Beautiful Hebden Bridge and the Open Studios

I had a lovely day out in Hebden Bridge. It was rather grey in Manchester first thing in the morning, but by the time we arrived in Hebden Bridge the sun was shining, birds were cheeping, it was glorious. It's as though HB is the home of happiness and sunshine.

Hebden Bridge is a beautiful place. The Tour de France arrives tomorrow, so it was an exciting day to visit. The locals were showing much enthusiasm and support and shop windows were adorned with lovely yellow bike themed displays. The whole place was buzzing.

 I am also rather fond of Hebden Bridge's pride, strong will and independence, which this sign is a grand example of:

Our first stop on the Open Studios trail was Brooklyn Studios, which houses many delightful makers.

There were some beautiful collaged paintaings by Pam Crafts. I made my first purchase from Angie Rogers, who made this lovely wren print- isn't he handsome?

At Northlight Studios we met Annie Harrison, who talked us through her range of work inspired by  institutions and workhouses; a sad but important subject, which she captured beautifully in photographs, prints and drawings. I bought this rather large print from her box of seconds for the princely sum of £5!

Automata maker Lisa Slater was a big highlight, letting us crank the wheels of her models in her beautiful studio. There was a fabulous ceramics studio which had several makers in. Unfortunately I don't know who made this massive bead, as the maker wasn't around, but I thought it could make a lovely necklace!

We stopped for dinner at Greens Vegetarian Cafe. Friendly staff and decent food. They had an excellent range of delicious smoothies. :)

little papercut cards by Heidi Vilkman. She also had some mixed media work, though the papercuts were my favourite, naturally.

 What is so lovely about Hebden Bridge is there is beauty, innovation and general awesomeness everywhere you look. This dude was placing pebbles into little sculptures in the water.

We nipped in the very lovely Radiance and waved hello to a few of my owls! There were some exciting Tour de France themed lampshades by A Northern Light, which made a beautiful window display. Heart Gallery was looking splendid as ever with its elegant displays and jewels. I noticed a collection of jewellery from Suzanne Claire, who is my new neighbour at Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Amongst other things, they also stock work by Helen Russell, whose batman and robin picture had me giggling. Calder Gallery is a beautiful space with magnificent pieces, lots of which are part of the Buy Art Scheme. We were kindly talked through an amazing print depicting an A to Z of Charles Dickens. It was spectacular. Oh, if I had a spare £450...

The best part of the day was a visit to the splendid Hat Therapy, home of Chrissie King's fabulous hats. This year Julia Ogden is set up inside with a beautiful display of prints, paintings and illustrations. I bought these lovely screen printed squirrels. Aren't they handsome?

 It is my mum and dad's ruby wedding anniversary in a few weeks, so my mum bought this lovely bunting and a card in preparation. Recognize the film quote? :)

My mum very kindly bought me this gorgeous illustration too! Mr birdie looks so serene blinking in the sunshine. I love this picture:

 Whilst at Hat Therapy we also saw the delightful work of Chrissie's daughter and superstar artist Alice, who had painted and illustrated many wonders. These jolly swings:

Double sided cards! Alice has great attention to detail. My favourite dinosaur in the collage is the diplodocus saying "good day!". Mr mustache made me giggle too! :)

While we were there my mum bought a sun hat! She has wanted one for years, but claims she looks silly in every hat in existence. Chrissie found her one she looks lovely in. She wore it out of the shop and all the way home. We also got to see a hat part way through the making, which was exciting. It was fuchsia and had a tousled flourish- look out for this beauty at Hat Therapy soon. 

We happened upon a bakery that sold wheat free loaves, obviously I had to buy some! Mmmm.

 Along the canal there were loads of narrow boats, some selling their wares. We stopped at a fudge boat and tried a few flavours. Licorice fudge is probably my favourite. :)

Unfortunately we never made it to Hannah Nunn's studio, which is a shame as I wanted to visit last year, but we ran out of time. Second time running, it would seem. Next year I am making it a priority- enough is enough!

I noticed this sign for the Vintage Weekend 2nd and 3rd August at the park just by the train station. Sounds like a lovely day out! No doubt I'll be back for a visit to Hebden Bridge again soon.


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