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My name is Maureen Carr and I have enjoyed knitting for over 73 years.  When Anne asked if I would like to take a knitting class I was at first a little hesitant.  Although I have taught many people to knit I have never done so on a formal basis.  I then considered how much joy I have had from Knitting and how wonderful it would be for others to share in this great craft.

I come from a family of Knitty Noras and grew up to the sound of the click on my mother's and my many aunts' knitting needles.  However, it was not the ladies of my family who gave me my first knitting lesson at seven years of age; it was my father!

Craftwork has always featured in my life and at 17 years of age I was trained in tailoring in London.  The skills I learned then and the experience I gained from knitting at home has meant that I have spent much of my home and work life creating clothes, furnishings and costumes.

I am no retired and am an avid gardener, which keeps me busy during the summer months.  However, as the nights draw in I take up my knitting needles.  From October onwards, order for knitwear roll in from family and friends; from baby blankets and clothes to the most up to date jumpers as requested by my grandchildren.  When Arrans made a revival a few years ago, I knitted over 10 jumpers at the request of the young adults of my family and am looking forward to whatever knitting patterns land on my lap this year.

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Knitting for beginners and returners Sunday, 28 January, 2018 view

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Jewellery, silver clay (one-day) Sunday, 3 December, 2017 view
Jewellery, silver clay (one-day) Sunday, 2 December, 2018 view

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Biography-Nadine Anderson

Having originally studied Contemporary Dance and costume design for dance I turned to a different form of 3D design and making. I have been a full-time Basketmaker for more than fifteen years with a passion for detail, accurate technique and exploring the potential of my materials.

I mainly work with willow and rush with occasional pieces in cane, leather, raffia and wire.

I have a number of very functional core baskets designed for everyday use such as shopping and log baskets; rush placemats and storage baskets; oval potato harvesting baskets and eel traps very much of the Ely fens circa mid 20th Century. I also reseat chairs in rush all of which I harvest with my family in waterways around Ely.  This harvesting aspect of my work is very important and keys it into the place I live and create in. A strand of my current practice draws attention to the internal cell structure of the rush (schoenoplectus lacustris) and the effects of working on and off moulds with twining techniques.

I teach small groups from my home workshop in Wardy Hill and tailor these to suit level of experience, techniques and materials.

I sell at The Eel Catcher's Daughter in Ely and at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve having taught regular basketry workshops at the latter for twelve years including design and construction (with volunteers) of a large living willow structure used as an outdoor classroom and play space. The New Craftsmen gallery in Mayfair, London will stock several designs in autumn 2016.

I consider commissions and make for private individuals and film production companies including the recent Disney “Cinderella” movie.

Alongside traditional work runs my exploration of the materials and how else I can use them forming vessels, platters and even garments and shoes. I have exhibited in this country and Europe over the last decade with new works selected for the following:

●     East Weaves West-Basketry from Japan & Britain 2007

●     Winner of the Best Basket of the Year 2010 from the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers

●     East Anglian Basketry, The Gallery at Norwich University College of the Arts 2011

●     Collaboration with Helen Martino at Cambridge Contemporary Arts 2014

●     Basketry Identity Exhibition, Riverhouse Arts Centre, Walton on Thames 2015

●     Open Studios Preview Exhibition with ECOS, Babylon Arts June 2015

●     ECOS Advent Exhibition, Babylon Arts December 2015

●     Cambridge Open Studios 2015 & 2016

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Rush weaving Friday, 21 September, 2018 view

Naomi studied art at Reading Art College, picking it up again as a mature student with the Islington Institute, later taking up textiles and photography, but it was 2001 when she found her expression for art - stained glass.

Naomi uses the traditional techniques of stained glass but her work is a unique mix of glass, lead and nature.  She takes her inspiration from the tenacity of nature but also from the glass itself - some glass just cries out to become a sunset, surf, or a calm sea and the colours constantly change between artificial or natural light and again with the passing of time of day or season. 

