The Garden House – our first artists open house!

With the theme of plants and gardens in mind, The Garden House is hosting  an eclectic group of artists and makers.

Located in a former market garden, we offer a unique setting for decorative and practical pieces of work by blacksmiths, a mosaic maker, potters, a basket maker, paper artists, wood workers, sculptors and painters.

We are also selling a range of inspiring plants, seeds, books, vintage home ware – and delicious home-made food!

Dates: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 May  Opening times: 12.00 – 18.00

Location: 5 Warleigh Road, Brighton BN1 4NT

Tel: 0778 866 8595 / Email: / Website:

Chris Burchell-Collins – blacksmith and green wood worker

Chris works in metal or wood, making practical, fun or decorative pieces influenced by nature’s many wonderful shapes and forms. His work can be used either in the home or garden.

Mob: 0758 550 5422 / Tel: 01273 495026

Sarah Burges – painter

Sarah is a Lewes artist painting vibrant flowers, figures and landscapes in oils. Sarah has shown work in a number of local exhibitions, including Art Wave and Battle Contemporary Art Fair, and is co-founder of the Lansdown Studios & Gallery. 


Circus Kinetica – maker of flappers!

Circus Kinetica create amazing and delightfully eclectic recycled wind and kinetic sculptures – including mobiles and flappers!

They have for many years worked with festivals and large events creating conceptual pieces for their own shows, also site-specific commissions for wide variety of clients.

Their two grandest creations to date are Josephine the pedal-powered, electric, time-travelling, music-making cocktail machine and the Circus Kinetica Dynamite Stage!

Jo Coles – paper and found objets sculpture

 Jo creates delightfully whimsical figures and miniature installations from found objects, both natural and man-made. Also highly detailed mini sculptures carved from the pages of books. 

She became interested in creating magical habitats with the treasures collected on woodland walks, and made a series of miniature worlds – the sort of places she wanted to find in ‘real’ life but of course never could; the perfect places just to sit and think. At first these existed on shelves, and then in wooden boxes, but more recently her work has developed into something more animated and playful.

Olly Dawson – potter

Olly has been working as an artist in clay for most of his life – his work ranges from large-scale outdoor pieces such as benches and large ornaments to small-scale production thrown work including tablewares and one-off works of art.

Olly’s latest commissions include larger scale installations, such as a 10,000 ceramic stone artwork and, more recently, a 5,000 floating egg piece that was released onto the River Thames.


Ann Frith and Simon Arnold – sculptural bench makers

Ann Frith (artist and designer) and Simon Arnold (furniture maker) have teamed up to produce funky garden benches based on plants and animals, the benches are carved and painted. 

Ann’s work has featured in numerous books, newspapers and magazines including Country Living, Homes and Antiques, Perfect home and the Evening Standard. She has appeared on television’s Collector’s Lot, Home front, Grass roots and Gardens of the Millennium.

Simon works to commission in a variety of woods. Beautiful finishes complement his contemporary style.

Leigh Ann Gale – botanical illustration

Leigh Ann trained at The English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden, and since graduating in 2004 has become a Fellow of the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society and an RHS medallist.

Leigh Ann’s work is influenced by colour, texture and form. She says “I love detail in plants, flowers and leaves and I always promise myself that my next project will be better than the previous one. I’m still trying to keep that promise, as each time I complete a job I see room for improvement in the next.” 

Her work has been exhibited widely, including at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Hampton Court Palace and the RHS, and is featured in the permanent collection of The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, USA, the Royal Archives and many private collections in the UK and overseas. Leigh Ann is also a member of The American Society of Botanical Artists.

As well as painting, Leigh Ann now teaches botanical art throughout Sussex, Surrey and south-east London.

Janie Jones – vintage-style collage stationery and ribbons

Janie’s work is inspired by antique books and vintage images – hand printed cotton twill, cards, notebooks and silk ribbons – all created using much loved collage techniques and French typography.

Find Janie’s work on Etsy shop:


Richard Keal – green wood worker

When working with wood Richard aims to keep the making process as fluid and spontaneous as possible. When contemplating a chair, cradle or sculpture, he selects various pieces of timber then gradually makes a connection between the original vision and the wood itself.

Richard hunts for complementary shapes and hues – a curved branch for the curved leg of a chair. Sometimes the mark of the tool is important, or the obvious dowel or unusual joint – the touches that reveal what the wood has undergone to become the finished object. Irregularities are often an inspiration as they suggest questions that require solving in unexpectedly creative ways.

As a self-employed woodworker Richard also undertakes any project from ordinary domestic carpentry and repairs to furniture making or large, elaborate artworks.

