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You are here: > Artists, Makers & Designers in the Lakes



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Considering the great beauty surrounding the Lake District, it is little wonder that the area has attracted so many artists down the years. The painters Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner and John Constable were early visitors while amongst those who actually settled here was John Ruskin, a pivotal figure in the development of the Arts and Crafts movement. Another of the movement’s major figures was William Morris, who along with artist Edward Burne-Jones, created stained glass windows for churches at Troutbeck, Staveley, and Cartmel Priory. Blackwell Arts & Craft The Heaton Cooper family has also made a great impact on their adopted Lakeland home. The painting dynasty founded by Alfred Heaton Cooper and continued by his son William and grandson Julian has won worldwide acclaim for their portrayals of Cumbrian landscapes many of which are on display in the Heaton Cooper studios in Grasmere. Today the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria are home to many talented artists, makers, designers and photographers, a number producing work for exhibitions and commissions across the world. If you want to see, and buy, their work, then the most likely places are either their own workshops or studios, specialist galleries, exhibitions, craft and design markets or on their websites. Galleries/studios, of course, vary in size and in what they show and sell (paintings, ceramics, glassware, furniture, jewellery, photographs and more). In Cumbria they include the Old Courthouse Gallery and C.ART, a Cumbria-wide annual artist trail, the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere, Castlegate House and Percy House galleries in Cockermouth, Peter Hall & Son at Staveley (furniture), Red Barn at Melkinthorpe near Penrith and Farfield Mill Arts and Heritage Centre just outside Sedbergh. Blackwell, the beautiful Arts and Crafts House near Bowness-on-Windermere, has a small shop where you can buy the work of makers and designers too. Cumbrian Herdwick Wool Look out for exhibitions as well. Those well worth seeing include Printfest in Ulverston in May (www.printfest.org.uk), the summer pottery/ceramics show called Potfest in the Park at Hutton-in-the-Forest near Penrith and Potfest in the Pens at Penrith (both three day events, www.potfest.co.uk), the Lake Artists Society exhibition in Grasmere (www.lakeartists.org.uk), the Green Door Annual Art Trail in the autumn, organised by Green Door Studios in Kendal (www.greendoorstudios.co.uk) and the Christmas Craft and Design Market, also in Kendal. This market is organised by Unfold Collective (www.un-fold.co.uk), six designer/makers, some of whom have their own studios/shops which are open to the public.