The beech woodlands made the Chilterns a centre of the furniture making industry in the 19th century and it was once a thriving hub for straw plaiting, lace and hat making. The landscape still inspires artists and craftspeople who are producing beautiful work, some of which can be bought online – your chance to take home a little slice of the Chilterns!
Meet the Chilterns makers
There is a cluster of studios and galleries at Layby Farm near Stoke Mandeville, ideal for viewing a wide range of high quality work and sourcing gifts ‘of the Chilterns’. At the heart of the complex, you’ll find the Buckinghamshire Craft Guild featuring the work of artists based in and around the Chilterns. It provides a year-round showcase and the opportunity to meet the makers. The Guild has a permanent shop at Layby Farm which is also home to other galleries and studios including; Obsidian Art, Fabric HQ, Freya Jones Spinning & Fibrecraft and By Hands Books.
The beautiful Hambleden Valley is home to many artists, their studios tucked away down twisty country lanes. In the village of Turville (opposite the Bull & Butcher pub) you’ll find Turville Studios , six working studios occupied by local artists, creating and showcasing works in various media, from fine art to photography, printmaking and ceramics. The studios are open to the public on the first Saturday of every month, visitors will be able to drop in to see the artists at work, view and potentially purchase work. In the nearby village of Hambleden there is a monthly Local Producers Market where several local makers sell their work.
Read on for other ideas for craft gifts and experiences.
This range brings together two talented local creatives: designer Zoe Mingos and photographer Mary Tebje, both inspired by what we see and enjoy everyday near our homes in the Chilterns – sometimes further afield.
Designed to appeal to both local residents and visitors to the region, the two distinct ranges include “Kites and Clouds” and “A Year in the Chilterns. “Visit the website
Whittling and Woodcraft day course
Run by David Willis. Working in a lovely woodland setting near Little Chalfont, around a campfire, you will learn carving techniques and spend the day creating a range of wooden utensils, the centre piece being a spoon.Visit the website
Sally Evans Artists & Makers Fairs
Each craft fair is an opportunity to meet an array of incredible local talent with every exhibitor hand-picked for their uniqueness and craftsmanship. From prints to pen-making; calligraphy to ceramics and stained glass to silversmithing, you will find a diverse and impressive range of art.Visit the website
Art and Craft courses at Where Inspiration Blooms
Where Inspiration Blooms is an inspirational space, bringing together a community of artisan artists and wellbeing coaches to feed your mind, body and soul.Visit the website
Chilterns candles and workshops
From her workshop in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, Trish has designed and created her own range of luxurious vegan natural wax scented candles that are inspired by the stunning surrounding countryside. A true artisan product, each candle is individually made using traditional methods with the utmost care and attention.Visit the website