Keep memories alive with Fusions Craft

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Discover millions of creative and crafty ways to share your life stories for future generations

In the time of the most advanced technology on record, the most money humankind has ever had, and more ways to get entertained you could possibly wish for, the strange truth is that the levels of stress, depression, and anxiety are also the highest they’ve ever been.

According to studies, children doing GCSEs today experience the same levels of stress as veterans in the times of the Vietnam war. How did it happen exactly that as we’re moving faster and faster toward the next thing exclusively designed to make us happy, we often feel like the most important thing is missing?

How does today’s lifestyle affect our mental health and what psychological benefits can art provide? Is it true that art cleanses your soul? And if it does, could it make you feel so much better you’ll actually feel the difference?

According to the world-renowned scientist Mikhailo Csikszentmihalyi, the feeling of flow created by intensely crafting (for example, writing, scrapbooking, working with clay) can cardinally change your life, infusing it with never before seen clarity, passion, purpose, and quantifiable changes in happiness. Don’t take our word for it though!

Although it can feel like modern technologies have taken over our lives to the point where our phones are controlling how we feel, how much time we spend with our family, and who watches our every move, you’ll find that there is one simple solution that includes a surprisingly old technology.

Have you ever felt that visceral emotion brought back by music or perfume or place when you remember your loved ones? Memories could very well be the most important thing in our lives, and it would be a great shame for them to fade with time.

As a family business, we know there’s nothing more important than family. With Fusions Craft, you can discover a panacea to stress, frustration, and a way of stopping the frenetic rat race and slowing downtime to a halt so you can spend it in a truly Buddhist fashion, inspecting scrapbooks you created.

In the days to come, the next generations will cherish these and learn about you with tender wonder. It’s one thing to hear about your grandma’s life story, but it’s entirely different to see the photos and feel the smell of the ink.

Fusions Craft specializes in the almost lost art of keeping your memories alive. Starting off as a small hobby, the craft unfolded and grew like a flower leaning toward the sun; soon it became a family business that specializes in scrapbooking supplies: if you need
• Paper & Card,
• Scrapbooking paper,
• Stencils,
• Embossing powder and Moulds
• and tons of other supplies you can possibly think of, you’re in the right place.

Why Fusions Craft?

Fusions craft is about so much more than photo albums. We provide you with every tool you can think of so you can produce nothing less than works of art to tell the most amazing stories, like so:

With stencils, moulds, flowers, embellishments, stamps, sprays, and much, much more, you can discover the magic of artistry that can be taken with you anywhere.

Learn of a million different ways of decorating the pages of your love stories, family sagas, photos of children and travels, adventures, tales of forest fires and heroic doctors, life wisdom learned from the darkest nights, indescribable beauty and courage and faith – with items that best reflect the emotions that will now, thanks to your contribution, will never be lost to the world.

2020 may have been called the most difficult year in history, but it also saw humans at undoubtedly their best: we saved animals in burning forests, spent more time with our family and loved ones, cried together, got saved by governments we criticized so much, stoically battled the virus and died like heroes, gave each other masks, and helped strangers.

Fusions Craft is your chance to let those who will come after know how we stood together even though we were forced to be apart. Create postcards, panels, decorate boxes, build mesmerizing scrapbooks with photos of your loved ones, adventures, your stories, unique moments caught on camera, and all those things you’d be heart-broken to forget. Now you never will.

It’s up to you what you want to remember. You could choose to remember this year as the toughest on record. Or you can keep documentary proof that along with everything that happened in 2020, it actually didn’t make us less human but instead much more. How will you remember this year?

Fusions Craft isn’t just a shop. It’s a place where you will write history.

Our Website: fusionscraft.com

Read our tips on creating a locldown time capsule

Art from your armchair

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 Local artists open up virtual exhibition for Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival

Artists looking forward to welcoming the public to their studios for Oxfordshire Artweeks are now doing so virtually until May 25th.

The 13 resident artists and associate members of Ayres House Studios, Wallingford, were looking forward to inviting visitors into the previously derelict building; throwing open their studio doors to exhibit both art work and studio space – now sadly impossible due to social restrictions.

In October 2019 the artists took over Ayres House on Station Road. The building was used as a rectory until the 1950s and had been empty for many years and was officially opened with a launch celebration in December.

Studio Manager, Emma Souter of Adumbration Arts said: “It’s such a lovely building with so much potential, I think it needs us as much as we need it.”

On show ‘virtually’ will be paintings, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, upholstery, jewellery, photography, installations, artist’s books, performance and art restoration. The artists are from both academic and self-taught backgrounds, including those from high art, conceptual, fine art and applied crafts.

