Christmas Creativity at our Arts and Crafts Centre

With Christmas well and truly behind us as we enter 2024, we thought we would take the opportunity to look back on and celebrate what was a wonderful and very festive end to 2023 at Henshaws – and Christmas at our arts and crafts day centre did not disappoint!

From our successful Christmas Craft Fair, to the festive variety show and the amazing artmaker Christmas lunch, we celebrated Christmas in style.

Read on for our round-up of all the festivities, plus we shine the spotlight on one of our many artmakers!

Christmas Craft Fair

Our first taste of Christmas was our Christmas Craft Fair.

This not only showcased the creative talents of our art makers, it also raised over £4,000 for the day centre.

Each and every one of our workshops worked tirelessly during the run up to the fair to ensure we had beautiful gifts to sell, wonderful handmade wreaths, an enchanting Christmas grotto, and of course fabulous live music from the Henshaws Hotspots.

It really was a celebration of community spirit here in Harrogate, with some amazing raffle donations from Browns Department Store, York Theatre Royal, Mama Doreens Emporium, Lights For Fun, Jamalia Anna Designs and many more. Not to mention, we received a generous donation of our Christmas tree from Rudfarlington Farm. Such contributions go a long way in helping us provide the best day support possible!

Harrogate Arts and Crafts Centre ready for Christmas fair with a table full of decorations to buy. The centre is decorated with tinsel, fairy lights and handmade decorations.

Thank you to everyone who supported us by coming along and buying gifts, seeing Mr and Mrs Claus, or supporting us in any other way. It put us all fully in the Christmas spirit!

Festive variety show

We held our festive variety show on 6th December.

This was a dazzling display of talent and heartwarming performances from all art makers involved.

Our drama workshop worked exceptionally hard to make this night happen, rehearsing their performance of ‘The Cabaret Fairy Tale’ Pantomime for weeks, making sure every Makaton sign was spot on.

Artmaker Christmas Lunch

Artmaker Graham sitting with a Christmas lunch. He is wearing a red Christmas jumper that has penguins and a reindeer on. He is also wearing a scarf.

Adele, Darrell, Guy, John and Oliver smashed it in the kitchen, creating the most mouth-watering, delicious and scrumptious festive lunch in North Yorkshire (according to us anyway)!

After all the fabulous festive food, everyone danced the afternoon away with a Christmas disco and karaoke. All the artmakers agreed it was 10/10.

The festive period was an incredibly creative time at the Arts and Crafts Centre, with so many of our artmakers showcasing their talents and passion at our many workshops.

Our artmakers and staff had lots of fun and it was an incredibly celebratory time.

Keep reading to get to know one of our many wonderful artmakers!

Artmaker Spotlight

An interview with Andrew Copley

Andrew is sat at a table in the print studio. He is using water colours to create a flowery scene in reds, greens and yellows.

Meet Andrew! Andrew has been coming to the knaresborough arts and crafts centre for 20 years, so it was a real privilege to sit down with him and talk all about what he gets up to.

Can you remember what it was like when you first started?

“Back in the day I did every workshop I could. I used to come for three days but now I only come one so I only do mosaics.”

Andrew describes how when he first started, Shirley who is now the mosaic lead, did all sorts of sculptures as well as mosaics with him. He said: “I always liked working big. Ooooh years ago I did a big Neptune mosaic, putting the pieces down one after another.”

He likes the repetitive nature of creating a mosaic.

How would you describe your artistic style?

“I would say my style is like this” (pointing to an expressive complicated web of lines).

“It’s like patterny, almost more like pattern work.

I like to draw any type of pattern and put it into things like landscapes. I like drawing landscapes, I like the natural architecture and how the countryside has developed. I’ve always like the Yorkshire Moors and the forests. I like it around Ilkley and Skipton.”

Tell us about some exhibitions you’ve been involved in during your time at the knaresborough arts and crafts centre.

“I was in an exhibition at Sunny Bank Mills last year. I did a big robot sculpture which was there. I think some of my work also went to Rural Arts and that one down in London… Hart Club!”

These are some of the amazing exhibitions we have run in the past two years, but Andrew can remember a special exhibition from much longer ago than that:

“I did an exhibition a long time ago, maybe ten years ago. I did paintings based around that artist that does stick men. Lowry. I think there was quite a lot of us and Shirley helped with it.”

Can you sum up Henshaws in one sentence?

“It’s been the best years I could have wished for.”

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