Annual Herts Open Studios begins next Saturday

ARTISTS across the county are throwing open their workplaces for the annual Herts Open Studios which runs from next Saturday, September 8, until September 30.

More than 160 artists and design-makers are taking part in Open Studios which will showcase all manner of media from painters practising in oil, acrylic and watercolour to ceramics, jewellery and both digital and film photography.

There will also be glass art, sculpture and engraving, calligraphy and graffiti, printmakers, textile artists and fashion creators.

Participants belong to Herts Visual Arts whose members range from professionals to passionate amateurs.

Among the many artists taking part across the St Albans district are Wendy Hyams, of Sandfield Road, St Albans, who specialises in fine detailed watercolour painting and illustrations of still life, and miniature portraits.

Contemporary photography and printmaking by Itziar Olaberria can be seen at her studio in Brampton Road, St Albans, while Andrew Szczech is showing his semi-abstract oil paintings and sharing space at Marlborough Gate, St Albans, with Jean Pierre Roffi, whose work is inspired by religious iconography, rituals and image manipulation.

Katie Tant will be exhibiting her contemporary jewellery including her own handmade glass beads alongside Tessa Barnes’s silk scarves, sarongs, umbrellas and silk painting in their shared space in Battlefield Road, St Albans.

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In addition Wendy Dowling will be creating colourful wall hangings and function items at her glass kiln in Churchill Road, St Albans.

In Harpenden Roger Reynolds, of Park Rise, can be seen working on his intricate botanical watercolours while sculptor Paul Diggins, of Coleswood Road, specialises in portrait heads created in clay and then fired or cast in either plaster or ciment fondu.

New to Open Studios is artist and textile designer, Justine Lois Thorpe, of Shakespeare Road, who will feature landscape impressions, abstract paintings, still life, etchings and drawings in her studio.

The regular exhibiting group at Artscape Arts at Southdown Industrial Estate this year comprises Teresa Newham (painting and photography) Helen Brooks (printmaking), Sue Wookey (paintings in watercolour and gouache) and Pauline Ashley (ceramics and restoration).

Hillary Taylor, a mathematician and engineer by day, will be pursuing her aim to “encourage the viewer to look at the world from a different angle, to explore the designs, patterns and shapes that we otherwise might take for granted” with her photography and abstracted digital images.

In Redbourn, Geoff Hall works wood in a variety of designs at his studio in Rickyard Meadow while Barbara Weeks in Parkfield Crescent, Kimpton, will be demonstrating and exhibiting her quilts and felt inspired by coastlines in the UK and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

For details about all participating artists and their opening hours visit, or contact Linda Warminger on 07813 100651 / to find out more about Herts Visual Arts. Full colour brochures can be obtained from local galleries, libraries or St Albans tourist information office.