The Benslie Sessions – Creative Workshops in Ayrshire, Nov & Dec 2018

Workshop Info

The workshops will be hosted and catered by Catriona Hawksworth


The workshops will be held at Catriona’s parents, Jennie and Chris’, house.

Burnbank Cottage,



KA13 7QZ

Trains run frequently from Glasgow Central to Kilwinning, and I can arrange lifts from the station if you need – just let me know.


Sunday 11th November – Singing with Josie Duncan

Sunday 25th November – Harris Tweed accessories with Katie Jackson

Sunday 9th December – Fiddle with Sally Simpson


The workshops will be in two parts split by a lunch break. The day will conclude with tea and cake and a short performance/exhibition from the tutor.

11.00 – 12.30 workshop

12.30 – 13.30 lunch

13.30 – 15.00 workshop

15.00 – 15.30 tea/coffee and performance/exhibition from tutor


The food will be provided as part of the total cost of the workshop – all dietary requirements can be provided for.


A donation of £30 per workshop is suggested. In order to avoid late cancellations this should be paid in full in advance. You may cancel and get a full refund up to ten days before the event. If the workshop is cancelled this will be refunded in full.

Please email for bank details

There is a reduced suggested cost for multiple bookings –

1st workshop = £30

2nd workshop = £25

3rd workshop = £20

Class sizes

All classes will have a minimum of 5 people.

Fiddle and crafts will have a maximum of 10, singing a maximum of 15.

If classes do not reach the required minimum 10 days before the date of the workshop, it will be cancelled and a full refund will be given.

Singing with Josie Duncan – Sunday 11th November

Josie Duncan is a young folk singer from the Outer Hebridean Isle of Lewis. Having been immersed in Glasgow’s fast moving traditional music scene for the past few years where she studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Josie’s crystal clear voice is equally at home in Gaelic, Scots or English. In 2017 Josie was awarded BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Award alongside guitarist Pablo Lafuente. 

With self-penned and traditional songs, she also performs as a soloist, self-accompanying on the clarsach (celtic harp). Her approach to song offers many nods to the traditional but always feels modern, with a voice which is somehow delicately soft and yet rich and powerful at the same time. Josie has toured extensively over the past year performing at venues and festivals across Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and America.  

“Effortlessly pure, supple vocals. It felt like a fresh breeze.” – The Scotsman.                  

Josie’s workshop is open to all stages and abilities from beginners to confident singers.

Harris tweed accessories with Katie Jackson – Sunday 25th November


Katie works from home in the village of Newtonmore. She designs and makes bags and accessories from Harris tweed. When she is not fulfilling bag orders for shops and galleries in the Highlands, Katie loves to experiment with other textile crafts, such as felting and making textile landscapes. She also teaches textile crafts, mainly through adult workshops.

Harris Tweed Accessories Workshop

Make your own tweed purse, phone cover or brooch from a choice of lovely Harris tweeds. The brooch can be sewn by hand whilst the other items need a sewing machine and some basic skills. All materials are provided. (The purse has a zip, so your machine needs a zipper foot if you want to make one). We have a couple of sewing machines to lend, so please say if you want to use one of them. All the items have been made successfully by beginners in the past!

Katie’s workshop is open to all stages and abilities

Fiddle with Sally Simpson – Sunday 9th December

Sally Simpson is a fiddle player from Portobello. She has studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music, and Sweden’s Royal Music College, Stockholm. 

She is just as passionate about sharing the joy of playing folk music with others in a teaching setting as through performance. Sally recently toured as part of the ensemble for The Last Ship musical, with music and lyrics by Sting.

Sally’s workshop is open to intermediate players. This is for those who have been learning for a few years at least, and can play a range of tunes. You should be able to learn tunes comfortably by ear and play them fluently with reasonable bowing and tuning. You should have a reasonable knowledge of the various Scottish tune types, and be fairly competent in most common key signatures.

(If you have any questions about this don’t be afraid to get in touch)