Monthly Archives: April 2009

things that jelly makes

So we have been back a week and are into our normal term time programme -normal is a random way of describing the activity that happens here, there is never anything that quantifies as a normal week. When people ask what we do, it is hard to say in words exactly as it changes daily, weekly, monthly but we are always working towards a common goal: making good art and being involved in creative activities are just two of what we aim to do. The real official line is here if you really want to know.

We are all passionate about what we do, and in the next year we will slowly be adding extra bits on here about us as individuals, what our art practice is, why we do what we do and how we came to be involved in jelly.

Whilst we are writing that, delivering projects, activities and exhibiting we also have our fingers in other pies ~ we started by using empty shops in the last recession and we are completely embracing the Government initiative to keep the High Street live during the current economic climate. This Friday we will be looking at a new building for a six month home – this will house the new version of Gallery 10 plus we are working on two other temporary spaces which we hope to use on our Artist for the Day project – details will be announced soon, but mark out the last Friday in May for that day.

The studios are moving along and next week some of us will be going on a visit, taking pictures and signing off the flooring – much happens unseen here and the best part of when we update on this site is that we can keep you all up to date.

The other news in jelly’s life is that the Chatham Place project has been put on hold, ‘due to radical changes in the economic climate and outlook, the jelly Directors reappraised the viability of the plans for occupation at Chatham Place, to include gallery, education and network space and have decided that it is no longer viable. The deferring of Phase 2 of the Chatham Place Development due to economic uncertainty has identified challenges for jelly’s future sustainability with lower than anticipated footfalls in this location for the foreseeable future.

The jelly team have been prudent in constantly responding and reviewing the business model since their initial discussions in 2006 and felt that jelly’s focus would become steered towards delivering profits to meet rent commitments, in an environment when gallery income is expected to remain subdued, at the expense of delivering our artistic aspirations and education programme.

This has been discussed in detail with MUSE Developments who have been forced to review their aspirations and the level of financial support available, alongside The Arts Council funding, to facilitate jelly’s relocation to a fully fitted-out unit at Chatham Place due to the sharp property downturn.

The net result is, with much regret from both parties, that we are unable to conclude a deal at present. We are pleased to announce that we will continue to have a dialogue with MUSE who remain supportive of our efforts.’

This decision in the current climate is a positive step for jelly and reinforces the sound business background to our creative lives. We will still be creative, in many places and we are running towards many more opportuities in the immediate future with one eye on our long term ambitions.

All is good in the jelly world

something you don't see, the jelly office. Photo by Sarah Kench

something you don't see, the jelly office. Photo by Sarah Kench

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Happy Easter Holiday from jelly

Easter Bunnies made by Alabama Whirly, designed by Little Cotton Rabbits

Easter Bunnies made by Alabama Whirly, designed by Little Cotton Rabbits

We will be shut today (Friday 10th April) and all over the Easter break – but we will be back on Tuesday 14th for the start of the new workshop week, full details are here.

We all wish you a very happy Easter

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Last day in the workshop

Today was the last day in the workshop before the Easter break – apologies in advance if you try to phone us anytime after today and before Monday. We are fortunate to have a town centre space, given to us by Reading Borough Council in partnership but it also means we have the hours of civil servants.

everything starts with drawing and paper

everything starts with drawing and paper

This is a novelty for us after years of being key holders with doors onto streets and responsibilities for the building and security. We used to just be closed three days of the year, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday. Now we get to embrace a longer break which probably seems lovely from the outside but sometimes we forget too and want to go to work……….. yep, we love work.

Soon we will be adding a page here which will let you know a little bit more about the jelly team, underneath we are all quite shy about our own work although we find it easy to talk about other artists, other makers, young artists coming to workshops and encouraging them. Did you even know that most of the team are practising and exhibiting artists themselves? You may be amazed by what we all do.

Here is another quick snap from the beginning of the session today – making baby animals – somehow I always forget that end shot when they are done, I must try harder to remember.

the beginnings of a fantastical creature

the beginnings of a fantastical creature

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Miniature Art Gardens

art gardens in the making

art gardens in the making


Yesterday Sarah and I ran the Miniature Art Gardens workshop together with 10 participants and two lovely mums who were there too. Above are pictures of the pieces halfway through the two hours session and they just became more and more ambitious.

One of the gardens left the workshop with me as I was taking one of the participants home, it was a challenge carrying the large piece through town but it made people smile.

We are doing more garden/ spring based workshops this week, garden sculptures today from 10.30-12.30 and papier mache baby animals tomorrow – full details here

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Easter Week

We will be uploading more pictures this week so you can see what we have been up to ~ from the outside you may think it’s quiet but here we are working full steam ahead, looking for new sites to house Gallery 10, running private workshop sessions and this week the Easter programme springs into life.

More pictures to follow…

For random updates you can follow us jelly tweeting on Twitter.

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