<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today click here

Drawn to the Valley Open Studios: Meet the artists inspired by the beauty of the Tamar Valley

PUBLISHED: 11:36 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22 04 September 2017

Mosaic inspired by water

Mosaic inspired by water

Archant

Visit Georgie Bruce’s very special corner of Cornwall and it’s easy to see where much of the inspiration for her mosaic art comes from

Painting on recycled materials Painting on recycled materials

Georgie lives at one of the old coastguard cottages at Rame Head. From her garden, on a clear day, you can see the sea for miles and miles. At the end of her garden is the South West Coast Path, which she walks every single day. And underfoot all around here is the Cornish slate and stone that you’re likely to spot in some of Georgie’s mosaics.

An hour’s drive up the Tamar Valley, and textile artist Katy Choroszewska and her daughter, Melissa, a ceramicist, are also inspired by their surroundings. Here, it’s the Cornish countryside and mining landscape.

For nine days in September, Georgie, Katy and Melissa are inviting the public to come and see them at work, as part of the Drawn to the Valley Open Studios event. Drawn to the Valley is an artist-led initiative open to professional artists and craftspeople living or working within five miles of the River Tamar. It was formed by the artists themselves in 2003, mainly as a support network, but also to promote the Tamar Valley by bringing the area of natural beauty to life through art.

Around 100 of the group’s 160 artists are taking part in Open Studios from 2-10 September, dozens of them in Cornwall. You’ll find Georgie at the southern tip of the Drawn to the Valley area. The moment you walk into her courtyard garden and through her front door, you’ll notice mosaics everywhere you look – in mirrors, tables and in art pieces on the walls. All are made in her little studio: “This is Mosaic Central,” says Georgie, “this is where everything happens.”

Mirror slate detail Mirror slate detail

Georgie uses a hammer and hardie, a traditional Roman mosaic tool, and it takes pride of place in the studio. Everything Georgie uses is either collected while on walks, such as beach glass and cowry shells, or is recycled: chipped cups and plates, broken glass, the silvery side of chocolate wrappers, rusty staples and even old items of clothing that she uses in her colourful mixed media paintings.

“I’m passionate about recycling and I dislike waste. That’s what inspired me to make mosaics in the first place. There’s a use for everything so why not use it? This painting is inspired by my views of the sea,” says Georgie, pointing out a painting she’s just finished. “It’s got my old trousers in it and bits of steel wool and mesh.”

Georgie has been creating mosaics for over 20 years, explaining: “I’ve always made things and I just remember getting up one morning and making one. Also, I’m compulsively creative and a compulsive fiddler.”

Making mosaics can also be therapeutic: One of the mirror mosaics features Millbrook and Rame slate which Georgie took enormous pleasure in hammering the morning after a stormy night blew off part of her roof: “I love the slate in this mirror. I was out walking with my granddaughter and I saw this confused seam.

Georgie in her studio Georgie in her studio

“I’ve always got my eye on the ground, looking for nice pieces to work with.” And when she looks up from the ground, there’s that glorious view straight ahead: “Who wouldn’t be inspired by this? I’m sure one of the reasons I do lots of fish mosaics is because I see the sea every day.”

Georgie, a member of Drawn to the Valley for 11 years, enjoys sharing her skills and people visiting her Open Studio will get the chance to see her at work and learn about the processes that transform found materials and recycled bits and bobs into eye-catching pieces of art.

Further up the Tamar Valley and the blue of the sea becomes the green of the countryside. Welcome to Gunnislake, home to a number of Drawn to the Valley artists, including Katy and Melissa Choroszewska. Their Open Studio is at Katy’s 200-year-old cottage, which is reached via a picturesque lane and her country garden. Some of the flowers in the garden will end up being pressed on Melissa’s ceramics or as subjects for Katy’s paintings: “We’re so lucky having this all around us and it feeds the work,” says Katy.

