ARTISAN: Simon Griffiths demonstrating his ceramic sculpture techniques
ARTISAN: Simon Griffiths demonstrating his ceramic sculpture techniques

TOP craftspeople from in an around the dale are to stage a two-week exhibition of their work ahead of a popular annual market.

Established several years ago by textile artist Kathryn Guy, the annual Designer Makers’ Market has become a mainstay of events at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, where people can see first hand how the crafters work.

Visitors are also encouraged to have a go at some of the techniques while browsing around the two halls.

This time, some 30 artists and makers are expected at this year’s event on Good Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, between 10am and 4pm.

New to this year's event is an exhibition by seven of the crafters which opens on Saturday, April 6.

There will also be a preview evening on Friday, April 5, between 6pm and 7.30pm, where people can browse through the works.

Ms Guy said: “Each day that the exhibition is open one of the artists will be staffing the display and either giving a demonstration or offering have-a-go sessions. There will be a small fee for anyone taking part but no booking is necessary.”

Among the work on display are pastel paintings by Jo Garlick, ceramic wildlife sculptures by Simon Griffiths, lampwork glass by Suzanne Tweddle and felt fabric by Helen Edwards.

Ms Guy will also be exhibiting her upcycled textile art.

She said: “I love holding the events at The Witham – it’s such a vibrant community space. The light is fabulous for showing off our work and of course having such a fantastic café on site is a definite bonus! The people we attract at these events are always really interested in what we do and love to buy something that is unique.”

Entry to the exhibition and the market is free, although a donation to St Teresa’s Hospice will be gratefully received.