the art of giving
getting a headstart on the festive season
I hate to bring it up when we still in the final warm flush of late summer, but Christmas will be creeping up on us before we know it. In the spirit of good organisation and forward thinking, therefore, we are devoting a few pages to some ideas for original gifts.
More and more people are starting to spurn the big shopping malls with their chain stores and gravitate instead toward the smaller towns, or the districts of larger towns and cities where independent retailers, boutiques and cafés thrive, because what you gain in convenience you lose in originality, both of the gift and the shopping experience. For isn’t part of the pleasure of the season the browsing followed by the discovery of ‘just the right thing’, and then the stopping for a cuppa or a snack to re-fuel and check your list?! With the increase of seasonal art shows and craft fairs, the discerning shopper’s options are broadened even further. Get your calendar ready and your pencil poised…
MADE BRIGHTON: The Design & Craft Fair – 21st-23rd November, 2014
MADE BRIGHTON is the city’s annual contemporary craft and design fair which takes place in the historic Dome, Corn Exchange. The fair offers the public the opportunity to buy original and exceptional pieces of craft and design direct from the designer/maker and has become firmly established as a friendly, accessible and top quality event. MADE BRIGHTON welcomes over 5500 visitors; collectors, galleries, curators and of course Christmas shoppers, many of whom return year on year knowing that the work on show is well worth viewing.
MADE BRIGHTON showcases over 100 makers and designers; from unique glassware to luxurious textiles, functional ceramics to dazzling jewellery, beautiful furniture to quirky accessories, there is something for everyone. Work is priced between £10 and £1500, providing the perfect opportunity to Christmas shop for unique gifts as well as perhaps finding that ‘can’t live without’ item! A café provides a place for visitors to pause, relax and take a little welcome refreshment.
Friday 21st November 11am-7:30pm, Saturday 22nd November 10am-6pm, Sunday 23rd November 10am-5pm
The Dome Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD
The ‘Art of Giving’ at the Chalk Gallery – 10th November to 24th December
Chalk is an artist-run gallery in Lewes, East Sussex, and is devoted to promoting artists and their work. We are a diverse and creative group achieving a consistently high standard in a variety of media, style, subject and techniques. We feature paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery in our friendly gallery and there is always someone here to give you a warm welcome.
We believe that ‘The Art of Giving’ is fundamental to the creative process, each artist gives their own vision, inspiration and interpretation of the world about them using their talents, skills and techniques to create art for all to enjoy.
Our works are often purchased for gifts as their unique qualities of creativity, materials and style offer a really personal touch. Beautiful art – affordable prices. We also sell prints and greeting cards, and gift vouchers are available.
Chalk Gallery, 4 North Street, Lewes, E. Sussex BN7 2PA. 10am-5pm. 01273 474477
Vee Pease – 22nd & 23rd November, Falmer Christmas Art Market
Working from her studio in West Sussex, Vee Pease designs and makes jewellery in sterling silver with semi-precious stones. Her designs are influenced by natural forms, found or photographed while walking on the Downs or by the sea. The leaves, seeds, pebbles, flowers and shells which she collects to draw and paint become the inspiration behind her earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings.
Vee really enjoys the process of designing and making original pieces of jewellery, even though some pieces may appear to be similar, each one is individually handmade and therefore unique, and every piece is hallmarked.
You can see and buy Vee’s work at the Falmer Christmas Art Market, Falmer Village Hall, BN1 9PB on November 22nd and 23rd from 11am-5pm.
Past and Present Exhibition: Eastbourne Group of Artists – 8th November-14th December
Eastbourne’s Birley Centre is the arts and music cultural hub of Eastbourne College. The building includes a magnificent in-the-round theatre (with a varied programme of drama and music and talks on art) plus a large prestigious art gallery. When the building opened in 2011 The Eastbourne Group of Artists were invited to christen the gallery, an event that has subsequently materialised into an annual exhibition displaying the exceptional breadth of artistic talent of Group members.
This years’ exhibition commencing 8th November will feature historical, retro futurism and digital age sections as well as paintings and prints from members’ oeuvres. A feature will be works in remembrance of the centenary of the commencement of the First World War, individual ‘lest we forget’ interpretations of that tragic period in history. Bringing history up to date will be a display of steampunks (retro-futuristic model creations) and a screening of computer generated iPad creations, as current as the burning of Eastbourne Pier.
Group members show their work individually at commercial galleries, art fairs and events throughout the South East. This exhibition is included in the Eastbourne Christmas Open Houses event. All works are for sale and entry is free.
