Last weekend saw the start of Preston City Council’s Summer Events Programme.
Members of the Oxheys Art Collective invited other artists to take part in this event, which aimed to provide a platform for local people to get involved with art in the Harris Museum, learn new skills and generally have fun.
Denise did a smashing job of organising and manned the desk in the Harris foyer – she was often seen printing out the photos people were taking and sending to her via Twitter using the hashtag #MakingAMark. By the end of Saturday, the exhibition board was virtually full!
Gordan did some fascinating chalk drawing outside the Harris, close to Tim who was ‘drawing with clothes’ to create his PerspectiveArt. Robin was also outside and looking very dapper, although Pauline’s yellow dress didn’t work for him.
Evelyn and I stayed warm and dry in the Makerspace. Evelyn helped people felt butterflies and small pieces of work inspired by Andrew Morton’s sketchbook drawings, and I had a few different types of drop spindles and very brightly coloured wool for people to try spinning with.
I was particularly impressed by the woman who couldn’t find the right shade of blue to complete her felting – she came across specifically to spin the shade she needed to felt. Talk about made to order!
The 3D printed spindles were very light and I was able to spin quite fine yarn on them. At the end of the day I sneakily dropped one over the balcony in the Rotunda and watched it twirl and spin its way down to the ground floor as the fibres plied together. I can recommend having someone at the bottom in case it breaks.
Ok, bit of a surprise for you, so sit down and grab a brew while we chat.
The landlord of Oxheys Mill Studios has decided that it’s time to sell the building. Sadly, this leaves us artists with the mammoth task of emptying our studios and putting into storage things we want to keep until we find new premises.
I am relocating classes which were to be held at Oxheys, or where that isn’t possible, cancelling them and refunding people. It’s going to take some time to find somewhere new, and while that happens I’ll be working at home. I don’t think it’s fair to continue booking places while I’m on the move, so just for the moment, I am closing the shop.
I will have some things for sale (materials, yarns, etc) at the Oxheys closing event to be held on Thursday 2nd March 6-8pm. Anything that isn’t sold on the night will go to auction on my Facebook Page on the Friday.
I will be back next month with updates, and hopefully new regular venues. Onwards and upwards!
This piece was commissioned by Dr Liz Granger from The Young Scientist Centre at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, and funded by The Physiological Society.
Our brief was to respond creatively to the problem of having too few activities for younger children at The Young Scientist Centre. After a few sketches, we decided on how we could make an interactive body full of things to play with, to help engage young people and be a learning aid. It was an ambitious project, which we decided to share with some victims wonderful volunteers.
The most tedious part was probably knitting the small intestine, which was proper ‘plodding’ knitting and seemed to go on for weeks. We tried to share it around and I took my intestine out to several cafes and soft play areas during school holidays. The most exciting part was undoubtedly seeing the bodies completed.
They even decided to drop into our ‘Woolly Thinking’ exhibition at Oxheys Mill Studios!
I was delighted to be involved in this project. All the volunteers, my family, and I learnt things about how our bodies work. If you want to knit your own body, sign up for the Happy Makes newsletter and you can download the patterns for your school or group – Free! Signup here.
*Caroline Finnigan is an artist with studios at Oxheys Mill Studios, Preston. She teaches knitting, crochet and other crafts, enjoys photographing things from strange angles and lives with dotty 2 cats.
Last week a group ( of Brownies from Preston visited my space at Oxheys Mills Studios.
After a look around the current exhibition from the BIPP (British Institute of Prefesseional Photographers), and a short introduction to the Studios, the girls and leaders had a tour of the building to see what our resident artists get up to during their working day.
We settled into my studio at two large tables loaded with a host of different textures and colours of yarn, and after a short demonstration everyone began to weave.
Even the leaders got stuck in to the activity!
As some of the pieces made in chunkier yarn were finished, there was a short demonstration about how to finish the weaving and remove it from the card, then it was time to pack up and take the work home to finish.
It was a pleasure to have such interested, well-behaved girls at the studio making fantastic textile art – well done everyone!