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Alby Crafts & Gardens at the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios

PUBLISHED: 16:21 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:21 08 May 2017

Alby Crafts & Gardens

Alby Crafts & Gardens

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Tucked away in a quiet corner of Norfolk is a little gem for lovers of art, crafts and tasty treats

Alby Gardens with peacocksAlby Gardens with peacocks

Boasting a garden full of year-round beauty, makers of high quality art and craft, encounters with resident peacocks and a tearoom with a growing reputation for great food and quirky decor, there is nowhere quite like Alby Crafts and Gardens.

The secret of its appeal lies in a unique harmony between varied, creative businesses and the tranquil setting. It is truly one of Norfolk’s hidden gems.

Where else can a lifestyle shop packed with affordable luxuries, workshops offering bespoke clothing and home furnishings, artist galleries and makers of flower essences be found?

At the heart of the complex of traditional barns and offering refreshments is the wonderful Alby Tearooms, which serves freshly-cooked lunches and too-good-to-be-true gluten free cakes.

The Purple Parrot gift shop Tea room at Alby CraftsThe Purple Parrot gift shop Tea room at Alby Crafts

For the first time, this May, the five artists of the Lower Courtyard at Alby Crafts and Gardens are participating in Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios.

The scheme, the largest of its kind in this country, is a great opportunity to visit some of Norfolk’s many artists’ studios and see how they create work.

Helen Dixon is a potter and ceramist whose work has evolved from being almost entirely sculptural to her current focus on decorative ceramics, specifically graffito and raku techniques, creating two very contrasting bodies of work.

Mitchell House, a traditionally-trained sculptor and tutor, has exhibited nationally and internationally. Three of his plaques are on permanent display on Sheringham promenade and he works mainly in iron, bronze and cold cast bronze.

Claire Knight creates detailed paper cuts, into which she often includes gold leaf and collage, creating images that reflect the countryside, flora and fauna around her home. A trained potter, she has recently returned to making pottery, working currently with raku, and draws inspiration from the environment in which she lives, with a sense of walking in the footsteps of ancestors.

Keverne Dewick produces bespoke furniture and turned pieces. His passion is for clean, simple lines and is influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and oriental pieces. Most of his furniture is produced from temperate hardwoods, also ash, sycamore, maple or fruitwoods, such as cherry.

Tracy Myers is a printmaker, photographer and graphic artist. A world traveller, she draws inspiration from her journeys to remote points on the compass – Antarctica, Iceland, Africa, Australia and the British Isles – their varied cultures, climates and wildlife. The resultant stream of ideas form the base for imagery which is constantly evolving.

Alby Crafts and Gardens is open all year from Tuesday to Sunday but closed on Monday. Opening times for individual businesses can vary.

For further details visit www.albycrafts.co.uk

Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios runs from May 27 to June 11.

Illustrated brochures with full details of opening times and maps of all the Open Studios can be found at many venues throughout Norfolk – including Alby Crafts and Gardens – and on www.nnopenstudios.org.uk

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