Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irresistible Appeal of Art Tour

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irresistible Appeal of Art Tour

Article excerpt

Student Amanda Brown, a Culture Club member from Cramlington, reports on her first experience of doing The Art Tour 06.

We headed for Hexham first to have lunch and plan a route which would enable us to see as many places as we could in an afternoon. Armed with an Art Tour brochure, we aimed to see about five places so started nearby.

Susan Dobson, who is a painter (2 The Courtyard, Hexham), works in a lovely courtyard where there are several studios.

When we arrived she was talking to other people. This was what we found in every place ( that the artists were really accessible and willing to chat about their work.

We couldn't believe the prices. If you were to buy these things in commercial galleries they would be three or four times as much.

Either my friend (Judith Fort) or I bought something in every place we went. We just couldn't go away without buying ( it was all so nice.

We went next to Sue Dunne's ceramics studio (6 The Courtyard) because it was round the corner. She has this massive kiln which I was fascinated with because I'd love to own my own kiln.

Sue takes commissions and I reckon her tiles must be in a lot of kitchens in the area.

One of the things that struck us is that probably a lot of people don't know all these artists are there. Some of them live in quite out of the way places but they are making beautiful work that is really very reasonable and it can be a long-term investment.

Next we drove to see Willa Story's studio (Unique In Glass, Birkshaw Farmhouse, near Westwood, Bardon Mill). All the studios were very easy to find. We didn't realise all the studios were going to be signposted but the prominent numbered yellow signposts guided us all the way.

I was particularly interested in Willa because I really like glass work.

Willa was actually showing her work in her mother's house so we were actually venturing into somebody's home. They had refreshments available and we chatted and it was such a relaxing environment ( it was lovely.

And her work was fabulous ( and everywhere! Because it's all glass there were these glorious reflections all over the place. …

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