The Willow Gallery Craft shop is a treasure trove of beautiful and exquisite, locally hand-crafted gifts. We have a range of showcase jewellery, textiles, ceramics, wood turning, cosmetics and limited edition prints. Discover that unique card for a special someone from our selection of handmade and original greeting card designs. Featuring work by the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft.
Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft
The Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft was formed in 2001 to promote, display and sell the work of designer makers working in Shropshire. Their members use traditional skills and techniques, alongside innovative modern methods, to produce beautiful contemporary work of the highest calibre. The guild encompasses all craft disciplines and is currently represented by designer/makers of baskets,ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, leather, metal,sculpture, textiles and wood. The gallery is regularly updated with new stock by members.
Further information on each member can be discovered at Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft.
Featured Makers Currently on Display
Sara Piper Heap
“I work in metal. I love that when you hit it – it moves and when you heat it it becomes easier to manipulate. I love that it can sparkle yet ages beautifully. I make creations of a curious nature inspired by a statement made in jest, a resonating song lyric, a one off event or even an every day occurrence. Something hits me ‘where I live’ and I need to produce the scene that’s in my head. I hope you like them and indeed I hope they make you smile.”
“I love wood and working with it to make good, honest furniture.
My furniture is based on traditional designs, beautifully made but often with a contemporary twist. Many a happy hour is spent rummaging around woodyards carefully
selecting beautiful wood, with a local provenance where possible, which I use to craft individual pieces of furniture with real character.
Windsor chairs of all shapes and sizes are my speciality, but I also make all sorts of free-standing furniture. If you have an idea, why not get in touch and we can work together to create a beautiful piece of furniture you can be proud of.”
“Originally I trained as jeweller and silversmith at Birmingham School of Jewellery, and now I have transferred many of those gem-setting skills to larger mosaic designs. I am still very attracted to using highly reflective materials and surface patterns, textiles and colour.
Recent work has focused on exploring the positive/negative patterns within trees and their branches, silhouetted against the sky. I am also inspired by historic embroidery with bright colours on a dark background. I am currently developing mosaic ‘garden interventions’, mosaic flowerheads on mild steel rods to sit among border planting to add points of interest in a garden design.”
“I am a self-taught needle felting artist and sculptor based in Glyn Ceriog. I work with sheep wool, alpaca, camel and angora fibres. Where possible I use local fleeces.”
Working in porcelain, Ruth Gibson combines a love of photography, printmaking and ceramics, to evoke a sense of place; in particular the Shropshire landscape and the Welsh coast and mountains. Inspired by many walks on the rugged Stiperstones, or the Long Mynd, imagery includes winter trees, textures in nature, birds in flight, the rocks beneath the surface, and the inclusion of sections on map, rooting the work to the place it is inspired by. Ancient standing stones found scattered across the Shropshire and Welsh hills are echoed in the shapes of the ceramic pieces.
“I love working with clay and experimenting with textured and heavily grogged clays making useful and I hope, beautiful, things for everyday . I use a variety of techniques including moulding, slabbing and coiling to construct pieces. I then explore the interaction of slips and glazes with different clay bodies and try to interpret the colours and textures of the erosion of sand and rocks by water, the shading, intrusions and veining found in rock formations. Lichens and plants found growing in and around rocks on beaches, on old wooden fence posts and in woodlands are also a source of inspiration.”
” Like so many other artists and craftsmen, this all started as a hobby several years ago and evolved into a passion. I cannot resist the colours; the depth, the huge variations in tone and shade, and the fact that there is no other media that can transmit, refract and reflect light in the same way as glass. It’s what makes people invariably hold any piece of glass up to the light for inspection. Those qualities are certainly my inspiration. “
Every decorative or functional glass piece made by Kaby Bitten Glass is crafted by hand and decorated with original patterns inspired by the coastlines and countryside of Wales, Devon and Cornwall. Ideas are taken back to the artists studio in Herefordshire.
I am a Glass Artist living near Church Stretton in Shropshire creating original hand made kiln fired glass designs. Using a wide range of vibrant coloured Art Glass, I produce unique and beautiful glass items for the home and stunning Dichroic glass jewellery with solid hallmarked Sterling Silver findings.
Firing glass to temperatures of over 800 degrees Centigrade can be both exciting and challenging. Glass can be extremely unpredictable and volatile and great care needs to be taken when cooling (annealing); most of my kiln firings take a minimum of 22 hours! I use Bullseye hand rolled art glass, which I purchase from Warm Glass in Somerset, for most of my designs. This is a high quality art glass with a huge range of colours and forms.
Jane is a Shropshire-based glassworker who trained in industrial ceramics and has been involved in this discipline all her working life. Three years ago Jane was asked to make some glass tiles; glass was such an exciting medium to work with that she started experimenting and now works with silk-screened images onto flat glass that is then slumped and backpainted. The images used are all self-generated and the original artwork is hand-drawn.
“I have been a professional sculptor and painter for many years, and as you will discover a lover of animals. There is something special about taking raw clay and finding that inside there is a dog, cat or even a llama trying to get out. I love to draw out their special characteristics and then see the magic as they emerge from the kiln.”
