Showing posts from May, 2011

Curtains for stage and windows

Helperby primary school’s hall is about to be reinvigorated with colourful  painted masterpieces. Stage and window curtains have been given the creative touch with an international theme and feature beautiful Japanese kimonos, South American carnival dancers, iconic buildings and our very own Royal family.  Yes, Kate and Will make an appearance just above the Houses of Parliament! The whole school participated for a week in this epic project that used over 100mtrs of fabric, wore out the cook’s dishcloths and left the caretaker wondering if he would ever get his mop and bucket back!  Children, staff and parents were a joy to work with and really entered into the spirit; coming up with the most beautiful designs and working on the floor in class groups, carefully drawing then painting each individual themed curtain. The curtains are in the process of being made-up and will be hung in the next couple of weeks.

Steve Toase reviews David Miles at The Courthouse

Sometimes we need an antidote to all the cynicism in the world. On Tuesday night David Myles provided exactly that. Playing the Courthouse in Thirsk, as part of the On Tour programme, David was joined on stage by Alan Jeffries, two guitars and a full set of love songs. Yes, David Myles unashamedly plays love songs. Whether trying to persuade his (future) wife to marry him in Love Again, or singing of the beauty of Cape Breton in the song of the same name, David managed to voice emotion without falling back on sentimentality. Throughout the evening from the (secular, non-denominational) gospel of New Friend, to the country tinged Need a Break, their passion for playing could be heard in every note. David tapped into the rich musical culture of Canada’s Maritime Provinces with a beautiful cover of Gene MacLellan’s song Bidin’ My Time, made famous by Anne Murray. The Canadian East Coast has a special place in David’s songwriting, for example in Drive On Through, an energetic tribute to

Steve Toase reviews gigs at The Courthouse

Moving from Leeds back to North Yorkshire we knew the pace of life would be different. What we didn’t expect to find in Thirsk was such a vibrant arts scene. We soon discovered Rural Arts and started to become regular visitors; calling in to view the visiting exhibitions or attend courses. One aspect of the big city we felt sure we would miss was the music scene. With the In The Dock series of gigs, as well as On Tour, we realised that The Courthouse regularly played host to internationally renowned artists. Seeing Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin play in 2009 was a revelation and Rural Arts' reputation for good quality music just keeps on growing. I have worked as a freelance writer since 2008, with work appearing in BSH Custom Motorcycle Magazine, Fortean Times and Vintage Life Magazine. Most of my work has tended toward reviews and event reports. Since 2010 I have also had several pieces of fiction published. To find out more about my work please visit my website:  www.

Art Market at The Courthouse Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May


Jewellery workshop with artist Judith Brown

Jewellery Master Class artist with Judith Brown Saturday 28 May 10am - 4pm Using haberdashery and wires you will have the opportunity to make your own jewellery inspired by Judith Brown’s Vintage Noir Collection. £20 fee & £5 materials charge To book contact or tel: 01845 526536

Fun workshop - Create your very own teacup or cup cake using wire, wax and fabric

Wire Cups & Cakes  with artist Priscilla Jones Sunday 29th May  10am-4pm Have a go at creating your very own teacup or cup cake using wire, wax and fabric. Learn how to make a wire structure using lightweight wire that is easily manipulated with your fingers and then create a surface to explore other materials including wax, fabric and lace. You will then embellish the cake or cup with buttons, beads and trimmings. All materials provided but please bring any materials you wish to incorporate to make the piece personal to you. Essential items to bring with you are a pair of pliers and an apron and lots of enthusiasm.  All abilities welcome 16+ Contact Rural Arts: tel 01845 526536  e: Cost: £35 + £12 materials

Canadian musician David Myles (as seen on Jools Holland) touring North Yorkshire venues and The Courthouse, Thirsk

Canadian musician set to impress in North Yorkshire venues.... The Rural Arts ON Tour season continues in May with musician David Myles. In Canada David has already established his reputation as a versatile singer with a knack for effortlessly straddling jazz, blues, folk and pop styles. A warm, easy performer, Myles brings his audiences to their feet wherever he plays and has recently featured on Jools Holland.  For more information or hear some of his music visit: Dates, locations and details 19th May, Burton in Lonsdale Village Hall, 7.30pm, £7/£6, 01524 262792 20th May, Ingleby Greenhow Village Hall, 7.30pm, £8/£4, 01642 723492 21st May, Crayke Sports Club, 7.30pm,£7.50/£5, 01347 822327 22nd May, Hutton Rudby Village Hall, 7.30pm, 01642 701744 24th May, The Courthouse,Thirsk 7.30pm, £10, 01845 526536 (email   

Garden Willow Weaving

A great turnout at the Courthouse over the weekend for Jess Wilkinson's introduction to  garden willow weaving workshop.  Jess specialises in organic and animal sculptures as well as garden ornaments and her work is currently on display at the Courthouse.  Those that attended the workshop all left with brilliant creations, but some needed a transit van to transport them home!   Jess will be back in the autumn to run  a session on the more complex basket making, (dates to be confirmed). This is a popular workshop so if you would like to attend please contact us via or tel: 01845 526536

Flower Power

Curator Lara Goodband and artist Iona Calvert arrived early this morning from Scarborough to install the North Yorkshire Open Studios “Flowerings” exhibition at The Courthouse. This month the gallery space will show work with a flower theme by talented artists: Dionne Swift, Iona Calvert, Ruth Moore and Judith Brown.  Before reaching for the ladders Lara and Iona meticulously catalogued and laid out all the artists work in the Courtroom, sorted out labels and generally got a feel for all the work in the exhibition.   Then the process of moving furniture, clearing cabinets, hanging, arranging lighting and precise placing began. The Courthouse provided the depository for Iona’s delicate and beautifully printed porcelain cups and teapots and she was on hand to assist with its installation – hammer in hand!  Ruth Moore and Judith Browns sculptured silver and woven wire jewellery is  also on display and on closer inspected reveals the most intricate detail in both design and construction. 

FREE school holiday arts workshops for children (over 12) and adults

28 May   Bird and Wildlife Boxes      (10am - 4pm)  FREE WORKSHOP! Simple wood working techniques used to create a range of bird and insect boxes using off-cuts of wood and bamboos, to create bird feeders. Suitable for the garden this workshop requires some skill and children must be supervised when working with the tools. Suitable for ages 12 upwards with adult supervision. To book tel:  01845 526536 or email: janice@ruralarts,org        4th June Upcycled Textiles   (10am - 4pm) FREE WORKSHOP! This workshop finds new uses for jumpers that shrunk in the wash or that t-shirt that’s seen better days.  Participants can create their own creature doorstops and draught excluders, wreaths and cushions, and dried lavender hearts. Sewing machines will be provided and basic sewing skills an advantage. Suitable for ages 12 upwards.  To book tel:  01845 526536 or email: janice@ruralarts,org