Visit to #VernonMill thoughts on #WoodendMill and memories of The #LanternGallery #TheNailMaker'sHouse #Worsley
Yesterday, we needed to go to Stockport to visit a garage and on the way, we passed Vernon Mill. We had been meaning to visit the mill for ages but the last time we tried everywhere was closed.
After going to the garage, we drove to the mill; parking is not easy outside so we drove across the road to park.
On entering, we followed the signs for the third floor, where we found the work on display from the wide range of artists who have studios there. Being a quiet day, not many of the artists were there at the time, although we did get chance to play 'throw and fetch' with one of the artist's dog. It took an instant liking to Sue, who spent a few moments throwing a soft toy teddy bear for the dog to fetch!
A fascinating place with lots of superb art work on show. Unfortunately, like many of these old mills its in need of some work, as it is starting to show it's age. Also several of the studios that were open didn't have heating so the large spaces were quite cold, although a couple of artists working on the day were well wrapped up.
Over the last few years, we have also visited Woodend Mill in Mossley, where there are several floors of artist's studios. A couple of artists, I know, have studios there. Again, it's great to see where the work is produced and there is always a wide range of styles to appreciate. There is also quite a nice atmosphere on open days. These studios are a lot smaller and seem in better repair and certainly warmer. There is also a nice garden centre café in the grounds.
I have sometimes wondered what it would be like to have a studio in one of these places. Would you work more not having other distractions or would you be constantly chatting with other artists?
I actually had a small taste of this when I joined with four other artists in the early 80's and we ran a studio in what as the old Nail Maker's cottage in Worsley. It was called The Lantern gallery and overlooked the Bridgewater canal.
One artist was a wood carver, another did sewing and painting, one did Pyrography and the other specialised in watercolours.
Looking back, this was an enjoyable experience in many ways. We shared manning the studio and mainly opened weekends. We were on the middle floor, upstairs had been another exhibition space and on the bottom floor was a local photographer.
The setting in Worsley was stunning and we had a steady flow of visitors. To pay for the rent I needed to sell one painting a month, which was quite achievable but I did finish up having to paint a lot of local scenes, particularly the Packet House, a local landmark. This did become a little tedious.
Unfortunately, the landlord decided to double the rent after a year and this made the venture not cost effective. We had enjoyed the experience and even looked for a new venue but these were all too expensive and we drifted into different areas.
Below are three pictures from that time. The first one is of Ernest Duffield, the superb woodcarver, who was part of the group. The second one is a small painting I did for a Christmas card and the last one is a poor quality image of a Winter scene of the area.
It's always interesting to visit the mills etc to see the work on show, particularly when I follow some of the artist on Facebook. I am lucky to have a studio in my house and am able to interact with other artists at my local art Club, so have the best of both worlds.