Lez – artist

As an artist, rather than specialise in one particular field, Lez has always preferred to explore different genres – from film and animation to illustration and graphics.  In 2011 she completed a horticulture course with Stanmer and Plumpton College, during this period becoming interested in the illustration of plants.

The paintings on display at The Garden House, Artists Open House are mixed media on card. The frames are made from reclaimed timber by homeless people in Cape Town – the money made from the frames goes towards providing a sustainable income for these homeless people.

Annie McMullan – stained glass artist

An inspiring stained glass artist, Annie creates glass sculptures and hangings that beautifully combine colour and texture, pieces that catch the light magically especially when used in a garden setting.

Annie’s signature is the fused glass insert of a flower or a tree that highlights her work.

Much Ado Books – new and second hand gardening books

Much Ado Books is an award-winning independent bookshop situated in Alfriston, East Sussex. Named Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2007, just three years after opening, they specialize in books by and about the Bloomsbury Group of artists and authors, which included Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and Maynard Keynes among its members; Charleston, the group’s East Sussex home, is just a few miles away.

At The Garden House they will be selling a wide variety of new and secondhand garden and garden-related books.

This delightful shop stocks thousands of new, old and antiquarian books for readers and collectors alike, all displayed on two beautiful floors in a former builder’s yard.  Book-lovers find comfortable chairs for browsing our hand-picked books, ranging from fine press editions to recent publications to classics for specialist collectors.

Mandy Murray – textiles

Mandy grew up surrounded by fabrics of her parent’s upholstery business. She later became increasingly interested in textile history, particularly the functional textiles of ordinary women. 

Mandy started collecting patchwork quilts, finding more beauty, poignancy and meaning in a simple red and white blocked quilt made from flour sacks, than in the more intricate embroideries of the parlour.

The social history behind these and other hand stitched objects fascinates her and inspires her own textile work created from old printed cottons and inspired and influenced by all those nameless women, by folk art, and by the beauty of, and her love of, gardening.

Mandy works with old and new fabrics, patchwork, applique, machine and hand stitching, recycling old stitching into her designs.

Annemarie O’Sullivan – willow weaver

Annemarie’s passion is for all things woven, knotted and netted. She makes baskets, but also loves to transfer the traditional skills of basket making into larger woven forms.

Annemarie’s willow wigwams, and woven willow balls make practical and sculptural statements in the vegetable and flower garden.

Annemarie works to commission.  She also works in schools sharing her ideas, and exploring and discovering new ways to involve children and young people. She teaches adults traditional basket making skills.

Lorraine Philpot – blacksmith

Lorraine’s work as an artist blacksmith is focused on sculptural forms derived from nature, usually vegetables and flowers. These naturalistic structures can be used to support growing plants during spring and summer, but also provide striking sculptural forms through the bare winter months.

Lorraine’s work is made with mild steel which, with its rusted patina, blends beautifully into the garden.

James Price – blacksmith and designer

James is a blacksmith and designer who forges contemporary metalwork using ancient metalworking techniques combined with the best of modern technology.

Much of his inspiration comes from the construction and joining methods that feature so strongly in the blacksmiths craft.

His clients include architects, interior designers as well as private individuals who appreciate craftsmanship and have an eye for detail.

Tel: (01273) 890398 / Email:

Peter Price -stone carver and sculptor

Peter has been carving stone for 20 years using stone sourced in the Midlands – the oldest and best example of the stone’s use and durability is the 13th century Lichfield cathedral.

While he works in many different styles, Peter is particularly influenced by the Medieval.  He has also developed a method of rapidly encouraging algae and moss growth which gives his work an aged patina and ensures his carvings blend wonderfully into any garden setting.

Peter enjoys any challenge, he works to commission and has even carved gravestones designed by customers.

Mob: 0781 508 9203 / Tel: 01308 861149

Jane Robbins – paper collage

Jane works in paper collage, combining a life long interest in flat pattern, patchwork and found objects, and mixing them together to produce new decorative images. With her printmaker’s eye she find patterns everywhere – magazines, packaging, even the insides of envelopes but mainly in newspapers.

“I might use a picture of a flock of birds to cut out the shape of a cloud or a skyscraper might become the veins of a leaf, a check shirt may become a building. I often forget what they were originally – they take on a new life of their own.”

Jane sells original works, giclee prints, greetings cards and posters at exhibitions and shows around the UK. She also works to commission. Some of her most popular work features her take on the Sussex landscape.

Kathy Rowland – stone painting

Kathy began painting a few years ago after reading a book called ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, which aims to encourage creativity.

