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

Dapper Fox, by York Open Studios 2020 debutante Joanna Lisowiec

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 ceramic, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textile 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 and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

One of Quercki Design’s cork fabric designs

Quercki Design, mixed media

MARGARET Bradley, who would have been a new participant in York Open Studios, specialises in eco-friendly and carbon-neutral cork fabric designs, drawn on a computer, cut on a laser, backed with colours, glued and sewn to make pictures, notebooks and sketchbooks.

A language degree first took Margaret to Lisbon as a university assistant where she acquired a deep affection for Portugal.  This was followed by 30 years of work in educational aid to developing countries, where different cultures, art and music were a constant source of interest and delight. 

On retirement, a return visit to Portugal brought her into contact with cork fabric, a perfect material for making things inspired by her travels, she says.

More details can be found at, although Quercki Design is taking a short break, with the artist in self-isolation.

Wood carver Dave Atkin

Dave Atkin, wood

USING traditional techniques, Dave carves locally sourced green wood. Influenced by the natural world, folklore and history, he experiments with form and design to create functional and individual pieces.

A professional model maker by trade, he took up wood carving as a hobby, now making spoons, kuksas and bowls, often inspired by the Green Man myth.

He now offers spoon carving courses and demonstrates at events and fairs. For more details, go to

Taking shape: Catherine Boyne-Whitelegg making one of her earthenware pieces

Catherine Boyne-Whitelegg, ceramics

CATHERINE has been working as a potter for 16 years, both throwing and hand-building, creating colourful slipware pottery to be used and enjoyed, as well as raku and smoke-fired clay animals, ranging from foxes and pigs to horses and unicorns. Her work often reflects her wry humour.

Go, figure! Seaside Belle, by Catherine Boyne-Whitelegg

She is a potter, teacher and community artist who set up her own pottery workshop at her home near York after graduating from Sunderland University with a BA (Hons) in ceramics.

Catherine’s work can be found in a number of galleries, complementing her regular exhibitions, and wedding or special occasion pieces can be commissioned.  More details at

Mo Burrows at work in her studio

Mo Burrows, jewellery

MO’S contemporary jewellery embraces the elaborate and the colourful, the dainty and the quiet, in her necklaces, earrings and brooches.

Predominately favouring copper, braiding and beadwork, she draws inspiration from the colour, form and texture of the materials she uses.  Frustrated by an inability to draw, she produces designs straight from a head full of ideas. Find Mo at

Falling in love with quaint English countryside: Polish-born printmaker and illustrator Joanna Lisowiec

Joanna Lisowiec, printmaking

NEW to York Open Studios this year, Joanna’s prints and illustrations look to nature and folklore for inspiration, as she focuses on birds and animals in her bold, clean and distinctive work.

Originally from Poland and brought up in the United States and Switzerland, she first came to Britain to study illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, falling in love with the wild Highlands and later with the “quaint English countryside” when she moved to Yorkshire for her MA in advertising and design from the University of Leeds.

“I would love to illustrate a classic novel one day,” she says at, where you can find free printable worksheets to “keep your children or indeed yourself entertained during the Coronavirus pandemic”.

Tomorrow: Helen Whitehead; Sally Clarke; Adrienne French; Caroline Lord and Peter Park.