Crunch Time Ramblings

I’m sat here at the counter in the gallery, tired, splattered with paint and watching Ella lace up the corset. It’s the night before the tomorrow – tomorrow our artists bring their new work into the Studios to be displayed and hung. Today we have taken down Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp’s Exhibition (but she’s back in September with new work), moved the furniture around to create spaces, moved stock around to create spaces, found that we have too many chairs and the rain has stopped the outside painting – although I found time tonight just before it got dark.

But tomorrow…I promise pictures of the work going up on the walls and on display, the wool & yarn display will be tidied, the kitchen cleaned and our studios swept. We will be ready for the Open Arts weekend and our visitors.

Are you coming?


Dead Chickens & The Dark Peak Corset

I’m not too sure what I’m writing about here as Erika’s new work has yet to be unveiled but the one view I have had (which I share with you below) suggests we can expect something different in her exhibition at the Studios during the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend. But the layering and textural finish remains so it’s maybe not too different…


On the corset front (pun clearly intended!) Ella has been busy hand painting and embroidering…here are  glimpses of the work in progress to tempt you…



A creative day

Today was never going to be a run of the mill day – for a start I had the day off and Carol was to look after the Studios. But before I could go anywhere I had to send off the eBay orders. I met Carol at the Studios and we spent far too long chatting, Carol had brought along a new book ‘Radical Threads’ from The 62 Group exhibiiton at Platt Fields (ended today, I was too late to visit). I didn’t have long to look through it and I hope that she has left it so that I can have a more leisurely browse.

A visit to Johnny Roadhouse led to a serendipitious chat about Junk Jam/Global Grooves in Mossley. A trip out is definately on the to do list – they recycle/upcycle/create/innovate with carnival fun.

But the main feature of the day was a trip into Manchester to the FutureEverything Handmade: Digital|DIY|Craft event at Victoria Baths. I had not been inside the Baths since their occupation against either closure or sale (I can’t remember which) about 20 years ago and was really looking forward to having a look around. The Baths are wonderful and the event was just brilliant. Sound, visuals, fanzines, workshops, technology everywhere, low and high tech, innovative and creative. Highlights were learning how to book bind, the tremendous soundscape in one of the pools, my 12yr old son creating a page for the Baths collective fanzine and now sat at another laptop writing his own, sharing photos and experinces of digitising textiles (crochet & cross stitich QR codes, morse code stripes) and just looking around. And I took the opportunity to give out a few Derbyshire Open Arts brochures too!

Here’s the pics…

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Felt Artist Hannah Dodd

Hannah Dodd is a textile artist who lives in the little village of Broadbottom on the edge of the Pennines. For the last six years Hannah has been a member of the High Peak Artists. She exhibits her work in Gallery in the Gardens, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Hannah also exhibits work in the Bessemer Gallery, Winter Gardens Sheffield, and the Smithy Studios Glossop, where she runs an ongoing programme of felting workshops for beginners to advanced. She teaches all kinds of wet and dry felting techniques.

At the moment Hannah is exhibiting in the Art Cafe Buxton  –  “We Felt Drawn To Nature” until the end of July. She is also exhibiting at the Smithy Studios during the Derbyshire Open Arts from 2nd  June until 5th June. During this weekend she will be demonstrating wet and dry felting techniques.

Hannah designs and creates all kinds of textile pieces from unique designed bags and corsages, top felted 3D birds and owls, and all kinds of framed pictures. She uses the dining room of her own home as her studio and is inspired by nature, flora and fauna in her designs. Hannah also finds herself being inspired by her children’s creativity. She is a stay at home mother of four and has always enjoyed doing craft work with her children. She says that her own mum inspired her creativity from childhood because she saw beauty in everything and was always making things.

Hannah loves to explore added depth and textures into her creations. Her designs are constantly developing and she loves to experiment and try new techniques.  She prides herself that each finished piece is original and unique and is always excited and inspired to create and develop her work.

Links:      Peak District Artisans        Hannah’s website   Gallery in the Gardens         

Ella’s Sewing Cafe

We had some fabulous coverage in the Glossop Advertiser this week as Ella became a page 3 girl.  Ella talked to Sue about her work as a costume designer on Pirates of the Carribean 2 and the time she ironed Orlando Blooms trousers! Such glamour – it’s almost too much! Anyway, Ella’s Sewing Cafe is open Tuesday evenings and is a space for sewists of all experiences and none to get together. Our sewing machines can be hired or you can bring your own, there is space to ‘cut out’, ironing boards and of course tea and cake.








The talented Ella is also one of our featured artists during the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend. Ella has designed a corset inspired by the hills of the Peak District. Titled the ‘Dark Peak Corset’ the corset will featured hand painted panels, beading and a full skirt. Here’s Ella in the early stages fitting the corset, I’ll bring more pictures as the project develops.

A glimpse at our DOA line up…

We are celebrating our first year opening anniversary with a sizzling exhibition of work from our artists and makers. Artist Erika Robertson will be showing her new work; we can expect layering of colour, texture and chickens; Felt artist Hannah Dodd has a stunning new collection of wall pieces inspired by nature and the cutest felt bird boxes; Sue Hardy is a textile artist and ceramist; her tactile ceramics evoke ancient techniques , Ceramicist Philippa Maye works in porcelain clay exploring text and meaning; Simon Denvers designs and makes jewellery, utilising the precision of the laser cut; Textile artist Ella Jensen will be unveiling the Dark Peak Corset, a contemporary interpretation of traditional skills.