informal Welcome!

So at last, one of our new workshop buildings is finished and over the last week boxes have moved over and some looms have been built in there, all beginning the gradual process of moving in.

So in order to mark this moment we thought we would have a community gathering!

We all felt it was very important that we had the opportunity to say “goodbye and thank you” to the old workshops and “hello and welcome” to our new beautiful workshop spaces and to mark the beginning of something new!

We all gathered at 11.30 at the old weavery workshop where Clare gave a moving account of her time in the old weavery. She has been there for 13 years, firstly part time and then full time and she has good positive memories of the time there. She said that one morning several weeks ago she came in early to work, it was still and quiet, the familiar smell of the apple blossom greeted her. The sun was streaming in the window, and she said that the idea of leaving this space suddenly hit her, and that she shed a tear, a little sad that she would be leaving. She said however that it felt that it was time to move on, time to move to a bigger space and how excited she felt about this opportunity. So we all clapped and thanked this old space, thanked Clare for looking after the space for this time and then we made our way down to the old seasonal craft workshop. Here Pete said that it felt like they had been “camping out” in this space for the last two years, and we all noticed that over that time the materials for the Seasonal craft workshop grew and grew but the space did not, so, like Clare, Pete is certainly looking forward to more space, he did say though that he would miss working so closely with the land as he had done, I am sure there will be lots of shared tea breaks! So we thanked Pete for his work there, and thanked the land team for sharing it and then we made our way to the new Craft Centre.

Here we shared with everyone that this was a very informal opening of the building, that the grand opening would be in September and this was just an opportunity for us all to say thank you to the old and welcome in the new !

It had felt like we had been waiting a very long time for this building to be built, it was like waiting for a baby to be born! And now at last it had been born, we wanted to welcome this new building into its new family, and welcome it into the Lantern Family! It was now going to take time for the new building to be filled with all the equipment to make the space feel like home! And that it would also take time for the earth to heal and for the space outside of the building to be made beautiful again. Then we brought everyone back to the idea of welcoming this new baby into the Lantern family, asking what do you want to do when you see a new baby, “you want to hug it” so that is what we invited everyone to do. So we all held hands around the building, we shuffled and moved and stretched and at last we managed to reach it all the way round and give it a great big hug!!! It felt like the right thing to do and then we all entered the building and “oooohhhh” and “aaah!” were the sounds that we heard. Everyone was amazed at how beautiful it was and it felt so right that the space was filled with us all…the christening of the building comes later…and we look forward to the grand opening! when the pottery and woodwork will also be finished ! Hurray!

View the photos of the gathering in “Our Photos” page.



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On The Right Path..!

We are now  laying out and constructing the paths across the site “following” Paul’s landscape plan; almost at the point where we can cross without sinking to our knees in mud! Visit the photo page for updates. The Weavery and Seasonal Craft workshop is nearing completion with fixtures and fittings and white goods being installed. Our Trustees visited the building for the first time last week and were very pleased with what they saw.

The new electricity sub-station has been installed which will necessarily upgrade the supply to the Craft Centre, the new Woodcraft Workshop, Nursery and also make available a new supply to the Ringwood Waldorf School should they require it.

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Moving Forward…!

What a winter! Watching the builders on site from a cosy warm office convinced me that I would not survive the rigours of such work! Remarkably, not many days were lost but the pottery, not being watertight, was being constantly pumped out. Happy to say, we are now in spring! The Weavery is on course to be completed on time, and will be handed over for us to occupy; work on the Pottery is going well, although remains likely to be some weeks delayed. We have been involved in finalising fixtures and fittings details concerning layout and positioning and choice of sinks, fridges, ovens, taps and general ironmongery.

Paul, our estate manager, drew up our initial proposals for landscaping and we have recently revisited the plan, making amendments to the position of paths and the siting of the water feature. Very soon we will work with the builders in setting the levels around the site ready for the paths to be laid.

Owing to the development of our new Woodwork workshop adjacent to the Weavery and Pottery site, a new electricity supply was required as the extra demand that it would create would not be met by current provision. A new sub station has been constructed to distribute power from an underground cable linked to a supply on the corner of the grounds. The practical and legal formalities involved in arranging all that is required from the electricity supplier have been, to say the least, time consuming! However, we are now moving ahead; cable laying at the end of April and “energising” by the end of May!

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