ARE you desperately searching for ideas for Christmas presents for that friend or relative “who has everything”?
If so, you might find the solution at the Henley Art and Crafts Guild’s forthcoming Christmas Craft Exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Upper Market Place.
Running from next Friday (December 9) until Tuesday, December 13, the show’s opening hours are 10am to 4pm daily.
The guild’s craft activities are this year being overseen by Alison Pink, herself a talented sculptress who has a particular liking for portraying farm animals, having previously worked as a veterinary nurse.
Says Alison: “I work from my tiny studio at home in Marlow and spend one day a week at Phoenix studios near Thame, soaking up their artistic environment, even though I may be the only one working in clay that day.
“I’ve always worked with animals and never had a day’s work that I didn’t enjoy. How many people can be that lucky?”
While Alison’s subject matter varies enormously, she confesses that sheep are among her favourite. She owns a small flock of rare-breed sheep which means she is never far from inspiration — and her trio of ram, ewe and lamb placed second at the Henley Show back in September.
“More and more ladies are taking on small flocks these days,” says Alison. “They have a calming effect. Lambing is the highlight of our year but the low point is the price paid for their wool!”
Alison adds extra interest to her pieces by using what she calls an “imprinted texture” of fabric, lace, images. This means they can be personalised to order — with dates, hobbies, themes and relevant words or quotes.
“I feed the chickens, walk the dog, check the sheep and can’t wait to get creating based on something I’ve just seen,” adds Alison.
Not that ceramics will be the only things on display at the craft exhibition.
A Henley Art and Crafts Guild spokesman said: “You could find sculpture, embroidery, jewellery, woodcarving, weaving, glass painting and so on — all done by local talented artists and all for sale at reasonable prices.”
For more information, visit www.henley-arts.org or www.henleytowncouncil.gov.uk/the-old-fire-station-gallery.aspx