SUNSHINE, sunflowers but no showers! Such are the hopes of villagers, artists, creative businesses and stall holders at Fangfoss, near Pocklington, as their annual Fangfest arts festival approaches.
Held over the weekend of September 2 and 3, from 10am to 4pm each day, the plans for Fangfest have been finalised with the promise of new attractions aplenty to complement the regulars.
Making its festival debut will be the charity sunflower trail. Residents have been asked to grow sunflowers or to be creative and make some. A winner will be chosen for the best-grown sunflower and another for the most creative sunflower, culminating in the public being asked to judge their favourite overall winner.
“A sunflower is the symbol of the Hidden Disabilities charity and any money raised will be donated to Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, a hidden disability that needs support,” says Fangfest stalwart Lyn Grant, of Fangfoss Pottery.
Fangfoss artist Shirley Davis Dew has produced an acrylic painting of sunflowers for a silent auction to raise funds. Bids of £20 plus are welcome in person to Sally Murray at the Carpenters Arms pub or via DM (direct message) on their Instagram page, @carpenters_arms_fangfoss.
Fangfest Festival of Practical Arts 2023 will play host to a mixed-media pattern design workshop, run by York textile artist Rosanna Johnson. Workshops will be held at 11.30am and 2pm each day and participants will produce a piece of art to take home. Workshop tickets must be booked in advance at eventbright.com; search for Ros Johnson Fangfest or visit the festival’s social media pages for links.
Drop-in craft activities will take place throughout the weekend, ranging from children’s card marking and throwing a pot on the wheel to pottery painting and a collaborative mixed-media mural to name but a few.
More than 30 artists and craft workers will be demonstrating and exhibiting their work across the weekend, including woodworking, rocking horse-making, felting, painting, wire sculpture, medieval tile techniques, jewellery, peg loom-weaving and much more.
The York Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers will hold weaving and spinning demonstrations. Look out for Shan Williams, working on her loom to create a rug over the weekend; Orsi, from FaTuz Personal Wooden Gifts, demonstrating pyrography techniques, and Angela Cole, from Yorkshire Willow Baskets, showing her weaving skills by the village green on the Sunday.
Emma, Eve and Lily, from the Handmade In Fangfoss family of crafters, will show how they create jewellery, cards, gifts and artwork inspired by nature, birds and flowers through their polymer clay, lino printing and mixed-media techniques.
Dave Atkin, from Woodwyrm, will use an axe and a selection of knives to demonstrate spoon and bowl carving and will discuss his techniques and inspirations.
Richard Gibson, from Wolds Wire Sculpture, in Thixendale, will bring a range of his open wire sculptures for display, while also working on a piece. He will share his love of nature, wildlife and the Wolds in his work, noted for its focus on movement.
Richard Moore, from Tanglebank Tiles, will demonstrate various stages in decorating tiles and the tools used to create designs using the Sgraffito technique. In his work, he hand-makes glazed terracotta tiles in a medieval traditional style, featuring replicas of Old English floor tiles and illustrations from 13th and 14th century manuscripts.
Contemporary jewellery designer Mo Burrows will demonstrate the Japanese technique of kumihimo braiding. In her designs, Mo uses a variety of techniques and materials, including copper work, intricate beading, kumihimo and wirework, to produce both delicate and bold pieces, and she also restyles and remodels clothing into fashion pieces.
Fangfoss designer and illustrator Laura Thompson will demonstrate watercolour techniques for beginners, encouraging you to have a go yourself, as well as leading the card-making collage workshop for children.
Rosie Glow will be working with jesmonite to show how she makes her terrazzo coasters and answer any questions on the process. She creates colourful terrazzo homewares, such as trays, candle holders and soap dishes, and also makes vegan soap bars for face and body.
Pete Thompson, of Spirit Of The Wood, will display tools and raw materials to explain his process and techniques for hand-crafting sculptural turned wooden pieces, created from sections of unprocessed wood. His designs incorporate natural faults, such as knots and cracks, as part of the finished piece.
Liz Riley, of Everything Felt, will demonstrate traditional felt-making techniques, including use of colour and texture in flat felting and 3D sculpture. She creates wearable and usable artworks, defined by strong colour combinations, using hand-dyed wool, silks and yarn to make felt scarves, bags, hats, wall hangings, homewares and 3D vessels.
Anna Byelova, who creates detailed handmade bags, Motanka dolls and textile landscapes, will discuss her techniques, the history of Motanka dolls and from where she draws her creativity.
Beyond crafts, further festival attractions will be a classic car collection on the village green; a flower festival in St Martin’s Church on the theme of pantomimes; traditional fairground rides, the Stamford Bridge History Society and archery sessions, run by Erik Aaron Shooting in the Rocking House Garden.
The Busking Spots will provide a full programme of live music featuring ukuleles, a shanty crew, young celloists and a pop choir.
Refreshments will be available all weekend, provided by Jubilee Park in Rocking House Yard and at the Carpenters Arms, where landlady Sally Murray will have a full bar as well as hosting Ainsty Ales in the car park.
“Fangfest is a fun day out for all the family, run as a village enterprise with everyone helping out in one way another,” says Lyn Grant. “Entry to the festival is free and there’s something to interest everyone, no matter their age. By supporting the festival, visitors will be helping the village celebrate everything great about creative crafts in Fangfoss and its surrounding area.”
For more information and the full line-up of exhibitors, visit Fangfest’s Instagram pages at Fangfestfestival or Facebook pages at @Fangfest.