Ceramic bowl by Diane Bent.
You can see more of Daine's work on her members' page.
We will be making application forms for membership of Hens Teeth available for download soon.
Hens Teeth was established in 2005 by a group of Artists and friends who regularly came together to support each other in their creative endeavours. We often felt that there was a need for a platform for emerging artists or creative focus in Penistone and District. When in response to this we were invited by Father David Hopkin, of St Johns church in Penistone, as part of their open doors policy, to put on a display of art work and crafts at Christmas we naturally jumped at the chance.
We set about approaching as many artists we knew to help us organise a display of work. We put an advert in the local paper asking for artists and makers to join us and we were delighted to discover so many extraordinarily talented people living and working in the area.
The response was overwhelming and during the week long exhibition and sale, people flocked in huge numbers and from great distances to the event, that we named, ‘Art at the Altar.’ We were surprised to discover the wonderful variety of talented people that were living and working in our own community. Painters, printmakers, ceramicists, jewellers, silversmiths, glass artists, woodcarvers, and sculptors all came together to display their work against the magnificent backdrop of St Johns Church.
Unlike many art exhibitions there was no admissions policy and only an extremely modest entry fee was charged which was donated directly to charity. It proved to be a real community event that everyone became enthusiastic about. Well established Professionals as well as amateurs displayed and sold their work alongside each other.
We were supported enormously by the Penistone and District Community Partnership who sponsored our banners and helped us organise a preview evening and local businesses who donated money to help stage the event. The church also allowed us free use of their space to rearrange and display work wherever we could. It was administered by Hens teeth and manned entirely by unpaid volunteers. So with no direct overheads and none of the usual gallery commissions, we were able to donate 25% of all sales to Bluebell Wood children’s hospice.
Art at the Altar 2005 was huge success and many artists discovered that they had not only sold work, some of them for the first time but they had made contact with other artists with whom they could share their experiences, ideas as well as resources. It gave many artists the confidence to set up their own creative businesses or the inspiration to develop new work.
But overwhelmingly, the lasting impact of ‘Art at the Altar,’ was not just the money raised for Charity or the platform for emerging artists as well as established professionals. We felt that we had brought together the creative community in a really positive way at Christmas and as such we were encouraged to work towards repeating the exercise the following year!
.... And why Hens Teeth? Well someone once quipped that artists in Penistone were as about as ‘Rare as Hens Teeth!’ This website endeavours to prove this theory quite wrong!
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