Todmorden Open STudios

Last weekend me and my mum went to Todmorden to visit the studios taking part in the Hebden Bridge Open Studios event. A failed attempt on the Saturday (I finally relented I was in fact ill just as we arrived at Victoria Station! Boo.) meant that we went on the Sunday.

The welcoming sign at the train station :)

On arrival we heard beautiful church bells and my mum immediately set about discovering their location! We found the lovely church of St Mary's.

Ever the good Christian and social butterfly, my mum made friends with some friendly parishioners and we were invited to join the service. Everybody was so friendly and welcoming, and my mum enjoyed a visit to church. 

First we visited Tod Studios, which was home to an eclectic mix of makers. Our tour guide made skirts out of old umbrellas. They'd come in handy for sitting on a wet bench! We had a nosey around the everybody's work area and headed on up to the studios of Shelley Burgoyne and Barry Cook.

(Please excuse the jaunty angle, it doesn't appear to want to be upright!)

This is a photograph of a print I bought of Shelley's. I love the textures of it. It looks like the moon!
Shelley was my tutor when I did my art foundation course and probably the reason I make things today. She's certainly the reason I love printing. Her immaculate house was lovely to visit and had many beautiful prints on display. I also bought a selection of cards: (unfortunately I couldn't afford a masterpiece. Shelley's work can be seen here: )

While we were there we watched a demonstration. Shelley has a marvelous etching press and we watched her talk us through a collagraph print. She also talked us through her recent work, which takes architecture and water flow as its subject. Lovely.

Shelley also runs workshops from her studio. If you were interested in learning about print making I would heartily recommend her, she's an excellent teacher. She's full of advice, ideas and awesomeness.

It was also lovely to see the work of Barry Cook. His work is so funny, I was giggling at every picture. They have such charm and spirit. Here's an example:

Afterwards we went for a stroll around the town. We enjoyed an excellent lunch at The Polished Knob. Todmorden is currently brimming with Tour de France paraphernalia, check out this wicker bike! 

Other highlights of Todmorden include Water Street Gallery, which is on a delightful cobbled street. Todmorden is a beautiful town.

We also found the most fabulous food shop in the entire world: The Bear Co-op!

Look how beautiful! It is an emporium of organic, local, fair trade food. It has an excellent selection of vegan and wheat free produce, I made out like a bandit. It also stocks Mr Fitzpatrick's Blackcurrant and Licorice cordial- I love that stuff. Aesthetically it was like stepping into a perfectly preserved time capsule of loveliness. Movie set beautiful, bravo Bear People. It has a cafe above the shop- Bear Cafe. I will be back for a visit!

Visit the website of this glorious place here:

Just enough time to admire the canal before it was time to go home. I had a lovely day in Todmorden :)

Open studios is on this weekend too all around Hebden Bridge and the surrounding areas. I'll be visiting again this weekend! You can find out more information here:


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