A group of Artists in collaboration with the Community Office in Masham (MCO) celebrated their Official Opening of the new arts and crafts shop ‘Masham Flock’ on Saturday 31st July 2O21.
Masham Flock is part of the popular designer/makers co-operative Fleece, which is based in Reeth, Swaledale.
Invited by Mashamshire Community Office to take over the running of their Blue Light Gallery, Fleece was delighted to become involved. Louise Curnin, one of the founding members of Fleece, said “Community has been a thread all the way through our setting up of the Fleece shop, and it felt so right that we should bring our community to Masham Flock.”
‘Masham Flock’ was officially opened by Sheila Smith, the President of the International Feltmakers Association (IFA). Sheila says, “since the opening of Fleece in 2017 I have watched it grow successfully into a well organised cooperative, stocked with high quality work. This exciting new collaboration with MCO is a great opportunity for its member artists to exhibit to a wider audience and will add another point of interest for visitors to Masham.”
Sue Palin from the Mashamshire Community Office said, “we are very excited to host this new gathering of artists and makers in our gallery space. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase art and crafts from the Dales and just beyond. Our visitors will have a chance to appreciate consistently great quality work which will be regularly changing, so our regulars will always find something new. It is a great partnership, as this Masham Flock of Artists are a cooperative, so income from sales goes direct to the artists and generates a small amount of additional income to support the valuable work of Mashamshire Community Office. It’s a win-win!”
The staff and volunteers at Mashamshire Community Office will be on hand to shepherd visitors and help with purchases, six days a week. The Flock of artists on display will change on a six weekly basis so, there will always be something new and interesting to see and different gifts to tempt you.
The founding members of the group opened the Artists Cooperative, ‘Fleece’, in 2017, located in Reeth in Swaledale. Vicky Petrie, Louise Curnin, Thelma Russell, Margaret Chalmers and Janet Phillips originally met in Masham at a feltmaking workshop at ArtisOn, in High Burton in Masham. The success of Fleece meant that in late 2020 the group was approached and given the opportunity to put forward a proposal for the gallery space in MCO. As a co-operative, Fleece also saw this as an opportunity to further support its members who have found the recent COVID situation very difficult.
Masham Flock will showcase a continuous exhibition of original artists and crafts peoples work. The shop will bring together art, textiles, glassware, woodturning, handmade books, jewellery, ceramics and everything in between. Julie and Dave Teece, of the Garden Studio Masham, who will be exhibiting their fused glass in the gallery said, “as Masham residents and members of Fleece, we are delighted to be involved with this exciting new venture. It’s great to have an opportunity to exhibit in Mashamshire Community Office again. Masham Flock will be a great asset to our town-a place with an already thriving community of artists and makers, providing both residents and visitors with another venue in which to browse and buy high quality, handmade arts and crafts which are definitely not on the high street.”
The display will change every six weeks until May 2022 and will enable 10 artists to exhibit at any one time. All work will be original, handmade and of high quality and will be for sale.
Mashamshire Community office is open Monday-Saturday 10am-3pm and Sundays throughout August 12noon-2pm.