Monday, 15 July 2013

Why Blog? - The Harley Gallery

The Harley Gallery Team (Image courtesy of the Harley Gallery)

This week in the Why Blog? series we are featuring the team at the Harley Gallery and their lovely blog where they showcase their designers and makers.

If you fancy a visit to their Christmas Arts market or even want to apply to exhibit with them they are accepting applications until 31st July or 7th August for Graduates. Having exhibited at the show last year I would encourage you to apply. It was a great experience. Here's a little bit of info about it....

The Annual Harley Christmas Market brings over 50 art, craft and food stalls to The Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire. Taking place from 22-24 November 2013, the weekend is a great opportunity to shop, relax and explore. Bringing you the best in handmade products, from real ales to jewellery, it’s a great place to pick up unusual and great quality gifts. The art market shows artists and makers selected by the Harley Gallery.

This year, the art market will have a special preview day on 22 November, 2-7pm, for those wishing to beat the crowds and get first pick for their Christmas presents. On Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (10am-4pm) the market will be accompanied by the Harley Open Studios and Welbeck Estate food producers.

The Harley Studios are located a short walk from the Gallery, within the walls of the Welbeck Estate’s Victorian Kitchen Garden. These secluded artists’ studios are only open to the public twice a year, and in November will swing open their doors to reveal beautiful craft products, intriguing processes and inspiring makers.

Ok, on to the blogging then. This is what the team at the Harley Gallery had to say....

How long have you been blogging?

We only started blogging in June last year, and how time has flown since!

Why did you decide to start blogging and what was the main purpose of your blog when you first started?

We started blogging to share more information about the makers whose work we have in the Harley Shop – all the stuff that makes craft so special – the making process, their inspirations and the workshops and studios where the magic takes place. We hope all the things that we find interesting will interest others too!

How often do you post?

A few times a week, but I’d certainly like to post more often - there’s always something I want to share!


Who reads your blog and why do they enjoy it?

People who enjoy contemporary craft and want to get to know the makers a little better. It’s the makers behind the objects that makes them special and intriguing – how do they do it? And their wonderful workshops are fascinating places to visit! There are 23 Harley Studio artists based here, all with very different work spaces according to their specialist requirements. It makes you appreciate how unique individually crafted objects are; an obvious statement to make but that’s what makes them inspirational.

What do you think are the important ingredients of a successful blog?

I think blogs have the potential to be very engaging, in a conversational sense. They need to be regularly updated with information that you know your audience will enjoy. Good imagery is essential - giving the blog a strong visual language to engage its audience allows it to be viewed and enjoyed quickly and easily if you haven’t got much time!

How do you promote your blog?

Mainly through Facebook and Twitter, plus there’s a link on our website too! ( We’re finding that many artists and makers are sharing the blog too as it helps to promote their work that’s available in the Harley Shop, by providing more background information and revealing the making processes used.


What kind of opportunities have arisen as a result of your blogging?

Blogging has revealed a wonderful route for exploring visual art and craft and learning more about the artists and makers. This is what we’re passionate about and I love having the opportunity to explore it with an audience who share the same passion!

How do you manage your time with your blog and your other commitments?

I find that working on the blog also feeds into other things we do, so blogging can be very helpful! Although I may be prone to spending longer than strictly necessary visiting the studios! Blogging often gives us new ideas or opens up opportunities to work with different people.

What are the benefits of blogging?

Ha! See above! Blogging also helps to strengthen our relationships with the makers that we work with, as it shows (I hope!) that we’re passionate about what we do.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Imagery! Make sure your visual imagery is up to scratch; the old adage is true – a picture speaks a thousand words! (So sorry.) Some of the loveliest blogs are almost purely image based, but they work because they capture and share the passions of the writer and a blog is only engaging if you’re passionate about your subject.

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