Banks Mill Studios open this weekend

Banks Mill is an old Victorian rope factory which was purchased by the University of Derby in 1998 and converted into studios. 

Today it’s a hub of activity offering space to people wishing to start a creative business.

This weekend you can visit the mill and the studios of more than 50 artists designers and makers at the annual open weekend which is on from November 23-25.

Banks Mill co-ordinator Karen Holland said: “During our open studios you can see first-hand how our artists create their unique designs.

“The event gives the public the opportunity to buy original work directly from the artists themselves, something that can’t be experienced on the high street.  

“You can also meet one of our creative service providers to discuss how they can work with you; from branding and website design to digital and video promotion or photography services for your own business.”

Kate Dawson, who has recently moved into Banks Mill Studios, formerly worked at a jeweller’s in Birmingham designing and making jewellery but decided that she wanted to do this for herself.  Kate specialises in engagement rings, wedding bands and unique custom pieces using platinum, gold and many precious stones including diamonds.

Sarah Perkins is another artist new to the studios having just launched her business painting portraits of much-loved pets as well as all kinds of animals.  

Sarah spent many years in the police force and after retiring has decided to focus on what she loves most – painting.

Such is the diversity within the Mill, you can also meet Sarah Skinner who reupholsters small furniture pieces using traditional techniques and natural, sustainable materials.

During the open weekend, which is from 10am-5pm on the Saturday and Sunday and from 5pm-8pm on the Friday, there will be an on-site pop-up café and a trail to engage younger visitors.

To find out more about the event, who is exhibiting and to enter a free prize draw visit