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Suffolk Craft Society celebrates work of a creative county

PUBLISHED: 12:25 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:25 20 July 2018

Suffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis Hales

Suffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis Hales

©2018 Dennis Hales

Suffolk Craft Society has unveiled its annual summer exhibition in Aldeburgh, celebrating the work of a wide variety of crafts people across the county. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke takes a look at the inspirational show

Suffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis HalesSuffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis Hales

The vision and talent of Suffolk’s craftspeople and artists from a wide variety of disciplines is on display in the Suffolk Craft Society’s annual summer exhibition which is currently on display at the Peter Pears Gallery in Aldeburgh.

This is the 47th year that Suffolk Craft Society has staged the exhibition as a celebration of the work of local makers. It’s a shop window for people who toil away far from the public gaze but are creating work of the highest quality.

Suffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis HalesSuffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis Hales

Society chair Sarah Thane said that quality remains at the heart of everything they do. New members have to be proposed and elected by their peers to ensure that membership of the society remains a seal of quality.

She said: “It’s never nice when we have to refuse anyone but we do offer advice and support and encourage them to reapply in a couple of years when they have developed their work further. We are also establishing a programme of workshops to encourage emerging talent to develop.

Suffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis HalesSuffolk Craft Society's summer exhibitiion at Aldeburgh's Peter Pears Gallery. Photo: Dennis Hales

“By emerging talent we don’t just mean young craftspeople but also older people who may have been hobbyists in the past, have now taken early retirement or gone back to college, gained formal training or qualifications and we are able to help them on the next part of their journey.”

This year’s show is a mix of familiar names and newcomers. This year the newcomers include Fiona Fawcett, who specialises in fused and powdered glass work, and duo Annette Rolston And Mike Fenton, who create linocuts and beautiful lampshades.

As always there is a mix of ceramics, textiles, unique handmade furniture, glasswork, clocks set into sections of polished tree trunk, exquisite prints, scarves, embroidered landscapes and intricate jewellery.

The show, which takes eight days to put together, seems to defy the laws of physics by squeezing a quart into a pint pot as they put 381 items on display in a limited gallery space.

“We come into, what Roger Wright, the artistic director of Snape Maltings, described as a plain, vanilla space, and transform it into something which is lovely and inviting.

“It’s a wonderful feat of design and planning because we never know exactly what we are going to get until its delivered.”

The Suffolk Craft Society summer exhibition is at the Peter Pears Gallery, High Street, Aldeburgh, until August 27.

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