Not many places are as artistically blessed as that of Fangfoss in East Yorkshire. A small chocolate box village nestled at the foot of the Wolds, Fangfoss sees craftspeople, creators and artists come from around the country and set up the quiet life, constantly inspired and encouraging each other’s endeavours.
Then one day, over a glass of wine, the community decided to join forces and invite people in and Fangfest was born: now in its eighteenth year, people are coming in their thousands to experience this fantastic village.
Fangfest is an event populated by true technicians: people with old-fashioned skill sets and real craftspeople. One of the village’s most notable residents is The Rocking Horse Shop. Now sold worldwide, they is one of the largest manufacturers of wooden horses in the country and can boast that even in the modern world, every single horse is handcrafted. At Fangfest, they open the doors to their studios and allow people to see this exclusive woodwork skill first hand.
Another insight into the practical arts comes from Fangfoss Pottery, a studio based in the old school that was founded in 1977 by Lyn and Gerry Grant. They are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of handmade pottery and have won multiple awards for their studio pieces. Their unique stoneware is hardwearing and iconic. Every year, as part of Fangfest, this small commercial pottery invite you in for all kinds of demonstrations and even to have a go on the potter’s wheel. There is also pot painting for the kids.
As part of the ceramic show, each year Fangfoss Pottery have Raku demonstrations, which is an ancient Japanese art form. On display at Fangfest is a Western method of Raku, which sees the pot immersed in extremely hot temperatures and then placed into water – leaving behind an iridescent luster that is metallic to the eye. The science behind this is amazing and instant in the demonstrations.
They also invite a guest potter into their helm, and this year is Richard Moore who produces handmade medieval tiles with a contemporary edge.
Aside from all these treats, there are some truly fascinating craftspeople, stained-glass making, woodturners, stone carving, jewellers – the list is endless. As if that wasn’t enough, the show takes place alongside a vintage car show and country fete of sorts, with food, face painting and lots for the kids.
All in all, Fangfest is a step back in time, away from this modern world and into an innocent world of craftsmanship and creativity. A completely unmissable way to say farewell to the summer.