Category Archives: galleries & venues

creative roots studios exhibition

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).

studio open 2014studio open 2014

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.

The event
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.

jewelart display and sheila
Sheila came to visit, looking lovely in her blue squiggle necklace and brought me cake

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. 

Samantha x

visit Creative Roots Studios website

jewelart pop-up exhibition 2015

some photos from my recent pop-up jewellery display at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, Lancashire

The education gallery, situated at the back of the Platform Gallery, is a lovely space for solo and group exhibitions, workshops and meetings.

I enjoyed spending a few days there, meeting and chatting about my work to gallery visitors whilst making some new work; wired pieces and hooks for my new light-catcher glass pendant display on Thursday, brooches on Friday and Celtic wire-work designs on Saturday.

Am glad that my display and work got some great compliments and also that some of my jewellery went off to new homes across the British Isles; to Scotland, Brighton and Essex, as well as to places closer to home in Lancashire.

For more info about the Platform Gallery visit their website

northern star exhibition photos

The Northern Star exhibition runs until the 9 January 2016 at the Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, Lancashire.

I took these photos during the 3 days I spent there with my jewelart pop-up ‘wired designs’ exhibition in the education gallery space at the far end of the gallery.

The visitors to the gallery that I chatted to, were very impressed and loved the exhibition. A great showcase of handmade craft!

See more info on the exhibition in my last post, Samantha x

For more info visit the Platform Gallery website

northern star exhibition

It runs from the 17 October 2015 to the 9 January 2016 at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, Lancashire. I’m chuffed to bits that a small selection of my jewelart Venus copper wire-work jewellery designs are included in it and on display in the gallery.

This Northern Star exhibition at the Gallery connects visitors with contemporary makers and their crafts from Lancashire and throughout the UK. Work on display includes; ceramics, jewellery, wood, paper, stone, craft, textiles, glass, metal, print and plastic.

northern star exhibition 2015
snazzy textiles at the Northern Star exhibition at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe

Although I’m not a hat person – I don’t suit hats – I do love these quirky hats in the exhibition. Come along and visit it, to see these and lots of other interesting crafts.

Venus copper wire-work collection wire shaped in spirals, squiggles, flowers, celtic inspired and wrapped designs. Copper wire is combined with abstract fused glass, gemstones, freshwater pearls, swarovski crystals and vintage buttons to create unique wearable jewellery.

jewelart venus designs
venus glass pendant

I will be at the gallery with a larger selection of my work at my pop-up exhibition on Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 October. Come along meet the maker – chat to me about my work, watch me making and have an opportunity to buy direct.

See some more examples of my venus copper wirework collection in my earlier post. Love to hear what you think of my new designs, please leave me a comment, either here or on facebook. Samantha x

Art in the Pen 2015

Carlisle June 2015 and Skipton August 2015 

Wow, what an amazing transformation took place, cattle pens at the Auction Mart at Carlisle (June) and Skipton (August) were turned into wonderful mini galleries. There was a great selection of beautiful art, ceramics, glass, wood, wirework, textiles and jewellery on show. An opportunity for visitors to meet the artists and designer-makers in their pens, chat to them about their work and purchase pieces.

Art in the Pen
Skipton, Art in the Pen 2015

This year, the Art in the Pen at Skipton celebrated its 10th Anniversary. I’ve heard many good things about it, but getting selected for it hasn’t been easy. To apply you have to send your artist CV, artist statement and some images of your work. Thankfully my persistence has paid off and it was 3rd time lucky, especially as they had over 450 applicants for those 160 spaces!

As a first time ‘penner’, sorting out how to display your work in a pen is a bit of a learning curve… normally I only have a 6ft table to display my work at events and I’m not used to having a blank canvas, an empty pen to magically transform. So many things to take into consideration; how to cover the sides of the pen, how many tables to use, how to get some height into your display, the lighting, where to sit.

The Carlisle Art in the Pen, was a brilliant test-run and opportunity to see how the other artists had used their pen space.

At the Skipton Art in the Pen it took me; 4 sheets to cover the sides of my pen, 3 tables used in an L shape, 2 new wall displays I’d created using material combined with old frames and I sat tucked away next to my making / leaflets / packing table.

jewelart display
jewelart display table at the Art in the Pen 2015

It was really rewarding that my pen display got some great compliments from both visitors and stallholders alike, especially my wooden display table (its my work table I use for doing wirework at my studio, I originally discovered it outside my local charity shop) and my new up-cycled frame displays.

My wirework jewellery and glass work also got some great compliments and, even better, many pieces went off to new homes.

It was a brilliant experience to take part in the Art in the Pen events, I enjoyed meeting people that liked my designs and work, catching up with visiting friends and making new friends. I’m there at the new Craft in Pen event in November and fingers crossed will be back again at the Art in the Pen events next year.  

Visit the Art in the Pen and Craft in the Pen websites for more info.

