FARNHAM’S diverse cultural heritage will again provide the backdrop to a month-long celebration of events this October.

October Craft Month 2016 sees new collaborations taking place between some of the town’s many independent makers and more established organisations with specially curated events to coincide with their already established programme.

Farnham, which achieved ‘Craft Town’ status four years ago, is home to the University for the Creative Arts and two important museums - The Crafts Study Centre and the Museum of Farnham.

The Crafts Study Centre is dedicated to research and archiving important crafts artefacts, and this October will include an exhibition and talk from eminent photographer Garry Fabian Miller among its highlights.

The Museum of Farnham preserves and educates about the history of this notable town while its parent company the Farnham Maltings provides and important community space dedicated to arts and crafts.

This year the Maltings is celebrating the 20th year of the Festival of Crafts, a curated two-day festival featuring works by a selection of the UK’s leading craftspeople and featuring talks and workshops for all to join.

The New Ashgate Gallery is also celebrating its 50th year at Farnham’s Waggon Yard and features the finest in contemporary art and crafts alongside creating opportunities for emerging makers and is welcoming the Association of Contemporary Jewellers with its ‘Choice!’ exhibition.

In a first for Farnham Craft Month, the UCA and Farnham Maltings are running a collaborative programme over the first two weekends of October. Launching the Craft Month activities this Saturday (October 1) at UCA, the event offers an opportunity to experience a workshop in glass, textiles or jewellery run by leading creative practitioners.

On Saturday, October 8, Farnham Maltings’ presents the follow-up with lectures and presentations by the same workshop tutors, sharing their expertise and experience in craft and design. Additionally, speaking will be Caroline Jackman representing Crafts Council.

The programme is suitable for those who are keen to glean insider knowledge from craft professionals, pursuing craft as a professional practice or wanting to know more about the craft industry.

The roots of craft run deep in Farnham – from its earliest involvement with the pottery industry in the 16th century, through the Victorian era and the establishment of the Farnham Pottery and the founding of Farnham Art School in 1880, to the remarkable number of institutions that exist today which dedicate time, resources and creative energies to sustain craft as one of the great defining features of place in Farnham.

In 2015 the Farnham Adult Learning Centre opened its new art and craft studio to further support the thriving crafts community with a range of courses and workshops, underlining the importance of craft. In addition, independent crafts related business and independent makers have also chosen Farnham as their home and continue to grow and flourish.

For more information about Farnham Craft Town, Craft Month and to find out about how to visit and book onto activities and events, visit the website www.craft


A sample of events and activities that can be expected from Farnham this October:

• Choice! - New work by members of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery, exhibited at the New Ashgate Gallery in Waggon Yard throughout craft month, open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Free entry.

ACJ members work in a myriad of materials, from paper and plastics to precious metals, titanium, copper, enamel, steel, found objects and much more. Crossing the boundaries between body adornment and wearable sculpture, here is a treasure box of delights, jewellery for women and men, beautifully made and eminently wearable.

• In conversation with Garry Fabian-Miller - Crafts Study Centre, UCA Farnham on Saturday, October 15, noon to 1pm. Tickets are available for £5 by calling 01252 891450. Garry Fabian-Miller will discuss his collecting and curatorial interest as well as his own work as a distinguished contemporary photographer.

The conversation will show the links and the tensions between fine art and craft. His exhibition ‘Making, Thinking, Living’ at the Crafts Study Centre sets the scene for the discussion.

An original and highly personal exhibition which has enabled the distinguished photographer Garry Fabian-Miller to represent his long held interests in modern and contemporary craft through the means of curatorship.

He assembles an interconnected arrangement of works – pots by Richard Batterham, textiles by Elizabeth Peacock, alongside his own photographs.

• CRAFT-ed 1.0 - University for the Creative Arts’ (UCA) Farnham School of Crafts & Design at the Farnham Maltings, October 20, to 21, 9am to 5pm. Free event. The School of Crafts and Design is the only school for crafts within UK higher education.

With 350 students it represents a significant concentration of subject area study and future investment. CRAFT-ed 1.0 is the first whole-school event to interrogate craft and design. Open to the public at key moments of interest.

• Making Wire and Mixed Media Sculptures workshop - Monday, October 24, to Friday, October 28, 10am to 4pm. Creative Response, Vernon House, 28 West Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DR. £40 per day including all materials and tea and coffee.

Be inspired and make a wire sculpture with various mediums. Look at the work in the exhibition, which will be wire sculptures with photographs of the making and poems to get ideas.

Various mediums can be used with wire to create outstanding and inspiring creatures or abstract sculptures.