Ouseburn Open Studios
The Ouseburn Open Studios event is always a highlight of the Autumn for me. I love a trip down to the Old Whisky Warehouse which is a Grade 2 listed building. It is only a couple of miles from where I live, in the People’s Republic of Heaton. This November, the Ouseburn Open Studios event sees venues open their doors again, offering a rare chance to catch a glimpse into the working world of artists and designer-makers.
Artists and creators open their studios and you get to see behind the scenes of how a real artist works. It’s often quite a lonely life for an artisan, but not this weekend! Lots of people roam around the impressive building which is spread over six floors. Everyone chats to the artists and wonders at their creativity.
Every studio has things to see and things for sale. Some are running workshops and many have nibbles and drinks on offer. It is usually the start of the mince pie season for me, as I cannot resist those small sweet pastry treats.
Ouseburn – spectacular ceramics
Of course I have my favourite studios to pop in to. I am a ceramic aficionado and one of my favourite ceramic artists is the amazing Julia Roxburgh. Her candy coloured teapots, vases, boxes and candle sticks are an incredible feast for the eyes. Magnificently multi coloured, many are trimmed in gold glaze or covered in ceramic spots that look like tiny iced gems.
New for this year were the delicious hand painted lampshades of Malorymaki. Her atmospheric water colour landscapes wash over the shades looking quite ethereal.
Sanja Ratkusic from Bosnia is a superb talented textile artists and bear and doll maker. Her creations have a life of their own and are quite magical. She sells them online , at the Kensington Bear Fair, and here in Newcastle. They are delightful!
Ouseburn – exceptional local art
Pete Flynn’s latest creations celebrate his Greyhound Purdey. Replicas of her face and paws come bounding through the wall. Pete said the pieces are based on her racing out of the park after a walk. He captures the energy and the movement perfectly.
Colin Hagan has had a surprise hit with his People’s Republic of Heaton range of designs and products. You can get t shirts, flags and now Duffle bags too. I grilled Colin about the political basis of the’People’s Republic’ campaign. He explained that there wasn’t any, it is just a cool design! The logo is based around the famous shoe tree in Heaton Park, next to where I live. The shoe tree is actually a very large tree and it is full of shoes, hence the name. It’s great to have local cultural icons!
Ouseburn Open Studios – an Autumn treat
There are textile artists, painters and glass artists. People like to buy Christmas decorations at this time of year, and there are plenty on offer here, and at a reasonable price too. There are cakes and soup and tea in the foyer, and a raffle with a chance to win an original piece of artwork. It is a lovely way to spend a dreary rainy November afternoon and a chance to buy something just a little bit delicious for someone special – such as yourself!