Join us at The Rug & Carpet Studio, where from now until Christmas, we are showcasing talented artists and makers of Suffolk, to bring you a wonderful choice of beautifully designed and handcrafted gifts.
Brin has always been fascinated by the appearance of birds for as long as he can remember – in fact one of his earliest memories is as a six year old drawing a picture of a black naped oriole which he saw in his garden in Singapore. Brin’s parents moved there for a couple of years in the early sixties and the intense saturated colours of tropical birds had a huge impression on him. Most children, sadly stop drawing once they reach their teens but he kept going. Making drawings of birds became an itch he had to scratch.
After studying Biology and Ecology at University, Brin spent the next twenty years or so as a freelance illustrator producing work for many UK publishers and charities including the National Trust, The RSPB and The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Nowadays Brin spends most of his time painting birds in oils with a looser more abstracted style than his precise illustration work. Here he is trying to make bold statements and capture the essence of the birds rather than get bogged down in too much fussy detail.
You can see more examples of his work at brin-edwards.com along with details of the wildlife art courses he teaches in his straw bale studio. Brin is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and exhibits at their annual exhibition in The Mall Galleries. He also posts new work on his Facebook and Instagram pages.
Buzz grew up in East Africa and Hampshire and studied at Norwich School of Art and Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge. She has lived in Oxford and travelled widely but feels most at home near the Suffolk coast, where she has lived for the last 20 years.
Her delicate graphite drawings of windswept plants are made while walking the beaches and estuaries or exploring wild flower meadows inland.
Buzz says of her work “I love the beauty of found natural forms and the incredible structure of plants, and how they move and grow over the seasons to reflect the elements around them. I draw in the open air, and back in my studio I revisit the same forms until I achieve a sense of place. There is something comforting and meditative about this mark making process – observing nature so closely and slowly helps restore a deeper connection to my environment.”
Buzz also makes simple, sustainable jewellery from the beautiful things she gathers at low tide along East Anglian shore lines – sea glass, stones, fragments of shell and ceramic. She carefully drills them and combine with sterling silver and natural cords. She doesn’t polish her finds – they are crafted purely by the waves over decades, possibly centuries. Snip the price off her tiny hand made label and you’re left with the name of the beach where the piece was found. To see more examples of Buzz’s work visit:
Chantal was born and grew up in Singapore and the Far East whilst her father was serving in the army. She was often seen playing with and helping the Asian people with their crafting skills.
Chantal went to art school as a mature student, obtaining Honour degrees in Fine Art, Botanical and Historical Illustration and Silver Smithing. Her final piece being a silver set of cutlery hand hammered with Asian dragon beast handles.
The realization that the digital camera will reduce the chance of a profitable career for those with the skills to paint and draw to a photo realistic standard, convinced Chantal a new path was needed. To achieve a new direction she painted with celebrated wild life artist Roy Chaffin, and to develop a more relaxed approach a chance meeting allowed her to paint with Ian Drury.
Still not contented and seeking a different route, Chantal was introduced to Avtarjeet Dhanjal . This introduction was to change her life as new skills in metal working was learned, and how to interpret her passion for the natural world and eastern influences of her childhood.
After some years of experimentation cutlery soon proved to be the preferred medium. This allowed Chantal’s fascination of the unpredictability of silver and silver plated cutlery when reformed into animals and birds.
Chantal has now been sculpting with cutlery for over 25 years with work in Russia, North America and various parts of Europe.
She now lives in Suffolk with her two sons and fits her sculpting around caring for her disabled son.
To see more examples of Chantal’s work, visit:
The one thing Gail gets asked as a glass artist is ‘What is fused glass?’ – Fused Glass (sometimes known as ‘kiln-formed glass’ or ‘warm glass’) is an artistic technique where clear and/or coloured glass is melted or fused together in a kiln to produce a huge range of art pieces, from jewellery to bowls, sculptures, panels and ornaments.
Gail loves to create artwork that reflects her love of nature, landscapes and seascapes, whilst playing with the dynamic colour tones, textures and light that glass can create.
She has worked with fused glass now for just over 18 years, creating a range of small delicate pieces to larger window and garden art.
Gail works from her beautiful garden studio in Sudbury, Suffolk which is where she also holds her glass workshops.
She graduated with a first class BA Honours degree in Applied Art and has undertaken further specialist courses in Fused Glass in the lovely cities of Prague and London.
Michelle Mills has lived in Suffolk her entire life and the last 8 years in the small rural village of Stonham Aspal, Suffolk.
Her business was created during lockdown. She had always wanted to set up her own candle and wax melt company and lockdown gave her the perfect opportunity to practice and experiment, and was a great release from the home-schooling. Michelle enrolled on a business candle making course with the lovely Jo Kendrick from The White Candle Company and from there her real desire began. Throughout lockdown she made for family and friends and the feedback was all positive, so from there Grace Harrison Suffolk was born.
