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We’ve moved

If you have this web space set as your favourite, you might want to change it to this one over here where we update things

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Things we have been doing lately

May and June are always busy months for jelly and compounded by a number of bank holidays and events in April this has meant we have been slower than usual updating our space here – behind the scenes a web genius is working on a way to make it easier for us but in the meantime, please bear with us.

In short we have been working on outside:festival 2011 (we’re still receiving arts submissions, full details how you can join in can be found here), working on some building things (such as homes and space for us and people we work with), planning workshops, proposing projects, hosting a Third Thursday event on the eve of Good Friday (see the slideshow below to get a taster), receiving a box of materials for a secret project we are planning next year, delivering artists sessions and workshops and not least the fabulous Remix Secret Village Fete – a fundraiser in partnership with Amys Ghost. Check out this artists blog for a snapshot from the village fete.

We’ve made new friends, seen new things, set-up new Open for Art windows, worked on a re-branding programme and felt humbled by all the people who have helped us.  In so many ways we are helped from people carrying and lugging things to connections to people giving up time to take part and donate things – thank you.

The coming months are equally as busy and exciting, this weekend we are visiting the Caversham Artists Studio Trail, The Rising Sun Arts Centre open day and visiting some of our favourite artists, including the Kesslings at the West Berkshire and the Artweeks Open Studios. The week coming is a build up to the Reading Contemporary Art Fair where we will be exhibiting work and running art workshops, plus we will be at Meadow Madness for the opening weekend of the Childrens Festival. Then before you know it, it’s the next Third Thursday – 19 May 5-8pm – in The Walk, King Street where The Whiteknights Studio Trail will be launching their forthcoming Open Studios. May ends with more workshops and art events and we are hoping our new fancy schmancy updating calendar will be fully operating soon.

Below is a flavour of the last Third Thursday, photos taken as always by our resident photographer, Salvo Toscano (you can click each image to get a wider view)

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Please support the campaign to Buy Handmade

At jelly we value the artists mark, the idea of something handmade which is why we support the campaign Buy Handmade.

Read below and sign up too, artists and makers NEED you

This is an excerpt from the Uk Handmade campaign

Why Buy Handmade?
Buying from small independent businesses and individual makers has never been so important particuarly given the current economic climate. A recession can often be a perfect time to start a small business and the current cultural shift towards self-sufficiency means that a huge number of people are setting up on their own. Our own forum has over 2300 members with more joining daily!
Not only that but buying handmade has advantages and benefits that you won’t get buying from the larger stores on the high street.

  • Many designer / makers will happily produce items that are made to order and bespoke so you can get something uniquely personal at surprisingly affordable prices because many designers don’t have the same overheads as shops.
  • Buying locally reduces your carbon footprint because products haven’t been shipped from the other side of the world.
  • Buying locally also means the money you spend stays in your area and boosts the local economy.
  • Independant makers care about the things they make so building a relationship with local designer / makers means you are guaranteed outstanding customer service and exceptional quality.

I Am A Designer / Maker / Supporter – How Can I Get Involved?

  • Firstly sign the pledge over on the campaign page and add your name to the cause.
  • Tell everyone you know, friends, family and colleagues about the campaign and why they should buy from you and your fellow makers.
  • Add the campaign badge to your blog or website (you can get the html code for the badge from the campaign page. If you do blog don’t forget to let UK Handmade know by leaving a comment on the campaign page!
  • Share this article on twitter, digg, facebook etc).
  • Tell UK Handmade what you are doing in your own area to support local businesses and designers to improve your own economy and help handmade in general and UK Handmade may post it on the website, contact with your stories!

Let’s get the UK buying handmade!!

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Suzanne Stallard, UK Handmade and pop-up shops

We’ve been featured in this seasons UK Handmade magazine  – read it here in

It includes a feature on the inspirations behind jelly, Suzanne Stallard, pages 52-54 and a piece in the pop-up shops feature on pages 18-21. Thanks to our resident photographer, Salvo Toscano again for fab shots of what we do.

ps follow UK Handmade and join their campaign to get us all Buying Handmade

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A little reminder that tomorrow night, Thursday 17 February, is Third Thursday.

We will be in The Walk (off King Street) with the Caversham Artists, from 5.30pm. The event includes an exhibition of their current works, and the artists will all be present to talk about and demonstrate their work and tell you more about their forthcoming Open Studios.