Daily content will be shared to provide a creative overview from the studios, highlighting what the artists have been doing before and during the coronavirus.

Among those helping out has been Becky Colwell who has used her textile skills to help make scrubs for the NHS and is looking forward to being able to teach sewing classes when the studios re open to the public.

Emma of Neoteric Dance Company has created a new dance film A Home in Isolation, documenting the experiences faced by so many at this time. Alongside this she is also supporting individuals who may be struggling emotionally and physical at this time, by offering virtual spaces to talk and process their experiences, seeing her transfer her Dance Movement Psychotherapy skills to a virtual platform.

During lockdown the studio is welcoming applications from artists who would like to join the studios and for those who would like to join as associate members. They are also seeking proposals for community and collaborative projects so they are ready for when restrictions are lifted. Once back they will re-open Monday Makers and the various courses, workshops and exhibitions which were suspended due to Covid19.

Until then why not visit Ayres House Studios online from the comfort of your homes throughout May.

During Artweeks there will be a chance to view works online via https://www.artweeks.org/festival/2020/ayres-house-studios and on the Studios social media pages https://www.facebook.com/ayreshousestudios and https://www.instagram.com/ayreshousestudios where new posts will be shared daily throughout the festival.

More info

For those interested in visiting Ayres House, signing up for a class or joining the studios after restrictions have eased, please email or call Adumbration Arts on 01865 819869.

Go with the Flow

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Flow is the first exhibition of 2020 at Lingwood Samuel Art in Godalming and features a selected group of artists from FLUX Exhibition 2019. 

It will be supported by new ceramic work from Cathy Butcher and Claire Ireland as well as the ongoing collection of ceramics, jewellery, sculptures and prints. FLUX has established itself as the platform for contemporary artists to be discovered. 

Among the artists who will be exhibiting are: Amy Oliver, a self taught conceptual artist, using photography and digital manipulation to express her ideas; Lindsay Simons, a figurative painter living and working in London; Nick Huck, a largely selftaught figurative artist working with oil paints on layers of perspex over wood and canvas and Sophie Wake, a contemporary artist using oil or gouache, known for her animal figure paintings.  

Flow runs from Saturday 8th until Saturday, 25th April at the exciting and original contemporary art and craft gallery in Church Street which incorporates studio space for the artist owners: Caroline Lingwood and Margaret Samuel.  

The gallery holds four to six exhibitions a year showcasing carefully curated work from artists from all over the UK: paintings, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, glass and jewellery. Work is displayed in a setting very different from the traditional white cube gallery, to give an idea of how art can be incorporated into the home. 

More info

The open day this Saturday is from 11am to 5pm. 

For more details visit

 

Wallingford Art Club

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With the dark nights here, Wallingford Art Club’s November demonstration evening is very appropriate.

Melanie Cambridge’s demonstration on 19th November (7.30pm) titled Capturing Night Scenes uses oils and will offer some invaluable hints and tips.
A future date to put in your diary is the club’s Christmas Exhibition on 30th November and 1st December which coincides with Wallingford Christmas Festival and the Santa Dash.

This is always great fun and a chance to buy original art for presents, or treat yourself, all at reasonable prices. The venue will be in the centre of town, so look out for our posters and notices in November. The exhibition will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday.
IN addition to all the extra events, Tuesday morning fee paying tutored classes continue and these are proving very popular, the afternoon classes have finished for now but will start again with a new tutor in December/January, more details to follow.

The Tuesday evening club painting sessions start as usual at 7.30pm. If you would like to paint or draw then go along and join them.

Non members are very welcome to attend these evenings and the demonstrators for a cost of £3. We cover all mediums throughout the year so there is always a subject to tempt you, or perhaps to try something new.

All events apart from the exhibitions are held at Centre 70, Kinecroft, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford.

More info

Further information can be obtained on the website Wallingford Art Club or call David on 01491 681400.

Naturals wonders

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Giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi and a striking metal sculpture are among the artworks you can enjoy as part of this year’s Heathland Artworks.

Now established as an annual event, all work is inspired by the RSPB Farnham Heath.

Local emerging artists studying craft, fine art and textiles at the University for the Creative Arts have explored the wildlife, geology and history of the heath all year to develop a series of artworks that are temporarily placed on Farnham Heath and incorporated into a walking trail.

This year pieces include giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi, ceramic birds and a striking metal sculpture. There is also the added bonus of The House of Invisible Hands by sculptor Walter Bailey and a result of his research into historical forest glassmaking locally.