Steyning jewellery designer Katherine Lawrie is looking forward to a busy autumn with exhibitions locally with Steyning Arts at Arundel Museum at the beginning of September, and ‘Steyning Arts at Christmas’ in December. She’s also taking part in North East Open Studios in Aberdeenshire and a Christmas exhibition at The Cowshed Studio near Steyning. Katherine sells through various outlets including her studio in Steyning and Zoo Jewellery, Worthing. Other stockists include Forge Gallery, Walberton; Julian Stephens in Brighton and Created in Chesterfield.
Katherine’s jewellery, handmade in sterling silver and gold, is inspired by natural forms and textural qualities. Her predominant technique is roller texturing, an unpredictable technique using rolling mills and natural or manmade materials. The object disintegrates leaving the surface of the metal with an ethereal texture, which in conjunction with semi-precious stones and beads creates a body of work with sensitivity and subtlety working in sympathy with the wearer.
The Green Tree Gallery
If the thought of Christmas shopping fills you with dread, make a bee-line for The Green Tree Gallery near Haywards Heath, West Sussex. Nestled in the corner of the beautiful Borde Hill Estate and with plentiful free parking right outside, the Gallery is an oasis of calm and a treasure trove of unique gift ideas. Showcasing the work of artists and makers from Sussex and beyond, the Gallery offers an ever-changing display of contemporary and affordable art and crafts.
The Gallery is run by a small team of artists and makers and there is something to suit all pockets, from one-off original paintings and sculpture to prints, photographs, pottery, jewellery and textiles, as well as stocking fillers, small toys and Christmas decorations. And with Café Elvira and Jeremy’s restaurant on site, why not combine your stress-free Christmas shopping with a delicious lunch!
Open all year round (closed Mondays), see www.greentreegallery.co.uk for opening times, find us on Facebook or call 01444 456560.
Crafts for Christmas Show 13th to 16th November 2014
South England Agricultural Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex.
ACF Craft Fairs are delighted to announce the return of the popular Crafts for Christmas Show, with free parking.
At this year’s show, an opportunity exists to indulge your senses in a complete plethora of stunning gifts and crafts with over 100 of Britain’s most talented craftsmen showing their artistic talents in a colourful, festive atmosphere. Meet the original makers, many making their bespoke items to order in front of your eyes. These unique gifts are not normally available on the High Street. On display will be bespoke leather work, dazzling jewellery, woodwork, soap and skin care, ladies & gent’s fashion, sculpture and much, much more.
Be sure to visit the Make’n’Take workshops where you can learn the skills needed to make such masterpieces, and have a go yourself!
Then rest a while in the comparative serenity of Auntie Christine’s Bistro where healthy, home cooked fayre is freshly prepared for you. While eating you can hear the resident pianist playing his restored Bechstein grand piano and this year the fair introduces Aquillo, an instrumental acoustic guitar duo.
For more information please visit www.acfcraftfairs.com or call 01782 374083 / 01782 372629.
Jewellery with Attitude – it’s all about colour
Nicky Stoner and Claire Vardon design stunning art jewellery. Looking for something special they fell in love with the unique character and glorious colours of recycled bottle glass beads made in Ghana by families of artisans with very rudimentary equipment.
Colour is their first inspiration closely followed by unusual design. They each have strong opinions but find working together draws out the best from both of them. The biggest thrill they get is sitting amongst the beads, picking and choosing unexpected colour combinations. The next challenge is how to put these goodies together to create unusual but still functional jewellery. They solve this by making up their own silver elements which gives their jewellery its own unique character.
They are delighted to be taking part in ‘Christmas Cracker’ – a pre-Christmas shopping event for paintings, ceramics, handcrafted Christmas gifts and jewellery at Longleys Studio Barns, Hailsham on 21st and 22nd November. Start your Christmas preparations by joining the artists on Friday the 21st from 7pm for mulled wine and mince pies with donations going to Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
For more information visit www.jewellerywithattitude.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original handmade presents delivered to your door
Surrey Artists’ Open Studios has been running successfully since 1999 and each year sees new developments in the offer to its member artists.
This year, SAOS has a redesigned website making it easier to search over 300 artists and craftspeople, view a broad range of art work and see a calendar of exhibitions and events across Surrey. For the first time this year, the website will feature a Christmas Shop. From 10th November to 23rd December, visitors will be able to buy original, hand-made gifts at the click of a button and delivered to their door. They can enjoy searching through beautiful but affordable art and craft including textiles, ceramics, painting and carved wood.
Please visit Find A Surrey Artist and the Shop at www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk to see what our artists have to offer, or contact email@example.com.
The Little Chelsea Gallery is a new and independent exhibition space in Eastbourne.
Developed by Tim Bosworth and Lou Tasker the Gallery embraces all forms of the Arts; a place for alternative and thought provoking themes, such as the current Steam Punk exhibition, and future events on body art and urban decay.
