Saltaire Arts Trail 2017
May Bank Holiday weekend was the tenth year of the Saltaire Arts Trail. (Before that it was part of the Saltaire Festival that happens in the autumn.) Its format stays consistent (no need to change a winning formula) with a Makers' Fair in the Victoria Hall, bigger than ever this year, and the popular Open Houses, when village residents open their homes as mini art galleries.
Each year has a bit of a twist and this time there seemed to be more people actually demonstrating their crafts. I enjoyed watching Jan Whittock carefully cutting a tile for printing. She was using a lino-style polymer material rather than traditional lino; it is easier and more precise to cut. Jan is a retired art teacher, originally trained in ceramics though she now works with oils, watercolours and etchings. Her etchings on display were mainly small size landscapes, with a pleasing complexity of layers.
In the Maker's Fair, Gary Thomas was demonstrating hand-thrown ceramic work. It is magical to watch a pot taking shape on the wheel, teased into shape with delicate touches of the fingers. Some of his finished work is shown below.