Lilian Shaw was brought up in East Sussex, after a Pre B.A Foundation in Arts in Hastings she completed a B.A Hons in Fine Art Painting at the Wimbledon School Of Art. In the evenings she was attending stained glass courses taught by Sarianne Durie. In 1984 an old fashioned apprenticeship with Paul Quail took her to Norfolk. Whilst she continued as his technician for 20 years, working in his studio on church commissions and repairs, she also established her own practice.
She has taught for Norfolk Adult Education, Museum Services, in Schools, Youth groups and for various independant educational centres.
Throughout she has continued to paint and regularly exhibits her pastels, teaching at Waterperry Gardens and she has taught for Art in Action for many years.
Grant has been studying jewellery making since 1988. At first he took adult education classes studying Jewellery and Silversmithing. In 2005 he turned to a more formal education starting with a Diploma in Jewellery and Metalwork Design at Bournemouth and Poole College followed by a BA(Hons) in Product Design at Bucks New University in 2017. Since that time Grant has run his own successful studio and has been first a part time instructor then an associate lecturer.
Following an artistic journey from early school years of English, art and music, I progressed to study 3D Design at the University of Plymouth. Following the designer maker route, after exploring a wide range of materials, I found an affinity with wood, making various furniture items, achieving a BA(Hons)in 1998. Looking to broaden my knowledge in this area I then studied Joinery through an NVQ apprenticeship, working in industry, learning to make doors, windows, stairs and shopfitting for customers such as Harrods and Pinewood studios. In 2003 I was invited to try my hand at teaching at Reading College and found it to be challenging and rewarding, spending the next 15 yrs passing on skills and knowledge to school leavers, apprentices and adults on a variety of courses related to carpentry and Joinery.
Simon is a sculptor and printmaker working from his rural Oxfordshire studio. After working for many years with clay and wood he now sculpts predominantly with polystyrene, a material that allows him to realise sculptural projects quickly and efficiently.
Working with expanded foam using simple knives and abrasive paper, Simon creates ambiguous forms that are inspired by nature. He seeks to make sculpture that creates a dialogue with the viewer, posing questions about how we recognise what we know and how we learn to recognise the material it is made from.
Recent work has continued to explore the chameleon properties of polystyrene, playing with perceptions of how things appear and feel by using the theatrical potential of patinated surfaces. Sculptural works sometimes include found objects, natural and man-made. These contrasting materials and their textures add to the “character” of the piece, and often give unexpected weight to a lightweight material.
As well as continued work with polystyrene, Simon has been working on a series of landscape installations with wood and steel called ‘Drawn in Air’ . The steel and wood pieces on show at Greys Court are developed from the ‘Drawn in Air’ series. As well as providing a convenient place to store logs they also provide a resting place for insects and are related to his current landscape project called “Runway”. A piece in that draws on the history of its site at Harwell Science Campus and also functions as an insect habitat in its use of timber.
Simon also runs carving courses and tuition for individual carving projects from his workshop.
web and insta: simonclements.gallery
Rishir has been successfully running his leather goods business since 2014. He has always been inclined to work with his hands and is a firm believer that a creative outlet is food for the soul, that one should always put their heart and soul into anything they do and that learning should never stop and as such he continues to research techniques, develop and refine his skills.
Throughout his journey he frequently exhibits at craft fairs and engages with businesses and private clients alike to create one off items to bespoke specifications, using the highest quality of materials coupled with traditional leather working techniques. Special care and emphasis is given to each product where only the highest calibre leaves his workshop.
Rishir is a Leather smith who designs and creates products crafted from all kinds of leather. All items are born in my workshop where they begin their life as hand drawn sketches. All items are cut, dyed, stitched and finished by hand on a made to order basis which ensures the quality of workmanship is kept to an extremely high standard.
He is a firm believer that if something is to be done, it should be done properly, and as such he uses traditional methods and techniques when creating products, which means no machines – Everything is done by hand including the stitching, which on some products can take a considerable amount of time.
The next step in Rishir’s career is to share his love of leather and the skills related to creating beautiful objects out of leather.
Theo Sturge ACR FIIC is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation (FIIC), and an Accredited Member of the Institute of Conservation (ACR). He is an Assistant Coordinator for the ICOM-CC Leather and Related Materials Working Group. He has over 50 years’ experience of conservation and restoration in both the public and private sector.
Theo has specialised in leather conservation for over 25 years and is probably the most experienced leather conservator in the UK. He works on gilt leather, upholstery, and the myriad of other items made from leather. He established his own business, specialising in leather conservation, the Sturge Conservation Studio, in 2000. His biggest client is the National Trust. He has been running his Practical Leather Conservation Course for over 20 years for groups of individuals and regularly teaches on university conservation courses.
