Monday, November 23, 2009

Well Done Wishart!

It's been a great weekend for Joanne and Ross Wishart.

Last Friday night Hilton, Gateshead held the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2009. The awards ceremony was hosted by Women into the Network, and was an evening dedicated to the North East's leading female business women; lots of successful women in one very large room. It was a glitzy affair.

And our Mushroom Worker, Joanne won the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Best Creative Business category. If you'd like to know more about Joanne (and to read her thank you speech in full! No tears though,) click through to visit Joanne's blog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting excited for Ouseburn Open Studios

There's less than two weeks now until the eight artist studios based in the Ouseburn Valley throw open their doors and welcome in the public for Ouseburn Open Studios weekend. Here at Mushroom Works, we are all very excited! It's probably one of our favourite weekends of the year. Last year over 7,000 people came to the Ouseburn to chat to artists, buy Christmas presents and commission new works.

All the artists at Mushroom Works have been working hard and late into the night to have as many 20x20s ready as we can get on the walls. (It all gets a bit competitive, really, but it's great fun nonetheless). For the uninitiated, 20x20s are original artworks that won’t break the bank! They're now considered an Open Studio tradition, a fantastic opportunity to purchase artworks (measuring 20cm by 20cm) by leading North East artists for the special price of £20, making them perfect for unique Christmas gifts!

But you've got to be quick, we have people queuing up to get one (or 10!) on our preview night (which is Friday 27th November 6pm. See you there?)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tall Order for Fiona’s Short

Brick Works’ studio holder Fiona Birkbeck has certainly got a lot her plate this coming month! She has bravely decided to make a ten minute film in the space of a month with no official funding whatsoever! We wish you the bext of luck Fiona – it sounds like a wonderful project. For those of you who haven’t heard all about the film from the lady herself the official synopsis for the film goes a bit like this...

A stunning stretch of golden sand. The beach is deserted except for an odd looking shape half way up the beach. A beached whale? When Jimmy, a nine-year-old boy trips over it whilst flying a kite, he thinks he's discovered a dead body. But then the mysterious man stirs and a battle of wits begins as the boy must try and save him from the tide. Not easy when the man is twice his size and has gone there to die.

This determined little kid doesn't know it yet but he's just stumbled on his greatest hero. Now all Jimmy's got to do is trick him to his feet. That and give this brutish, has-been of a man a reason to live...

An uplifting tale about discovering heroes on the very day we need them most

For those of you who aren’t big football fans, fear not, this film’s not really about football, it’s a about courage, love and hope - all in the space of ten minutes. Fans, friends and fellow studio holders can support Fiona and her team by buying  a ticket for the screening.

To find out more about Fiona’s new venture you can visit the Substitution  website or follow its progress by following Substitution09 on Twitter

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ouseburn Open Studios - only a few weeks away!!

Artists from the Ouseburn are opening their doors and welcoming people to come and have a chat about their work! The studios in the Ouseburn Valley are home to a wide range of creative people including artists, jewellery and furniture makers, graphic designers and printmakers. With a free bus service to get you around, you have no excuses to get yourselves down and have a great day out at Ouseburn Open Studios!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


There is very nearly only 2 weeks left of Nick's HANDmade exhibition! So if you haven't already had the chance to see Nick's hand-crafted delights, come along today and enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's out of this world!!

Come and see Sarah's new heat protection outfit! She needs it to stop the heat from burning her when she is pouring molten glass to make her works.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nick's Mid-point preview tonight 6 -8!!

Come join us at Mushroom Works tonight for Nick's mid-point preview! We have wine chilling in the fridge, ready for your arrival. See the progress Nick has been making since the last preview evening.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well Done, Wor Bettina!!

Last night was the opening of the Design Event 09 Design Mart at Baltic. Quite a few of the Mushrooms were there exhibiting their beautiful products, namely Michael Armstrong (Afid Design), Sarah Blood, Nick James and Bettina Nissen

Bettina, whose been based at the Mushroom Works for just over a year now, had a particularly good evening. Her beautiful Rustic bench won the Design Network North prize for most innovative item in the mart. 

