Art in Action 2014

Art in Action 2014 – a Perfect Summer Day

In this post I’m going to give you a flavour of Art in Action 2014, an art event which takes place in July at Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire.

Demonstrating Artists

One of the joys of Art in Action is to watch artists and craftspeople demonstrate their skills and discuss their work with them. The artists and craftspeople are found in the many marquees around the gardens. The demonstrators in each marquee are from a single discipline, e.g. calligraphy, ceramics, glass, illustration, metalwork & jewellery, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and woodwork.

Of course, I went to the Textiles marquee, but you’ll have to wait for the next post to see the wonderful things there!

In the Glass marquee, I watched a demonstration of glass bead making by Amanda Glanville and glass blowing by Louise Cloke. It’s always fascinating to watch!

Glass blowing at Art in Action 2014


Glass blowing demonstration at Art in Action 2014

This lovely old printing press was in the Print marquee. I love that it is still used. There were demonstrations of many different types of print, such as screen-printing, wood-cut, linocut and copperplate etching.

Printing press at Art in Action 2014

Here is a demonstration of calligraphy from Art in Action a few years ago …

Calligraphy demonstration from Art in Action, 2010

And here I’m having a go at dying some wool with indigo!

Nicki dying some yarn with indigo at Art in Action

Art Materials and Publications

In this marquee you can try out art materials from suppliers such as Derwent, Caran D’Ache and Pro Arte Ltd. I bought a clever device from Derwent called a scale divider; it is designed to help scale up or down drawings – we shall see if it improves my attempts at drawing!

Mr BK had a go at stone carving, courtesy of Southern Stone, and absolutely loved it. I think one of their kits may be a future present! These include stone, chisels and detailed instructions.

Stone carving at Art in Action 2014

The Market

At this point Mr BK went to listen to some classical music while I visited the Market marquee. Here you can buy work from over 100 designer-makers. Between them, they make by hand: batic cloth, bound books, ceramic tiles, clocks, copperplate prints, embroidery, felted accessories, glass jewellery, glass tableware, glass panels, straw hats, handwoven scarves, jewellery, knitwear, leather bags, pens, photographs, porcelain, raku ceramics, soap, stoneware and toys. Well, that’s Christmas sorted!

The Market marquee at Art in Action 2014

There were so many beautiful things that I could have taken hundreds of photographs. But I restricted myself to knitwear: these colourful accessories by Susan Holton caught my eye.

Susan Holton Knitwear stand in the Market at Art in Action 2014 showing scarves and mittens

I also loved the linen knitwear from Les Artisanes and the wonderfully vivid colours of the silk knitwear by Linda Dooley.

Food, Glorious Food

Art in Action is one event where we really look forward to buying lunch. The food is global and the quality high. We had already had a coffee from Bean and Gone and bought some bread to take home from Oliver’s Bakery. Lunch was from Arabica; I had a falafel shawarma wrap and Mr BK had a chicken shawarma wrap. Both came with salad and pickles and were in a delicious flatbread. My mouth’s watering at the thought of it!

The Arabica stall at Art in Action 2014

Mr BK missed the classical music, but took part in a choral workshop instead, so with that, stone carving and a delicious lunch he was very happy!

After lunch we went to the Best of the Best marquee. Each demonstrating artist is asked to submit the best single example of their work. It’s probably best to see this exhibition first as a taster; however, it was fascinating to try to spot work by the artists we had already seen. And of course we saw some fantastic work by other artists.

We visited the Illustration and Calligraphy marques. Here we bought a book called “Rope of Words” by Megan Kerr which was illustrated by Lin Kerr.  Lin offered to write an inscription in the book, so we were playing with words and came up with “wordsmith and woolsmith”. So, now I’m a woolsmith; I rather like that!

Then we dashed over the the International Art marquee to watch an amazing demonstation of paper cutting by Apolonia Nowak, a Polish artist. She uses sheep shearing scissors to make the most intricate paper cuts.

Perfect End to a Perfect Day

It was a sweltering day, just the day for an ice-cream! Whilst enjoying our ice-creams we heard some music drifting out of the Newcomers marquee. We discovered there was to be a concert at the end of the day. So off we went to the Open Air Theatre. Things were running a little late, so we caught the end of Anusha Subramaniam performing Indian dances.

Anusha Subramaniam dancing at Art in Action 2014

Then we listened to Don Kipper, who play Klezmer, Gypsy Jazz, Turkish Fasil and Greek Rembetika. For me, this is music that speaks to the soul! And they experiment with it – have you ever heard a clarinet laugh?

Don Kipper performing at Art in Action 2014

Don Kipper performing at Art in Action

I love the variety of art at Art in Action; there is something for everyone!

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  1. Fibre, Yarn and Fabric Festival Dates for July - December 2015 - 9 July 2015

    […] Read about my day at Art in Action in 2014. […]

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