How Do You Do Crafts? suffolk craftsSuffolk crafts

ince Lovejoy entertained us with his antique antics around Suffolk, we’ve grown to love the county’s craft culture and artistic history. Nowadays you’ll find a host of lovely local art galleries and craft co-ops in Southwold, glass painting studios in Lavenham and ceramic workshops in Framlingham. And a visit to the famous Snape Maltings is a must for lovers of art & crafts.

The best place to potter, peruse and purchase arts, crafts and everything you can think of for the home and garden, Snape Maltings is a unique find in the heart of Suffolk. A collection of nine independent shops, tea rooms and pubs, it’s also home to the Aldeburgh Music Concert Hall. You can even take a river trip or a walk to discover the local wildlife and thriving community of birds.

www.snapemaltings.co.uk

This light and airy gallery of contemporary and classic art, prints, ceramics, wood work and jewellery showcases the work of local artists and holds special month-long exhibitions. There really is something for every taste and budget, so you could bag yourself the next big thing without breaking the bank. We’re especially fond of local Suffolk artist Emily Rae Manning’s beautiful range of original prints featuring leaves, reeds, feathers and birds. www.snapemaltings.co.uk/shop/gallery/

WS: What makes Snape Maltings so special?
AG: Snape Maltings is truly unique. We are a family-run, independent business set over 21 acres, and people come to us from all over for an experience they won’t find on the high street. We travel all over the country to find the most exceptional and beautifully crafted furniture and home accessories, alongside locally-sourced food & drink produce. We look for things we like ourselves - a method that’s proved popular so far!

WS: What can people expect when they visit?
AG: You can spend hours here at the Maltings, but even if you have a spare hour or two on your way around Suffolk, you can pop in and get a great experience. There’s a host of things to do here, including browsing in the independent shops for homewares, textiles and gifts; taking a look around the gallery, enjoying lunch in the pub or an afternoon tea and then taking a river walk along the estuary.

WS: What are your plans for the future?
AG: In 2015 the Maltings will be 50 years old, so look out for special anniversary events, musical celebrations and lots more! We’re forever creating and innovating here, so who knows what the future may bring…there are talks about a chocolate factory and a micro-brewery, so watch this space!

The very first Southwold Arts Festival took place this year. The crowds flocked there to enjoy opera, poetry, folk music, art, theatre performances, talks and lectures. Look out for the next festival, as there are plans to make it an annual summer event. www.southwoldartsfestival.co.uk


During the rest of the year, visit the picturesque town of Southwold for its nostalgic hotchpotch of art galleries, pottery workshops and gift shops. Take a seaside stroll to see the much-loved iconic beach huts, or take a tour of the famous Adnams Brewery.


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