The Mart is on Friday Saturday and Sunday (16th-18th October) and there are some super pieces for sale. Definitely worth a look!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nick will be right back!

If you wondering where Nick has gone on the webcam, he has just gone for a cuppa! But in the meantime here's a video he made earlier. Enjoy!

Have a 'flickr' through the new pics!

 Our gallery is full of Nick's HANDmade delights today! If you want to explore more of them, there are brand spanking new pictures on this link HANDmade photos.  Alternatively if you want to see HANDmade for real come visit us today! 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Watching progress

Remember Nick is the process of making a commissioned piece of furniture in the gallery space right now. And he invites you to come and watch his progress either by popping down to the Mushroom Works or taking a sneaky peak at his live webcam

HANDmade will be exhibiting at the Mushroom Works until Sat 14th November. So don't miss out and come visit us! the workshop the gallery

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We're growing trees at Mushroom Works

Yes it's true if you come down to the Mushroom Works not only will you be able to see Nick James new range of furniture and see him at work but you'll also be able to make your own plant pot, plant an acorn in it and watch your oak tree grow! 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

HANDmade preview evening!

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow night will be the preview evening for Nick James' first exhibition at the Mushroom works.

Come on down for the 6pm opening to grab a glass of wine. Look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spy on Nick!!

To coincide with Nick's new (and first ever Mushroom Works) show, HANDmade,  Nick has set up a live webcam so as visitors can keep abreast of his developments over the duration of the show. Check it out on his website

The print has arrived!

Katie and Nicola are hard at work sticking and stuffing envelopes with our new Selected Works and the invitation for Nick's show. Keep an eye out for Mr Postie! (and if you're not on our mailing list you can join it at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Design Event 09

To celebrate design across the North East this festival takes place between 16-25th October. Design Event began in 2005 as a festival and has grown to be an organisation delivering an annual programme of design based exhibitions and events across the North East. Included in the events is a programme of talks with leading designers in their fields. We are holding Design Event as part of Nick James Solo exhibition HANDmade on Saturday 17th October 6-8. Nick will host a special in progress evening to show the piece midway through the commissioning process. Come along to this and look out for many more design events in the region. 

NewcastleGateshead Art Fair

From 1st – 4th October the Largest Commercial Art Fair in the North East returns to the Sage Gateshead. This is an opportunity to see the wealth of creative talent in the region as well as from across the globe, including the Mushroom Works very own Joanne Wishart, Amada Rabey, Eva Bauer and Jim Edwards. An exciting range of artwork will be on sale. The event also includes print workshops and seminars about collecting art!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Perfect Presents - Call for Work

Mushroom Works are planning a spectacular Christmas selling exhibition and are looking for regional artists, designers and makers to exhibit - commission FREE!

We have a limited number of 4x4ft spaces, which can be rented from the beginning of December until the lead up to Christmas. The stall won’t require manning as the gallery will be invigilated at all times. Spaces will cost a mere £40 (remember it's commission FREE and your work will be on display for over two weeks) and we will be holding several special events to entice shoppers, including a preview evening and two make your own baubles and wrapping paper workshops (with mulled wine and mince pies of course).

The theme of this year’s Christmas exhibition is affordability! We are looking for lower end price ranges (anything from £5 to £50 - although the odd higher priced item may be able to creep in).

If this sounds like the perfect Christmas selling opportunity for you then please send a quick line about you, an outline of your work and two images of what you'd like to exhibit (or similar) and a web link if you have one to Lara Robinson -

Deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 9th October 2009. The exhibition will open on Saturday 5th December and will run until Saturday 19th December (preview Fri 4th December). As spaces are limited there will be a selection process. If you've any questions or queries please speak to Lara on 0191 2244011 or email her at

Please feel free to forward this message.

Mushroom Works is fast establishing itself as the most eclectic, interesting collection of artists and designer makers in the North East. Home to a diverse range of creative businesses and a newly refurbished gallery, Mushroom Works offers the public and the arts community a vibrant programme of exhibitions, special events and courses.

