The artists and artisans who just love passing on their skills at Hannahs
DOTTED all around the Dame Hannahs Trust estate at Seale Hayne there are now a diverse range of artists busily working in little studios.
Around 15 artists now rent a space from the charity and have the opportunity to sell their goods and in return they teach workshops to people with learning difficulties connected to the trust.
The arrangement gives artists the chance to pass on their skills to others and gives them a platform to advertise and sell their goods in a large gallery space.
The talented artists, which include a weaver, a teddy bear maker, blacksmith, ceramicists, painters, jewellery makers and textile workers, also host workshops for the public.
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Weaver Noni Mackenzie, from Ashburton, has had a studio at Seale Hayne for a year and loves the location and working with people with learning difficulties.
"You can't help, but feel inspired when you are here," she said.
"I like the ethos of the Dame Hannahs Trust and the fact it wants to integrate people with learning disabilities into the main stream.
"I work with two people with disabilities and they really love weaving, it gives them a new skill and gives them something to be proud of.
"It's not easy to set up a loom, but it is easy to weave and it gives them confidence."
Noni, who works with wool, cotton, linen and hemp, enjoys making beautiful items from scarves to rugs and is particularly passionate about the colourful pattern the weave creates.
"I've just become a grandmother so at the moment I love making cot blankets for my new grandson Alfie," she said with a big grin on her face.
Nearby, blacksmith Robert Hills is working in his studio.
Linking up with a lighting designer, he's created lights and chandeliers for hotels all around the world and has made a funky centre piece display for fashion designer Ted Baker at his stores in Paris and Kuwait.
"As a kid I always loved metal and started welding when I was 13 . I even got an angle grinder for Christmas when I was 15," he said.
He enjoys being at his base, 'the forge' at Seale Hayne, and helping those who come to workshops arranged by the trust.
"If I come into work and am having a bad day, they make me smile and it's really rewarding having them here," he said.
Harry Vincent, 18, who attends the workshops and is from a blind school in Exeter, said that since September he's created two items.
"I've made an angel and an aircraft from the metal," he said.
"The sessions are fabulous and we have some great teachers who guide us."
In the main artist block, known as the souk, there are many artists all set up down an narrow alley.
Jewellery maker Peter Reeves, from Plympton, who has his studio there has high hopes more and more people will come along and support the artists housed there.
"It's a great opportunity for us all and what's great is all the small units have light, heating and water, which is perfect for us. We've also got a gallery to show off our work, so it's a great resource," he said.
Peter, who works in gold, silver and platinum, does a lot of bi-colour work, where he combines the metals into a piece. He also likes to use unusual stones.
He feels as the trust is helping him promote his work it's important to give something back.
"I'm currently helping a person who has a brain injury and has double vision. By focusing on something for short periods of time it helps her sight, so the jewellery making is a way of helping her sight," said Peter.
Just a stones through away is Sara Gilbert's studio.
The painter and printmaker from South Brent loves the welcoming atmosphere at Seale Hayne.
"It's so nice to have like-minded people around you," she said. "I feel at home here."
She's teaming up with another Seale Hayne-based artist, Sara Evans, for the exhibition Surfacing at the Chapel Gallery at the venue, running for two weeks from April 1.
Sara Evans works in mixed media and lives in Ashburton.
"I'm interested in exploring art forms and don't like to feel limited in my work," she said.
Her ethos is shared by artist Vicky Jocher, from Starcross, who creates abstract works as well as jewellery.
"I just love being creative and playing with materials and ideas," she said.
Newton Abbot's Nicky Fraser has also set up a successful studio creating vintage-style teddy bears.
She started the company at her home in 2007 and began writing a blog. It got picked up by magazines in the UK and her creativity and success grew further.
She now sells the bears, as well as plush elephants, rabbits and foxes, around the globe including America, Japan and Russia.
"The bears are made with new materials, but I make them look old," she said.
"They are filled with steel shots and most are filled with wood wool."
Nicky, who won the vintage category in the British Bear Artist Awards in 2011, has turned her studio into a kitsch vintage haven.
She says: "I feel focused on what I'm doing and everything I need is under one roof."
For more information, visit www.discoverhannahs.org/Arts/