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Last week we took a little break from promoting Open Studios Cornwall to visit and enjoy the wealth of talent taking part in this year’s event. All the studios we visited over the week had an independent character, with each artist showing great strength within their chosen medium. It’s exciting to see how much talent is burrowed away in Cornwall and really great to get to talk and understand how these artists work.
We explored the world of ceramics through the studio of Charlotte Jones. This converted chapel houses an elegant and intimate studio, with Mabe Burnthouse being one of the highest points around, beautiful views of Falmouth made this trip even more enchanting. The serene palette of Charlotte’s work is mirrored in her studio space and personality. With a clear inspiration drawn from the sea, the tactile pottery exhibited evokes a sense of geography and atmosphere that is rare to find in other parts of the country.
Although the Helston weather may not have been as sunny as we would have liked when visiting the beautiful woodland garden of Peter Boex, the impressionable spirituality and creative presence more than made up for it. A resplendent experience, the sculpture garden becomes a form of escapism allowing one to understand how this outdoor location can be considered an exterior gallery.
Another stop on our Open Studios Cornwall tour was the Krowji in Redruth, home to a vast number of artists. We spent hours wandering the Old Grammar School’s corridors popping into a variety of studios, which showcased an array of work. Our day started with a visit to the studio of Kate Lawrence a jeweller whose studio was simple and beautiful with a glass fronted antique-style cabinet housing her debut collection. Open Studios was the first time this collection has been on show to the public. Drawing inspiration from natural history, anatomy and ancient civilisations combined with the use of traditional silversmith techniques this talented maker feels like one to watch.
Illustrator Esther Connon is also based at the Krowji, her work ranges from screen printed and hand bound picture books to postcards and hand-printed wrapping paper. Her work captures your imagination and transports you into another world. Her studio was bustling with a constant stream of visitors all captivated by the beautiful work that graced its walls.
A newish addition to the artists at the Krowji is James Otter, a designer-maker who has put his talents into creating wooden surfboards. The aptly named Otter Surfboards’ workshop resides in one of the biggest studios at the Krowji. The boards are truly beautiful and could easily be considered pieces of art but they do have a practical use and James informed us that he is holding build your own surfboard workshops. You can find out more about those on his website.