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Farnham and its villages have developed from their earlier agricultural roots into communities that are thriving, vibrant places to live and visit. Over time, the character of each area has been influenced by human interaction, the changing built environment, cultural aspirations, the impact of geography and patterns of trade. Farnham has a diverse and exciting cultural heritage and we want to build on this special feature: so much so that we want you to think of Craft and Farnham in the same breath. The roots of craft run deep in Farnham, and there are a remarkable number of major institutions who dedicate time, resources and creative energies to sustaining craft as one of

the great defining features of place here: from the University for the Creative Arts to major museum, exhibition and specialist retail outlets and craft-related businesses. Farnham is home to both world renowned craft artists and to the next generation of emerging makers. I am delighted that the Farnham Town Team has invested government funds from the High Streets’ Innovation Fund to build on this reputation and to encourage everyone to think of the town in a new way: a way that celebrates distinctiveness and the creative community, and places craft at the forefront of the town.



Iain Lynch Town Clerk, Farnham 03

Farnham Craft Town

The roots of Farnham’s engagement with craft can be dated back to the time when Farnham exported white clay to the Romans. In the 16th century, potteries in Farnham were major suppliers of pottery to London. But its real emergence as a town with a special leaning towards craft is in the Victorian era and the establishment and great success of The Farnham Pottery, Wrecclesham, with its reputation for the distinctive style of work known as Greenware (so called because of the copper-green glaze). The establishment of The Farnham School of Art in 1880 strongly promoted the education in craft subjects as part of its curriculum, and a powerful reputation was developed that has lasted throughout the 20th century and to the present day especially in courses in textiles and ceramics. Craft courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels are offered at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham, the successor institution to the Art School. Craft courses in jewellery, metalwork, glass as

well as in textiles and ceramics offer today’s emerging craft makers unrivalled opportunities in some of the best equipped studios and workshops in any specialist university in the country. The opportunity to exhibit, sell and present contemporary crafts in Farnham is a significant feature of the town’s creative programme. The emergence of the Farnham Maltings as an arts centre in the 1970s has been of especial importance to the cultural life of Farnham, and the crafts have very strongly featured in its contemporary programme: right at the heart of its diverse cultural offer. There are year-round exhibitions featuring young as well as world class craft makers. There is a particular focus on the craft fair, with an unrivalled series of events featuring everything from textiles to sugarcraft, drawing international audiences to the town and having a powerful and positive effect on the creative economy. Craft studios are established in the Farnham Maltings to sustain the craft infrastructure.

Craft across the centuries can been seen and researched from Farnham Greenware in the town’s museum through to the unrivalled collections of the Crafts Study Centre. The New Ashgate Gallery offers a diverse range of craft work for sale and is especially focused on creating opportunities for emerging makers. Each of the cultural organisations named in this booklet is committed to developing the field of crafts and to supporting new opportunities to show as well as sell the best contemporary craft. All of these organisations lie within very easy reach of every visitor and resident of Farnham. Craft is embedded into the fabric, the homes as well as the cultural life of Farnham. Rosy Greenlees Executive Director, Crafts Council


Crafts Study Centre



The Crafts Study Centre was established by a pioneering group of educationalists and makers in 1970 who realised that there was no permanent public collection of craft established for study, research and enjoyment. There were Farnham connections even at the outset of the life of the charity: Henry Hammond was Head of Ceramics at the then West Surrey College of Art and Design and was a founder Trustee. The school architect David Medd was also a Trustee, and he had been a member of the remarkable Directorate of Camouflage at Farnham Castle during the second world war. Amelia Uden taught textiles alongside Henry Hammond and was also a long standing Trustee.

The Centre was first established within the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath but relocated to Farnham in 2000 in a joint partnership with the then Surrey Institute of Art & Design. The major outcome of this move was the dedicated building for the museum collection, which opened in 2004. Today, the Crafts Study Centre holds the unique place as the University Museum of Modern Craft, running a year round programme of exhibitions of significant contemporary craft as well as displays from the museum collections and archives, including textiles, ceramics, wood and furniture, lettering and calligraphy and archives, and offering access to researchers to study these unrivalled collections.


Crafts Study Centre University for the Creative Arts Falkner Road Farnham GU9 7DS t: 01252 891450 f: 01252 891451 e: w:


Farnham Maltings



The Maltings is a creative arts centre bought by the community in 1969 which works with artists and the community to encourage people to make, see and engage with the best arts possible. The crafts are central to its programme and the Maltings offers unrivalled opportunities to makers as well as local and national audiences. Craft is the country’s most popular hobby, and these making activities, whether knitting, sugar craft, pottery or sewing bring our community together. The Maltings has a diverse and distinctive craft offer: large scale craft fairs, craft-based studios, residencies, and education activity such as workshops and mentoring.

shop maltings, located in the foyer has a mix of handmade craft for sale including work from members of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen, the Maltings Makers Textile Network, Jewellers and Silversmith Network and the makers who work on-site in their studios. You will also find collections from emerging and established makers from across the UK. The Maltings wants to raise the profile of craft in the town and the region by initiating debate as well as promoting the achievements of the makers and small businesses who contribute to a developing craft marketplace.


