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Meet the maker: Sarah Blackett-Ord

Sarah Blackett-Ord paints under the name of Whitfield Watercolours and draws inspiration from her Whitfield home and the beautiful surroundings of the North Pennines and Northumberland. She is a shop member at the Allendale Forge Studios and produces a range of products featuring her delicate floral watercolour paintings. We decided to find out more about her... Tell us a little bit about your background: I am a figurative watercolour painter. I studied History of Art at University followed by running an art gallery in London. During this time I went to Life Drawing Classes. After moving to Northumberland with my husband and having three children I broadened my horizon and studied painting

Meet the maker: Thelma Russell

Thelma Russell, of Handmade Felt, has been a shop member at the Allendale Forge Studios since it opened. We decided we'd like to find out more about her and we just love her studio companion Poppy... Tell us a little bit about your background: I worked in IT for 30 years, but I’ve been making and selling things since I was a teenager - basically any excuse to buy fabric and/or beads! My mother knitted and sewed and the craft partwork ‘Golden Hands’ introduced me to macrame and lots of other crafts. I’ve been concentrating on making felt since about 2006, when I first started selling in Allendale. What inspires your work? Although I was brought up in an industrial area (Teesside), my childh

A new chapter

2017 is a whole new beginning for the Allendale Forge Studios, with a new Board in place, more volunteers offering help and support and everyone contributing ideas and suggestions to make the Forge much more of a community hub. There are also plans to reach further afield with special events, exciting regular programmes and plenty of stimulating gallery exhibitions to enjoy, as well encouraging artists and creative people from beyond the valley to get involved. ‘Hot-desking’, rentable studio space and a viable workshop area are all part of the Forge offer and a warm welcome is extended to anyone keen to talk to us about their ideas or needs over the coming months. We hope you enjoy the new

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