PUBLISHED: 17:24 15 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 20 February 2013
Warwickshire's biggest celebration of visual arts and crafts takes place this month with hundreds of artists throwing their studio doors open to the visiting public.
Bren combines her love of texture and vivid colours with paper, paint, fabrics and stitch. She produces original hand screen-printed and thread painted pictures, panels, table lamps and cards. Her framed contemporary works and wall hangings reflect her love of gardening and old poems by Walter de la Mere, Kabir, the mystic Indian poet and other writers of bygone ages.
She experiments with a range of materials and recently sourced an unusual synthetic non-woven fabric (Lutrador) that can be painted, stitched and melted to create beautiful unusual patterns and looks delicate and cobweb-like.
The fabric is actually very robust, she explained. Originally used as a weed-suppressant under garden paths and as an insulation material in the building trade, Lutradur has become a huge influence in my work and a versatile canvas for my images and text.
Spencer creates beautiful functional objects from woven, carved and steamed wood. One of his pieces, Seed Sitting', two giant leaves sculptured into an woven arbour structure, with stunning white willow seeds seats was shown at numerous garden shows including BBC Gardeners World Live and the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Spencer says: My work evolves from ideas, hints and suggestions I receive from the landscape around me, I enjoy physically transforming the woods identity. Thin and fragile becomes a dense mass, hardwood, reshaped as light, thin and curved".
Tom Hare works with greenwood, specifically willow, to create large woven sculptures. Ive always loved vessels, so it seems natural to progress from throwing pots to building baskets, through to making spaces to hold people. This then became the foundation for the sculptural techniques Im using and developing today, he says.
Most of Toms work is commissioned such as Seed Walk created for the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens and marking the collection of 10 per cent of the worlds wild plant seeds now secured within the millennium seed bank
Nicola uses a variety of coiling, slabbing and burnishing methods when making her pots which she learnt on her travels to Malawi and Cambodia. Surface patterns, taken from natural forms and printed textiles are sketched onto the pot by drawing through a resist slip that completely covers the pot. The drawn patterns become etched onto the clay body by exposing the pot to smoke-firing techniques. Nicola likes to experiment with different combustible materials, sawdust, paper or organic vegetation as each will provide a different density of smoke and pattern onto the pot.
The feel of my pots is important hence the hand-building methods, use of coloured slips and carefully burnished surface. There is something very primitive about smoke-firing, the making part you can control but the firing is always slightly (and sometimes greatly) out of your control.
Bren Boardman, Tom Hare, Spencer Jenkins, and Nicola Richards have collaborated on an exhibition called Giant Seed Heads, Ancient Fossils and Cobweb Textiles at 5 Rugby Road, Weston-under-Wetherley, Leamington Spa CV33 9BW. Catch this from Saturday 3rd to Tuesday 6th July and Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th, between10am-6pm.