Thursday, 13 September 2012

Backroom Creatives - new awards for emerging artists and makers

Today Journal 2 - the newly re-launched What's On supplement in the North Devon Journal - launched Backroom Creatives, a new award scheme which aims to discover and nurture emerging artists and makers in the North Devon area. Atelier is very proud to be sponsoring the new award scheme alongside Stella Levy from the prestigious annual arts and craft show Art Bazaar.

So if you are an undiscovered talent - or know someone who is - this could be a great opportunity to help you launch your career as a professional artist and maker.

Backroom Creatives is open to all ages and it doesn't matter if you have received professional training at art school or, through your own hard graft, are completely self taught.
Perhaps you are retired and have discovered your talent later in life? You might have recently graduated or are a busy parent, juggling home, work and creativity.
What does matter, however, is that you are at the point where you have started to develop a small body of work that showcases your own unique creative style and you are now looking to take things to the next level. Backroom Creatives is designed to celebrate emerging artists and makers and is therefore not open to anyone who has previously exhibited or sold their work in a professional capacity.

There are two Journal2 Awards up for grabs. One for the most promising artist and one for the most promising maker.

Each winner will receive:
A profile of you and your work in Journal2.
Professional mentoring over a six month period from Atelier Contemporary Craft Gallery owner Tracey Benton and Art Bazaar founder Stella Levy.
A media relations workshop with the North Devon Journal's leisure editor Rosanna Rothery, showing you the very best way to approach the media and begin to build your profile.
A free exhibition space at Art Bazaar 2013 where you will launch your new creative career to a discerning buying public.

To find out more grab a copy of the North Devon Journal today! You can also go to their website here and we have posted information on the Atelier website here.
The Journal will be publishing regular updates which we will feature here on our blog, in our email newsletter (sign up here) and on our facebook pages.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

THE very best way to clean silver jewellery

I've been re-arranging the Atelier jewellery cabinets to create space for some new pieces (I'll post a pic later in the week). Anyhoos it's always a good time to give some of the work a bit of a polish because we all know that silver does tend to tarnish as soon as it's exposed to air (baaah!). And when it comes to cleaning intricate pieces, such as Jemima Lumley's gorgeous daisy and love bird range, a buff up with a silver cloth can do more harm than good.

Don't worry there's a super easy - and chemical free - way of cleaning your silver just using ingredients that you have in your kitchen cupboards.

All you need is a bowl. Line it with kitchen foil and fill it with hand hot water. Add a good splash of bicarbonate of soda and a good splash of salt. Then all you have to do is pop your jewellery in the bowl, move it around a little bit and you can actually see it clean up before your very eyes - you even get wee whiff of a sulphery smell as the oxide is drawn from the silver to the foil. Leave it in there for a couple of minutes - or slightly longer if it's very tarnished - and then fish it out, rinse in a bowl fresh water and pop it onto a clean tea towel to dry. A weeny and very gentle buff with a silver polishing cloth if you feel it needs it and Ta Da your jewellery is as good as new.

Not a chemist so have no clue as to why or how it works. But it does as I use this to keep jewellery like Jemima's all sparkly in the cabinets. A word of warning however - this only works on precious metal don't try with work that has stones as the stones could be porous and end up being damaged by the salt.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

We're in the Journal

Really lovely feature in the North Devon Journal on our last cake stand workshop. Rosanna from the journal came along and, with a small group of ladies, spent a relaxed afternoon playing with clay. Some ladies made two tier cake stands and others - having spotted one that I'd made earlier - asked if they could make a slightly more complex pedestal cake stand. You can see photos of the results on the Journal website.

We are running more workshops later in the year. Unfortunately the next cake stand workshop has literally just sold out (sold the last space about 10 minutes ago) but we will try and schedule in another in the spring. We do, however, have a couple of spaces left on the make a jug workshop, where you can slab build, design, decorate and embellish your very own jug.

For more info go to our website

Friday, 20 April 2012

We're in the Journal

Grab a copy of this week's North Devon Journal, thumb your way through to the arts pages and Ta Da! there's a lovely feature on our forthcoming Spectacular Jubilee Craftacular on May 27th.

This will be a leisurely Sunday 'Crafternoon' with a 50's inspired make-do-and-mend twist. There's a printing project and you can create your own jubilee inspired masterpiece that you can take home and frame OR you can print your own commemorative tea towel. On top of that you will be making a vintage inspired jam-jar sewing kit ... just bring a clean jam jar (or sauce jar) along.

There's be crafty demonstrations showing you how to turn odd bits of vintage crockery into cake stands and we'll show you how to turn vintage containers into lovely candles.

And Lilico's will be laying on a vintage style tea party (INCLUDED in the ticket price!!)