The Mushroom Works gallery is open to the public five days a week offering an exciting and diverse programme of exhibitions. For more information please visit

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Artist Talk: Lee Turner 

This Tuesday 15th September 6-8pm Lee will be holding an informal talk about his collaborations and publications.  This will be a unique insight into Lee's world of printmaking, (There is more to this than meets the eye!) we'll even get to have a peep inside his studio. Booking required, get in touch with us now so you don't miss out.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

PRINT It's here

Today (5th September) - 26th September PRINT is our new exhibition showcasing printers proofs of collaborative projects by Lee Turner and other artists including Ruth Root and Ellen Birkenblit. There is a fantastic variety of styles and techniques tied together beautifully in this exhibition so what are you waiting for...

Drink and Draw and Drink and Draw and Drink ...

Drink and Draw was fantastic the walk in drawing tunnel a real highlight. Hope you all came along and enjoyed the evening as much as we did!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Newcastle Artists Society

Several of our studio holders, (including Jim Edwards, Eva Bauer, Sarah Blood and Lee Turner of Hole Editions)  have recently become members of the Newcastle Artists Society so we thought we'd give them a shout on our blog! 

They've got a great site filled with artists interviews, upcoming and current exhibitions and mailing lists sign ups. And they've very kindly linked our blog to their news feed. Thanks NAS!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

things we forgot to mention

Our current show Quite the Character is on for one more week.  The exhibition is dedicated to illustration, includes animation and some other treats worth seeing. If you've not come along yet, what have you been doing? This is a very popular show and an intriguing insight into the minds and working methods of illustrators so come on down the gallery is open from 12-5 Wednesday through till Saturday.

The hugely popular storytellers from Seven Stories came along for our story time back in July. A creative imaginative and colorful time was had by all. Great fun! Little Betsy Armstrong (pictured) certainly had a lovely time. (Betsy's mum, Clare is one of the exhibitors.) 

Up and coming events Drink and Draw next Saturday evening ... Get sharpening those pencils! Bring your friends, neighbours and the children this event can be enjoyed by all the family. A selection of all sorts of drinks and drawing equipment will be provided. 

For more information see our Facebook events page.

Friday, August 21, 2009

it's nice being talked about!

If we get the chance we usually ask all our visitors how they found out about our shows. This week one of our visitors mentioned that they'd read a review on Mushroom Works hadn't heard of this site before so we had a little look, and we're pleased we did. The article features our Quite The Character show and has some very nice things to say, particularly of two of the artists exhibiting, The Cloud Commission and Jack Fallows. Thanks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hard at work...

Our lovely and very helpful Ashley hard at work this afternoon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eva's talk

Had a lovely night last night hearing all about Eva's work, what inspires her and what her future plans are. Thanks to everyone who came along - we're sure you found it as interesting as we did and thanks to Eva for being such a good speaker (and good sport!). If you'd like to find out more about Eva you can visit her website

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Home of the Turner prize!?

Who'd have thought you could find winners of the Turner prize down in the Ouseburn Valley? Well, you can! Winners of the Lee Turner, (Hole Editions Publishing) Prize that is! 

Studio Holder, Lee has been running his own business, Hole Editions, an independent printing and publishing organisation, producing hand printed original lithographs, from Mushroom Works since it's opening back in 2005. Over the past three years, Lee has collaborated with a large number of national and international artists, including Jonathan Lasker, Julia Jacquette, Ruth Root, Ellen Birkenblit, Larry Brown, Jock Mooney, Alex Charrington, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, John Morris and Mark Dion. Lee also works with emerging artists and recent graduates. Having completed a Masters in Fine Art at Newcastle University, Lee has maintained good relations with the University's arts department and in 2008 he launched the Publishing Prize. Lee is currently working with prize winner, Carla Bromhead (pictured). 