Tim is quick to emphasise the importance and influence of traditional art within such themes. Special attention being drawn to ‘Expressions in Detail’, an exhibition featuring Sussex artists Margaret Turton and Paul Liddiard.
Margaret explains how her paintings form a record of our landscape and heritage; the fragility being shown by the recent fire on Eastbourne Pier. With a strong belief in conservation and protection of our open spaces, she captures moments in light and shadow, focusing on form, texture and detail, be it a famous scene or hidden corner within our countryside.
As a perfect complement, Paul Liddiard brings a lifetime’s love and experience of the sea, with a captivation of the romance of travel to his marine miniatures. A reminder of an era when respect and admiration of nature and the sea were commonplace.
‘Expressions in detail’ runs from 4th-26th October.
Full details at www.thelittlechelseagallery.co.uk
The Jewellery Workshop in Lindfield
Debbie Smith is a qualified jewellery maker and designer, specialising in silver. She has opened up her workshop and runs courses for the benefit of students who wish to learn jewellery making techniques or improve on existing skills.
Why not do a course and design a piece of jewellery as a Christmas present? Or give a voucher as a present for one of the courses? Courses can be a one day taster or a six week course.
Visit www.thejewellery-workshop.co.uk for more info, or call Debbie on 01444 48313 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One The Square: artisan space, craft workshops & café
One The Square is an exciting new craft and artisan venue in the heart of Forest Row. It is a place that showcases local and regional artisans in a setting that encourages curiosity and inspires creativity; it is a workshop where you can learn a new skill, providing the perfect space for you to make and buy unique and beautifully hand crafted gifts and home wares. With Christmas on the way One The Square offers the perfect way to practice the art of giving – from creating a hand carved wooden Bugatti race car to silk screening and sewing a new dress or making up-cycled bags or even a hat.
Fine porcelain, driftwood houses and block-printed and hand dyed cushions and lampshades fill the shelves. One The Square celebrates the well-made, the handmade, and the original. It values the useful, the renewable, and the practical. It is the antithesis of throwaway, slapdash and soulless. It is also a café serving delicious coffee, home-made cakes and organic raw juices.
Curious visitors enticed by the window display or simply the promise of excellent coffee and cake will find a warm welcome and perhaps an impromptu knitting group.
One The Square, Lower Road, Forest Row, East Sussex.
Call 01342 826465 or visit www.onethesquare.co.uk for more information.
Are you looking for something original, unique, exquisite and beautifully made this Christmas?
The Forge Gallery boasts only ‘one off ‘ contemporary works by Britain’s finest designers and makers working in ceramic, fine silver, glass, metal and textiles. You are guaranteed a very warm welcome at this fabulous establishment and an exceptional array of quality art work from ceramic, metal and wire sculpture, forged metal candlesticks, incredible fused glass wall pieces and quirky textile pictures. The work on show here is sourced from all over the country, taking only the cream of professional artists and makers.
For the perfect gift or treat, The Forge Gallery will deliver, having something desirable for all budgets, from a commission taylor-made to your specification to bespoke Christmas decorations for under £10. During the festive period, mulled wine and luxury mince pies will be served, yet another reason to visit this gem of a place in Worthing on the South Coast.
There is even the opportunity to have a fabulous one day experience doing ‘An Introduction to Fused Glass’ course in the glass studio, by resident glass artist Siobhan Jones. For further details please go to www.siobhanjones.com phone 01903 216425.
The Forge Gallery, 81 High Street (next to The Swan pub), Worthing BN11 1DN.
The Sussex Guild Autumn Contemporary Craft Shows
Christmas shopping is always an enjoyable experience at The Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Shows. In a friendly, relaxed atmosphere visitors can purchase unique and beautiful work from the region’s finest craftspeople.
The Sussex Guild first autumn show is on the 1st & 2nd of November, in the spacious Sports Hall at Hurstpierpoint College. There is free parking and refreshments will be served in the Music Room.
The Midhurst Rother College Show is on the 29th & 30th of November in the wonderful new Rother College Building. Light refreshments will be served and there is ample free parking on site. Admission to both Contemporary Craft Shows is £2 (children free); times are 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.
At each show you can meet the designer makers who will be displaying an exciting array of wood, glass, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, printmaking and textiles, and perhaps buy or commission your own individual Christmas presents. Although there will be a great variety of crafts displayed, the hallmark of all Guild work remains the same: skill, imagination, and quality.
In Lewes there is also The Sussex Guild Shop and Gallery at Southover Grange, open every day except Christmas Day.
Visit www.thesussexguild.co.uk or email email@example.com or call 01273 479565.