The business is named after her children, though everyone refers to her as ‘Grace’, and is going from strength to strength with a number of local stockists and a strong client base. Michelle makes luxury soy blend candles, wax melts and scented tea lights which are all hand poured in small batches to ensure quality and minimise waste. Over the past few months she has introduced new products and has recently starting working with a local potter to provide hand thrown ceramics to compliment her products and produce luxury bespoke gift boxes.
Katie is a weaver working from her garden studio in Long Melford, working on Kromski rigid heddle looms. She originally trained in commercial surface pattern design and specialised in weave and print. After many years of being away from a weaving loom, she is now very lucky to now own four and on them she makes beautiful and unique works of art. Her cushions are all inspired by the beautiful Suffolk countryside and English landscape, and they are all made with only the finest yarns such as alpaca, British wool and beautiful hand spun yarn. Katie has a lifetime obsession with hares and all things rabbity, and loves to capture the myths and legends of the hare and other stories and songs in woven or painted artwork.
Katie’s work has been recognised for several first prizes for best Craft Stall at the South Suffolk Show and Hadleigh show 2015, 2016 and 2019, and the Suffolk Show 2017. Katie sells her work at many prestige craft events and festivals, and has sold to customers from all over the world. Her work has featured in House and Garden and the Suffolk magazine. At shows you will find her working with her amazing and super supportive mum, Erica, whom she couldn’t put all this together without her help.
In her spare time (of which she has very little) Katie plays the cello in the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.
To view more of her work, please visit:
Louise has been working with ceramics for the past 8 years. She was tutored by the Suffolk artist Sandy Larkman and continues to attend a weekly class with her. In 2019 Louise converted an outbuilding into a pottery studio at her home to allow more time working with clay. This has enabled her to experiment with glazes, developing a contemporary style whilst taking inspiration from the surrounding Suffolk countryside. Louise mainly throws pots, bowls and vases using different clays and porcelain. This results in each piece being unique.
To view more of her work, please visit:
Will creates beautiful and unique contemporary jewellery from his studio in the picturesque village of Boxford in Suffolk. After doing a foundation course in Fine Art, Will went on to do an Honours Degree in sculpture at Canterbury College of Art and Design. Will became interested in jewellery-making after a period of travel across East and South Africa. After completing a diamond setting course at the London Guildhall University, Will set up his jewellery making business which has been going for approximately 23 years.
Will’s unique style of jewellery-making stems from his training as a sculptor and informed by his extensive travels in Africa and his life in rural Suffolk. His jewellery is made in silver, gold and platinum incorporating precious and semi-precious gems and is London hallmarked.
In addition to this Will is adept at remodelling old, unworn, often inherited jewellery; transforming it into beautiful new pieces using the same materials and retaining the sentimental value. As well as creating his own jewellery collections, Will takes on a variety of bespoke commissions.
To see more examples of Will’s work, please visit:
Catherine is a local artist based in Elmswell nr Bury St Edmunds, and owner of Angelic Print Boutique, specialising in wall art for children’s nurseries, bedrooms and playrooms.
She has always loved painting, especially with acrylics, so after painting some animals for her little boy’s bedroom it inspired her to produce them as prints. Catherine offers a bespoke service adding unique backgrounds and embellishments.
“My animal prints can have added crafted embellishments to them including glitter crowns, party hats, pom-poms, bunting, ribbon and flower crowns. I can add any colour background to my prints, often colour matching to customer’s soft furnishings, wall colour or wallpaper.”
During the first lockdown, Catherine and her husband Keith home-schooled their little boy, which inspired Catherine to create learning resources for children of preschool age, using her self taught graphic design skills. She had the perfect product tester, nearly 4 year old Bertie.
“I actually really enjoyed home-schooling, and watching my little boy grow and learn was amazing. My learning resources are for 3+, simple learning aids to get them ready for school. These include play-doh mats, posters, laminated tracing sheets, learning books with velcro pages, flash cards and colouring sheets. I have tried to make them fun, bright and with mum/dad in mind too.”
You will also see a lot of rainbows in Catherine’s prints and artwork.” I love rainbows they just make me happy, and you can find them in pretty much any colour to suit your room or theme.”
Angelic Print Boutique specialises in the design of acrylic and watercolour prints, room posters, children’s learning resources and digital wall art. I also love creating craft prices including wooden peg dolls, pom pom garlands and hanging decorations.
To see more examples of Catherine’s work visit:
Contact us by phone or email and we can arrange for you to view the rugs.
Call 01787 882214