Hello, Welcome to Crafts in the Valley.

I’m Melanie, I deliver a range of creative workshops and teach Art and Design in a secondary school in Bradford.  As an artist and craftsperson, I enjoy playing with glass, textiles and photography.  I’m inspired by the array of colour and texture found in nature.  The natural wonders and beauty of the sky, water, trees, insects, flowers and the ever changing seasons never fail to amaze me and influence my creative work.  I love learning new creative processes and spending time creating art for pleasure and relaxation.

I’m a fully qualified secondary school Art and Design teacher with a BA Hons Degree in Fashion and Textiles.  As well as teaching in schools, I deliver a range of Textile and Glass workshops to adults and young people in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire and other venues around the North of England.

Crafts in the Valley has evolved from a floating social enterprise project I ran called Crafts Afloat.  From 2012 to 2017 I delivered art and craft workshops from a narrowboat art studio in Hebden Bridge.  Having now moved my business to dry land, I run most of my workshops at the Creative with Nature studio gallery in Todmorden, the neighbouring (and just as quirky) town to Hebden Bridge.

Having spent ten years working as an Art teaching in challenging schools, I was keen teach arts and crafts in a more relaxed setting.  Personally, I find making art and attending classes has a huge benefit on my personal well-being and happiness.  It is well proven that creative activities improve and enhance the mental and emotional well-being of people. The creative process allows you to become immersed in a sensory activity and allows for artistic self-expression, it is fun and incredible relaxing. I believe this helps to manage stress, improve self-esteem and develop self-awareness.

I refer to this as “Creative Escapism”!  In my workshops, as well as sharing my skills and knowledge, I aim to help people enjoy the creative process without putting pressure on oneself to create perfection.  We have enough pressure in our daily lives, making art should relieve this stress, and be a therapeutic experience.

As well as teaching and being creative, I enjoy hosting and bringing people together.  I love organising parties, holidays, social gatherings and creating experiences to remember.  A workshop with Crafts in the Valley is a special day out, as well as learning new skills you will also be treated to fresh coffee, plenty of cups of tea, a delicious lunch and cake!  You will leave the class feeling relaxed, inspired and a little bit spoilt!

Full day workshops in Felted Textiles and Glass Fusing are offered once a month at Creative with Nature in Todmorden. Bespoke private workshops and craft parties in Felting, Glass Fusing, Experimental Printing and Mosaics are available. Workshops start at 10.30am with morning pastries, real coffee and cups of tea. Only the best materials and equipment are used during the workshops and there are no hidden costs. During my monthly workshops in Todmorden, lunch is served at Kava cafe, which offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. You can enjoy a glass of wine with lunch to help the creative juices flow! Once back at the studio, I serve cake and coffee whilst you finish making and creating.
Treat yourself, book a workshop and enjoy some Creative Escapism with Crafts in the Valley!