Christmas Gifts in Shropshire
PUBLISHED: 17:09 01 December 2010 | UPDATED: 16:26 20 February 2013
There's no need to look outside the county when it comes to Christmas presents. With so many talented artists, craftspeople and artisan producers in the area, why not make it a Christmas made in Shropshire? By Rachel Crow
Posh Pets homes
Lee Morris, a 36-year-old fire-fighter from Albrighton spends his spare time making attractive and unique animal homes from a workshop at the end of his garden. His dog kennels and rabbit hutches resemble miniature cottages with leaded windows and doors and thatched roofs. Dog kennels are priced from 299. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Churches Conservation Trust prints
St Mary The Virgin Church in Shrewsbury is the subject of one of a set of limited edition prints produced for the Churches Conservation Trust. Created from a set of 12 unique watercolours by artist Gerard Stamp, there are just 100 prints of this watercolour priced at 150 each and they would make a lovely gift. To order your copy visit www.visit churches.org.uk, or call The Churches Conservation Trust on 020 7213 0763
Stevie Walker textiles
Stevie Walker lives in the village of Cardington in the Shropshire hills and specialises in contemporary embroidery and mixed-media textile art. She produces rich, jewel-like embroidered textiles for items including pictures and panels, jewellery, accessories and cards using a range of techniques. Prices of framed pieces start at 100, felt brooches 14, woven scarves from 32, silk chiffon and merino felted scarves from 35 each.
For more details visit www.steviewalker.com or call Stevie on 01694 771548, mobile: 07817 595303
Carl Thompson art
Carl Thompson is an award-winning professional Shropshire artist and illustrator with a portfolio of work extending from still life and portraiture to wildlife and pet portraiture. Carl is happy to accept both private and commercial commissions. His signed fine art prints are priced from 40, people portraits start from 245 and pet portraits from 295. For more details of his work visit www.airartbycarl.co.uk or call Carl on 01584 823541
Sally Mole art
Sally Mole is a Ludlow-based artist and part-time art teacher who creates a range of greetings cards, paintings, prints and silk paintings. Working from her home studio, her work is full of colour and texture and largely based on flowers and the Shropshire landscape. Her cards range from 1.75 each, prints from 100 and original paintings from 500. Visit www.sallymole.com to see more of her work or call Sally on 01584 877262
Chris Clarke watch straps
After graduating in Product Design in the late 1970s, Chris Clarke pursued a career in the Graphic Arts while studying horology in his spare time. A lifelong watch collector and leatherworker, Chris decided to combine his interests a couple of years ago.
Using tools and techniques dating back to the early part of the last century, Chris designs each strap and/or buckle to complement a particular watch. Bespoke straps start at 65 and hallmarked 9ct buckles from 145.
The Clock Shop, The Parade, St. Mary's Place, Shrewsbury. Tel 01743 361388. Or visit the website at www.thevintagewatchstrapcompany.co.uk
Susan Nickless bags
Based near Craven Arms, leathersmith Susan Nickless uses the traditional techniques she learned when training as a saddle/harness maker to hand stitch her own designs of quality leather bags, cases, belts and purses. Individually made hand and shoulder bags are priced from 75. For more details of her work call Susan on 07967 323765 or email email@example.com
Willey Furnace Pottery
Trading as Willey Furnace Pottery, Elspeth Soper has been potting for 25 years from her home studio. She makes a great variety of functional earthenware pottery decorated with animals such as chickens, guinea fowl and hares and also accepts commissions. Her work is sold at various galleries in the county.
Willey Furnace Pottery, 2 Swan Street, Broseley, Shropshire, tel: 01952 885759 or 07790 347007
Alison Holt textiles
Alison Holt from Oswestry is a textile artist specialising in machine-embroidered landscapes, based on the Shropshire countryside.
Her work includes a range of subject matter: gardens, flowers, woodlands, seascapes and skies all combining painting on silk with freehand machine embroidery and prices range from 35 to 3,500. For more details of her work visit www.alisonholt.com
Husband and wife team, Blake and Janette Mackinnon from Orleton Common near Ludlow trained as potters in London and now produce a range of jewellery using their own porcelain beads. They have evolved a variety of techniques for making beads from which they make earrings, necklaces, buttons, brooches and bracelets. For more details call Blake or Janette on 01584 831445 or visit http://www.bjmackinnon.co.uk
Nicki Williams textiles
Nicki Williams is a textile artist from Market Drayton whose pieces are theatrical in origin, reflecting influences of the puppet theatre. She works in both two and three dimensions, combining stitched fabrics, hand decorated papers, threads and yarns to form highly decorative and luxurious surfaces. Contact Nicki on 01630 653422 or 07740 467389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Foord ceramics
Jenny Foord is a mosaic artist and ceramicist specialising in the use of broken crockery, stained glass and handmade porcelain pieces, making small and large-scale wall hung decorative pieces and 3d sculptural pieces. She also uses mosaic as a decorative covering for items of furniture, fireplaces, bath and sink surrounds and works to commission. Prices for her wall hung pieces start at 20.
Mill Street Pottery, 4 Mill Street, Wem, Shropshire, tel: 01939 234609
Linda Barlow textiles
After years of working and travelling around the world, Linda Barlow settled in Wem, North Shropshire where she is now a full-time textile maker.
Her work mainly comprises vibrant textile panels of hand-dyed natural fabrics, pieced, embroidered and quilted. She works almost exclusively in natural fabrics but sometimes with antique cottons, which are then dyed, painted, printed bleached and manipulated.