The ladies from Nirvana will be there showing you how to perfect a 50's style up do and we're also hosting a vintage boutique with Country House Vintage.

Dig out your vintage clobber because we'll be getting dressed up!

The Vintage Boutique will be open to the public from 1 - 5pm the workshops and tea party are strictly ticket only. Tickets are £16 each and include all materials - all we ask is that you bring along an empty jam jar. Tickets are available online here or from Atelier on Tuly Street. You can also pay over the phone on 01271 268244

It's going to be a fantastic event so we're looking forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Emma Cocker's in Devon Life Magazine

If you grab a copy of this month's Devon Life magazine you will find not one, not two, but THREE whole pages dedicated to the very lovely and exceptionally talented Atelier artist and maker Emma Cocker.
Atelier met the journalist Caroline Rees when we were at the Country Living Christmas Fair back in November and introduced her to the wonderfully quirky world of stitchery and knit that is Ms Cocker. In fact I have a sneaky feeling that Mr Fox may have flirted with the the journalist a wee bit when I wasn't looking, which might have gained us an extra page. The upshot is a lovely feature looking at the inspiration behind Emma's body of work.
Emma has been working with Atelier since we opened the Barnstaple gallery back in July 2010. At the time, the focus of her work was her gorgeous hand-stitched applique art works on vintage linens and tableware and her quirky knitted characters. We showcased Emma's characters when they featured in our Winter Wonderland Christmas window display ... isn't it stunning? ... snow flake cuts outs in the window made from vintage doilies and little Christmas scenes featuring her characters doing Christmassy stuff like wrapping presents

One of the perks of this job is working closely with your artists and seeing them grow and flourish as they gain confidence in their distinctive creative voice. So last year when Emma was one of a small group of artists invited by Atelier to develop new works for our Craftdermy exhibition - taxidermy with a craft twist - Emma excelled herself and introduced the world to Mr Fox, a rather dashing creature decked out in the finest hunting tweeds, and knitted antlers. We never knew we needed them until now - and now we can't do with out them ...

We are keeping Emma rather busy again this year as she'll be working closely with local ceramicist Fiona Bates on some brand new works for a window installation for North Devon's Art Trek in July. Watch this space!

We have Emma's work here at the gallery as well as selected pieces online here.

And here's a chance for you to see Emma in action. She was out and about taking photos of her work with her talented photographer friend Mikey and they turned it into a brilliant short film. It's a little bit of Emma magic perfectly captured on film ...

You can find out more about Mikey here

Saturday, 31 March 2012

A spectacular jubilee craftacular

Ta da - here it is crafting fans - our spectacular crafting event is back - this time with a vintage vibe in honour of the Queen's 60th jubilee.

You'll be able to design and print either your own commemorative tea towel or your own jubilee inspired piece of wall art AND make a vintage jam jar sewing kit. We'll also have some craft demonstrations showing you how to upcycle vintage crockery into gorgeous cake stands and how to turn vintage containers into lovely candles using soy wax. If that's not enough there'll be a vintage style tea party thrown in courtesy of Lilico's, the ladies from local salon Nirvana will be showing you how to create the perfect 50's style up do and we're also hosting a super cool Vintage Boutique in association with Country House Vintage. All materials are provided we just ask you to bring a clean jam jar with you. All this for just £16 - booking is essential. Staff and tutors will be dressed up for the event so why not dig out your best vintage clobber and join us on Sunday May 27th from 1pm. Tickets from

This event is a social crafting event encouraged to foster the appreciation of all things handmade and to spend some quality time with working artists and makers. Atelier runs it on a not-for-profit basis because we are passionate about crafting and the handmade ethos. We host Craftacular Craftacular events 2-3 times a year. If you're not in the area it's definitely worth a trip as - on top of a brilliant crafting event and a gorgeous gallery (smiley face) - we have some of the most breathtaking coastlines in the UK right on our doorstep.

Friday, 30 March 2012

We're in Vogue ...

Strictly speaking We're not in Vogue - as in Atelier being featured in the magazine - but one of our artists is. See the Fab bright pink letter press print from masters of typography Wasted & Wounded.

And in a stroke of pure, unexpected genius, the said same print just happens to be gracing the Atelier window as we speak. Does that make us 'in vogue' kind of?

Anyways chuffed to pieces for John Cheves the maestro behind the new series of 'Punk Rock' inspired prints we have here in the gallery. They're based on lyrics from key works by bands from the punk era such as: the Sex Pistols debut album 'Never Mind The Bollocks', the Ramones album 'Rocket To Russia' and The Clash's first ten singles

They're a great addition to his 60's collection featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

We have all the prints in the gallery framed (£60) and unframed (£36) , we also have selection online