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Art in the Pen

Last weekend I took part in my first solo art fair, Art in the Pen in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Art in the Pen is a leading art and crafts fair, showcasing a wide range of art and craft. It runs each year in Thirsk and Skipton Auction Marts.

Artists transform cattle pens into galleries to sell their original work.

It was another leap of faith for me and I'll be honest, I spent weeks preparing for it and fretting about it.

I had two challenges...

The first big one, how to turn a cow pen into something I could display my prints in.

The second, what to take. I usually frame to order and wasn't going to be able to take lots of framed stock.

I loved the spirit shared amongst artists there and really enjoyed chatting to people about my prints.

As you'll see below it was a great success and yes, I had lots of fun making things.

Setting up

I 'm very lucky to ave friends and family that help and support me. My friend Mike helped me make the frame and set up on the day.

The frame is made from wardrobe rails and shower rail kits. All picked up in a sale, when a local DIY store closed down. I had the dilemma of how to join them though. I found that electrical conduit connectors from Toolstation where a similar diameter and with a bit of electrical tape around the pole, did the trick.

I made screens for the frames to hang against, from calico. Some of it was old curtains I'd made for my London flat years ago.

We secured it all against the pen with cable ties.

It did take about 4 hours to set up the day before. I'm sure I'll be quicker next time.

Making my display

I made display boxes for my mounted prints from some scraps of MDF and hard board.

My card stand and mounted print stands were made from bits of scarp wood and screws.

I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to things that I might be able to make things from!

My print browser was made with some scraps of calico and a frame from a very old laundry basket. I knew there was a reason I'd kept it!

Find out more about other Art in the Pen events here.

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