Farnham Maltings Bridge Square Farnham GU9 7QR t: 01252 745444 e: w:


Museum of Farnham


The Museum is situated in Willmer House, a Grade 1 listed building which represents some of the finest brickwork in Farnham. From Stone Age hunters and Roman potters to hop pickers and beyond, the Museum collections tell the story of the town and its inhabitants. These include important historic craft collections particularly of Farnham Greenware, produced at The Farnham Pottery at the height of its popularity in the early 20th century. The varied collections document process as well as product, with tools and equipment from many traditional crafts employed within Farnham over the centuries.

The Museum holds collections that relate to many local artists as well as documenting the development of the Farnham School of Art during the Arts and Crafts Movement. Temporary exhibitions bring to life craft work by local artists and emerging craft makers from the University for the Creative Arts. The Museum is managed by Farnham Maltings on behalf of Waverley Borough Council. Museum of Farnham Willmer House 38 West Street Farnham GU9 7DX



t: 01252 715094 w:


New Ashgate Gallery


Originally established in the late 1950s, the New Ashgate Gallery has been located in a seventeenth century listed building in Waggon Yard since the 1970s. Over this time, the gallery has administered the profits from craft and art sales to create prizes and scholarships, and for the purchase of artworks for local and national museums. It was one of the first provincial galleries to show artists with an international reputation as well as supporting local talent. Today, the New Ashgate Gallery is a destination for buying the best of affordable contemporary craft by established and emerging makers. The Gallery curates an exciting programme of changing exhibitions and has an affordable gift shop. As a not-for-profit

charity, it also fosters emerging makers in partnership with the University for the Creative Arts through mentoring and touring exhibitions such as the Rising Stars competition. It also supports diverse community participation through a programme of gallery and outreach workshops. New Ashgate Gallery Waggon Yard Farnham GU9 7PS


t: 01252 713208 e: w:






The Farnham Pottery is one of the best-preserved examples of a Victorian country pottery in England. Established in 1873 by local potter Absalom Harris, the pottery made and sold domestic, architectural and garden wares. It operated for over 130 years and was run by five successive generations of the Harris family. Many well-known local potters learnt their craft at the Pottery. Now undergoing an extensive sympathetic renovation, The Pottery will provide inspiring accommodation for a range of craft ventures, with the primary focus on ceramics-based organisations, and will include public access space and exhibition areas, all with an emphasis on community involvement. The Farnham Pottery is dedicated to creativity, education and a

commitment to craft production, and is already home to three craft organisations, 318 Ceramics, West Street Potters and The Farnham Sculpture Group (see page19). West Street Potters is a steadily growing, independently run membership organisation that provides opportunities for people of all abilities to experience ceramics through classes, workshops and community events.

The Farnham Pottery Quennells Hill Wrecclesham Farnham GU10 4QJ

318 Ceramics is a new charitable organisation which provides education and support to all makers, from complete beginners through to professionals. Offering a programme of skills based courses, workshops and masterclasses, all 318 Ceramics tutors are experts in their respective fields, and many of which have strong international reputations in both teaching and practice. There are four dedicated studios for makers; a growing programme of community engagement and the perfect environment to ensure a vibrant market for buying and selling ceramics.

e: w: e: weststreetpotters@ w: 15

University for the Creative Arts



The history of today’s University is founded in the establishment of the Farnham School of Art in 1880. The University for the Creative Arts is established over campuses at Canterbury, Epsom, Maidstone and Rochester as well as Farnham and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in creative arts subjects. Craft courses are taught at Rochester and Farnham and are based on some of the best studio and workshop facilities in any university in the UK. The courses at Farnham include ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewellery and glass. The School of Crafts & Design at the University delivers these degree courses supported by leading academic staff as well as teaching sessions from internationally-significant craft makers.

The James Hockey Gallery and the Foyer Gallery are significant public spaces for the display of contemporary art, and a number of important exhibitions have focused on craft work and especially international contemporary textiles. Work by the University’s students from the School of Crafts & Design also features in this programme, often at the creative intersection of craft, art and design. University for the Creative Arts Falkner Road Farnham GU9 7DS



t: 01252 722441 f: 01252 892616 w:



Crafts further afield


Farnham Sculpture

The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen

Watts Gallery & Watts Chapel

Located at The Farnham Pottery in Wrecclesham, Farnham Sculpture is a membership group of wood and stone carvers, offering well equipped studio space and support for both experienced and novice carvers.

Surrey Guild of Craftsmen members are selected professional designer makers of contemporary and traditional applied arts. The Guild aims to raise public awareness of the quality and diversity of the work created by local craftsmen, demonstrated through an annual programme of countrywide exhibitions. The Surrey Guild Craft Gallery sells work from the members and is open all year round.