She is inspired by colour, shape, pattern and by the landscapes that she loves – Connemara in the west of Ireland where her family are from, Australia where she spent a year travelling, and of course, by the beach and the downs surrounding Brighton.

Sue Samways – mosaics

Sue is a self-taught mosaicist with a love of gardens. In 2001 she was commissioned to create mosaic-covered stepping-stones for a bronze medal-winning garden for children at the Hampton Court Palace flower show.

Sue’s passion is for creating new from old, using pieces imbued with history – her favourite commissions involve taking people’s much-loved but broken china and creating new and unexpected treasures.

Her mosaics enhance any garden space, being both functional and beautiful – at the Garden House Sue will be selling mosaic-covered stepping stones and flowerpots (other work, including mosaic-covered mirrors can be seen at 31 Preston Park Avenue on the Fiveways trail).

Sue has published articles in Making Magazine, she sells small pieces at RT Home in the North Laines, and regularly runs her very popular one-day workshops at the Garden House.

Amanda Saurin – homeopathic skincare

Wellgreen Lewes is a range of skincare is made in a beautiful historic house dating from 1542 nestling right underneath Lewes Castle.

Amanda, the driving force behind Wellgreen Lewes, makes top quality skin nourishment full of lovely ingredients without any additives, harmful preservatives or artificial scents or colours. As much as possible is locally sourced and selected for its freshness and quality.

The results are beautiful, environmentally sustainable and responsibly handmade soaps, creams, body butters, salt scrubs, flower waters and lip balms. The flower-waters and essential oils are made by Amanda in her huge copper Alembic still – a truly stunning handcrafted delight!

In her other life, Amanda is a Homeopath and Birth Doula. She has a particular interest in women’s health and regularly supports women through pregnancy and birth.

Jeremy Sharp – potter

Jeremy works at the Camelia Botnar Foundation in Cowfold, Sussex.  The Foundation provides residential training and work experience, helping young people to learn a skilled trade, embark on a useful career path and successfully make their own way in life.

Here the trainees work alongside and receive training from, two experienced, full time potters (Jeremy is one of these!) and will experience most aspects of traditional production pottery with an emphasis on hand thrown domestic ware.

The team produces a wide range of different work including durable stoneware domestic pots, cheerfully decorated earthenware for every day use and traditional terracotta garden pots.   All work is designed in-house.

Rebecca Spence – maker of embossed greetings cards

Rebecca has lived in Brighton for over 30 years now having never left after going to college here. She has always dabbled in crafts but rcently decided to specialise in embossed card making.

Her simple white or cream cards and notelets are ideal for any occasion – birthdays, thanks you’s, invitations, christenings/naming days and weddings etc.

This is her first Open House.

Ian Swain – supplier of traditional garden tools and equipment

Ian started acquiring and restoring more traditional equipment over 15 years ago when, while studying at agricultural college, he simply found many modern tools and gardening items unsatisfactory in use, and aesthetically unappealing.

Most of Ian’s stock is from the mid 20th century, but he does occasionally have Victorian and Edwardian items. Their quality and design is often exceptional, and is unlikely to be repeated by modern items. Ian will re-handle tools where necessary, clean and de-rust them, and sharpen their edges. He also deals in tools for woodland, workshop and traditional trade use.

Ian has also started supplying items of traditional outdoor cookware too, as they are often wanted by his tool customers, many of whom spend much of their work or leisure time outdoors.

Repairs, sharpening and restoration of your own tools is possible by arrangement.

Nikki Ward – hand-made greetings cards

Nikki has created a series of hand-made paper-cut greetings cards from the beautiful plates from a butterfly identification book published in the 1970s.  Nikki’s company, Pullo, is based in Brighton and makes upcycled products.


Emma Willcocks – jeweller

Emma uses hand worked techniques in her jewellery making – mark making, hammering, impressing, etching and melting – processes that give her a sense of connection to people from other times and cultures, but also to the natural world.

As a young person Emma was inspired by a journey around Kenya – the landscape, vegetation and creative resourcefulness of the Kenyan people making a great impression on her.  She then took a degree in Art and Social Context at Dartington College of Arts where, after a life of making things from fabric and wool, sewing and knitting, she discovered metal and welding and its possibilities for durability and form.

Emma lives in Brighton and is a member of Phoenix Brighton, an artist led studio group, where she has taught jewellery making and art courses.

Sue Wood – ceramics

Sue trained in ceramics at Camberwell College of Art and has a particular interest in creating sculptural forms for outdoor use. A freelance artist/ art educator, she has been exhibiting at Brighton festival open houses since 1994.

This year her theme is light and reflection in the garden, with splashes of colour inspired by her Mediterranean travels.