Lee and Hole Editions will be exhibiting as part of the Northern Print Biennale festival, running until 4 October. His show, here at Mushroom Works, (4th – 26th September) will include a display of printers’ proofs of collaborative projects whilst at Tamarind; and a number of publications from the Hole Editions catalogue, which include the work of Andrew Wilson (BA Fine Art 2008), who won the first Publishing Prize in 2008.

If you'd like to know more about the Publishing Prize there's a super article on Newcastle's Alumni site and if you'd like to know more about Lee you can book a place for his Artist Talk, taking place on Tuesday 15th September (6-8pm) at Mushroom Works Gallery (and Lee's studio).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mushroom Works is Expanding

The Mushroom Works is expanding south of the river with two new ventures. The demand for affordable creative spaces reminds high and Mushroom Works are leading the way in providing for this need. The two projects in Gateshead are Brighton Road Studios and Starter for Ten.

Brighton Road Studios is the conversion of an old church creating 17 studio spaces housing creatively vibrant people transforming the building into an inventive hub. This is currently at the planning stage and will hopefully be ready for people to move into by Christmas.

Starter for Ten is a Gateshead Council initiative to release the region’s creative potential, innovative practitioners are to be given rent-free workspace to help support them in difficult economic times. Gateshead Council approached Mushroom Works and asked us to manage the project for them because of our expertise in managing creative studio spaces of this sort. There will be spaces for twenty creative people. The lucky people have already been selected to move in and the project is set to happen in the next 6 weeks. The people range from Graphic Designers to Fashion Photographers.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Creative Swap Shop

This Thursday we're holding a creative swap shop.. come and exchange your unusual and quirky things for someone else's unusual and quirky things!

Bring along creative items on the theme of art, design, photography, music, film, fashion and other quirky objects for this creative exchange. (High quality swaps only please. No broken/damaged or electrical items, the better swaps you bring, the better swap you'll get!)

Thursday 25th June 6 – 8pm 

Sustainable Environments preview

A good time was had by all last week as we opened our new show Sustainable Environments (see earlier post for info about the exhibition).  

The show features work by several of our studio holders including Amanda Rabey (painter), Liam Newton (architect) Jim Edwards (painter), Nick James (deigner/maker) and Sarah Blood (sculptor).  

There's also work by Swedish artist, Helen Edling (her work is featured in the photograph), ceramic artist Helena Seget and a glass piece by Mike Lees.

Pop o down, it's well worth a trip along to Spillar's Quay. 

Our latest show... Sustainable Environments

With World Environment day taking place on 5th June, Mushroom Works asks, should creative practitioners consider the environmental, sustainable and ethical concerns of modern day society within their work? 

Good design, within and of our buildings and homes, is an important way forward in addressing the environmental challenges of today. Too much waste, not enough energy, too many people, not enough resources, complaints and worries we all hear. This exhibition investigates how sustainability, climate change and visions of Utopia are considered by artists, architects and designers in the 21st century and gives us ideas as to how innovative design can intervene for the better. 

The show will exhibit the works of UK based practitioners with an emphasis on local talents. Eco Architects, Newton Architects are an award winning environmental practice producing uncompromising good design. They will be exhibiting plans, materials and models of their work with a particular focus on ‘Eco Refurbs’ as well as new builds.  

Fine Artist, Amanda Rabey will also be exhibiting in the show.  Amanda’s paintings take a simultaneously beautiful and beguiling look at man's impact on the environment, at the relationship between macrocosm and microcosm and between the natural and synthetic.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

Preview Evening - Friday 17th April (6pm - 8pm)

In this credit crisis of 2009, the Mushroom Works celebrates the frolicsome side of life during a difficult time by hosting an exhibition exploring the frivolousness of food. We'd love you to join us in raising a tea-cup (filled with fizz) to the mighty cup-cake and all its sugary goodness!

Special events include a Tea dance (18th April) and sugar craft workshops- Have your cake and eat it! During the Late Shows (Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May, 5-11 pm) Catherine Hodgson will be hosting sugar craft workshops for all ages. Come along and craft your very own culinary masterpiece and then watch it disappear! Exhibition sponsor, Lottie McPhee, will also be selling her amazing cupcakes during the Late Shows. 