Naomi's work is regularly exhibited in East Anglia, in art galleries in Southwold, Lavenham, Cromer and Buckinghamshire, her Felixstowe studio is open for weekends in June as part of Suffolk Open Studios, as well as a steady stream of commissioned work for hanging panels and windows.

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Stained glass for beginners Saturday, 10 February, 2018 view

NEIL CATCHPOLE

Neil comes from a long line of East Anglian countrymen who have worked the fields, woods, game coverts and brick-yards of the Essex / Suffolk  border for many  generations.  

Most of Neil’s working life has been as a tree-work contractor  and many of the woods and hedges of the local countryside are of his planting. He now works as Landscape and Biodiversity Officer for the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project, a responsibility which extends along the valley from it’s source to the sea.

 His days are mostly still spent out in the countryside, perhaps building an Otter holt, ringing a clutch of young Barn- owls, or advising land- owners on conservation matters.

 He has an overwhelming passion for all aspects of country life, past and present, with  an ever-growing collection of old artefacts and curiosities, gleaned from the local area.  With a gentle twist of the arm he can be persuaded to dig up an old folk song or a suitable tale to illustrate a point.

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Hedgelaying Saturday, 3 November, 2018 view

Neil has over 30 years experience of stone carving, apprenticed to his father for seven years, who taught him hand-carved lettering.   His father was apprenticed to a man who was apprenticed to Eric Gill.  Neil was a journeyman after that, working all over the country doing monumental carving and architectural work in the City of London, where he spent ten years.  He has run his own business since he was 20 years old.  Commissions include work on Harrods, The Old Bailey and many memorials for celebrities.   He has been the in-house carver/mason for the world famous Highgate Cemetery in North London for the past nineteen years, where he continues to design and carve many interesting and unique memorials.

Neil moved to Suffolk 18 years ago where he currently has his own studio employing staff, including an apprentice, Tim Wright,  who has trained with him for the last 18 months, passing on his vast knowledge and skill, carving everything from bespoke memorials to house names, architectural lettering and renovation.  After so many years of doing all this he still has a passion for designing and lettering.

For examples of the work Neil does, please look at his website www.neilluxton.co.uk

Tim Wright

Tim started his career at Moulton College in Northamptonshire where he studied architectural stone masonry, graduating in 2011, and currently apprenticed to Neil in letter-carving, sculpture, and conservation and restoration of monuments for English Heritage.

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Neil started his working life in forestry, then tree surgery, going on to be involved in training.  He still runs his own tree-surgery business, working with wildlife trusts and erecting owl boxes.

He is a LANTRA qualified instructor and an NPTC assessor for operators of chainsaws.

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Chainsaws for amateurs Sunday, 4 November, 2018 view

Nick Miller lives in Assington and is a member of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Botanical Society of the British Isles.  He studied Biology at York University.  Nick has mostly lived in the countryside and his early interest was fuelled by the I-Spy books!  His main projects are a local nature reserve, and collecting records for the forthcoming Suffolk Flora Atlas.   Botany is becoming more important than ever with climate change, world food issues and genetic engineering of crops.

Nick's interest in CELTIC ART began with collecting Welsh and Irish mythology and poetry from the time of the sixth century.  Nick was brought up in Monmouthshire, and then settled in Assington where his relatives had moved from Wales in 1916.  His admiration for Celtic art, stonecarving and metalwork is for it's heroic and romantic nature, and also it's esoteric and harmonious qualities.  Celtic Art is one of the world's most perfect and enduring art forms, with a continuity from the Rock Art of the Stone Age to the present.

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Nigel is an artist blacksmith working at Fransham Forge in Norfolk England.

Nigel’s enthusiasm and dedication to his craft is shown in the vast range of  high quality metalwork which is undertaken at the forge. Nigel creates decorative and  functional hand forged metalwork , including sculptures, architectural metalwork, ornate iron gates and traditional ironwork for historic buildings. He leads a team of highly skilled metal craftsmen at the forge in Great Fransham. Nigel works regularlly with English Heritage and the National Trust.

If you wish to commission a work by Nigel Barnett please contact him and make an appointment to visit Fransham Forge. To discuss your requirements by telephone please call 01362 687 116

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