Last week-end, I attended Wentworth Castle Gardens' Christmas Fair, to tell the public all about the Follies for Follies project, and to begin collecting hand-decorated wine glasses for the Rotunda chandelier. The chandelier will be freeform, to allow as much flexibility in the number of glasses I can include, and via a number of events, I am hoping to get the glasses decorated by as many different members of the public as I can. For this, the public obviously has to know about the project, and so I hung my shingle out. Because I had not been able to demonstrate glass bead making for the Lady Mary folly (no electricity), I had also decided to do that...and I had some wares out. So...demonstrating, selling, and getting wine glasses decorated, all on a single stall. That seemed a tall order, and so I was aptly assisted by the rest of the family (seen left). They took it upon themselves to decorate the first piece of the day, a candle holder, which were on the stall to give people the chance to take some artwork away, too.
When we arrived, we were informed that our gazebo had already made one escape attempt in the high winds, and so we waited a few hours before deciding to put up the Follies for Follies banner - at which point, we lashed it against a Christmas tree to anchor it. Throughout all of this, I was making beads - seaside beads, to be precise, because...hey, what else would you demonstrate at a Christmas fair in the Peak District area, right?
Thankfully, the hardy general public weren't put off by the prospect of sitting down and engaging in a spot of glass painting -outside, in near-freezing temperatures - and before long, we had the table full of artists young and old.
By the end of the day, the chandelier had 25 glasses, an excellent start. The decorations so far include several Christmas trees, but also flowers, a frog, and an Easter bunny!
Throughout the day, I heard just how many people were happy to be able not only to support the chandelier, but also to create handmade Christmas presents, and so, I had the idea that I could travel to local groups and 'accumulations of people' - brownies, sports clubs, societies, retirement homes, schools...bringing with me glasses for the chandelier - which would be free to decorate - and more glasses and tea light holders, which could be decorated for a small fee (£2), which will be used to - you guessed it - purchase glasses for the chandelier!
I'll still be able to fit in a number of groups before Christmas, so if you're interested, please contact me asap (via the contact page on this website). The activity is suitable for all ages, even toddler groups, if Mums and Dads help a bit, and I'm happy to travel - within reason, and within about 6 miles of Wentworth Castle Gardens - and I am hoping to involve as broad a spectrum of the community, so please do share this blog post with anybody who you feel might be interested!