Close this search box.
Close this search box.

A Very Merry Christmas at Rural Arts

??A Very Merry Christmas at Rural Arts! ??

Merry Christmas from everyone at Rural Arts!
We’ve been up to lots of fun festivities over the last few weeks, with Christmas themed workshops, the Makers Market, a special festive Art Cafe, the ever popular Wreath making, Five Loose Chippings and the annual Pocket Panto!

The Christmas Makers Market

Our month of festivities began on Saturday 24th November, with our Makers Market in the Courthouse, where local artists, including some of our ceramic and print studios regulars, sold their handcrafted wares! 

The Courthouse and cafe alike, were extremely busy, which was so lovely to see! We had a variety of things on sale, including handprinted cards, paintings, woollen gifts, handmade jewellery, framed prints and lots and lots of gorgeous ceramics! Take a look below to see just some of what was on offer!

Ceramic Plates by Don Hannant / Paintings by Julie Procter  / Woolen Gifts by Sylvia

The Christmas Art Cafe

A selection of some of the decorations created.

On Thursday 6th December we continued the celebrations with an extra special art cafe. 

We began the session by giving everyone the christmas decorations that they had created in November’s session! They had created snowmen, penguins, stars, gingerbread men and christmas trees. One member had even brought her own cutters along to create her own ceramic pineapples, leaves and bananas!

Ceramic Pineapples!

The decorations looked lovely once they were all glazed; ready to hang from trees and windows, or to give as a gift to family and friends.
We also invited our regular Art Cafe member  Morna Stoakley to come along and teach people how to roll candles, as an extra gift that they could take home with them for Christmas. 

Morna rolled the candles with beeswax, which smelt absolutely gorgeous. 

As well as this we had an extra long session, so that we could put on a special festive treat for the Art Cafe. We invited one of our Shopping Bus performers, Harry Nicklin, to come along and play some festive songs for all the participants to sing along to, whilst helping themselves to some home-made mince pies.

We then followed this by making some paper christmas stars; similar to the ones you may have spotted hanging in our cafe. They make a very classy christmas decoration! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves greatly, and it was so lovely to see how happy our Art Cafe participants were to join in with the festivities!

Wreath Making

We had many Christmas themed workshops over December, but our most popular christmas workshops by far, were our wreath-making workshops, for which our Rural Arts team, especially our Director Angela Hall, foraged far and wide for materials! 

We had lots of different things for our participants to choose from and we began with willow, to make the base of the wreath.

Our participants could then take their pick from a range of conifer; including douglas fir and spruce, as well as other foliage including eucalyptus, yew leaves and hanging ivy. 

One lady said there was so much choice, she didn’t know where to start! And we didn’t make life any easier with plentiful supplies of pine cones, holly, poppy heads, crab apples, dried oranges, cinnamon and ribbon, to add an extra special touch to our wreaths!

Our wreath sessions ran over two days, with Wednesday 12th December being the busiest! We had over 35 participants making wreaths throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. Our evening workshop being especially enjoyable, by the mulled wine that had been put on offer as an extra Christmas treat!

On Thursday 13th December, we had two more wreath making workshops, firstly with the Thursday Art Club, who made some lovely mini wreaths, and finally with the Rural Arts staff and volunteers as a special little festive gathering!

We had so many amazing wreaths produced at the workshops! Overall over 100 were produced!  Pictured below are just some of the wreaths made, but make sure to take a look at our Facebook to see the wide variety of wreaths made by our participants, art club kids and Rural Arts staff and perhaps get a few ideas of your own!

More Christmas Themed Workshops

As well as Wreath Making, we had lots more fun Christmas activities during December. 

For our holiday family activities workshops we made paper christmas wreaths and christmas trees (as pictured left) and we also made some angels as well! We definitely recommend having a go at creating your own during the holiday season. All you need is some coloured paper, scissors and glue. With the only extra item being a wreath wring if you decide to make the paper christmas wreath!

We also had lots of lovely Taste Of Art Workshops, including decorative crackers, ceramic baubles and christmas lanterns, and these lovely paper collage angels which turned out beautifully!

As well as this, some people tried their hand at creating fused glass christmas decorations with Jane Littlefield. They were extremely productive on the day of the workshop and we had everything from robins and baubles to christmas trees and snowflakes!

In the morning session a lot of the participants were returning after having done the workshop in the previous year as well. However, in the afternoon session there were a lot more novices who had never tried creating decorations with glass before.

Some of the regular faces we see in the cafe or at our Taste Of Workshops, came along to the afternoon session and told us that they really enjoyed the opportunity to try out something new and a bit different.

We can’t wait to see the results of the workshop once they have all been fired and the glass has fused together. 

The fused glass workshop has become a regular Christmas slot, so make sure you keep an eye out next year to get the chance to make your own decorations!


We were lucky enough to host two performances during the December month.

On Saturday 1st December we had yet another sold out show of Five Loose Chippings! Helen and Charlotte helped to make the show extra special by putting on some lovely drinks and nibbles for the audience, including Helen’s homemade chutneys!

Two weeks later, on Saturday 15th December, we hosted another performance by Pocket Panto, this time with their show “Dick Whittington” which they performed at Thirsk Town Hall.
We had over 140 people watching the show on the day, and with so many people attending, we needed a few extra hands on board.  

Luckily our lovely young promoters volunteered to help us out on the day. We had Ella, Eva and Clara helping us out. The girls were very willing to get involved and  helped us with everything from setting up the Town Hall ready for the performance and running the all important sweetie stall, to taking videos and photos on the day.

Take a look at our website to find out where Pocket Panto will be touring to next, with over 28 performances across North Yorkshire during the christmas period!

And one final thing: A Special Christmas song

In the spirit of Christmas we leave you with a special Rural Arts poem which some of you may have already spotted on our A-Board outside!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, Rural Arts gave to me…

12 cups – a -brewing

11 ladies lunching

10 crafters crafting

9 staff – a – laughing

8 wreaths a making

7 printers printing

6 kids creating

5 Loose Chippings

4 homemade soups

3 cheese scones

2 Angelas

And a Charlotte in a pear tree!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Now the new year is soon upon us, we’re very excited for all the workshops, performances and special events 2019 will bring to Rural Arts and beyond!

Make sure you pick up our new Rural Arts brochure to see what’s on and our ON Tour brochure for all performances across North Yorkshire in Spring 2019.