For the Open Studio, the dining and sitting rooms will become a gallery and studio, where Katy will be demonstrating how she hand-dyes threads - “my bread and butter” - and creates textile art - “my joy”. Melissa will be showing how her hanging pieces are pressed with flowers: “I love using sunflowers, and buddleia especially,” says Melissa, who works with porcelain: “It’s gorgeous, nothing compares to it.”

Hand dyed threads Hand dyed threads

Katy’s process involves cotton fabric, a waterproof drawing pen, acrylics - and a hair dryer: “I’ll be sitting and watching the painting as it dries on the cotton and as soon as it reaches the shade I want, I’m ready to blast it with the hair dryer.” The hair dryer came in handy when Katy made a scroll this year depicting the mining heritage of the Tamar Valley. It has several layers, incorporating Katy’s paintings and sections of maps that have been transferred to textile.

Last year, three generations of the family took part in the Open Studio, with Katy’s mother, printmaker Jen Parker, joining Katy and Melissa. It was Jen who bought Melissa’s first kiln: “Hopefully, grandma will be doing it with us again next year,” said Melissa.

Katy summed up why the artists love taking part in Open Studios each September: “What we do is very solitary so it’s nice to be able to talk to people and show them how we work.”

Drawn to the Valley Open Studios is a chance for the public to buy locally-crafted one-off or limited edition pieces. Details of locations and opening times are on the website. www.drawntothevalley.co.uk

Scroll section Scroll section

More from People

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Recently we covered 13 celebrities you never knew were from Devon, because Devon is home to so many famous faces here are eight more that we missed…

Read more
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Founder member of Police Dog Hogan, James Studholme, tells Judy Spiers the story of how the country band got their most distinctive moniker

Read more
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

David J Williams looks back at an era when thousands flocked to watch football players at Plymouth’s Home Park…but it wasn’t the men they were cheering on

Read more
Friday, October 13, 2017

Puppies can bring big life changes, bigger still if it’s a Bernese Mountain Dog, as Belinda Jones discovers

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Macmillan Cancer Support’s brand new charity fundraiser, Art 4 Macmillan, will be offering a double event in the form of a sale and special auction later this year. Kate Williams caught up with organisers Suzie Warren and Bridget Hill to find out what is in store

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Judi Spiers talks to a North Devonian who has found himself travelling the world to instruct newcomers in a sport close to his heart

Read more
Monday, July 24, 2017

He’s one of the greatest cinematographers of all time but at home in Devon, Roger Deakins likes to take a break from the limelight. Chrissy Harris met up with him to talk movies, Hollywood and pasties...

Read more
Monday, July 17, 2017

We have covered just some of the celebrities born in Devon, however it seems that we had forgotten some. Here we have 8 more celebrities that were born in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A new exhibition of contemporary sculpture seeks to inspire, surprise and even challenge visitors to Buckland Abbey. Claire Saul talks to the creative force behind The Art of Reflection

Read more
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Farmer and wildlife conservationist Tim Green died in a horrific accident in February. He was just 42. Here, his best friend and business partner Rebecca Hosking tells Chrissy Harris how she and her team are carrying on in his memory...

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

Businessman Steve Littley sold his transport firm and left Surrey for the perfect, quiet life in Devon. A decade and £3.5million on, the building work at Cranberries Hideaway has finally finished. Kate Williams visits the former dairy farm and discovers how the journey evolved

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

John Wright turns back the clock to talk to a man whose job once took him around the lanes of Devon in all weathers to make sure the milk got through

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

Chagford’s community farm enterprise, Chagfarm arose out of two brothers’ yearning to connect farmers with local communities, writes Fran McElhone

Read more
Monday, June 12, 2017

In the latest in her series throughout 2017 profiling inspirational women, Kate Haskell talks to foster mum Wendy Hart

Read more
 
Its Christmas advert link
 
Pure Weddings advert link
 
South West Life advert link
 
A+ South & South West
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad
Devon Life Application Link


Local Business Directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search