Heathland Artworks is a Surrey Hills Arts project and provides a new way to view and learn about the heath. Visitors can get up close to each of the 12 artworks by following a specially created trail.

The project has given the students an invaluable experience in preparing a proposal, presenting this to a panel, and developing the necessary skills to create and install the works.

Surrey Hills Arts aims to engage and inspire people in the natural landscape through the arts programme, promoting heritage, health and tourism.

Programme co-ordinator for Surrey Hills Arts, Ali Clarke said: “It has been fascinating seeing the students develop their artworks in response to the wildlife and environment on the heath.

“The final pieces will be enlightening for visitors of all ages providing pauses for thought along the route.”

Heathlands Artworks is free to enjoy and open to visitors until 27th October at Farnham Heath which is next to the Rural Life Centre. Visitors are welcome to use the facilities.

For more information

Full of pride

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There’s extra reason to take pride in the Royal Borough as The Lions of Windsor & Maidenhead 2019 sculptures go on display for the next three months.

The public art event will feature a giant pride of super-sized lions displayed from 10th August to 27th October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and raise funds for local charities.

The colourful individual lions are sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations and have been decorated by leading artists, designers and illustrators. There’s also a mini pride of lion cubs which have been decorated by schools across the area.

The display also has a serious message with the aim of highlighting the plight of lions, which have become endangered with only 15,000 left in the wild.

The pride will go on show on the streets of Windsor, Eton, Ascot, Datchet, Maidenhead and beyond for the duration before being auctioned off for charity.

You’ll be able to ‘go on safari’ and follow the lion trail with maps available from the start of August and take a tour of the borough visiting the noble beasts on the streets.

The lions were created by sculptor Alan Dun who had previously created the Lions of Bath in 2010 and last year’s Owls of Bath.

Having shaped and moulded the original lion, a fibreglass mould was made to create the prototype from which the pride was born.
He also sculpted the lion cub to be decorated by schools, charities and community groups to then display on the trail.

Once the lions are taken off display they will be restored by the artists and then gathered together for one last roar goodbye on 9th and 10th November before the charity auction on 21st November.

All proceeds from the auction will go to local charities – Thames Hospice which provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire; Windsor Lions Club which helps a wide range of people and organisations in the community; Look Good Feel Better equips people to face cancer with confidence and wildlife charity Tusk.

Lions represent nobility, royalty, strength and stateliness so are the perfect choice for the Royal Borough and to raise awareness of their decline – over the past 50 years, the number of wild lions in Africa have fallen from 200,000 to less than 15,000. Tusk, which is working to highlight the decrease in numbers, has declared 2019 to be the Year of the Lion.

Find out more

Visit the Lions of Windsor site

Presence, Cornerstone

Karen Neville

art

Kate Aries

Four emerging Oxford based artists are showcasing their work in an exhibition at Didcot’s Cornerstone.

Presence is a group exhibition featuring the work of Kate Aries, Manon Franklin-Fraiture, James Lester and Jack Whitney.
Combining drawing, textile, illustration and digital artworks, the artists have created new works that question what is means to exist in the contemporary world, physically, sexually, virtually and digitally.

Visitors will be able to engage with works perceptually and/or physically, encouraging them to also contemplate these questions.
Kate Aries explores perception and illusion through experimentation with the camera, using different techniques to obscure and restrict her body. Kate’s practice focuses not only on embodied experience, but also the manipulated and processed image in our changing society.

James Lester
Jack Whitney
Manon Franklin-Fraiture

Manon Franklin-Fraiture’s quirky illustrations incorporate conversations and questions she overhears and brings them to life, shining a light on how human existence can be in our modern life.
James Lester is a portraiture artist whose work contemplates the shaping of humanity within a modern context. Throughout the duration of the exhibition James will be creating large-scale charcoal murals of an array of celebrity figures, offering visitors the chance to watch the artist in action.

Jack Whitney’s practice challenges normative notions of gender, sexuality and politics, for this exhibition Jack has used embroidery as a way of drawing humorous yet thought provoking images.

Exhibition

Presence runs from today, 6th, until 18th August and is free to attend.

Visit the Cornerstone site for more information about this or any of the other productions on.

Whiteknights Studio Trail

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Join the studio trail around Whiteknights and uncover some treasures

Thirty-eight artists, designers and makers in the Whiteknights area of Reading will once again open their doors for the Whiteknights Studio Trail.

Artists will invite people to come, view and buy their work, enjoy a pleasant stroll around the area and have cake and tea at various venues.

