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Derbyshire Open Arts 2017

After a difficult week for my home city of Manchester I decided to go in search of somc creative inspiration.

The 2017 Derbyshire Open Arts event was held over the long May bank holiday weekend and with over 200 participating Artists there was a lot to choose from! Luckily there was a brilliantly detailed brochure with a good map assembled by the event organisers.

With highlighter in hand I decided to concentrate on artists in the Matlock area. Boyfriend driving (due to me having a sprained ankle and wrist) we set off  from the Heatons passing some stunning scenery in the Peak District.

On arrival we were met with gorgeous green shades of sage and emerald in the hills, stone walls, sheep, butter cups and plenty of cow parsley.

MG Glass Studio & Claire Duberry

Our first stop was to Miranda Gratton, MG Glass Studio, where we were met with a warm welcome into Miranda’s lovely converted garage. Miranda’s glass pieces are colourful with some lovely illustrations, her work would make such lovely gifts.

Example of Claire Duberry cards

Next on the Derbyshire Arts trail was Claire Duberry, her energetic charter comes alive in her brightly coloured illustrated work. Both Claire and her daughter were very chatty and listening to how Claire developed her work was very interesting.

In particular I loved ‘The Lane Series’- Acrylic on canvas. Claire’s work is very unique and would make a stunning feature in any home or could be used to brighten up your workplace.

Claire’s had her original work printed onto mugs, bags and cards, I couldn’t resist picking up a card  for a friends birthday. After the visit I checked out Claire’s facebook page and came across her very entertaining Vlogs. I do hope you got plenty more footfall Claire!

A quick stop for lunch in Matlock and we were off again driving down stunning country lanes in search of more of the Derbyshire Open Art creatives.

Lumsdale Glass & Arkwrights Mill

One of the reasons for choosing Matlock was to take a peek at Lumsdale Glass. What a treat, i’ve always wanted to see glassblowing in action and i wasn’t disappointed.  I loved the live demonstration with Thomas Petit and Jonathan Abbot on hand to answer any questions, what a talented pair. There are some fabulous glass bowls, vases and stoppered bottles available in the workshop.

Antique Bottles

We also visited The Gallery at Arkwrights Mill in Cromford which was full of wonderful work. I especially liked Jason Heppenstall sculptures from recycled steel. I came across an antiques shop and purchased a set of glass bottles, I feel a plaster mould project coming on.

Finally no visit is complete without seeing a ceramicist. I visited Ann Bates in her delightful cottage surrounded by a beautiful landscape, I think we will return to check out the waterfall!

Again another warm welcome and another very talented creative. I was bowled over by the attention to detail in Ann’s stunning hand made ceramic vessels. I liked the

Ann Bates ceramic vessel

richness and the rugged texture she’s certainly been inspired by the local landscape.  I was drawn to one ceramic vessel built in layers interspersed with coloured porcelain which captured the essence and texture of a frosty morning so I had to make a purchase, it looks lovely in our home.

I’d loved to have visited more areas but the sprained ankle got the better of me, maybe Chesterfield, Glossop or Buxton next year. I came away feeling very inspired and ready for my next creative project.

If you are looking a great day out, why not make a weekend of it, you won’t be disappointed by the beautiful artwork and the opportunity to explore alluring Derbyshire.

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