Hopefully, even more people will come along and help support these events, take the opportunity to meet the makers and artists, help to publicise them and buy some local handmade arts and crafts. Samantha x

Black Sheep, Darker Side of Felt exhibition

at the The Platform Gallery, Clitheroe…

My visit last week to the Platform Gallery luckily coincided with the Black Sheep – Darker Side of Felt exhibition that’s on there. This exhibition has spent 18 months travelling around the UK and the Platform Gallery is its last venue. Wow, there’s some amazing work on show. There’s a collection of work by 7 international felt artists; including colourful large abstract wall hangings, sculptural 3-D pieces including  vessels, costumes and my favourite the primal animal headpieces by Barbara Keal. I could just imagine myself transported to fairytale land wearing one of the pieces and meeting up with elves or witches (as we’re near Pendle, the witch county).

There’s also a display of different types of wool and other materials, and info about the felting process. Although you can’t handle any of the main exhibits, there is a handling section showcasing a variety of felted work. Its definitely worth going to see, you could also have a go yourself at one of the felt workshops or find out more about the exhibition at the curator talk.

Info board about the exhibition:
This exhibition is an exploration of the edgier side of this extraordinary and versatile material, looking at artists who create sometimes disturbing and bizarre oddities and technically brilliant objects. This is a touring exhibition from The National Centre for Craft and Design.

Info board about the artist Barbara Keal:
“On my way to the workshop I was gathering leaves and grasses I suddenly felt giddy, overwhelmed by the strength of the force of life – when I arrived at the workshop I got down to making a hat fast and furiously – how can I make a work wild and vigorous enough for you to catch that feeling?”

East-Sussex based Barbara Keal is on a mission to create hats for the whole world, inspired by real and imaginary animals, and effortlessly crossing the boundaries between sculpture, craft, design and fashion. Keal’s work is an example of the extraordinary sculptural possibilities of the material. Felt is often used to replicate animal puppets or toys but Keal’s work has a rawness and reality to it. By wearing Keal’s creations we are encouraged to become another creature and explore our primal side. visit the exhibition to read more…

The Black Sheep Felt exhibition runs until the 3rd October at the Platform Gallery

Clitheroe
Clitheroe, Castle Street

My main reason for visiting the Platform Gallery, was to collect my work that had been in this year’s Craft Annual Open Exhibition – great news that 3 of my pieces sold (2 pairs of my Venus copper  flower earrings and a pair of my rose medieval design earrings) – and to deliver some posters and leaflets for my 3-day pop-up exhibition there on 22-24 October. Samantha, jewellery artist 

Clitheroe is a great place to visit for a day out. Its a pretty market town, with lovely shops, cafes, galleries, a castle and museum.

more info: Platform Gallery website Black Sheep – Darker Side of Felt exhibition blog

St Chad’s Well

an ancient holy place

bellringers at chadkirk chapel
beautiful setting and acoustics for the bellringing at Chadkirk Festival 2015

At a craft fair I had a stall at many years ago, I was recommended the Chadkirk Festival… after researching the event I applied for a stall and now I go there each summer and take part. Its a lovely little festival in a great setting; with traditional music, dancing displays and all sorts of handmade stalls in the garden area next to the chapel.

Before I head home after the festival I like to visit St Chad’s well, which is just up the hill from the chapel and see the well dressing. Its decorated with petals, leaves and other natural materials. This year its particularly beautiful.

St. Chad’s Well Dressing 2015

From the Info board at the well:

“This ancient holy well may have had its origins in Celtic times but has come to be associated with St Chad, the 7th Century Bishop of Lichfield whose missionary work in spreading the gospel may have brought him to this remote corner of his diocese.

 

St Chad is regarded as the patron saint of wells and springs, in the Middle Ages, a well dedicated to him at Lichfield was said to have medicinal qualities and its water to bring about miraculous cures.

St Chad's Well
St Chad’s Well

Ancient Celtic sites were often associated with water in the form of sacred pools and springs, where offerings were made to the gods. As part of the process of conversion to Christianity, places where pagan worship had taken place were often adopted by missionaries for Christian worship, this may be the way that our well came to be associated with St Chad.”

More info:
There isn’t access to the well – you can just get a glimpse behind the well dressing – and there doesn’t appear much water in the well, all that can be seen is a little bit of water, some plants and moss (see photo above).   It still feels special, situated next to ancient woodlands and Chadkirk Chapel.

chadkirk chapel window
the beautiful stained glass window at Chadirk Chapel

Chadkirk Chapel

Its believed that in the 7th Century Chad, who was Bishop of Lichfield from AD 669 to 672, founded a Monastic cell near to St Chad’s Well and that the present Chadkirk Chapel occupies the same site.

From the Info board at the chapel:

“Little is known of the chapel’s early history, but records show that there was a “chaplain of Chaddkyrrke” as early as 1347. For much of its medieval existence it was a ‘chantry chapel’ where masses were said for the dead. At the Reformation the chapel was suppressed, it was disused and became derelict. In the late 17th century it was used by Puritan dissenters, but they were ejected in 1705. Following a further period of dereliction the chapel was restored and partly rebuilt in 1747, thereafter being used by the Church of England. In 1865 a new church of Saint Chad was built a short distance to the north in Romiley. The old chapel was used only occasionally, and the church was once more falling into disrepair.

