Sunday, 16 January 2022

Potter opens shed studio in step up from former phone box

Potter opens shed studio in step up from former phone box

A POTTER from Kidmore End will be opening up her shed studio to visitors for the first time this weekend.

Debbie Page, 59, will be opening her yellow shed in Wood Lane for the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival, which is running until May 24. 

Displays will take place in venues around South Oxfordshire as well as online after last year’s event had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mrs Page, who specialises in making spherical pots known as moon jars, decided to open her private studio instead of displaying her art at a joint venue to make the visit more covid-secure for guests.

Safety measures will be in place such as pre-booking sessions, wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser and a six-person limit inside the studio. 

There will also be a gazebo set up outside the shed so that the artist can hold demonstration sessions. 

Mrs Page, who lives with her husband James, said: “I’m just delighted it’s going ahead even with all the restrictions in place.

“I’m keen to get back to showing and selling and just meeting up with people. I’ve done lots of craft fairs and it’s been sad not being able to meet people and chat about art and what it means to them. 

“I’m getting really quite excited as I haven’t done a fair in a long time due to the pandemic.

“I’m busy tidying the shed — it’s looking like a bomb site at the moment but things have to get dirtier before they get tidier.” 

Mrs Page, who has been a potter since 1995, first displayed her work for Oxfordshire Artweeks in 2019 inside the old BT phone box in the same road as her home.

She said: “Exhibiting my work in the telephone kiosk was great fun but I couldn’t do any demonstrations there, so with opening up my studio to the public I can show people how I make and decorate my work.” 

Outside of craft fairs, Mrs Page also sells her work online and teaches pottery classes in Reading.

Her work has slowed down due to the pandemic but her classes are due to start up again after June 21, depending on Government guidelines.

She said: “I’ve had a good lockdown — I’ve had that time artists want without the day to day pressures to go into the studio and let it rip.

“I’ve really enjoyed that length of time to really to grips with stuff. It’s very useful for me as my shed is only two steps from my door. So from an artistic point of view it’s been good, but from a sales point of view people don’t want to buy things online as they want to be able to touch things and pick them up.” 

Mrs Page, who used to be a health care manager, will open her yellow shed up for six days starting tomorrow (Saturday).

She decided to paint the shed a sunshine yellow as it’s her favourite colour and its easier to find.

She added: “It’s a hopeful colour. I’ve had the shed for 11 years and it used to be a primrose yellow but I repainted it last year. People use it as a landmark when giving directions in the village!” Mrs Page is exhibiting under the name “Yellow Shed Pottery” and the shed studio will be open tomorrow and Sunday and again from Wednesday (May 20) to Sunday (May 23).

Opening times are 11am to 6pm each day, except for Friday, when the studio will stay open until 8pm.

To make a booking, call 07802 347943 or visit www.calendly.com/
debbiepageceramics 

There are a total of 199 venues and 306 artists taking part in the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival.

For more information, visit www.artweeks.org

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