Lancashire art and craft 2017

This Easter, we had hoped to be back for another of our pop-up art and craft events at Barton Grange Garden Centre, but sadly this year the room hire fee has doubled, which is disappointing for us all, as its been such a lovely venue. I hope that they will decide to run their own art and craft fairs in the future as there are so many Lancashire makers out there looking for decent venues for their work.

It was a valuable and enjoyable learning experience for me, although it involved quite a lot of work too, with organising the events, the website and other marketing, especially as I wasn’t being paid to do it.

My motivation was primarily to do an annual group event together with my neighbouring studios, other makers I knew from the Art and Craft Guild of Lancashire and some guest artists, specifically at Barton Grange Garden Centre, as I had taken part in many events and exhibitions there over the years and have found it to be a pretty good venue.

Its easy to get to, with it being located on the A6 just 10 minutes from the M6 motorway, it also has ample free parking, a great cafe and many shops.

There were downsides too though. The room could only fit about 9 of us (ideal for a small group though) and its a bit hidden at the back of the store, there also wasn’t any natural light in the room and we couldn’t eat or drink at our stalls. Although there’s quite a lot of visitors coming from the Garden Centre to see what’s on in the room and browse, only a small number of them are actually interested in buying locally handmade arts and crafts.

“It was lovely to overhear some of the visitors, saying what a beautiful selection and standard of work we had on display.”

  • are there any other potential venues out there for us?
  • perhaps a local business, that wants to support their local Lancashire artists, designer-makers, crafters and makers will want to help us?
  • a small group of us could do a lunchtime, afternoon or evening pop-up event at your workplace, school, meeting, etc

Hopefully new opportunities will arise / present themselves for us to do further small group pop-up events together in 2017. I always believe that as one door closes, another will open!

In the meantime, there will be a monthly blog post featuring a Lancashire artist/maker.

A great showcase and beautiful displays of locally made art and craft, Samantha Rowena, jewellery artist x

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November 2016 pop-up event

A selection of photos from our Handmade in Lancashire pop-up at Barton Grange Garden Centre at the beginning of November 2016.
We brought our arts and crafts out to the public and even though many of the visitors were there for a day out – visiting the bedazzling Christmas decorations and lunch – some of them discovered us and appreciated seeing our work.

We received some lovely feedback and compliments for our handmade art, craft and displays, even better some of our work went off to new homes with visitors buying a handmade gift either for themselves or for Christmas presents.

We still managed to have some visitors to our pop-up event despite some problems; what with the roadworks on the main route and getting stuck in traffic jams on the motorway which added to our journey time getting there and back. Plus, some people weren’t able to come and visit us with the pop-up event being on during school half-term and midweek.

A bonus for us doing the event though, was that we were able to chat to visitors about what we make – share a bit of our passion for what we do – and have a catch up with each other too.

There was a lot of work organising it, but I’m really proud that we were able to hold a great showcase with some beautiful displays of our locally made art and craft. Hopefully, we’ll have another opportunity to do it again next year, Samantha, jewellery artist x

Note: I only brought my camera in one of the days, so didn’t manage to take photos of everyone’s work and the artists joining us on the last day.