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Getting Hands-on at Harewood

Ever wanted to try your hand at weaving, or get the opportunity to have a go at blacksmithing for yourself…?

Over the past few years, Harewood has been gradually establishing its workshop programme, working with exceptional individuals who are leaders in their fields, to create some really interesting and one-off workshops here at Harewood.

From yoga on the Terrace last year, to a full programme of events this spring and summer that complement Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters, the general theme in the House and across the whole site.

Our workshops are tailored to small groups, are not readily available anywhere else in the vicinity and are enhanced by access to behind the scenes in the House and the new exhibition. And there are refreshments, often lunch. This season the workshops are led by artists and makers from Useful/Beautiful.

PAPER SCULPTING WITH ANDY SINGLETON – 11 May
Wakefield-based paper artist Andy Singleton is acclaimed for his paper sculptures, two of which can be seen hanging in the Library. Participants will explore the potential of paper cutting and get to create their own unique sculptural forms.

FRAME WEAVING WORKSHOP FROM WASTE WITH MARIA SIGMA – 18 May
Driven by a ‘zero waste’ approach to textile design, Maria Sigma has become a rising star in the world of weaving. Take your discarded but still loved textiles, including t-shirts and pillow cases, and make them into something new…

WORKING WITH FINE BONE CHINA: A WORKSHOP WITH REIKO KANEKO – 1 June
Reiko Kaneko was born and raised in Japan, and the cultural heritage of her upbringing plays a formative part in her ceramics. Join Reiko for an introduction to the whole process of making, decorating and glazing fine bone china.

INTRODUCTION TO BLACKSMITHING WITH LESZEK SIKON – 8 June, 2 workshops
The perfect Father’s Day gift – an exclusive opportunity to work with artisan blacksmith Leszek Sikon for an introduction to blacksmithing, learning basic blacksmithing techniques, making a bottle opener, key leaf chain or Viking style utility knife.

CAST GLASS JEWELLERY WITH EFFIE BURNS – 14 July
Effie creates miniature landscapes of glass objects cast from vegetables. Join Whitby-based artist Effie for an intimate workshop to learn the craft of cast glass jewellery making. This workshop gives a rare chance to work in miniature and create your own cast glass jewellery.

CREATIVE PLAY: UNLIMITED SOURCE OF NEW IDEAS WITH JULI BOLANOS-DURMAN – 21 July
Join vibrant artist Juli Bolaños-Durman for an innovative and creative day, exploring play and its links to creativity. Costa Rican-born, Edinburgh-based Juli works with found glass and other objects, playfully creating fascinating characters and pieces.

USEFUL/BEAUTIFUL TWILIGHT TOURS
18 April / 9 May / 13 June / 18 July
6.30-8.30pm
Join us for an exclusive out of hours tour of Harewood’s acclaimed new exhibition, Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters.

Full details of the programme of events and workshops can be found on biennial.harewood.org

Leeds Band Hope & Social Making Music at Harewood

Hope&Social Harewood HouseResidencyThe next big hit might just be inspired from Harewood, as the energetic and popular Leeds-based rock band Hope & Social move in for a four-week writing and recording residency whilst the House and gardens get ready to open to the public at the end of March.

The Volunteer Bookshop at Terrace Cottage in the grounds of Harewood House is their base, since they posted a call-out on Twitter for a venue in which to write their sixth album. Harewood House Director Jane Marriott quickly responded with an invitation to visit.

The six-piece band, who define themselves as ‘Trying to change the world by making noise, being late and dancing like we mean it’ are well-known for their animated approach to music making and performance.

Jane said, “I’ve seen Hope & Social play several times and wanted to find a great way to work together, having been captivated by their energy and spirit. They are always in such demand, that I’m delighted we’ve finally found a way to make it work.
“Harewood has a strong association with music and also a commitment to working with great artists and whilst we had the space, we just thought having them on site would be great fun. For us and for them.”

“What an opportunity.” said James Hamilton from Hope & Social. “Harewood is such an amazing location and we now have plenty of room to be totally creative and make lots of noise. And we don’t even have to worry about the neighbours.”

As a thank-you to the charity, the band will perform live and take part in music workshops across several dates during the open season, with their first performance for visitors in The Courtyard on Mother’s Day on Sunday 31 March, to coincide with the launch weekend for Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters.

For further information follow us @HarewoodHouse on social media.

Mother’s Day Weekend

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea It’s the next major family celebration on the calendar and there are some lovely treats to discover and share at Harewood this year.

Across the weekend there’s a Makers’ Market in The Courtyard and live music from Leeds-based band Hope & Social, who will have just finished their month-long writing and recording residency in the Volunteer Bookshop at Terrace Cottage, in the grounds of Harewood House.

Wander around the house and discover the 26 exhibitors featured in Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters, take a springtime walk around the grounds and see our gardens in bloom, and for a real treat, book a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in our Billiard Room, a location that many enjoyed over Christmas.

