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Meet the Maker #2

This time we meet…. Kelly Quinzel who has some important words of wisdom from her great wealth of experience as an artist.


How are you finding the winter so far?

I am a morning person, usually I get out of bed at 7.30am. However, due to winter and the coldness, I find it difficult to get out of bed, but once I am out, I enjoy the walk in the park, as the weather been good, what I dislike would be winter plus bad weather.


What’s your favourite material to work with?

My favourite material to work with would be watercolour as it is lightweight and easy to take anywhere with me as I enjoy taking the time to do something for myself and it is necessary for the mind. Mark making on paper and using watercolour makes it easy to do so anywhere.


When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for?

Both of my parents have a background in art. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old and my mother raised me as a single parent and was very encouraging with my interest in art.


What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

Home (less) In The City.

This piece of work illustrates the recognisable landmarks in Manchester’s public spaces. As my project is about raising awareness of homelessness and addressing Manchester’s homeless problem, I organised a month-long hand embroidery workshop with Cornerstone Day Centre in the hope of gathering inspiration for my project. Exchanging my skill sets combines my specialist area in embroidery alongside working with vulnerable adults. It was important to gain the participants’ trust and I did not want to appear to be ‘taking’ from them. I proposed a workshop to teach them hand embroidery in exchange for their input on my project, which seemed fair. As it was my objective to gather different options addressing Manchester’s homeless problem.

In the start of the project I illustrated the visual images of the homeless on the street and it lost the sense of narrative within my work after working with vulnerable adults at Cornerstone Day Centre, then I realised they used art workshops to create light-hearted artworks and it gives them a more positive attitude throughout. What is special about this work is that it also illustrates the lively side of Manchester’s homeless community. This acts as a reminder to all of us that we all share the same city.

This caused a change in my project: to focus on the positive side of Manchester. Another change was moving these illustrations from the canvas to a wall hanging style – then I created a series of embroidery illustrations of Manchester which were embellished onto shirts. As I experimented with different types of garments, I found this series of clothing illustrates my best works.

As well as beautiful images, using garments is also my way of suggesting that donating unwanted clothing to homeless charities is a way many people can help with this issue.


Any new years resolutions?

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, as I can always improve myself, the moment I thought of it, I act upon it.


What do you do or tell yourself at times when you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t have enough time to do anything creative’?

I have a to do list for experimenting ideas, a list for daily tasks, a list for long term goals.  My to do list, it never ends.

This way, I can manage my time throughout the week without feeling over whelming with tasks. As I am a freelancer, as well as spending time on my commissions, I also make time for creating.


Any advice to other local creatives?

Create only what interests you in the way you choose to create it. Don’t change your approach to gain sales, popularity or acceptance. You will never do your best work if you do.


You can buy Kelly’s prints on our shop here, and of course at the Christmas market on the 9th December.


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Meet the Maker #1

The first maker we are going to meet is…. Jayne Pennington, of Don’t Be A Sheep Etsy store.


“Hiya everyone, I’m Jayne, I’m a nearly – cough-splutter – 54yr old, basically redundant mum of 3 grown up kids that can now feed themselves. Only my disabled daughter to still really take care of.

I started knitting probably when I was 10 or 11 years old, making jumpers but I now make mostly toys, although if someone asks for something I usually do it.

I love to knit with today’s wools. I’ll try any out, I love to find a basic pattern and completely change it to something else, I am very, very picky… If something doesn’t look right to me it gets started again.

Knitting in winter is brilliant! It keeps you warm, makes you have more time to yourself and gives you every excuse not to go out in the crappy weather. I hate winter.

My favourite thing I’ve ever made is my huge top cat jumper. I love doing intarsia knits, and I have made over 30 jumpers with huge cartoon characters on the front, but Top Cat was my first at 19yrs old. It’s still going: it’s been painted in, been to festivals, been to America, and had 3 kids in it at once. I love it.

Jayne in her 34-yr old, hand-made, Top Cat jumper!


I probably have one new year resolution for the first time ever…be more prepared with Christmas makes, it’s not fun playing catch-up everyday.


What’s your advice to other local creatives who struggle to get round to making?

If you can, set aside a day or two a week with no distractions (hide the gin). Don’t stay up late to get things done, it usually ends up wrong. Start fresh the next day.

Above all, have fun and enjoy what you do ?

Thank you, Jayne!


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CH+ and Dulcimer Christmas Market

Excited to announce the CH+ & Dulcimer Christmas Market!

Come on down to Dulcimer between 12-7pm on Sunday 9th December to take part in a local, creative Christmas.

At CH+, we firmly support the #justacard movement, promoting the immense value of local and independent creativity. To you it may be ‘just a card’, but to the person who made it, it’s much more.

Help keep local creative ventures like CH+ sustainable by buying local this Christmas.

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The official launch of our weekly, pay-as-you-feel art-for-wellbeing drop-ins is this week!

This week we will be making collages, using a variety of paper materials, stamps and mark-making implements.

F-Art club will run every this week, and the following weeks, on Sundays at Dulcimer Bar, Chorlton, from 2-4pm.

The drop in is open for everyone, however as with our other work we are specifically looking to target those with long term health difficulties and/or disabilities.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and coffee is only £1.90!

Please don’t hesitate to message with any questions 🙂


Every week we will also have a variety of items from our online shop for sale – beautiful things made by local people!