Just don't eat the gingerbread men. Don't tell anyone but they're made of fabric.

Sustainable Environments

Preview Evening Friday 5th June (6pm - 8pm)

A show which looks at how designers, artists and architects are responding to our current environmental conditions.

A call for work will go out late March via several regional channels. If you would like to take part in Sustainable Environments please speak to Lara.

The Works 6 - March 2009

New Faces

George Munton 

By George!

George joined us at Mushroom Works back in November 2008. The talented young man shares a studio with his fiance, Lucinda. He can usually be found (often napping) in his studio and working on his landscape paintings.

Luke Bevan

Luke at that!
Brick Works welcomed another talented studio holder into the mix last month. Jewellery designer/maker Luke Bevan moved into the Brick Works this february. Luke's planning on moving in lock, stock and barrel during March/April time. Pop in and say hello if you see him about.


We're putting together a bank of volunteers to help out with a variety of things related to the gallery. This includes, technical help with exhibition changeover, admin support, marketing assistance, event stewarding and gallery invigilation. If you know of anyone who may be interested in gaining some experience of working in a gallery please give them Lara's details. 

Who do you think you are?

Mushroom Works looks into its past...

Nick's been doing a lot of digging over the past few years, he's been looking into the previous lives of both buildings, trying to find out what they were used for before they were filled with creative peeps!

Whilst the Brick Works name is an obvious one, the naming of the Mushroom Works still remains a bit of a mystery. Nick's managed to trace the history of the building back to the 1800s, when the building was a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

Although we know that the St Lawrence Road area was called the Mushroom, we still don't know why. Some say the name mushroom was given to the area because of a large mushroom shaped crane which dominated the area. Others say it's because of the shape of the river, the mushroom shape allowing boats to turn around. There's even the
 suggestion that the name came from the exportation of mushrooms from the area, setting off for foreign lands via the Tyne. Who knows! 

 To help Nick with his plight we have recruited Amy, an MA Museums and Galleries student. Working mainly from the archives and record office, Amy will be popping in and out of the building over the next month or two, reporting back on what she's found out about the Mushroom Works.

We'll also be approaching the press to see if they can help by putting out a call to the public for memories, general information and even objects relating to the Mushroom Works.

The fruition of the history project will be displayed for all to see. As soon as Amy has enough information, she's going to produce a series of interpretation panels which will hang along the corridor leading to studios 1 and 2.  

Bridge Room with View

Jim has finally put the finishing touches to an epic four panelled painting (polyptych), commissioned by Gateshead council. Measuring 50 x 160", it took the best part of two months to paint, and stretched from one end of the studio to the other. The painting is Jim's interpretation of Gateshead, featuring familiar landmarks such as the Shipley art Gallery and the Tyne Bridge with Newcastle in the background. As with all of Jim's paintings, the composition is worked out from memory. Certain buildings are altered, moved or forgotten, giving the painting a unique perspective. Over the next month, Gateshead Council will be unveiling the painting in their newly refurbished 'Bridge Room', at the Civic Centre.

Culture Club

 As of this march we're starting a partnership with the Journal's Culture Club. The club has a diverse membership of around 1,5000 members. This month the club is re-launching, removing the annual fee to encourage even more members.

Nick's first up, giving a talk and small demonstration about his designs, his career to date and a little about what the future holds for him as a designer/maker. The talk's taking place on Tuesday 17th March (6-8p.m) and will be advertised in the Culture magazine and the journal's daily Culture pages. 

A few people expressed interest in giving artist talks during the 1-2-1s. If you are interested please let Lara know as she's putting together a programme of talks for the next six months. 


Janet Collin and her partner have given birth to a lovely little boy! And he is gorrrrrrrrrrrrrrgeousssssssss!!!!

James Sebastian Edward James was born on the 2nd December 2008. Janet tells us he has a lot of creative genes from two very creative parents!

Finlay Jobe (aka Galactic Jobe) was born January 28th at 12.10p.m weighing 7lb 10 ounces. His hobbies mostly include drinking milk and sleeping. So far his super powers have not been fully established but we have our suspicions.

