Open studios in Ilkeston tonight

shed 2 studiosA collective group of artists and designers based at Shed 2 Studios in Ilkeston will be showcasing their work and opening the studio doors up to the public in a special two-day event starting this evening..

The studio, which is based on Heanor Road in the town, houses six creative artists including sculptors, furniture designers, ceramicists, jewellers and wood-workers. Visitors to the open studios will be able to see where the pieces are created and meet the designers and makers and have an opportunity to purchase unique handmade pieces direct from the makers.

The event will take place over two days – from 5:30pm – 9pm on Friday, today where visitors will be treated to a special preview and can enjoy a glass of mulled wine or a soft drink, and tomorrow when the doors will be open from 11am – 5pm. On both days visitors will receive ten per cent off any purchases.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibitor, Rachel Carter is inviting visitors to come along and create their very own Christmas present, visitors can book a space and for £20 she will help them to create a Woven Willow Obelisk. Booking is essential and to do so call Rachel on 07957 432296.

Rachel, who is the Shed 2 Studios manager, said:  “We’re all looking forward to the open studios event, it will give us an opportunity to meet people face to face and they can also see how we work and the materials and equipment we use.

“Each of us has something different and unique top offer, the event will be perfect for those looking for gifts or just an insight into how we work.”

Shed 2 Studios is based at 10A Heanor Road, Ilkeston. More information can be found at

Rachel Carter –  The nature of Rachel’s work is to create sculptural pieces for a garden or landscape inspired by trips to botanical gardens and the English countryside. Nature creates beautiful fluid shapes and this finds its way into the shapes that she creates with willow and mild steel. Alongside her commission work, is community-based work as a visiting artist, teaching and demonstrating a variety of workshops assisting others in the creation of sculptures.

Travis Kelly – Travis Kelly of ‘Evolution Revolution’ runs an architectural design and furniture making business, offering a complete bespoke service from the design work through to making and installing. He uses a mixture of traditional and modern skills from steam bending to the latest computer aided manufacturing processes to produce one off pieces or small batch runs.

Dawn Turner – Fascinated and intrigued by scientific imagery of both natural and manmade worlds, Dawn creates pieces for the home and large-scale site-specific commissions based on the repeating patterns, textures and shapes. A recent graduate, Dawn works primarily in glass and ceramics using a variety of techniques, often combining traditional materials and working by hand with modern design and manufacturing technology.

Nicola Lidstone – Nicola’s work reflects a curiosity into the appearance and personalities of animals. She hand screen-prints her drawings onto porcelain paper clay and   through hand moulding from underneath the clay, gently shapes the animal’s characteristics. Inspired by many things including folklore, stately homes and the countryside close to her home, her hope is to create contemporary pieces that are beautiful, intriguing and unique.

Rachel Helen – Rachel Helen Designs offers bespoke handmade jewellery for the individual with three distinct ranges to offer; The Juniper Tree – Vintage recycled jewellery created from lost treasures and unloved gems, The Nightshade Collection – A range of limited edition sterling silver jewellery hand finished with Swarovski crystals, and The Precious Collection – Hand crafted high quality bespoke jewellery created from precious metals and gems. The inspiration for Rachel’s designs come from the dark side of fairytales, nature and the human form with a great passion for statement jewellery that has a story to tell.

Tom Machin – Tom was born and raised in rural Staffordshire and was always ‘the boy with a stick in his hand’. His passion for wood and the forms he found in nature started at an early age. Drawing on this passion for the outdoors he handcrafts furniture and jewellery from natural materials and found objects.