Is it possible there is a village that has more talented residents than Moulton?
It is possible, but unlikely, because the village not only has a couple of professional artists and a renowned cellist, but lots of other people who are gifted in some way when it comes to arts and crafts.
There is also an enormous amount of goodwill and enthusiasm for an event that will bring some of that pool of talent together in one place.
Handmade in Moulton is an arts and crafts event being held at the Methodist church in Bell Lane from Friday, May 3 to Monday, May 6.
It will display and sell some of the beautiful needlecrafts, patchwork, paintings and ceramics produced in Moulton.
There will also be jewellery, knitware, food produce, demonstrations of lace making and workshops for children. One, run by knitters Jean Rowe and Molly Morrell, who will also have a table selling their work, is called 4x4, and children and adult knitters will be encouraged to make squares that will be joined to make a blanket for Abbeygate Care Rest Home in Moulton.
Mary Brice, who came up with the Handmade in Moulton idea after hearing Valerie Venables say the chapel was not going to run a flower festival, will be running workshops called Boxes with topses, to create decorated gift boxes.
The two women are talented in their own right: Mary paints and sells her work and Valerie has had books published – some will be on sale.
They have invited Judy Wright to exhibit and sell her beautifully made bags, teddies, mobiles, makeup bags, cushions bunting and coat hangers.
Judy, taught first by her mother and then by “fantastic” Gleed School needlework teacher Freeda Oldershaw, believes there is a renewed interest in skills such as sewing.
She said: “People are learning to knit and sew because there is an interest in handmade things. I think people are getting fed up with cheap productions that don’t last and that everyone else has got.”
The Wrights are a particularly talented lot: dad Jim is a professional artist; son Simon – whose work is regularly accepted at the Royal Academy – is teaching until he can paint full-time; Stephen, a police officer, specialises in customising bicycles; and Nicola is a ceramicist whose work will also be included in Handmade in Moulton.
Nicola, inspired by work experience at Tydd Pottery, graduated in ceramics at Westminster University and now specialises in sculptural ceramics consisting of slab built forms based on the flexibility and movement of the human body.
Nicola’s kiln is still at the family home in Moulton, but she hopes to establish her own workshop in Devon in the near future.