A treasure trove of gifts
25 September 2014
For many an Artist’s Studio wouldn’t be the first port of call for a bit of Christmas shopping, but if you’re looking for something unique this year I really recommend a visit to Wagon Yard Artists in Marlborough. There are Christmas cards, jewellery, ceramic and glass Christmas tree decorations, coasters, ring bowls, tea lights, lamps, vases, sculptural pieces, framed original art and prints and beautiful glass plates. Need I say more? And for those wanting to gift a new skill why not sign-up a family member for some pottery classes?
The artists at Wagon Yard have changed over the years as artists have moved away or opened their own studios but it currently has 6 local resident artists, all who live in the surrounding area, and two associates. Jacqui Melhuish, a ceramist, runs the studio and her passion it to develop an idea through clay. If you go to the studios you can see some of the beautiful sculptural and functional vases or plates she has made or attend one of her pottery classes she runs through the week. You can find Jacqui at the studios most days.
Colin Palmer works as an architectural illustrator, mainly on commission, and also produces watercolours of local places of interest as well as original paintings with a Mediterranean feel. If you’re stuck for a gift for the person who has everything or someone reaching a milestone birthday, a Colin Palmer illustration of your house or a day’s watercolour class are lovely gifts.
Jeannette Therrien, founder of Wagon Yard Artists, is a glass artist who loves colour and vibrant pieces and creates stunning glass forms that are both functional and decorative. Her plates are absolutely exquisite. Jeannette founded the Wagon Yard Artists in 2007 after graduating and wanted to teach classes alongside selling her work. While doing a business course in Wagon Yard she noticed an empty unit filled with rubbish and storage. Despite it being a bare, run down place in desperate need of flooring and paint it’s now a warm space that houses a hive of talent. Jeannette has her own studio in Ogbourne St George so although her work is on display she divides her time between the two locations.
Mary Thorne specialises in pottery that is very recognisably influenced by the local Wiltshire countryside. She makes a range of domestic ware such as mugs, jugs, bowls and teapots , each one individually made and decorated by hand. Jane Renwick makes the most stunning wall light panels and lamps with porcelain paper clay with illustrations of bees, butterflies, sea shore anomites and fossils. Jane imprints paper clay with lino cuttings and drawings she’s made herself – so allowing the light to come through in different degrees and shades. She has also recently started doing cold cast metals.
Kate Wade specialises in watercolours and oil and is brilliant at depicting light. Many people instantly recognise the landscape before reading the label. She particularly likes Pembrokeshire and lots of parts of Wiltshire too. You can pick up her prints and cards at the studio.
What brings the artists together is the opportunity to share space, firing kilns and rent but also do things that are difficult at home because of the dust it creates. There are currently 6 artists there which is the maximum they can take and they often have to turn new artists away. All of them, with the exception of Mary and Kate, also teach at Marlborough College Summer School.
So please promise to visit Wagon Yard Artists. It’s a real treat and they love to welcome visitors to the studio. Just give them a call to make sure somebody will be there, there’s free parking at the yard and everything is fantastic value.
Their Christmas Exhibition on the last weekend of November is a must. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm they have a cheaper market area downstairs for gifts and an exhibition of more high value work upstairs. Go on – you know you want to!