There was this weird incident where out of the corner
of my eye I could swear his moses basket was levitating...

Mark Jobe

Set of Drawers

Bethan Laker's been very busy of late, not only exhibiting her work, taking on commissions and planning a wedding, she's also the founding member of a NE group of illustrators. Set of Drawers is a small community of regionally based illustrators of all different styles and sizes. The community came about to promote their love of cutting, sticking and drawing to the North East of England (and beyond!).

New (Hole) Editions 

Lee has quite a few new additions of late. these include work by Anne Vibeke Mou, Laura Lancaster and Andrew Wilson (image right). Both Anne and Laura's work can be seen on Lee's website right now, however Andrew's work will be a little later in coming as he's creating it live at his preview event on Tuesday 3rd March at the Hatton Gallery. Andrew was awarded a Publishing Prize at the 2008 Fine Art Degree Show. This prize allowed him to come into the studio and make a series of lithographs. 

Check out the new works at

Well done, Sarah!

Sarah Blood has had her work selected for publication in New Glass Review 30. New Glass Review is an annual global survey of contemporary glass art and is published every year by the Corning Museum of Glass, New York. This year a total of 1,047 artists from 43 countries submitted 2,974 images of their work for consideration, as only 100 pieces are published in the Review, the selection process is rigorous and to be included is a great accolade.

This will be the second time Sarah's work has been included in the review, the first being two years ago (New Glass Review 28) where she was given special mention by Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, New York.

New Glass Review 30 will be published in April 2009

Digital Developments

Congrats to Joanne and Jim on their new blogs. You can keep up to date with all their going ons here...

Show me the money!

Excuse the big smiles in the office this week. We've just been awarded a grant by Arts Council England, North East to deliver our pilot programme over the next year.

The grant will help us develop the public spaces in the building, create a flexible education space, contribute towards marketing costs and fund the first phase of our children's art club for 2009.

Thanks to everyone who helped shape it during our consultation meetings. We're already thinking about next year's programme and all ideas are welcome!

If you have any ideas for what you'd like to see in the Mushroom Works gallery please speak to Lara in you 1-2-1s.

Studio Surveillance

Ever felt like someone's watching you? 
Paranoid Big Brother's spying on your every movement? 

Well, for studio holders Bronwen Deane and Michael Armstrong, that would certainly be the case! Both studio holders are participating in Surveillance, the first in a series of exhibitions that offer an insight into the inner workings, practices and methodologies of Designer Makers in the North East. The exhibition provides a real-time view into the daily activities of a select group of Designed and Made Members via live webcams set up in their workshops and studios. These projected images will be presented alongside members products. 

Surveillance will be showing at Designed and Made Gallery, Live Theatre, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne from Friday 6th March until Friday 8th May

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love is in the Air...

Having just opened our latest Exhibition Roses are Red we have been visited by the Byker Romeo. We put a call out for artists to respond to the colour red and all of its conotations and this is how one gentleman from Byker contributed. He painted and pasted his message on our wall for all to see [including the local TV cameras] he just wanted to make people smile he said. we he has done that + the cars slow down as they pass now to look at it. [better than a sleeping policeman!]

we are exhibiting work by 15 local artists and the show is open through to 21st March. For more info visit Roses are Red

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Works 5 - January 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 promises to be an exciting year, particularly for the Mushroom Works gallery. We have a new programme (which will be announced officially with it’s launch in the March edition of The Works), we’ll be working with Business Link to ensure we’re running on all cylinders and we’ll be developing our partnerships and relations with other regional organisations to help raise our profile and increase our reach. Happy New Year!


New Faces

Bettina Nissen

Mushroom Works welcomes another new girl

Bettina joined us in mid November (just after the November issue of the works went to print). Bettina, a product designer, shares a studio at the Mushroom Works with Eva Bauer.

