MORE than 200 artists clustered in and around Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley will be throwing open their studios this weekend for the traditional pre-Christmas display of their wares.
The Open Studios event began with the complex at 36 Lime Street, next to Seven Stories, and the place is still at the heart of the action.
More than 40 artists, makers and designers occupy the Victorian building producing desirable and distinctive paintings, jewellery, furniture, ceramics and textiles. The place is even home to puppeteers.
Painter Emma Holliday is offering mulled wine and mince pies in her level-three studio on Saturday and Sunday.
Emma specialised in landscapes and the great outdoors but recently has been artist-in-residence at Newcastle’s Lit & Phil.
An exhibition of the interior paintings inspired by that residency opens at the Westgate Road building on December 2, running until January 7.
Also at 36 Lime Street this weekend you can see work by jewellery maker Allyson Blackman, ceramicist Julia Roxburgh, glass maker Sue Woolhouse and much more by a host of established and up-and-coming practitioners.
There will also be workshops and demonstrations for adults and children.
But Ouseburn Open Studios 2011, which is supported by the Byker Ouseburn Regeneration Team, now extends to other studio complexes in the area. All will be open through Saturday and Sunday.
They are the Biscuit Factory (Stoddart Street) and its satellite Biscuit Tin Studios (Warwick Street), Cobalt (Boyd Street), Foundry Lane Studios, Mushroom Works (St Lawrence Road) and Northern Print (Stepney Bank).
A free bus service will operate this weekend to enable you to get round all the studios.
At the Cobalt studios, opened in 2000 by four designer-makers, the organisation Designed & Made will run a pop-up shop showcasing a range of craft and design.
At the Biscuit Factory you can gain access to the studios beneath the galleries where, they claim, you can view the art as the smell of spiced cider and hot chocolate drifts down from The Factory Kitchen cafe and you are serenaded by seasonal ukulele tunes.
More than 30 artists, photographers and designer-makers await you at the Biscuit Tin Studios where you can print your own cards with artist Raija Patchett, participate in drawing sessions with Colin Harding-Smith and explore the world of the miniature with photographic sculptures from Julia Tryon.
Details of Open Studios 2011 can be found on the website www.ouseburnopenstudios.org