Made in Matterdale

Christmas Gift Fayre 2020

As this is an unusual year and we aren't able to get together as normal for the usual build up to the festive season we thought we would have a virtual Christmas Gift Fayre incorporating some of Matterdale's local talent. Below you will find a selection of work from artists across the valley which could make the perfect Christmas present.......just what you've been putting on your Santa list! Individual contact details are included so you can get in touch directly to place your orders. More options will be added so please keep checking back to see new additions. Artists will be making a donation to the Matterdale Community Association from the sales they make. Happy shopping from your sofa :) Any Matterdale/Watermillock artists and artisans who would like to include their work here please contact Helen Ratcliffe at

Jane Firth


Jane's style of felting has a strong 3-dimensional element using mainly local wool. She started with the sheep she saw around  her(Herdwicks, Swaledales, mules, Rough Fell and Blue Faced Leicesters) and subsequently has added a wide variety of sheep, goats, ponies and hares. Here recent project is to felt the sheep on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Danger List. Many of these are wool breeds and well worth saving.

Jane works in a converted garage overlooking Ullswater. For more information please visit Jane's website here.

Nick and Helen Ratcliffe

Santa logs

Remember these appearing around the valley on doorsteps, gates, porches and road sides a few years ago well this is where they came from! This year they are back by popular demand. From £5 each. All proceeds will go to Matterdale Community Association. Please contact Nick on to get yours! 12 sold, 13 available.

Emma Bray

Bags of jelly

Emma has spent some of lockdown time making some extremely pretty produce bags (£2 each) - put your fruit and veg in these amazing bags instead of plastic bags. We love any way that we can stop putting plastic into waste. Also she has made the perfect Christmas lunch accompaniement - Apple and Chilli Jelly, and Rosemary and Apple Jelly (£3.50 a jar). Contact Emma at to reserve.

Helen Ratcliffe

Beginner potter

'Pastry' dish £35 (26cm x 26cm)

Platter £30 (35cm x 18cm x 4cm)

Six mugs £50 (11cm d x 6cm h)

Helen started her pottery journey in 2019 and so is very much a beginner and finding her focus. She is experimenting with both thrown and handbuilt stoneware pottery and has a variety of possibilities available. She will make to order with a Christmas order deadline of November 15th. You can contact Helen on

Michelle Castles


Sculptor Michelle Castles is inspired by the dynamic human form and has become well known for her wire figures.

From miniature to large installations, Michelle has adapted her work to blend harmoniously within all environments, enhancing the space and creating a powerful visual focal point. During her 25 year career as an artist she has produced exhibitions and commissions for public places locally and nationally.

Michelle works from her studio in Dockray where you can see some of her finished pieces, some in working progress and also her drawings.

Please contact Michelle via email to book a visit if  you would like to see her work:

Chris Croft

Rugs and Yarn

Chris uses the tough and hardwearing yarn from the hardy sheep of the Lakeland Fells to make her luxurious deep pile rugs, her unique one-off pieces. Chris makes a variety of items from Herdwick and Swaledale wool including gun-tufted rugs, crocheted bags, natural and hand-dyed Herdwick and Swaledale rug wool, gun-tufted wall hangings. You can see her full work at where you can also place orders for your gifts.

Helen Reed


Helen is a prolific knitter. For the Christmas Gift Fayre she is knitting these wonderful Christmas tree decorations. Prices start at £2.50 and all proceeds will go to the Matterdale Community Association. For yours please contact Helen on

Gina Farncombe


Castle Rigg Stone Circle

Original acrylic framed 35cm x 25cm £200

Matterdale Wall 1 14cm x 14cm

Original framed £120 Prints framed £50

Mungrisdale Ponies

Print framed 35cm x 25cm £95

Gina is predominantly a landscape painter. She has a wealth of inspiration on her doorstep by living in the heart of the Cumbrian Fells. She continues to work with the figure as well as landscape. As well as her original paintings and prints she also has an amazing range of beautiful greetings cards - always great to have a stock of these in the house! Please contact Gina on

Matterdale Wall 2 14cm x 14cm

Prints framed £50

Chris and Geoff Cox


Geoff & Chris Cox have been full-time ceramic artists for over 35 years, exhibiting and selling throughout the UK and Europe. They've worked in Japan and spent time in pottery villages in India and Laos -  and have lived in the Matterdale valley at Stoddah since 1990, from where they started the Potfest international ceramic markets back in 1994. Christine originally trained in Fine Art, and Geoff in silversmithing and the work is mainly individual pieces rather than mass-produced ware. Prices range from £4 to £500.
Visitors to the gallery welcome but please phone first - 01768483820 ( gives time to tidy up! )

James Rebanks

Farmer and author

James lives and farms in Matterdale and also writes books. His new book English Pastoral and 2021 calendar, both full of scenes from this valley, are available from all the local bookshops, including by post to your home from Sam Read Bookseller (015394 35374) in Grasmere, or Bookends (017687 75277) in Keswick. James will donate to Ullswater CIC for conservation work in the valley and to the MCA. 

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