The village of Trawden in the parish of Pendle is Lancashire through and through, with a thriving vibrant community. There's a cooperative of people who garden local unused spaces to grow and share fruit and vegetables, a scarecrow trail and a hugely popular agricultural show. What's more this is the home of Linda Erliz and recently she opened her doors to welcome all visitors.
Walking into Linda's art and craft crammed house you know you are in the heart of a magical county. Grinning faces of The Green Man peer down from the walls, moon gazing hares abound, every conceivable space displays artworks and crafts galore. There are messages of welcome or warning in ceramic, glass and silk, lovely little trinkets to decorate garden nooks and crannies, sunbathing divers and buxom naked ladies. This is a feast for the eyes, a crazy abundance of shape, form and colour that overspills Linda's home and is full of her exuberant personality. Just popping upstairs to the loo is a glimpse into the mind of this somewhat zany, eccentric and inspired woman, no space is left unadorned.
Linda describes herself as a life-long student, always ready to learn and develop new skills and techniques. Her early inspiration came from artists like Degas and she studied at local colleges and university. Now Linda teaches art and also runs a host of classes as described on her CraftCourses listings. These range from silk painting and felting to ceramics and fused glass and various other seasonal crafts.
She is always willing to help students develop particular skills if they have specific ideas of what they want to make. Linda offers an all embracing warm welcome, making everyone relaxed and feeling 'at home'. Don't be on a diet as cake and sociability are an intrinsic part of the experience! She's very down to earth about her art and structures her classes in easy, slow stages so everyone can succeed. She likes to keep the group together whilst they are learning the basic skills required - this is learned from many years of experience of working with groups of beginners.
Interestingly, Linda says some of her finest students are those who arrive nervous that they 'can't do art'. She explains that a willingness to listen, pay attention and work step by step makes for the best student. Once techniques are mastered then returning students can develop and create their own ideas more fully. She also offers open clay groups for those who are ready to improvise figurative ideas of their own. Linda has many 'returning students' - her group classes are very reasonably priced and make a great day out amongst friends.
Testament to Linda's success as a tutor is that some of her students now sell their own work. Linda in turn feels that she is constantly learning and being inspired by all the people she meets as well as what she sees around her. She loves drawing and painting and gets 'a bit obsessed' by hands and feet. This is an artist to the core of her soul - try to visit the Pendle Witch country and be inspired by a workshop with Linda Erliz.