Bettina’s work is inspired by observations from daily life, she is curious about how we shape our routines and habits as well as how they shape us. She creates products and furniture that combine humour with functionality. For more information on Bettina visit her website


Iris Priest

We’d like to offer a really warm welcome to Iris Priest to The Mushroom Works

Since November Iris has been volunteering at The Mushroom Works every Saturday, helping to make the tea, greet visitors to the gallery and any other little jobs that you can throw her way!

Iris graduated from Fine Art at Cumbria Institute of the Arts this year and is currently exhibiting a solo show of her paintings at the new contemporary art space ‘Supercollider’ in Blackpool.


News from the studios…

Now we are four!

Happy Birthday Mushroom Works!

This January will be the fourth birthday for the Mushroom Works and to celebrate we’ll be holding a birthday bash on evening of the last Saturday of the month. Join us from 6pm on Saturday 31st January as we pop a few corks and scoff some cake.

No presents required, just your presence!!


Perfect Presents

Last December we Toon red, well the walls of the gallery anyway with a group show of over twenty regional artists, illustrators, designers and makers.

As well as exhibiting work by studio holders the show featured work by Yvette Hawkins (book sculpture), Idiot Savant (digital prints), John Parkin (drawings), Deborah Snell (prints), , Jane Smallcombe (jewellery), Richard Short (illustrations), Larissa Robinson-Joice (craft), Much Ado (limited edition cards), Helen Schell (drawings and glass), Val James (jewellery) and Rainbird & Wright (bags and jewellery)

The show also brought new art forms into the building with live music by the Cornshed Sisters, on the opening night, and two evenings of flute and harp music by Echo for our late night shopping events.


The Sundance Kids

Mark Jobe and partner Kelly Richardson have hit International headlines with their recent collaboration (no, not that one, not yet, read on for more news about Jobe junior!).  As well as the being shown at the Sundance Festival the piece has been acquired by two major museums in North America for their permanent collections.  These are the Art Gallery of Ontario (Canada's version of the Tate) and Albright Knox in Buffalo. It was also voted 3rd best Art Show of 2008 by Now Magazine, Toronto.

“Richardson’s magnificent glowing green stag preening in a nighttime forest was one of this year’s most arresting art images in any genre. Richardson used her consummate skill as a videographer and animator to construct videos that cleverly subverted and toyed with our ideas of what is natural and actual in both nature and art.” Now Magazine 2008

For more info visit


AA greaat opportunity!

Bettina Nissen was selected for this year’s Artists Access to Art Colleges Scheme (AA2A) at the University of Sunderland Glass and Ceramics Department. Bettina will be working in a new medium, ceramics, to develop an innovative tableware design.


The project looks at tableware and cutlery from a different angle. The use of fork and knife as fundamental tools of eating in western society is the basis for Bettina’s experiments in ceramic and clay. Inspired by the butter knife and the patterns it leaves on its counterpart, the tableware will be carved and marked with fork and knife.



January Sales

This January Mushroom Works gallery presents a group exhibition of work by several of its studio holders, including furniture designer/makers, Michael Armstrong and Nick James, Illustrator, Bethan Laker and Jewellery artist, Bronwen Deane

Mushroom Works is offering the chance to purchase original artwork, design classics and rare pieces by its studio holders at a fraction of their original selling price (some up to 75% less!) – a great way to start buying art and design pieces from established regional artists and designers.

10th – 31st January 2008


Roses Are Red

Our second show of 2009 falls on February, the month of love. To celebrate St Valentine’s day we’ll be hosting a red themed exhibition, showing work by studio holders and other artists, designers and makers from the region. 

A call for work will go out early January via several regional channels. If you would like to take part in Roses Are Red please email Lara with details of the work you’d like to include by Friday 23rd January. 


Other news

Welcome Baby Jobe-Richardson

Not long now! Mark and Kelly’s little boy is due late January (21st to be precise) and as you’d expect, they’re both very excited. Mark has entertained fellow facebookers on a daily basis with his soon to be fatherly updates.

"Mark Jobe is gonna be a Dad and a husband by the end of the year! Stuntman would make it three....rawk on"

Good luck guys, can’t wait to meet the little fella!!