The trail which takes in 21 venues on Saturday, 15th and Sunday, 16th June, will also showcase Reading’s creative community by including events, activities and demonstrations. Visitors can see and buy artworks ranging from fine art paintings, ceramics and printmaking to jewellery, furniture and photography.

Join the walk around the area and wander into artists’ homes and studios. Discover the wealth of creativity in the area, such as the piece pictured from Carole Stephens, as well as buy artwork at affordable prices. You can browse and chat with the artist about their work while stopping for lunch and refreshments on the way.

This year the Whiteknights Studio Trail is trialling a new enterprise, Whiteknights Studio Trail Introduces encouraging young artists between the ages of 16 and 21 to develop their creativity – three have been chosen including Bulmershe School student Charlie who uses ink and acrylic for her self portraits.

Among other artists exhibiting their work are those working in mixed media, ceramics, photography, quilting, sculpture, glass and jewellery workers. Twelve of the venues will also feature demonstrations of tools and techniques used by the artists to make their work.

The studio trail is about more than just art with open houses and open gardens to be enjoyed too.

 For more details about the artists and their work and to see the map of venues involved, visit Studio Trail

Artists open studios

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Art lovers in Surrey are in for a real treat over the next few days when 297 artists open their studios as part of the largest Surrey Artists’ Open Studios to date.

Running until 16th June, it’s a chance to meet and talk to artists in their place of work, view demonstrations, buy artwork and get involved in creative workshops.

SAOS co-ordinator Caitlin Heffernan said it offers a unique opportunity to meet artists and makers in Surrey, “Many are offering the public the chance to get hands on and discover their own creativity through the many workshops and taster sessions.

“Whatever your interest, painting, printmaking, glass, ceramics, textiles, jewelry or sculpture, SAOS is a brilliant opportunity to discover the county through the vast network of creative people who live and work here.”

One of those exhibiting is Liphook artist Orlanda Broom who takes her inspiration from nature to create landscapes which represent fantastical and re-imagined places.

After graduating with an MA Fine Art, Barcelona in 1997, Orlanda has been exhibiting and selling her work for the past 15 years and having moved out of London to the Hampshire countryside she has been further inspired.

A recent piece took inspiration from somewhere very different – a 4x4m work for the Four Seasons in New York makes reference to the city and Orlanda decided to use water, reflections and bridge-like shapes to mirror the island of Manhattan. Entitled Manna Hata it is now a favourite selfie spot!

Working on such a large scale, Orlanda’s work benefits from the big open space she works in with a wealth of natural light which helps with the composition of her landscapes which are very full and alive with colour and must be seen in full to be completely appreciated.

Her work will be exhibited at her studio at The Workshop in Iron Hill, Hollycombe, Liphook, on 7th, 8th and 9th June from 11am-5pm and on 6th from 6pm-8.30pm.

For more information about Orlanda’s work visit her website and for more on the open studios event at venues across the county, visit Surrey Open Studios

Orlanda

“I take inspiration from nature. I love botanical art and if I can, I go to botanical gardens to take photos and sketch. I’ve been lucky to have travelled a bit to places like Belize and Tobago, so I have strong memories of those trips and lots of photos.”

Newbury Contemporary Art Fair

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Find work with the wow factor to suit all tastes at the Contemporary Art Fair at Newbury Racecourse

A rich array of contemporary art and artists are showcasing their work at Newbury Racecourse with something for every taste and budget.

More than 160 emerging and established artists are coming together at the Contemporary Art Fair in Newbury with many original pieces available at affordable prices.

Whatever you’re looking for you’re sure to be able to find that wow factor from the more than 5,000 curated artworks on display and if you just want to browse that’s fine too. You can enjoy work in various media from paintings, to fine arts and photography, print, ceramic, glass, sculpture and assemblage.

Seen something you like and want to know more about it or the artist who created it – there’s the chance to chat with them and find out about their inspiration.

The fair on Saturday, 11th and Sunday, 12th May, also offers interactive fun with free valuations, a children’s art activity trail and an outdoor sculpture trail.

Contemporary Art Fairs include every exhibitor creating an original collectible eight-inch square canvas in their own style, which are displayed and then sold for just £45 each with all money raised going to The Prince’s Trust, the total raised to date is £65,000.

The fairs, which also run in Surrey, Windsor and Berkshire, were set up to bring a variety of artists together to give art lovers the opportunity to enjoy everything from limited edition prints to more expensive original pieces.

There’s also a café and wine tasting to enjoy.

 For more information and to book tickets go to www.contemporaryartfairs.co.uk