Biologically impossible, I know, but my Dad has always called Richmond Park his third lung. If you live close to London and spend much of your time struggling with the volume of people, the traffic, the fumes and all the other things that living near a big city involves – as well as all the great bonuses such as galleries, events, courses and so on – then having Richmond Park on your doorstep is a truly wonderful plus point. I treasure it so much and its conservation is of considerable importance to me.
It was with that thought in mind that I arranged with the park manager to make a few pieces using material from the park and selling them for its benefit: 50% of all sales proceeds is donated to the Friends of Richmond Park for their use in conservation projects. Having sold the first one at Kew Gardens during Handmade it was with great pleasure that I presented the Friends with a cheque for £300. In response they posted a link to my website in their newsletter and on Facebook. The result has been dramatic! I am enjoying peak viewings on my website and have had a number of requests for similar vessels. Given that I am short of work ready to sell during the Open Studios, which starts in less than a week, I had already decided that I would keep my space as more studio than gallery and would make Beverley Brook vessels throughout the weekend, as a kind of ongoing demonstration. It seems that this is a good plan because, if activity and enquiries are anything to go by, I am going to need a couple!
At the moment I have one, slightly smaller one which is half finished so it looks as though I am going to be a bit busy before, during and after the show and that the coffers of the Friends of Richmond Park are in for a boost.