Wrest Park Craft & Design Festival
PUBLISHED: 10:53 27 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:46 20 February 2013
Traditional classic skills & contemporary design led crafts at one major event in a stunning setting
There cannot be any more idyllic place to spend a summers day than the gardens of Wrest Park House. The House and Gardens are the responsibility of English Heritage and it is certainly one of their most beautiful properties. The mansion staterooms have recently undergone a major refurbishment and the gardens too are magnificent with acres to explore.
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend (28th, 29th and 30th August) these gardens become the venue for one the countrys best Craft & Design shows and yet the tranquil and serene setting is not spoilt rather the ambience is enhanced.
This is the 21st year of the Festival, organised by Romor Exhibitions. The Festival is recognised as one of the few such events in the country, dedicated to promoting our wonderful craft heritage and celebrating the skill of the designer-maker and craft worker.
Every craft exhibitor designs and makes every item on display so visitors are not only able to purchase unique products but can talk to the person who made it and even commission special pieces. Nothing here is bought in or handcrafted in factories! Many of the designer-makers and craft-workers demonstrate their skills, giving visitors an insight into the skills required to create such quality items.
However, such skilfully created work does not need to be expensive there is something for everyone and every pocket. The value is found in the skill and imagination that goes into the creation of each item. Favourite regulars will be there but there are many new exhibitors this year.
A number of local exhibitors will be taking part. As well as the designer-makers selling their work from contemporary gold & silver jewellery to pottery, from stained glass to turned wood Romor Exhibitions arrange for demonstrations of more unusual rural and traditional craft skills. Many of these are dying skills and as such are a very popular feature of the Festival older visitors reminisce on their grandparents who were familiar with some of these skills and younger ones learn to appreciate the use of hands and simple tools to create items without computers, machinery or technology!
This year demonstrations will include Wheelwrighting, Clogmaking, Lovespoon carving, Stone masonry & many more. You can even have a go at some throw a pot on the wheel, try your hand at archery, croquet or spinning! .
Visitors can also discover even older skills as demonstrated by the workers in the Saxon Village such as Chain mail making, Rune carving, Pewter making, Calligraphy & more. Children in particular love this feature, as there are plenty of opportunities for hands-on history.
This year also sees the attendance of some guilds including The Spinners, Weavers & Dyers, The Machine Knitting Guild, The Guild of Silk Painters and The International Feltmakers Association.
The Food Village is an area no one misses Speciality Cheeses, Olives, Chutneys, Coffee, Crepes, Sausages, Cordials and Teas.
The Festival takes place on the Hunting Party Lawns and is therefore an integral part of the gardens. Visitors can spend time enjoying the crafts but still wander away to explore the secrets of the gardens (and there are many!), returning to make purchases, sample the refreshments and listen to the Beverley String Quartets gentle playing. Or perhaps enjoy strawberries and cream and a glass of Pimms quintessential English accompaniments to a day out.
Wrest Park is situated midway between Bedford and Luton, on the A6. MK45 4HR
Adults 6.50, Seniors 5.50, Children 4.50. Under 5s free.
50% reduction for English Heritage members.
WIN TICKETS - SEE DETAILS ON THE WEBSITE www.romorexhibitions.co.uk
And, if you cannot be there this August, Romor Exhibitions are holding a special event within the mansion later in the year perfect for Christmas shopping. See their website for further details of all Romors events www.romorexhibitions.co.uk