What’s On:
– See the brand new Useful/Beautiful exhibition in the State Floor and Below Stairs of the House
– Visit the Courtyard for our Spring Makers’ Market and for a range of artisan food, craft, gifts and contemporary wares
– Make your own sketchbooks with our Family Bookbinding Workshop in the Steward’s Room
– Visit the Maker’s Cabin and explore our range of family activities and trails to guide you around the House and grounds
– Take park in a magical springtime adventure with our Theatrical Outdoor Trail which will take you on a journey around the Harewood’s gardens (Saturday only)
– See the wonderful Hope & Social perform at Harewood – join in with some musical workshops and watch a live performance in the Courtyard (Sunday only)

Relax and enjoy a blissful afternoon together over a glass of fizz and an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches, homemade cakes and a freshly baked scone with Strawberries, Homemade Jam and Clotted Cream, plus, of course your choice of Tea or Coffee.

Book Afternoon Tea

Adult £55
Child £25

Includes Harewood Entry and a floral gift for Mums to take home.

Follow us on social media @HarewoodHouse to keep up to date with the latest news and stories…

Marching on together…

Lord Harewood Leeds United President

David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood, wears his Leeds colours with pride, as he is announced Honorary President of Leeds United, in this the club’s centenary year.

“It really is an honour to be asked to be President of Leeds United. My father held the post for nearly fifty years and my step-mother too for a few months before she died.

My father started taking me to Elland Road as a boy and I’ve been a season ticket holder since we won the last First Division Championship in 1992.

Now I go with my own sons and in the last couple of years with my young grandsons too. It’s the club’s centenary year and it feels like we are at the start of something very exciting, with the best manager in the league and a group of committed and passionate players. I’m proud to be a small part of it. Marching On Together!”

The craft of the matter…

Curator Hugo MacDonaldQ&A with Hugo Macdonald, curator of the inaugural craft exhibition, Useful / Beautiful: Why Craft Matters

Design critic Hugo writes for several international titles Wallpaper*, Monocle and House & Garden. He consults across a broad range of industries, helping define narrative identity and strategy for clients, including Airbnb, The Goldsmiths’ Company, Vitra, Instagram and Ikea.

Can you give a brief summary of what’s happening at Harewood this spring?
It’s a very exciting time indeed. We are opening the inaugural exhibition of the new Harewood Biennial. The exhibition is called Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters, and our mission has been to introduce ideas, challenge preconceptions and inspire debate about the role craft can play in life today. We are surrounded by the word craft today – whether on food packaging in supermarkets or luxury brands, galleries to gift shops to hobbies at home. I’m keen to ask questions about what craft is, and why it matters to us today: is it a product or a process? Is it always something handmade? Is it just a marketing buzzword?

What will visitors see and experience?
We have selected 26 diverse, contemporary practitioners of craft. The group has a variety of experiences, from recent graduates to names of global renown. They have different areas of expertise spanning fashion, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, paper and leather. Each has been invited to exhibit in a different room on the State Floor and Below Stairs. The works respond in some way to the room, sometimes explicit, sometimes more subtle. So we have a bookbinder in the Main Library, a knife forger in the Old Kitchen, a ceramics studio in the China Room. Each of the exhibitors is a story in its own right, each promoting the idea in their own way that craft adds value to life.

Why craft, why now, why Harewood?
We are undoubtedly witnessing a resurgence of interest in craft. Harewood House itself is a fascinating platform to explore discussions around the subject. The house was built, decorated and furnished in the final days before the first industrial revolution, which would eventually spawn the Arts & Crafts movement. Our exhibition creates an intriguing contrast between historic and contemporary. The exhibits might look very different, but many techniques have not changed significantly. I hope visitors will see beyond aesthetic differences between “old and new” to question why these crafted exhibits are interesting to us today. What do they add to life?

Originally William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement made a principled rejection of the Industrial Age, back in the late 19th century. With the explosive emergence of industry, there was a belief that it would destroy culture and society.

Today we are approaching the fourth industrial revolution, witnessing the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and automation. I believe this is the reason for our current craft revival: in a world more reliant than ever on digital and virtual elements, people want to reconnect with the physical realm. We are witnessing times of enormous change beyond our control, characterised by forces we don’t understand. Craft is something fundamental. It is an innately human expression. We find it comforting and reassuring.

Who are the exhibitors and what will they bring?
Every exhibitor is fascinating in their own right and I’ve so enjoyed getting to know them and their work, and finding out why what they do matters to them. There is a broad mix: Wakefield-based paper artist and illustrator Andy Singleton is showing beautiful poetic sculptures; Welsh sustainable denim-makers Hiut Denim are demonstrating how craft can economically and socially boost a community; Fox Umbrellas prove that making one thing better than anyone else translates into a global multi-generational business run from a small workshop on the outskirts of Croydon. Visitors will discover Freed of London ballet shoes in The Music Room, with portraits of their work, together with the component parts and a heap of finished slippers. Every single one of the 330,000 slippers made each year is handmade to fit a single foot.

The aim is to show beautiful, contemporary handcrafted objects, against a classic backdrop and to take the time to not only admire, but to probe, question and consider. Craft has a vital place in contemporary life – we want visitors to leave inspired by the many wonderful stories and delighted by the many objects we often take for granted that are the result of another human’s extraordinary knowledge, time, care and skill.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.
William Morris

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