Find a bargain at Welbeck’s Christmas Market.
This weekend sees the return of the Christmas Arts & Food Market & Harley Open Studios at Welbeck on 24 & 25 November 2012. Visitors can enjoy this annual event, spread generously across two days. We were delighted to speak to Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery
Who are the makers to look out for and what are your ‘stand out’ pieces on the market?
I’m a keen knitter so I’m excited to see Hattie Startin’s textiles. Kyra Cane’s studio is my must see for her domestic ceramics, a new range from this leading potter.
What would be the perfect itinerary for visitors to the market?
My perfect day would be to come in the morning and head down to the Open Studios, stopping by the Art Café for coffee and a slice of cake to set me up for the day. I’d then visit the studios and the art market, before heading to the Gallery to visit the Harley Shop and to see the wonderful Wendy Ramshaw: Rooms of Dreams jewellery and metalwork exhibition. The visit would be rounded off by stocking up on tasty nibbles at the food market!
How important is it to support our local artisans?
We’re proud to have been part of the arts regeneration in the East Midlands – local artists now work in the Harley Studios and makers move to the area to be part of this creative community. It’s really exciting to have great art on your doorstep, and it enriches your life to be surrounded by creative people and their beautiful hand made products.
Rebecca Wombell, Harley Marketing Assistant added “It’s hugely important. Nottinghamshire has an amazing creative tradition – from lace making to Paul Smith, Jon Burgerman to the invention of HP sauce! We need to support artisan makers to ensure that this creativity and innovation can continue.”
And finally, where are your most inspiring or artistic places to visit in Nottinghamshire?
I love walking in Sherwood Forest, and find it really inspiring. Nottingham Contemporary and Primary Studios in Nottingham are fantastic places to visit and see some great art.
All stallholders have been selected by The Harley Gallery and range from experienced sellers, to rising graduate stars, with many makers being local to Nottinghamshire.
We asked Lisa Gee’s ‘must-see’ maker, Hattie Startin a few questions ahead of her appearance as a stall holder at this year’s market.
Tell us a little about your craft.
I make a range of hand knits, from Nordic and fifties inspired mittens, traditional Fair Isle berets to framed sampler style pieces, greetings cards and Christmas decorations. My work harkens back to the pre-industrial cottage industries, I craft everything with my own two hands. I’m inspired by the colours and pattern of folk costumes and their traditions, which I like to mix with a more contemporary edge to create my products.
Nottinghamshire has the most artists per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Has living/working in Nottinghamshire inspired your work?
I first came to Nottingham for University, studying Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, like many of my peers I stayed in Nottingham after graduating to set up my own practise. Nottingham has a vibrant artistic community which is incredibly supportive, without this, I doubt I would have had the courage to pursue hand knitting as a viable business ,and means to make a living. I think that’s because of the high number of creative people in Nottingham, there’s always opportunities for artists and a healthy dose of competition to keep you working!
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s event at the Harley Gallery?
This will be my second year exhibiting at The Harley Gallery’s Christmas Market and as last year, I’m looking forward to the amazing atmosphere, beautiful work by artisans, delicious local food, christmas carols from the brass band, mulled wine, and hopefully a chance to have a look around the artists studios. It’s just a perfect day out!
The Christmas Market and Harley Open Studios opens from 10am onwards on both Saturday and Sunday.