The Alde Valley Spring Festival is one of Suffolk most-treasured Spring events – a month-long festival of the arts, when throughout the month of May, visitors are welcomed into the gentle setting of White House Farm at Great Glemham, home of artist and festival director Jason Gathorne-Hardy. This past twelve months, the festival has re-purposed itself online, and opened to visitors whenever it was possible, offering a host of beautiful Residency Collections to enjoy – all of them rooted in the farm and local landscape of the vale of Great Glemham.
For 2021, plans are afoot to open the barn galleries in late Spring and Summer. Alongside this, Jason is evolving a new year-round online gallery – Galloper-Sands – to continue to serve the wider audience the festival has gathered via its virtual presence. Named after a sandbank off the east Suffolk coast, Galloper-Sands is a treasury of the beautiful collections of artworks – paintings, drawings, sculpture and also handmade furniture and contemporary crafts – which have evolved around the Festival, and which are so deeply embedded in its environment.
Continuing a long-tradition of Suffolk chairmaking and developing a range of furniture designs that would sit as well in a contemporary home as a traditional farmhouse, Galloper-Sands has found an appreciative audience for the beautiful craftsmanship of Suffolk maker Jim Parsons.
“We have shown Jim’s beautiful collaboration with us – the Alde Valley Settles – for almost a decade,” says Jason Gathorne-Hardy. “During this time, we have enjoyed finding new homes for dozens of pieces made by Jim – with a sale often sealed as soon as a guest sits down in one of his settles to test it for comfort. So, we can thoroughly recommend Alde Valley Settles based on the comfort, durability and the elegance of their designs.”
The journey of an Alde Valley Settle is a delightful process for those who commission one of these beautiful pieces. Each Settle is made to your own size specifications, and pieces range in size from two to five seaters. Crafted in oak and ash, the evolution of each Settle is a path taken alongside the client, starting with an initial visit to the farm if you would like, to talk through the project and select the boards for your settle. Local wood from the Alde Valley, and often from the farm itself, is the starting point. The designs can be modified with a subtle variation on the legs and arms if required, and the height of the back or the depth of the seat adapted to accommodate its owner, or the dimensions of the space in which the Settle will sit.
Offered under the Galloper-Sands Handmade banner, an Alde Valley Settle is a piece of Suffolk history in the making, designed to delight its owners now, and be enjoyed by many generations to come. Jason is also honoured to have been working with Maggie’s Centres for several years, to offer a range of individual designs – including benches, stools and tables – to support the beautifully considered environments of their cancer care centres around the country. To commission an individually designed piece, Galloper-Sands Bespoke design and build service is available to work with you to your specific requirements.
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