“I love the geometric nature of weaving and particularly enjoy using comparatively simple designs that let the texture, colour and beauty of the yarns show to the best effect. I prefer to work with natural fibres and get inspiration for my designs from many sources, including the colours and patterns of the natural world.
Much of the silk I use I hand dye, which makes each piece unique.
Currently I have two looms; a small one that I use for sampling and for some of the narrower scarves, and a much larger Swedish loom that is my main workhorse and a beautiful example of wooden engineering. Both looms are completely hand-, and in the case of the larger on, foot-, operated. I work at home in my living room looking out over the beautiful Shropshire countryside.”
“Each piece is individually handpainted and unique. My work is influenced by my love of watercolour painting and the great British watercolour tradition exemplified by Turner, Cotman and Constable. Many are inspired by local landscapes in particular the Stiperstones, the area around the Wrekin and the estuary at Aberdovey.”
“I specialise in cast and fused glass, often combining it with other materials such as slate, wood and clay as I enjoy the contrasts of their surface textures, such as fragility ,malleability, warm wood or cool slate.
My work is based on the glimpsed moments and hidden traces in the natural world – such as the striations of rocks or the flash of a dragonfly, a resting butterfly and floating petals. I use these in wall art and unique jewellery. I am now working in pate de verre, and grinding my own Frits.”
Tereska’s artwork is continually inspired by the natural world and her deep rooted interest in conservation. Specialising in Botanical and Natural History Illustrations in Watercolour as well as Oil and mixed media, she aims to draw people’s attention to the often overlooked yet beautiful and intriguing aspects of the natural world. Tereska Shepherd has recently had work exhibited with the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour and completed a Masters in Fine Art with Distinction from Aberystwyth University. She teaches a wide range of Art courses throughout Mid Wales and the Borders. We hope you enjoy browsing the website.
“Process inspires me, whether in felt-making, dyeing or metalsmithing. I like my work to grow organically, with the results of each step suggesting the next direction to be taken. Being surprised and slightly off-kilter makes me feel at my most creative, leading me in unexpected directions which otherwise wouldn’t occur to me.
The plasticity of wool is fascinating, its malleability as felt gives it qualities more akin to clay than to woven textiles and I work by playing with this quality. It also accepts colour readily, which adds to the joy of working. Similary, aluminium is a wonderful medium for dyeing and continues the overall narrative of my work which centres on the uplifting nature of vibrant colours.”
Tiffany Stained Glass: This is my latest passion and creative outlet. Taking inspiration from years of world travel and living in exotic locations such as in the jungle on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, I love to transform sheets of beautiful stained glass into colourful sun-catchers, ornaments and dangling things.
I am a sculptor and ceramicist, creating a unique range of figurative and free-flowing sculptures for the house and garden. I work with a number of materials but principally with clay and employ a wide range of techniques, from coil and slab building to throwing and slip casting.
Much of my inspiration is drawn from observations of the environment and the gentle shapes and re-occurring patterns that occur in nature. Some of the sculptures, as well as being ornamental, have a practical turn, such as stools and seats. All my sculptures are frost proof.
I am a textile artist living in the beautiful countryside of south Shropshire. The area is an AONB – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – so the landscapes surrounding my home are my inspiration for my work.
I create tiny three-dimensional pieces of machine and hand embroidered work in teacups and other vessels. Each piece of work is a labour of love – taking many hours – and is unique. I use my knowledge of art to embroider realistic pieces of textiles including varieties of trees, shrubs, flowers or countryside.
I use a basic Bernina sewing machine to “draw” in threads working with just straight or zig-zag stitching. Using a water dissolveable film I move the needle around building up the stitches until they are inter-woven to form shapes. These shapes are then dissolved and several are assembled, with the addition of wiring, to form the trees and flowers.
I draw upon many influences, in the creation of my glassware, from the broad spectrum of the Arts, my own photography, to everyday objects & experiences.
When I set out to design a new range, I usually have a set of colour combinations in mind. I often try to visualise what they will look like in my head, and jot down notes, about possible colours & techniques. Unfortunately, ideas that worked in your brain, or on paper, often look considerably different in the glass medium; So, I will try some of these ideas out, and keep altering it, until, I get the desired effect. Sometimes, it is the happy accidents that spark off the best idea.
I design and make silver jewellery in several different styles including Art Nouveau, Celtic and Animal themes. I use a wide variety of techniques, some pieces are cast, others are cut from silver sheet. Detail is often added using chasing punches with the jewellery set onto a pitch bowl. Other pieces may be given a hammered (planished) surface which reflects the light in an interesting way. All pieces are finally polished to a high finish.
Anne studied sculpture at Art School and went on to spend twenty years as a dancer which she regards as sculpture in motion.
Anne has recently discovered the joys of creating brooches, earrings and pictures from polymer clay. She begins by sculpting the shape she wants and baking it before painting on layers of colour and detail then finally varnishing.
Anne’s brooches are finished to a high standard and the earrings are two-sided to give a 3D effect.