Such a pretty photo! It’s a nice reminder of how lovely it is to wander around Clevedon Craft Centre in the summer months. I’m off there today because I love it at any time of the year, and I haven’t yet seen the exhibitions of two of Studio 3’s more recent guests – jeweller Pippa Davie and potter Barry Stanson, added to which new guests join them today.
I was also delighted to hear that printmakers Claire Sellers and Tracey Stokes of Print [works] Weston have been offered a permanent space at the gallery, so it’ll be good to catch up with what they’re doing. I love what they are trying to achieve with their business but more of that later.
I was so pleased to learn that SUSANNAH CROOK was to be one of the guest artists this month. I love her work. Susannah will be exhibiting from the 11th of March to the 8th of April 2023.
Susannah is a professional artist living close to the North Somerset coast. Her inspiration is her local landscape…. the rocks, the pebbles and the geological features, as well as the ever-changing woodland close to her home. Her aim is to represent our timeless and precious world.
Becoming a more ecologically aware artist, using sustainable materials as much as she can, has become a very important part of Susannah’s practice. She uses natural earth, mineral and botanical pigments that, as much as she can, she forages for or grows.
Susannah has recently started to work on ash panels made especially for her at Westonbirt Arboretum, giving the ash trees that have been sadly felled a new lease of life.
In the exhibition at Studio 3, Susannah is particularly focused on the Clevedon shoreline. Both Clevedon beach and Ladye Bay inspire all her new pebble paintings; both veritable treasure troves of colour and texture. She honours both the humble pebble and her richly coloured earth pigments.
.For Susannah working mindfully and often intuitively allows for a deeper connection to the land. Walking, observing, gathering earth, grinding earth, making paint and then painting, inspired by that same landscape, is a grounding, cyclical and meditative process.
If you would like to see more of Susannah’s work, she is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/susannahcrookart and on Instagram @SusannahCrook. Susannah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our second super-talented artist at Studio 3 in March is KIRSTEN HILL NIXON, who will be exhibiting from the 8th of March to the 12th of April 2023.
Kirsten is part of Gordano Textile Artists, nine textile artists based in Bristol and the surrounding area. They were formed in 1995 to promote stitched textiles as a valid and recognised art form, to keep alive the long tradition of embroidery and to provide mutual support and inspiration to each other.
A felt maker for over twenty years, Kirsten has made felt in many forms, from traditional floor coverings in Kyrgyzstan villages to gossamer fine Nuno felts for clothing.
Needle Felting is the art of creating forms out of fibres like wool by stabbing them repeatedly with barbed needles. The fibres will eventually matt together and can be shaped into a broad range of soft sculptural structures. You can needle felt by hand, but there are also a range of tools that can help speed up the process.
Preoccupied with needle-felting garden birds over the last few years, Kirsten has exhibited them with the Gordano Textile Artists and teaches locally at the Spinning Weal home to a cornucopia of delights for everyone from knitters, quilters and spinners to embroiderers, felt makers and dressmakers. Check out the website here
The past few years have seen the birds range from wrens to pigeons and owls, culminating in last year’s life-size Dodo!
If you’d like to see more of Kirsten’s work, she is on Instagram @kirstenhillnixon. Kirsten can be contacted at email@example.com
I wasn’t surprised that PRINTMAKERS, CLAIRE SELLERS AND TRACEY STOKES are now sharing a permanent space in Studio 3. Given their commitment to inclusion, diversity and love of community, they fit in so well with the whole Studio 3 vibe and the current team of resident artists. They will also bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience related to printing in its many forms, including cyanotype which is one of Claire’s passions. If you’d like to know more about what this process involves, then check it out here
Claire’s experience includes multiple qualifications in the creative field. She has recently completed a Contemporary Arts Practice Degree in which she specialised in Print. Claire is passionate about printing, including the process of cyanotype. She has had several years of working as a technician internationally within the field of Creative Arts.
Equally passionate is Tracey whose experience in the creative world includes nine years of creative arts training in areas of graphic design, textiles and printing, including, more recently, an MA in Multidisciplinary Printmaking. She is an enthusiastic all-around printmaker who has experience working as a technician and teacher of printmaking in a local secondary school and college for a number of years.
These two friends shared a vision of a space where they could expand on their own printmaking practice and also run workshops to share their knowledge with others. At the beginning of 2021, they registered Print [works] Weston as a CIC and set about the task of finding a space to work from.
In the September, they were offered the rental of a small unit just outside Weston-super-Mare at Ivy House Farm Business Centre. They put a lot of time and effort into getting the space ready to have guests! Recycling and repurposing are very important to Claire and Tracey, so when they moved into the workshop, they tried to repurpose anything they could that was already there. They also had a very limited budget.
More recently, they moved to bigger premises at Balmer Knightcott Industrial estate, on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare. This has allowed them to expand what they are able to offer and introduce more specialist equipment. They are building the space up at the moment to be ready to allow limited open access for members. They are a very young business and believe that starting small will be the key to their success. Their space is a work in progress, but from the outset, it has been a friendly, welcoming, inclusive environment for all that visit.
Claire and Tracey run one and two-day workshops and mini-taster workshops. I very much liked the idea of the mini – taster workshop because you need no experience, you learn the basics, and if you enjoy it and want to progress further, you could try out one of the longer workshops. Alternatively, you could work on a related project at the Social Print Club on the last Thursday of each month between 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. The next meet-up is Thursday, the 23rd of March, a week earlier than normal. It’s a chance to meet like-minded people and work on a project for a couple of hours. You can discuss and share tips and tricks of printmaking processes or learn a few. Their idea is to create a community of printmakers in the area.
The 2023 workshops look really interesting. Sadly, you’ve already missed Painting Through a Screen and Cyanotype, but there is a Drypoint Printing workshop on Friday, 17th March, between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.
The workshop is an introduction to a technique that involves creating marks on a plate that is inked up, the surface wiped, and then printed onto paper through a press. Claire and Tracey will guide you through the process of creating the plate, inking up and wiping through to printing. You will create several varied prints to take home.
If you’d like to know more about Print [works] Weston, check out their website here; Tracey has her own website here; Claire is on Instagram @claire.printmaker.
If you’d like to know more about Studio 3 and the Craft Centre, the link is here, and these are the contact details: Studio 3, Clevedon Craft Centre, Clevedon, BS21 6TD Telephone: 07557331967 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org They are also on Instagram @ studiothree_gallery
A quick reminder of the opening times, which it’s worth mentioning are not the same as the Craft Centre: open Monday to Saturday from 10.00. a.m. to 5.00 pm and Sunday from 11.00. a.m. to 4.00. pm