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Chipping Campden meeting the demand for bespoke crafted items

The Gallery at The Guild, Chipping Campden

Campden, is well known as the home of C. R. Ashbee's world renowned Guild of Handicraft which occupied the Guild workshops from 1902 to 1908. Indeed, the Guild is still represented at the property through Hart's goldsmiths and silversmiths. Attracted by the history of the building and Campden's excellent reputation throughout the arts and crafts movement, a new cooperative of more than a dozen artists and artisans moved into the Guild workshops in 2005, bringing a variety of contemporary and traditional craftspeople together.

There are parallels between the new cooperative and Ashbee's original guild. Some of the cooperative's members have given up urban life and fast moving careers to focus on quality of life by moving to the countryside with their families and devoting their time to work which they truly enjoy. As in Ashbee's day, all of the cooperative's members face competition from mass produced items but in an age where consumers are faced with more choice than ever before, there seems to be a distinct trend towards bespoke, hand crafted items. Whether it be one original piece of art for that large space over the fireplace, a single cabinet or a hand made kitchen to last a lifetime, consumers are becoming more discerning, perhaps recognising that there is always a price-quality trade off.

The Gallery @ the Guild is a cooperative of twenty two artists, calligraphers, ceramicists, designers, furniture makers, photographers, sculptors and textile artists. The cooperative aims to promote its members' work and to provide the public with an opportunity to meet its members, each of whom takes a turn at stewarding the cooperative's various exhibitions. Each exhibition includes a variety of disciplines so that there is something for everyone. The gallery also sells small gifts, hand made cards and limited edition prints to suit every budget.

Also in the same building are Hart's goldsmiths and silversmiths, Caroline Richardson jewellery and Goody Lou's shoes, bespoke shoe dying and embellishment workshop.

Tuesday, 29th may to Sunday 24th June
Liz Allchin, Kate Barry, Emma Clegg, Mary Day, Jeremy Green

Thursday, 28th June to Sunday, 29th July
"Creme de la Creme"

The Gallery @ the Guild, the Guild craft workshops, Sheep Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6DS.

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10am till 5pm. Closed on Mondays except bank holidays.

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. included with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

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