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Cermaic teapot by Clive Davies

DOERS AND MAKERS: THE SUFFOLK ARTISANS

Many Suffolk artisans will tell you that it’s this county’s very nature that encourages their creativity. Suffolk’s big skies have a habit of clearing minds, its peaceful pace of life leaves time free to ponder, wonder and invent; and as you’ll discover, a clear mind and free time can lead to some quite extraordinary things.
Suffolk Punch horse sculpture by Kate DentonKate Denton's sculpture of a Suffolk Punch horse can be seen at her studio in Lavenham
Photo (c) Kate Denton
In beautiful Lavenham, ‘England’s Best Preserved Medieval Village,’ sculptor Kate Denton works in her studio creating statues and sculptures as she has done for thirty years. Working in bronze, nickel plate, stainless steel and iron, she sculpts life-size figures, and creatures such as wild boar, foxes, hares, sheep and even the noble Suffolk Punch horse. These sculptures are not confined to life in a darkened warehouse; instead Kate positions them in her bespoke sculpture garden and Lavenham Hall art gallery, where they can be viewed at any time by appointment. To book, call Kate on 01787 249841.
 
Kate is not the only artisan in Lavenham. The village is also home to Gay Hutchings, one of the few people in the UK to make stained-glass windows, a trade that has been around for more than a thousand years. Alongside traditional leaded stained glass windows, Gay also experiments with freestanding glass sculptures, objects and decorative pieces. You can see her work online here.
B Chocolates made in Suffolk (c) Woodfarm BarnsFran and Phil make artisan chocolates using home-grown honey and ingredients from their kitchen garden
Photo (c) Woodfarm Barns
From Lavenham to the coast, and the home of two artisan chocolatiers. When they moved to Snape on the Suffolk coast over fifteen years ago, Fran and Phil decided to join the community of smallholders and start keeping bees. Before long their neighbours were clamouring for more delicious honey, and Fran and Phil struck upon an idea. Using local cream, chocolate, butter and exquisite dollops of their honey, they created a range of truffles, which they aptly called B Chocolates. B Chocolates swiftly sold out at market, and Fran and Phil’s kitchen has been a hive of activity ever since.
 
Nearby in Aldeburgh, another artisan makes her living creating jewellery. Inspired by the sea, Louise Sant creates elegant accessories in silver and gold, all of which goes on display in her Sant Studio shop on the Thoroughfare in Woodbridge. There you’ll find the shapes of coral, the texture of shells subtly evoked in earrings, rings and necklaces, many of which boast the glint of freshwater pearls.
Louise Sant jewellery in Woodbridge (c) Louise SantVisit Sant Studio on Woodbridge's Thoroughfare to find Louise Sant's artisan jewellery
Photo (c) Louise Sant
Head to the peaceful market town of Bungay in the north of Suffolk and you’ll find the workshops, kilns and shop of Clive Davies, a potter who has devoted over forty years of his life to creating beautiful ceramics. Over the years his style has changed; currently he enjoys making one-off pieces glazed with the kind of skill that can only have come with years of practice. The glazes run and merge, creating new tones, or remain stiff and static in one of his illustrations. To see some of Clive’s work first hand, you can visit his shop at 25 Earsham Street in Bungay.

HAVE YOU FOUND A SPECIAL SUFFOLK ARTISAN?

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