MAKE Festival

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28 September 2019 - 29 September 2019
Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

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MAKE Festival
The Arts & Crafts Home
Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 September | 11am - 4pm
Free with admission | Friends free
Under 18s free | Students/under 25s £5.75

This summer will see the return of our popular MAKE Festival, a celebration of making - with a new theme, The Arts & Crafts Home - In partnership with the Crafts Council and featuring makers and furniture from BBC Two's Victorian House of Arts & Crafts.

When G F and Mary Watts founded Watts Gallery - Artists' Village, their aim was to teach young artists, share ideas and build a creative community that was open to all. Their vision continues today through events such as MAKE Festival. Visitors can explore our gallery, their former home and estate including the Watts Chapel – a masterpiece of the Arts & Crafts movement – as well as visiting a Victorian room of arts and crafts featuring furniture and objects from BBC Two's Victorian House of Arts and Crafts.

You can also try your hand at creating a variety of beautiful pieces for your own home, a selection of which are listed opposite.

The weekend will also include a talks programme with contributions from organisations, including SPAB, The Lettering Arts Trust, The Girl who Gardens, Leap then Look, I made this Crafts and Past Pleasures. These will range in content from the use of heritage paint in modern homes to the history and foundation of the Art Worker's Guild.

The festival will also feature makers, designers and architects – showing how the Arts & Crafts movement continues to inspire creativity today. Contemporary artists and makers will also be demonstrating across the site, including Rod Hughes, metalworker (participant in BBC2's Victorian House of Arts & Crafts), Jaci Foster stained glass designer, Steven Scott, spoon maker, and leather designer Rosanna Clare.

The event will also feature pop-up performances including English Folk Dance and Song Society and costumed interpreters as William Morris and William De Morgan.

Rod Hughes - Victorian House of Arts & Crafts. “I am excited and honoured to contribute to the Watts Gallery 'Make' event. The purpose of BBC2's Victorian House of Arts and Crafts was to show the beauty of the movement's makers work and to demonstrate that the ethos of making things together is as important today as then. Most of all we hoped to inspire people to make things for themselves and that's what the 'Make' event is all about."


While you are here you can also visit our current exhibitions, Watts Ceramics 2019 - featuring works by 10 leading contemporary makers - and John Frederick Lewis: Facing Fame - exploring the life and art of the Victorian Orientalist.

Food & Drink

We will be welcoming Godalming Delights to the event - truly exceptional hand-crafted artisan ice creams and sorbets. Made with the finest natural ingredients, they are free from artificial colours and flavourings. Accompanied by a selection of retro sweeties to delight young and old alike our colourful tent makes for a truly scrumptious visit.

Event Details

Victorian Room Of Arts & Crafts

Step inside our reconstructed Arts & Crafts bedroom with furniture and objects made on BBC Two's ' The Victorian House of Arts & Crafts'.

The room will feature a Heal's double bed made by Rod Hughes and Abi Nafisi, the embroidered bedspread that won 'object of the week' in episode one made by Niamh Wimperis, the Barnsley mirror made by Rod Hughes and Stephen Winstanley and the Ernest Gimson fire dogs, as well as photographs of the artists in action from the programme.

Also at the event you can meet Rod Hughes and Niamh Wimperis.



The first terrariums were developed by Victorian botanist Nathanial Bagshaw Ward. Join Renee Canter AKA The Girl who Gardens, to find out more about the history and science behind terrariums and make your own miniature garden to take away.


Terracotta light pull

In 1881, nearby Godalming was the first town to have a public electricity supply and electric street lighting. With our ceramic teacher Joshua Schoeman, paint and decorate a handmade terracotta light-pull for your home.


Arts & Crafts to wear

Use contemporary materials and fabrics to design and make costumes inspired by the Arts & Crafts fashion.. Be part of a parade and move through the woodland to the music of the Victorian Salon. Led by Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie of Leap then Look and students from Kingston University's BA in Fine Art.


Heritage paint colours

Visit G F Watts' studio and discover his pigment powders, before producing and naming your own heritage paint colour. Take a swatch of the new colour home to inspire your next interior design.



Create a notebook using painted paste papers and discover how 19th century techniques are still used today. Led by Marysa de Veer, founder of Otter Bookbinding.



Inspired by the wallpapers by William Morris and Liberty & Co, create your own section of block printed wallpaper using foliage designs by members of our Art for All community programme.



Roll your own natural beeswax candle. Beeswax candles were a necessity for the Arts & Crafts home and many designers created elaborate candlesticks in brass, pewter and copper to hold them.


Cameo brooches

In addition to pottery and embroidery, there were many influential female designers of the Arts & Crafts period working in jewellery. Create your own silhouette or use one of our moulds for your own cameo brooch.

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Watts Gallery Trust is a registered Charity. Charity No. 313612. All profits help us to provide excellent educational activities, stage critically acclaimed exhibitions, and maintain our collection, buildings and estate for future generations to enjoy.

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