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This bank holiday has been spent predominantly following the little map in a shiny little book made for the artists open studios.

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Our adventure began on the Saturday where we headed up to Barnsley to visit lady called Jane Lazenby. I always find it slightly strange at first, going to someone’s house who you’ve never met before to look round their home, gardens and look at their art work. Quite a personal thing really so often get a bit nervous! But, she had sign posted it well with arrows directing you to her studio. She was very welcoming and immediately sat our 3 year old down and encouraged him to draw something to put on her display. She also had guinea pigs which also kept him amused while my husband and I took it in turns to admire her work. She had the most magical photography on display, focusing on her love of horses and had pretty models riding them with long flowing fairytale dresses. They were edited perfectly with lighting effects enhancing them with a mystical spell of magic.

After we had left her house we headed to the next ones on the list; Oliver Meller and Roger Brophy a potter and sculpture, both very talented and enjoyed chatting to them both. Tiffin loved that there was a ‘really high’ swing in one of the gardens!

Off into town and to KIAC where we were greeted by John Wilkinson painting one of his pictures while my son pointed out all the trains he could see asking where Thomas the Tank Engine was! We really liked his work and could have stared at it longer. Next room at KIAK was the most memorable. Walking into Joel Wilde’s studio which looked like there had been an explosion in the paint pots, bursting with colour and lots of fun. Defiantly my kind of art!

Last for Saturday was our friends Rob and Jackie with their stunning glass collection, made our first purchase of the day and enjoyed admiring the new creations they had melted and fused together to make incredible sculptures, candle holders, coasters and framed pieces.

On Sunday we visited Katie Wells who exhibited some remarkably delicate gold embroidery’s made using dissolvable paper which was really interesting to see followed by Nick Hunters cute little birds he had carved out of wood, this place was so popular that we didn’t get chance to spend much time there unfortunately.

Bank holiday Monday, a bonus art day!

We started off at a potter called Norman. He showed us his pottery and wheel thrown glazed pots. I admired his wife’s work as it was hanging  up on the walls, bright vibrant prints and I’m glad I did as she invited us up to see her studio and encouraged Tiffin to make his own print! she showed him how to roll paint onto the stamp, and he turned the press to produce his first ever print! proud moment for mum.

We visited Fenella Noble who’s location greeted us with beautiful pastel coloured bunting waving about in the rain. We explored her beautiful garden and Tiffin enjoyed looking at wire skilfully sculptured into animals and children. Our family favourite being the jester and the child as this was often a scene in our lounge with daddy practicing his juggling tequnique while baby Tiffin watched and dodged the flying clubs giggling hysterically.

This has to be my favourite photo of the weekend;Tiffin and the Jester

Gerald Unwin, one of my favourite ceramic sculpires with his unique and quirky models are certainly memorable! Jenny Mather was lovely to chat to and had a range of different styles on display, one in particular  I could have looked at all day with the story involving the Dambusters and peace between England and Germany, beautiful.

We called at the Lockwoods house next. We met Phil Lockwood at Art in the Gardens once and really admire his work. It was a honour to meet him, his wife and of course his famous doggie Freddie, amazing to see all his work and some works in progress.

Trudy Weir also had her gorgeous slab built vessles on display, unvarnished and full of colour looking almost edible!

Stitched up and fleeced was next on the list. Sue Lancaster had a stunning display of vibrant embroidered art which I was very excited to see after seeing a glimpse of it in the Open Up booklet. Lots of unusual designs, colour and texture.

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10 minutes to closing time and a quick visit to see Rashna Hackett. A lovely lady from Kenya who had a candle burning with a rich smell enhancing the visual aspect of her big and bold canvases which displayed an array of colour of hand made pigment and shapes inspired by wildlife and memory’s of home which she shared stories about. She was only exhibiting this weekend so was very pleased to have been able to see her work as it was probably my favourite of the whole weekend.

Thanks to everyone who invited us into their studios and homes and were so accommodating to our little boy, it has created many memory’s which has inspired our little family and am very excited for more adventures next weekend!

If your stuck for anything to do next weekend (Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th of May) I would strongly recommend you find a booklet and explore some of these wonderful places for yourselves, you will meet some amazing people and see some truly incredible work.

Here is the link to the Open Up website; http://openupsheffield.co.uk/ which also has an online version of the hand book available.