This is the fourth Third Thursday we have hosted in partnership with Reading UK CIC this month using space provided by London and County through the Open for Art scheme.

Our new sponsor, award-winning, locally based organic wine merchant Vintage Roots will be inviting you to taste specially selected wines between 6-8pm. jelly are proud to be working again with Vintage Roots, a local business that started in 1984 with a passion for good wine and organic produce, and these values, passion and drive are still as strong today. Neil Palmer, one of the founders and Directors will be sharing his knowledge and expertise.

The Third Thursday is a new monthly event showcasing the creative talent of Reading,  including visual, literary, music and performing arts.  All the events are held in non-traditional arts venues around the town centre, on the Third Thursday of each month. The team behind Third Thursday will be able to tell you more about the future programme and how you can become involved – we have some real treats lined up!

Reading UK CIC is proud to support jelly and Third Thursday.
“We believe that our cultural life is one of the things that makes Reading great. Our town’s energy and our commitment to the arts are just two of the reasons so many people want to live and work here.”

Initially funded from a central government grant, our programme aims to appeal to an audience that might not find the usual “after five” town centre offer relevant to them. While Third Thursday is currently using single venues each month, we intend to broaden the scope to multiple venues in mid 2011

Hopefully see you there
Suzanne, Jo and Justine

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Lunch and Art

Paul kessling, jelly studios, photograph by Salvo Toscano at Nuit Blanche

Third Thursdays, a working partnership between Reading UK CIC and jelly

Lunch and Art, 20 January 2011

In a change to the usual format jelly will be hosting a lunchtime art event from 12 noon until 2pm.

The Lunch & Art event will be hosted in Upper Floor Offices at 42 Market Place where jelly artist in residence Paul Kessling has been working on a series of large abstract oil paintings which link his love of landscape and a fascination for structure – ‘ I wanted to construct my paintings, working in bands of colour, like building blocks, starting at the bottom and painting my way up – letting the colour mix and flow downwards – it’s a technique derived from watercolour painting, once you’ve started there’s no stopping or going back’.

The event will be an informal opportunity to take a break from work or play, bring along your lunch, hear Paul talk about his paintings and see a quick demonstration of how the works are made. The Third Thursday team will be on hand, serving hot drinks and some cakes and soft refreshments will be available too.

Paul Kessling has been involved with jelly since 2000. Born in 1965, Paul first studied at Goldsmiths College for a Fine Arts Foundation Course, then on to take a Degree in Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art.  After leaving Wimbledon, Paul went to the Royal College of Art for his Masters Degree, where he studied with and subsequently worked for Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

Paul is an accomplished artist with works in many private collections and he has carried out both private and corporate commissions in the UK and abroad.

The Third Thursdays

All Arts, All Areas, on the Third Thursday in Reading Town Centre

Paul Kessling


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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 25 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 65 posts. There were 100 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 45mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 13th with 314 views. The most popular post that day was The end of one era.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jelly legged chicken reading, buttons, jelly reading, kirsten jones, and kate kessling.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The end of one era January 2010


contact us October 2008


jelly shop July 2009


Art Opportunities September 2010
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Open For Art November 2009

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Season’s Greetings from the independent arts in Reading



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Just updating a new page

We get sent so much information of good things that are happening – visit this page here for info

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Outside:Inside Festival

We’ve been taking down the Sonic Tuck Shop this week and preparing at the same time for the first weekend of the Outside:Inside Festival


It's the art pieces, that's the bit we can do, so it starts with theatre and performance this week, art interventions week 2, art market week 3 and finally an installation, creation and performance on the final weekend. There will be more updates over at the jelly website particularly on the art.

The festival takes place over four weekends, with seven impressive outdoor arenas. Stages will be popping up across town from Broad Street to The Oracle and Market Place. As well as these innovative free outdoor arenas, smaller more intimate and exclusive venues such as local restaurants and bars have opened their doors to indulge music lovers across all genres.

The festival is led by a group of young, talented and inspired musicians working in partnership with Reading UK CIC. Jack Hepplewhite of Mr Blind Pig sees the festival as a great opportunity for the area, “Reading has one of the most vibrant and diverse communities around and we aim to reflect this in the line-up for this festival. The town is bursting with amazing musicians and its about time this fact was flaunted – by opening up the great outdoor spaces the town has to offer we hope to get locals excited about music in Reading.”

For full details of the programme visis the Festival Website Outside:Inside Festival

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