“I lost my sight as a young child but not being able to see hasn’t stopped me getting fully involved in all aspects of life.”

Andrew is 43 years old. and is visually impaired with mild learning difficulties. He attends Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre workshops, where he has been an Art Maker for over 20 years! He's also a resident in one of Henshaws residential houses in Harrogate, and shares his arts and crafts journey and what he loves about creating art.

“I lost my sight as a young child but not being able to see hasn’t stopped me getting fully involved in all aspects of life.  Attending the paper workshop at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre makes me happy, I like being sociable with the other Art Makers.

I’ve really enjoyed learning how to make paper and, despite being uncertain at first, now love the feel of the warm pulp in my hands which forms part of the process.  I’ve also made some teared-paper pictures which have been sold on HenshawsGifts, the Arts & Crafts Etsy shop, and have formed part of an exhibition displayed in Harrogate Theatre and in a café in Ripon.

It makes me proud that people are seeing my work and that’s all thanks to Henshaws.”

Shared by workshop leader, Sharon Hockin

“I am really pleased with Andrew’s progress and I know he is very proud of himself. Andrew has acquired a huge amount of skills whilst in the paper workshop. He really is very independent when paper making which is fantastic as it is quite a physically complicated process. He has shown a great deal of determination to master these skills.

Andrew has also become the number one paper maker in the workshop. He has mastered every single step of the paper making process including using the blender to pulp the paper, to using the mould and deckle to make the paper sheets. He has also been inspired to create. We began by using his love of tearing paper and he produced some fantastic torn shapes using different coloured and textured paper.

Using these torn shapes Andrew then placed them onto some paper and created collages. These collage pieces look beautiful framed and are a fantastic contribution to the HenshawsGifts exhibition and online shop.

Andrew has become a creative, independent art maker. We look forward to seeing his future creations! ”

Henshaws Arts & Crafts

At Henshaws Arts & Crafts we make more than art. We bring people together in an atmosphere that never fails to inspire. Through our workshops, people living with a range of disabilities discover their talents, put them into practice and realise their full potential.

Open to all, we have an Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough which is a community hub where creativity, friendships and opportunities come to life. Every week, almost 170 Art Makers take part in a range of workshops, including employability training, health & wellbeing, arts & crafts and multi-sensory.

To find out more about our Arts & Crafts Centre, visit our ACC page or get in touch with us on 01423 541888.

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Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

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Sarah is the Marketing Manager with responsibility for Community Services across Greater Manchester, and the Knowledge Village.
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