the studios 3-day November 2015 pop-up exhibition at Barton Grange Garden Centre
Its been a long held dream of mine to work from my own studio and move off my kitchen table. I finally did it and moved into a studio-workshop. It’s rural, an old converted farm outbuilding and in some of my neighbouring studios there’s a lovely diverse mix of artists and crafters; a potter, a porcelain ceramicist, a textile artist who runs workshops and has a textile group ‘ Diversity’ and a part-time crafter who does sewing, knitting and card making and runs a weekly craft group. Next door to the studios we have a nice cafe, ‘Roots cafe’ and there’s also car parking.
Before deciding whether to move into the studio, I made a list of things that I could do there that I couldn’t do at home, alongside teaching were also doing ‘open studios’, as I didn’t intend to normally be open to the public and sell my work from the studio.
Last year we got together and organised 2 studio open weekends, learning and trying out new ideas along the way. It developed; we had meetings to choose our group name, sort our pictures and text for our website and leaflets / posters and then I designed them. But, as our studios are quite off the beaten track, we ended up with more nosy hens from the neighbouring farm coming to visit us than visitors (not counting friends and family that came to visit).
As doing ‘open studios’ clearly wasn’t working, rather than trying to get people to come to us, we needed to ‘go to the people’.
That was how our ‘creative roots studios’ event idea began and I felt the nearby exhibitions room at Barton Grange Garden Centre would be ideal for us, as there would be ample room to fit the 5 of us, plus 2 or 3 guest artists. I’ve hired the exhibitions room, otherwise know as the ‘green room’ (its painted green) a number of times over the years for jewellery making classes. I’ve also taken part in the jewellery and craft fairs they used to run and the Art and Craft Guild of Lancashire exhibitions there.
A lot of work went into it and it’s been a great learning experience for me (being the driving force and main event organiser) and given us as studios the opportunity to get together (and get to know each other more) and take our work and info about our studios to a wider audience.
From the studio group:
- myself, jewelart – beaded sculptural wirework and glass jewellery
- Josh, Joshua Coupe Ceramics
- Brenda, Brenda Fee Porcelain
- Jan, Craftybunnies
- Pauline, Creative Stitch Studio, as she was ill her textile group ‘Diversity’ had her space and she had some of her work in their group display
plus guest artists:
Diversity textile group, William Poole wood-turner and artist Siobhan on Friday and Lorraine rag rugs over the weekend.
Luckily the table plan, which gave us 2 tables each, more or less worked out and I managed to fit all the tables and our displays in the room, with enough room for visitors to access each of our displays.
It was lovely that our studio group exhibition got some lovely comments and feedback from both the venue, visitors and customers and overall it was a successful event for us selling and promoting our work. I was also chuffed to bits that a number of friends and customers came along to support me and visit the studio group exhibition.