Monday, 1 August 2011

Open Studios: after the show...

I’ve just had a very successful Open Studios held in the Art Gallery at Quarr Abbey near Binstead on the Isle of Wight. It was a really good week: luckily the weather wasn’t too extreme in either direction, which meant the Abbey attracted lots of people. Over the six days we counted 1001 people through the door! We were so pleased with the response: and luckily some of them were happy to spend their money too!

I shared the venue with four other artist/craft makers including my sister Sue. Last year my sister and I shared a stand at Freshwater Parish Hall as Osmosis (blogged here). But this year we wanted to showcase our work separately: so I had my ceramics and paintings on display, and my sister had her knitting, weaving and spinning wheel on show for demonstrating.

The Abbey is a lovely place to visit - which I think I mentioned before when I blogged about our November show last year (here). What I really like about the Abbey as a venue is how the simple, rustic style of the buildings and grounds seem to suit my own style of ceramics. I think having a venue that sets the right tone really helps people appreciate the work better. But I was also pleased with how my display stand went this year too.

This year (unlike last year's Open Studios) I was able to show my paintings too. In fact this was possibly my first show where all the elements of my stand could be displayed as planned! I’ve been to many shows where (on the day) the stand isn’t quite what I thought it was going to be (sometimes nothing like!) and I’ve had to improvise a display or sacrifice pieces of work. This is always frustrating – but amazingly it all fitted this time! I had a big wall space to hang my paintings from and below these I had three tables in a line to show my ceramics. I even had space to show some mixed media originals from my portfolio, which is something I’ve wanted to do for ages…

In the end we all had a very good Open Studios – and most of us will be back at Quarr Abbey again in November for a Christmas Crafts show. In the meantime though I still haven’t unpacked everything, so there are boxes everywhere!

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