No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY FOUR

Vasilisa the Wise, by Sarah K Jackson

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has had to be cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Home addresses will not be included at this time.

Sarah K Jackson: Love of Russian design

Sarah K Jackson, textiles

SARAH specialises in transforming aged fabrics and precious items into original “keepsake” artworks. For York Open Studios 2020, she assembled Headstrong, a series of new pieces inspired by old photographs of Russian women in national dress.

Why Russian women? Sarah has a special affinity for Russian design from studying the language and literature at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and she both lived and travelled there extensively during the 1990s.

After completing a City & Guilds’ qualification in creative techniques in 2013, she set up her vintage and handmade textile art business, Winifred Taylor, named after her grandmother, who taught her to sew.

Sarah presents workshops and is a member of York Art Workers’ Association and two textile and mixed media groups, exhibiting with them regularly. Find out more at

Kate Pettitt: Painting en plein air. Picture: Olivia Brabbs

Kate Pettitt, painting

KATE’S paintings and drawings on paper explore the natural environment and the human form and are often elemental, instinctive and textural.

She works from life and en plein air, then referencing her sketches, studies, notes and collected objects when back in the studio, where she uses oils, graphite, acrylic and watercolour.

Inspired by movement, emotion, shifting light and changing weather conditions, her work aims to capture the character and uniqueness of people and place.

Rain Over Littendale, by Kate Pettitt

Kate’s background and training is in graphic design and illustration, and she has worked as a designer for more than 20 years, running her design practice, Bivouac, for 12 years.

This year’s York Open Studios would have been Kate’s chance to introduce visitors to her new studio in Holtby. Instead, in the Coronavirus lockdown, she is now working from home. Take a look at her work at

Reg Walker: Yorkshire Sculpture Park played its part in his artistic development

Reg Walker, sculpture

REG crafts abstract sculptures, sometimes contemplative, sometimes playful, mostly in Corten steel, together with small pieces for the hand in bamboo and distinctive collages in natural materials.

He took up sculpture when inspired by volunteering at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, where he then took part in hot and cold metal courses.

Originally from Ireland, Reg settled in Yorkshire in 1988, working in social research and organisation development. He had a studio at Kildale on the North York Moors before moving last year to a studio in Holtby, where he would have been making his York Open Studios debut. Seek him out at

Connie Howarth, Constance Isobel jewellery maker

Constance Isobel, jewellery

CONNIE Howarth, of Constance Isobel, uses gold, silver and high-quality gemstones, sourced from ethical UK retailers, in her handmade jewellery. Traditional techniques are applied to create her exclusive precious metal work, also informed by her interest in ancient adornments and artefacts. 

Connie had formal, workshop-based training in traditional jewellery-making techniques. Earlier she studied fine art, which now seeps into her metalwork with use of colour drawing on her love of the natural world. Delicate pattern work and organic shapes decorate her jewellery throughout each collection. Her jewel of a website is at

Chris Utley, ceramics

CHRIS creates hand-built pots, carved, scraped and polished, then painted with slips and underglaze colours. The finished work is fired several times to achieve a strong depth of colour.

One of Chris Utley’s ceramics

She studied ceramics for three years in college and has been making pots in her stable workshop for many years. She has taught adults, been artist-in-residence in primary schools and run many workshops, as well as exhibiting widely in both Britain and Norway.

Look at for more details.

TOMORROW’S FIVE: Tim Pearce; Linda Harvey; John Watts; Wilf Williams and Jerry Scott.