Driving to FolkEast early last Friday morning I listened to BBC Radio Suffolk and heard an interview with John Marshall-Potter, the brains and energy behind the three day festival. He emphasised that FolkEast isn't only a festival of folk music but also a celebration of the people who live in the East and their arts, food, culture and traditions.
The festival site is on the estate of Glemham Hall and apart from a couple of hefty downpours on the first day we had glorious weather. The vast Suffolk skies with ever-changing parades of clouds would had made John Constable's heart skip!
Of course there was music . . . on the three stages and in the various workshops and accompanying the dancers, so there was always a background soundtrack drifting into the Art Arcade marquee.
I should have taken more photos of the dozen or more artists in the Art Arcade . . . but of course I was caught up in arranging my stall and talking to customers.
I was lovely to meet new people, next to me were Jane and Ed, here's Jane busy painting alphabet pebbles with intricate patterns and in the background Ed is working on another wooden spoon.
Here's me holding onto my hat! In a photo taken by Claire Knight who was selling her beautiful paper cut pictures at the other end of the tent. The cheery bunting was a last minute purchase from one of my card stockists, Blue Dog, a great investment . . . thank you Sarah!
I took along my latest prints, the four linocuts of a cockerel with his hens and the large print 'Winter Evening in Bull's Wood' . . . Suffolk Wildlife Trust will be selling cards of this for Christmas.
This year there were loads of art activities for festival goers of all ages to get involved in . . . everyone seemed o be having lots of fun and getting totally engrossed.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust were promoting their new campaign to find out more about and to help Hedgehogs. Isn't that wicker hedgehog fantastic?!
As I'm a keen supporter of the Wildlife Trust, I handed out Hedgehog Survey leaflet to my customers and worked on a new small lino block featuring a hedgehog making its winter nest. I hope to complete this print in time for my exhibition next month.
I didn't take my oil based inks and rollers, so printing the new lino block wasn't possible. However I had some rubber stamp inks with me, so I cut a stamp and made some Festival Hedgehog cards.
Here's another photo of my stall, this one was taken by Mandy Walden who had organised the Art Arcade for the festival and had a stall opposite mine with her prints and cards of Suffolk coastal scenes. Mandy took lots of photos but seemed to avoid having her own photo taken!
Here's another rubber stamp I carved while at my stall to demonstrate how lettering has to be done backwards so it prints forwards . . .
At the end of each day after packing up the stall so it was safe for the night, Cliff (my assistant stall keeper) and I had a lovely time listening to the bands and savouring the food. There were so much to enjoy, so many great musicians, but after a long day on the stall I think we liked the quirky 'Soapbox Stage' best hidden among the trees and laughing along to the ever-so-slightly-bonkers local duo, The Pancakes.
A huge thank you to the organisers Becky and John and their vast team of helpers. They did Suffolk proud!
If you came along and said hello to me on my stall, thank you, it made the weekend worthwhile and was it lovely to meet the people who buy my cards and prints at various galleries and shops.
It's all going to happen again next August, so if you want to spent a weekend with the East Folk in glorious Suffolk then follow FolkEast on Facebook and keep an eye out for ticket offers early next year ;-)