Nestled in the Surrey Hills at Compton, the Watts Gallery is dedicated to the work of the Victorian era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts OM RA. With over one hundred paintings and sculptures on permanent display, visitors can experience the Watts Collection in the historic gallery with its original decorative schemes.


The Edward Barnsley Workshop The Edward Barnsley Workshop was established in 1923 in Froxfield, Hampshire and makes furniture for private homes and public spaces, following Edward Barnsley, one of the most important furniture designermakers of the 20th Century. It is open to visitors Monday to Friday. w:


The Watts Chapel, built by Mary Watts is a unique fusion of art nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian influence with Mary’s own original style. w:

For details of further craft organisations please visit: w:


Local Authority and National Contacts

Arts Council England

South Street Trust

Waverley Borough Council

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

The South Street Trust distributes funds every year to local groups for projects that seek to promote education in art and allied subjects. Farnham Town Council is the Trustee of the Trust. Visit the website for more information.



Crafts Council

Surrey County Council

Waverley Borough Council supports the thriving craft culture in Farnham. The Community Development Arts Officer works in partnership with local organisations, including the Farnham Maltings, to develop local craft and craft projects within the borough.

The Crafts Council is the national development agency for contemporary craft. Their goal is to make the UK the best place to make, see, collect and learn about contemporary craft. They believe craft plays a dynamic and vigorous role in social, economic and cultural life. Visit the website and follow @CraftsCouncilUK on Twitter and Facebook.

Surrey County Council is here to ensure that Surrey residents remain healthy, safe and confident about their future – and it supports Farnham Craft Town for its contribution to the county and the local economy.


Farnham Town Council Farnham Town Council supports the groups and businesses to create a thriving community and has commissioned a number of activities to promote Farnham’s craft heritage.



Town Team Partners The Town Team ‘Portas Pilots’ arose from the recommendations of the Mary Portas High Street Review commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The aim of the partner projects has been to rejuvenate High Streets using partnership working and innovative ideas. w:

w: 21

craft in this brochure


Detail of stone carving by Alyosha Moeran and Chris Elsey, one of seven panels and two benches commissioned by Farnham Maltings and Farnham Town Council, with generous support from Pat and Bob Frost and the Farnham Lions to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee


01 Handprints by young and old to celebrate the Millennium by The Farnham Pottery, positioned in the Farnham Library Gardens 02 Weathervane on top of Old Town Hall Buildings in Castle Street 03 Entrance arch at Farnham Pottery, said to be the work of Gertrude Harris, daughter of Absalom (photos 01–03 by Aldershot and Farnham Camera Club) 04 Gargoyle, one of a series along the Maltings riverside, by students from UCA Farnham (photo Angela Walker)


As per front cover


Slate sign by Tom Perkins


05 Textile sample by Barron and Larcher

06 ‘Tula’ Chair by Guy Martin 07 Jug by Emmanuel Cooper (photos 05–07 by David Westwood)


Tracing Light by Tine Bech, October 2008, commissioned by Farnham Creates


08 Illustration by Katie Smith Ceramics, commissioned by Farnham Maltings 09 Claire Lovett Ceramics, festival of crafts and shop maltings exhibitor 10 Needlefelted donkey by Jenny Barnett, exhibitor at unravel 2012


11 Farnham greenware 12 Roman pottery with the maker’s fingerprints 13 Farnham greenware


14 Jack Doherty, Guardian vessel; based on the maker’s interest and observation of nature and made using ‘craft crank’ clay 15 Jane Muir, Bird-head Green Tree; ceramic stoneware, soda fired porcelain 16 Holly Berry, LOVE blanket, traditionally woven in the UK using cashmere and merino wool


318 Ceramics at The Farnham Pottery, courtesy of Angela Walker 2013


17 The Farnham Pottery, courtesy of West Street Potters 18 Thrown and altered porcelain with brushed and collaged enamel, by Ashley Howard


Terracotta vessel by world renowned potter Magdalene Odundo, who lives and works in Farnham


19 Bethany Lanning, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design 20 Foyer Gallery 21 Joyce Hyslop, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design 22 Annie Sharp BA Textiles 23 Student work from MAde Exhibition 2013, by students from UCA Farnham


Dani Crompton


24 Adam Aaronson


War Memorial, Gostrey Meadow, handcrafted and up-kept by local craftsmen


As per front cover

University for the Creative Arts Crafts Study Centre

Museum of Farnham

New Ashgate Gallery

Farnham Maltings

The Farnham Pottery


For a large print version of this brochure please contact Farnham Town Council on 01252 712667

Farnham Town of Craft.  

Craft is embedded into the fabric, the homes as well as the cultural life of Farnham. Farnham and the New Ashgate Gallery celebrate the rich...

Farnham Town of Craft.  

Craft is embedded into the fabric, the homes as well as the cultural life of Farnham. Farnham and the New Ashgate Gallery celebrate the rich...