In 1971 the chapel was declared redundant and was sold to Bredbury and Romiley Urban District Council for community use. Following further restoration in 1973 and local government reorganisation it passed to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and over the years more restoration of the chapel has taken place.

Burials – Most of the recorded burials in the Chapel and the surrounding Chapel yard date from the 18th and 19th centuries, but there are probably many older burials which were not recorded. The most privileged position for burial was with the church and close to the alter; only the wealthier families could afford these favoured plots.”

More info:
The name Chadkirk means the ‘Church of Chad’ and might be the ‘Cedde’ mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.
Chadkirk, is situated in Romiley, near to Marple in Stockport, Cheshire. 

further info: friends of chadkirk blog

Lytham Arts Festival 2015 update

Enjoyed taking part in this year’s Lytham Arts Festival and meeting some interesting people… friends that popped by to say hello and see my display at Stringers Homelife, visitors interested in chatting to me about my work, watching the demos or having a go at making their own pair of shell bead earrings and it was also a great opportunity to get to know some of the other artists taking part in the festival.

On the last evening, I used the festival guide to help me visit all the shops taking part and see a variety of artwork displayed in their windows (due to it raining, I didn’t take any photos).

Roll on next year…
Samantha x

Lytham Arts Festival

Saturday 4 – 11 July 2015

jewelart celtic style pearl earrings
seaside theme

The Lytham Arts Festival brings art into the heart of Lytham and in 2015 over 70 artists will exhibit, perform and entertain from over thirty venues in the town (text from the Lytham Arts Festival website).

  • this years theme is ‘seaside’

I’m looking forward to being part of this years festival and have been partnered with Stringers Homelife, next door to Booths.

jewelart seaside theme jewellery

During the festival 4-11 July, I will have a small window display of selected seaside theme jewellery pieces and on the festival weekends I will be there with a bigger display of my work, demonstrating and doing tasters.

jewelart demos and tasters

DEMOS & TASTERS

wirework demos: 11-1pm

Saturdays 4 and 11 July
watch me making pearl and shell brooches using twisting and wrapping techniques to create gorgeous unique brooch designs

Sunday 5 July
watch me making celtic style pearl and shell earrings using a jig to create wire shapes, as well as other wire manipulation techniques to attach a pearl drop and earring hooks.

beaded tasters: 2-4pm (on the half hour)

Saturday 4, Sunday 5 and Saturday 11 July
come along and have a go creating a pair of your own bespoke shell beaded earrings using tigertail thread and plated ear hooks. Its a really easy, fun activity and your earrings will only take you 15-20 minutes to create. Its a free to take part and suitable for adults and children (from 6 years old with adult supervision).

For more info on Stringers Homelife
website: www.stringers-lytham.co.uk/Homelife
facebook page: www.facebook.com/StringersLytham


 

beaded cord bracelet
beaded cord bracelet workshop

As part of the Festival I’m also doing a jewellery making workshop at Crafty4Art in Lytham

WORKSHOP

jewellery making workshop: 2-4pm
(limited spaces / booking required via Liz at Crafty4Art)

Thursday 9 July
make your own bespoke beaded cord bracelet with shell beads and button fastener.

For more info on Crafty4Art
website: www.crafty4art.co.uk
facebook page: www.facebook.com/crafty4art


 

Lytham makes a great day out, there is a great variety of independent shops, lovely coastal walks and cafes.

For more info on Lytham Arts Festival
website: www.lythamartsfestival.org
facebook page: www.facebook.com/LythamArtsFestival

Lytham Life and Style
website: www.lythamlifeandstyle.co.uk

jewelart shell earrings
jewelart ‘seaside theme’ shell earrings, in the background is a ceramic piece from Gallery at Brockholes

 

Other things to do:
On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July, the Gallery at Brockholes are having their launch weekend. Ideal if you are travelling over to Lytham and want to combine it with a visit there.

Gallery at Brockholes is run by the Art & Craft Guild of Lancashire, made up of a wide range of the finest local artists, designers and makers. A great selection of ceramics, textiles, jewellery, glass, art, photography, furniture and turned wood. There are 4 themed exhibitions each year featuring different guest artists from the area.

For more info on the Gallery at Brockholes
website: www.thegalleryshop.co.uk
facebook page: www.facebook.com/guildgallery
brockholes website: www.brockholes.org/gallery-brockholes

Platform Gallery Craft Open Exhibition 2015

The Platform Gallery Craft Annual Open Exhibition has a selection of textiles, pottery, wood, furniture, metalwork, glass, print-work and jewellery from makers across the North-West.

Platform Gallery
Platform Gallery

A maximum of 3 pieces can be entered by each maker for the exhibition. All of my 3 pieces that I entered, were selected and they are currently on display there; a Venus copper and pale pink fused glass pendant on copper chain, rose coloured medieval 2 bead earrings and copper flower earrings.

The Craft Open exhibition runs until 4th July

Clitheroe is a great place to visit for a day out. Its a pretty market town, with lovely shops, cafes, galleries, a castle and museum.

more info: www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/info/200303/platform_gallery