For more details of Lindas work visit www.axisweb.org/artist/lindabarlow or telephone 01939 235095
Anna Reeves jewellery
Anne Reeves is a jeweller/designer maker, based in Shrewsbury. She has created a range of contemporary silver jewellery and giftware made by her in her workshop. She undertakes commissions for customers and sells her work via contemporary arts and crafts markets, Shropshire galleries, and via her online shop on her website. Her pieces range from 10-160.
David Austin Roses
David Austins amazing Plant Centre at Albrighton, has undergone big changes with a new patio garden filled with fragrant English roses, extended tea rooms and refurbished garden gift shop brimming with ideas for Christmas including experiences like pruning and rose lovers sessions and garden design days as well as bouquets, potted roses, calendars and books. A mail order service is available. www.davidaustinroses.com or telephone 01902 376300
Fiona Nisbet weaving
Fiona Nisbet is a textile artist who specialises in weaving and lives in Burleydam, on the Shropshire/Cheshire border. She uses both traditional natural fibres and experiments with recently developed fibres such as soybean and milk fibres. Her inspiration comes from nature, particularly in her garden but also in the surrounding countryside, reflected in her pieces that include wall-hangings, curtains, rugs, cushions, scarves, table mats and book-marks.
Fiona can be contacted at home on 01948 871618 or email email@example.com
Ted Bruce willow baskets
Ted Bruce handcrafts a wide range of attractive, functional, English willow baskets. Originally self-taught, he has since studied with some of the best basketmakers in Britain. He works mainly with Somerset willow along with different varieties which he grows himself for additional colour or texture, and now combines traditional working techniques with his own designs.
Prices start from 17, with his oval garden trug at 29 and log baskets from 37.
Down To Earth garden sculpture
Down To Earth are husband and wife team, Phil and Bridget Rogers. They created the company in 1997, merging their skills designing and handcrafting unique garden sculptures, gates and railings. They specialise in contemporary artistic metalwork that combines steel with stained glass, blown glass, fused glass, stone and wood.
Down To Earth Gallery and Contemporary Crafts, Whitchurch Craft Centre, St. Marys Street, Whitchurch, tel: 01948 667712 www.downtoearthgallery.co.uk www.contemporary metalwork.co.uk
Louise Diggle paintings
Artist Louise Diggle moved to Shropshire nine years ago and has found the countryside has had a huge influence on her work, with farmyard animals and pets now forming the subject matter for many of her paintings. Prices for her originals range from 48-400 and she undertakes commissions. Greetings cards and fine-art prints of her work are available from The Fox Inn, Pickles and the Heritage Centre in Oswestry; Canal Central in Maesbury; SPACE and the Mere Gallery in Ellesmere; The Gateway Centre in Shrewsbury;
The Gallery in Bishops Castle, tel: 01691 773014 or visit louise-diggle-artist.blogspot.com
Sarah Hill glass art
Starting her business from her home garage, Sarah Hill now has two outlets and a small team helping her sell her hand-crafted wearable works of glass art, including pendants, earrings, cufflinks, as well as homeware made at her workshop in Wem.
Unit 2 New Park Centre, New Centre, Wem, Shrewsbury. Tel: 01939 236478. www.sarahhilljewellery.com
Lucy Carmel Photography
Lucy Carmel, based in Broseley, started her business with an inexpensive camera, a laser printer and the determination to succeed. She is happiest walking around the infinite variety of places in Shropshire, camera in hand, capturing images for her greetings cards and postcards.
She started selling my work as greetings cards and postcards four years ago and now has several outlets around the county including many tourist attractions and tourist information centres.
Postcards are available at the Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and her calendar is also available all around the county. Contact Lucy at: Lucy Carmel Photography, tel: 01952 883117/07982448917, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Simon stone carvings
Robert Simon creates practical and beautiful stone objects from his workshop at Adderley, near Market Drayton. He comes from a long line of craftsmen dating back to Queen Victoria and is principally a sculptural artist allowing him the freedom to design and create beautiful stone forms including statues, individual fire surrounds, equestrian themed works and all forms of stone carving, mostly privately commissioned. Phone or fax Robert Simon on 01630 655914 for more information.
The Whistling Cowgirl gifts
Designed and handmade by Lucy Ward in Shropshire, The Whistling Cowgirl gifts, accessories and homewares are available through the website www.thewhistlingcowgirl.co.uk and selected stockists, including a full range at Baja, Grope Lane, Shrewsbury. Using vintage fabrics and specially sourced designer fabrics from around the world, the look is retro, quirky, fun and appealing to all ages. A selection of greeting cards complements the range.
While youre buying your Christmas gifts remember the birds.
Long cold nights and shortening days mean that they need to eat more food in less time, just as numbers are swelled by birds fleeing the northern winter.
Help by providing a reliable supply of energy-rich foods such as black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts or Hi-Energy No Mess seed mix from Shropshire-based CJ Wildlife. The birds need to lay down enough fat each day to survive the night to come, so the energy content is literally vital.
Fat products such as CJs peanut cakes or fat balls (which arent wrapped in mesh that can trap a birds tongue or feet) can be very popular and, sited in a safe but quiet corner, may attract less common species such as long-tailed tits, treecreepers or goldcrests.
To order a catalogue or to buy gifts call free phone 0800 731 2820 quoting C1757, visit www.birdfood.co.uk/SL or collect your goods from CJ Wildlife, The Rea, Upton Magna, Shrewsbury SY4 4UR.