He trained in conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, London University, in the early 1970’s. On leaving college he went to Leicester Museum where he was Assistant Keeper, Antiquities Conservation for 16 years followed by 6 years as Senior Keeper, Conservation and Restoration at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry. Immediately prior to setting up the Sturge Conservation Studio he was Senior Conservator at the Leather Conservation Centre where he evolved specialised methods for work on items as diverse as car seats and painted gilt leather wall hangings and screens.
Ernest has studied with the leading woodcarvers in England and in France at l’Ecole Boulle. His passion is primarily focused on carving that is in the support of restoration of furniture but he is equally inspired by carving in support of artistic endeavours.
While most of his work has been with pre-18th century pieces, he has worked in a number of different styles from Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Baroque and Neo Classical, as well as modern pieces.
Ernest is active in the furniture and wood section of ICON (the Institute of Conservation). He has taught Wood Carving at both Bucks New University in High Wycombe and at Lyon’s Restoration guiding students to produce a variety of creative objects from a simple leaf, to a totem pole to abstract objects in plywood to horses and the list goes on. He is the Head of the Wooburn Craft School as well as working on the Wallace Collection in London.
Christine has been a teacher of chair seating and basket making for more than twenty years and is a full-time practitioner of these crafts. She learnt cane and rush seating under the supervision of Joy Viall at Missenden Abbey, and has taught for adult education colleges and a variety of independent education organisations. She has worked as an associate lecturer at Bucks New University. She is particularly interested in the therapeutic value of practical crafts and the vital importance of continuing traditional skills.
Jude Karnon started making jewellery as a hobby over fifteen years ago. When redundancy loomed from a website and communications role, Jude decided to turn her hobby into a successful business and Jude Karnon Jewellery launched in November 2015.
Jude works in both silver and gold and makes all pieces using traditional techniques and hand tools. Her passion is designing alongside her clients to create jewellery that encapsulates their personality, style and individualism. Aswell as Jude’s bespoke work, she designs and creates collections taking inspiration from nature, coastlines, sport, and history. Her main desire is to create jewellery to make people smile. She won Muddy Stilettos Best Jeweller in Herts and Beds in 2022 and was a finalist in 2023.
Jude began teaching jewellery making in 2016, and since then has welcomed over 400 willing learners to her own studio; teaching on a 1:1 basis. She is a tutor for Bucks Adult Learning, planning and teaching courses of ten weeks. Jude also teaches at a local art gallery and has taught at the Women’s Institute Denman College.
Jude has also studied gemmology with The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).
I didn’t intend to work with leather when I changed career nearly 20 years ago. My intention was to move into the field of high-end embroidery after completing a three-year apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework. I finished the apprenticeship, trained as a teacher, and found myself wondering what my next challenge would be.
I signed up for a belt-making course out of interest and the tutor showed me how to hand-stitch leather. That was it for me. My leather-working journey had begun. More training and belts led to bags, accessories, shoes, and gloves. I was hooked. Recently, I’ve been exploring digital printing on leather too. I enjoy the discipline of working with leather using traditional techniques and exploring the variety of ways leather can be used (with a few modern twists). My own practice involves a combination of teaching, design, and bespoke work. I love sharing my knowledge and teaching students how to work with this wonderful material.
Pierre-Alain currently teaches restoration at l’Ecole Boulle in Paris. He has a very impressive CV showing his work spanning over 20 years and including many of the greatest museums in France; restoring and conserving very important decorative objects. A partial listing of his prior clients include:
As well as The Wallace Collection here in England as well as many private clients. He has been employed at the workshops of Simon Pierre Etienne and for Societe Steinitz where he restored pieces produced by David Roentgen, Andre Charles Boulle, Carlin Martin among others.
Maria Chernyak Belenky, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, spent her teenage years in various countries, immersing herself in diverse cultures and artistic influences. Her professional journey began in the ceramics department at the Academy of Art & Design ‘Bezalel,’ where she honed her skills in ceramic sculpture and design. Expanding her artistic repertoire, Maria earned an MA in Spatial and Interior Design from New Bucks University in High Wycombe.
The instructor, Laurent Lainé, former head tutor at the leading school of furniture related skills – l’Ecole Boulle in Paris. He currently teaches design at there and works for many of the leading museums in France including Versailles and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Kat Lyons has studied under some of the worlds best tutors – David James in the UK and Laurentl Laine of Ecole Boulle in Paris. Once she completed her BA (Hons) degree in Restoration at Bucks New University, with a specialty in upholstery, she began a very successful business restoring upholstered furniture dealing with a wide variety of situations including foam, traditional hair every type of seat from simple drop in seats to very complex buttoned settees and even a few antique car seats. She loves all upholstery and her enthusiasm shows in her work and in her explaining the processes to others.