Alston Craftworkers




Showcase Exhibition in Studio House, Alston
Studio House is adjacent to the Market Cross in the centre of Alston, opposite Stokoe House Ceramics


free parking

Other Attractions

Alston venues


Alston Craftworkers Ltd. is a co-operative group of six designer/makers living and working within a 15 mile radius of Alston. Although they each have their separate businesses, they join together to sell, organise events and exhibitions, share equipment and generally promote the ethos of quality handmade work.

For this event, three of their number are joined by Dianne Law.

Meryl Baker, textiles

Mark Fearn in his blacksmith's shop
Mark Fearn, Blacksmith

Rachel Phillimore: 'Celebration'
Rachael Phillimore, textiles

Dianne Law, knitwear

Meryl Baker

Meryl cteates items using recycled textiles, drawn from her 'treasury', which once upon a time was housed in a box and now fills a room. The scraps inspire her to make an eclectic array of pieces. She loves to make hats, every one of them assuming a character of its own. Because of their sculptural quality, they could be her favourite thing to make. However, cushions, quilts, cards, purses, bags and throws are all part of her repertoire, reflecting her love of colour and commitment to recycling.

Meryl Baker
Low Redwing
01434 381449

Mark Fearn

fire basket and hood

We have been working as blacksmiths and metalworkers in Nenthead for two decades. Starting off with a basic desire to re-create the concept of the blacksmiths workshop that served a locality - we soon started to work down other avenues and at a very early point set up our first outdoor mobile forge, and from that soon found ourselves being booked for countryside events across the North.

Back at base - our forge work took a major turn when we felt that we had been working in the open air for long enough ! and converted a shed into a forge shop - to this day that is where we do all our forge work with a hand powered bellows hearth.

We now also have a factory unit in Alston for carrying out bigger fabrications and welding work. We offer a design service, specialise in restoration work, undertake small engineering jobs, tool sharpening, on site welding and repair work of all kinds.

We create a large range of forge work for house, home and the workplace. I have a particular interest in Medieval ironwork and processes and am also inspired by the raw beauty of our post industrial surroundings.

M.Fearn & Son ( Blacksmiths )
Nenthead Cumbria
Tel / Fax : 01434 382194
E :

Rachel Phillimore

Always interested in material history, Rachel uses the hand made tradition of hooky and proggy. She designs her work using many fabrics, a lot of them recycled and each with its own history.
She uses the textiles like a palette, mixing the colours, sometimes delicate and sometimes to create a dramatic image.  Her work called "Celebration" is inspired by an explosion of colour.  Her small sparkly pieces are called "Colour for Thought ".  In these she uses velvets, silks and many other fragments, every little piece woven in to the backing hessian.  Her larger wall hangings are all wool, strong and durable.  They are inspired by the natural forms and dramatic surroundings of the Pennines in which she lives.

If you are visiting the area and travelling towards Hadrian's Wall, try the very friendly farm B&B at Kellah: , or 01434 320816.


Dianne Law

Dianne started knitting at the age of seven and over the years she has knitted for herself and later for her children and grandchildren. During this she has built up considerable expertise in the craft and accumulated a large collection of patterns and designs.

About 6 years ago Dianne realised that the art of knitting was dying out and that young mothers, in particular, were not interested in learning how to make garments for their children, although they were keen to dress them in hand-knitted clothes. She identified that there was a demand for baby clothes and accordingly she built up stock and now exhibit regularly at craft fairs in Cumbria, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

Dianne caters for premature babies to age 3 or 4 years and, in addition to standard baby clothes, makes blankets, shawls, Christmas novelties and christening outfits. Orders can be taken to meet specific requirements.

"I am grateful to the Blueberry café for mounting a display of my work in their window. Please look at this when you visit them for a light snack or more substantial meal before or after your visit to our exhibition centre."

Dianne Law
Mid Ashgill
01434 382981

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