Malton's Florian Poirot

Ryedale’s crafty Christmas Elves open their gifting grottos for stress-free shopping

A new online marketplace is showcasing the unique skills of some of North Yorkshire’s most extraordinary artists and craftspeople to help people buy local without having to leave their armchairs! 

Visit Ryedale’s new ‘Made in Ryedale’ hub brings together locally produced Christmas gifts to combine with the convenience of Amazon and creativity of Etsy, with a lower carbon footprint and support the local economy.

“‘Made in Ryedale’ is an Aladdin’s Cave for Christmas shoppers, bringing together twenty-six makers who just happen to be amongst Britain’s leading creative talents with work on display in some of the world’s most prestigious art-houses. You’ll discover gifts that you simply can’t buy anywhere else – unique, quirky, distinctive and world-class, made with imagination and rare skill,” said Phillip Spurr, Programme Director for Place and Resources at Ryedale District Council.

From Yorkshire Tea mugs to silver spoons, from stoneware creatures to engagement rings, from fantastical garden basketry to vibrant glass vases, from postcards to lampshades, there are gifts to suit all budgets and tastes, but every item on sale is unique to the artist, with its own individual story, and handcrafted locally as an original design or limited edition. 

There’s even the chance to work side-by-side with makers on bespoke commissions or during hands-on workshops – even toddlers can get involved.

“It’s not easy to find a truly special gift online these days – it can take hours of fruitless web-searching. We have masses of genuine creative talent in Ryedale: we’re home to internationally renowned makers, and many of our rural market towns rival major cities for the quality and diversity of their art galleries and design studios.  

“We created this stress-free online portal to introduce shoppers to our local makers and highlight the quality and wealth of arts and crafts in this area,” added Phillip.

What’s more, as well as buying a stunning work of art, these are some of the most eco-friendly gifts that money can buy. Made in Ryedale makers use traditional techniques and local – even foraged and recycled – ingredients, working in harmony with nature and its seasons, and finding inspiration in the district’s wildlife, countryside and heritage. 

The artists all share a profound love for the local area and this spirit of place shines through in their work; some of them are actively involved in local wildlife conservation, or work on the land. Even better, as they all live within Ryedale, there are far fewer ‘gift miles’.

To find out more, browse for gifts or buy online, head to the Made in Ryedale portal at www.ryedale.gov.uk/made-in-ryedale/ or you can see Ryedale’s artists and craftspeople in action by visiting their local studios, or meeting them during local Christmas festivals or markets.

Notes to editors

The MADE IN RYEDALE makers are:

  • Alex Jones (Artist) – extraordinary wildlife artist, who brings to life in paint the creatures she sees when working on her family farm in Ryedale.
  • Angela Cole (Basket weaver) – makes fantastical, as well as functional, baskets, frames, arches and sculptures using locally coppiced willow and hazel.
  • Anna Matyus (printmaker) – eye-catching print-works inspired by the region’s heritage, playing with the shapes and rhythms to be found in much-loved monuments like Rievaulx or Byland abbeys
  • Catriona Stewart (Artist) – a lover of the mysterious and magical, Catriona’s paintings become icons, amulets, and enchanted objects; while her handwoven rugs can be seen in The National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Libertys, and Harvey Nichols!
  • Charlotte Salt (Ceramicist) – as well as unusual ceramic lamps, bowls and vases, Charlotte specialises in elegant and characterful stoneware dogs, and welcomes any dog-lover to get in touch for a private pooch commission!
  • Elisabeth Bailey (Ceramics) – cute animals feature on Elisabeth’s quirky jugs, mugs and sculptures, which are handmade with a traditional hot wax method
  • Gillies Jones (Glass) – internationally-applauded artists with work on display around the globe, Gillies Jones draw inspiration from their North York Moors’ home - its elemental beauty, wildlife and heritage – and use ancient glass-blowing techniques.
  • Heather Niven (Painter and Ceramicist) – painter, sculptor and ceramist, whose imaginative and eye-catching designs recreate the power and beauty of the natural world, from its landscapes and animals to its weather.
  • Iona Stock (Ceramicist) – while Iona’s specialism is her delicate, ceramic ‘Yorkshire tea collection’ decorated with native plants and trees, she also loves teaching how to throw a pot on the wheel - she even does a Christmas Decoration Workshop for Toddlers!
  • Ione Harrison (Painter) – Ione’s stunning watercolour and ink abstracts capture North Yorkshire’s ever-changing light and mood of moor, hill, woodland and coastline, and their glorious sense of solitude and the divine. You can also join her in watercolour workshops to paint your own masterpiece.
  • Jen Rickets (Silversmith) - Jen specialises in a highly-skilled hand-piercing technique to create intricate silver jewellery, and homewares featuring stunning miniatures and silhouettes of country scenes or skylines that come alive when light is shone through them.
  • Jennifer Tetlow (Stone Sculpture) – renowned for her eloquently simple stone carvings of the birds and creatures she spots in the local countryside and her garden.
  • Jenny Pepper (Textile Artist) – describing herself as a collector and gatherer, Jenny’s best known for her highly-tactile ‘3D’ felt sculptures, and unusual jewellery and decorative pieces using driftwood and ‘found things’. She also loves sharing her felt-making techniques during hands-on workshops.
  • Jonathan Pomroy (Wildlife and Landscape Artist) – a passionate local wildlife conservationist, Jonathan paints watercolours based on real-time field sketches, capturing intimate and magical moments in nature, a perfect gift for bird-spotters and wildlife-lovers.
  • Kezy Feaster (Artist) – Kezy’s vibrant and quirky paintings of the region’s higgledy-piggledy towns and rolling moorland landscapes are joyful, thoughtful and stylishly recognisable.
  • Lesley Seeger (Artist) – a ‘colourist’ rather than a painter of still life and landscapes, whose deeply expressive and vibrant works are full of fantasy, charm and emotion. Lesley loves to share her skills in hands-on workshops.
  • Louise Dwyer (Jeweller Artist) – a highly-skilled jeweller, Louise specialises in re-purposing, designing and re-cycling precious metal and stones to create special and bespoke jewellery.
  • Lucy Saggers (Photography) – award-winning photographer described as a visual poet, who specialises in Ryedale’s time-honoured traditions and rural way-of-life.
  • Pamela Thorby (Ceramicist) – once an international musician, Pamela now creates ‘visual music’ in clay, her handmade porcelain vases and jugs featuring vivid colour and texture, or delicate enough to hang in the air.
  • Ros Walker (Painter and Ceramicist) – an artist of both clay from her back garden, and paper that she makes herself from local riverside grasses, Ros can often be found in the studio with fellow artist Heather Niven working on highly textured ornaments and homewares inspired by nature.
  • Serena Partridge (Artist) – often inspired by museum artefacts, Selena’s imaginative installations are captured in postcard prints perfect for eccentric letter-writers!
  • Sue Kershaw (Mosiac Art) – Sue will handcraft everything from 3D mosaics (including a giant frog) to reproductions of Roman mosaics, to wall and floor mosaics created as private commissions for the private view only. Sue also teaches the ancient art of mosaics during workshops.
  • Sue Slack (Artist) – Sue paints highly distinctive, evocative and boldly coloured landscapes featuring the North York Moors through its seasonal variation (as well as paintings, her work can be bought as centre-piece lampshades and cushions).
  • Susan Walsh (Textiles and Paper) – Susan’s love of nature is recreated in her unique botanical eco-prints and naturally-dyed textiles, which use the pigments and shapes of locally-foraged flowers and plants in their designs, crafted into beautiful gift stationery, scarves and wraps.
  • Tessa Bunney (Photography) – a photographer of rural life who explores how the landscape is shaped by humans in her coffee-table books and prints.
  • The Mudskipper Ceramics – Mudskipper specialises in ‘folk-style’ hand-painted ceramics - tiles, jugs, mugs, tealights and even Christmas decorations – and also quirky moorland scenes, from dry stone walls to roosting swallows. They also arrange pottery-making workshops whether family-friendly fun or skill-building masterclasses.

Visitor information

Information about where to go and what to do in Ryedale is available at www.visitryedale.co.uk – part of the destination development initiative from Ryedale District Council.

Further notes to editors

Ryedale District Council’s destination development project supports the growth of responsible tourism in the district, and helps to attract seven million visitors annually, and a £281 million total visitor spend.

For more media information, interviews or photographs, or to arrange a press trip to Ryedale please contact:

For media information about Ryedale's destination development plan, please contact Jaelithe Leigh-Brown at jaelithe.leigh-brown@ryedale.gov.uk or 07435 934 952.