How did the Wonky Wheel Gallery come about?
The journey of Wonky Wheel began long before moving to North Essex, from an early age, I grew up sewing and learning about textiles from my Grandmother and Aunties. I got her first set of knitting needles from her grandmother at the age of three. This is why I love all things beautiful and handmade, which led me to study Fashion and Textiles. However, my career got diverted into the corporate world for twenty years but I did continued to paint with Acrylic, pen and ink and painting on silk.
During the past twenty years I have worked in Retail (Mark & Spencer's & Tesco), NHS and Utilises services for the last ten years.
From an early age I always wanted to open a shop but the timing and location had to be right. Since moving to Essex I fell in love with a beautiful village called Finchingfield and I knew it was the right location for her Gallery.
Where my love of owing my own shop came from, my mother worked in a shop in Ireland and on a Friday evening I was allowed to go to work with her (this was the 80's in Ireland). My mother would give me a list to go to the back stores. I would take forever to come back as I use to play with the old fashion till and think it was my own shop, the innocence of my childhood!
What can people expect from Wonky Wheel?
There is something for all at the Gallery, whether it’s that piece of original local artwork that you have been looking for the wall in your home. To that gift for your sister or brother birthday, to anniversary and Christmas. When you come into the Gallery and customer start browsing they can’t get over the light and warm of the gallery, there are plenty of eye-catching artwork on offer.
"When we set the gallery up we decided to go for something a bit different, it was important to support local artists. As we felt there was no avenue for Artists in this area to display their artwork from doing our research. Where in Cambridge & Suffolk you have Open Studio in light of that we created Wonky Wheel to give local Artist a space to display their work in a unique setting overlooking this beautiful picturesque village in Essex”
If customers are looking for something specific, I always keep my eye out when I am out and about meeting new Artists, I can’t guarantee I will find it for the customer but we can keep them in mind.
Hello and welcome to Our Story
I'm Mary and with my partner Rob shared passion for Art we launched Wonky Wheel in July 2019.
Before we could open to the public in October 2019, we completed a little renovation project on the unit as it was a hairdressers before it became a gallery.
Wonky Wheel has two spokes to its wheel, a gallery allowing the viewing and purchasing of artwork, and a workshop/course programme of artistic and creative events hosted within the same space.
What has proven most popular?
Our customers are loving the fact they are buying from local Artists and Makers and buying into a little piece of their creative. The most popular items outside of Artwork is our coasters, greetings card, hand screen printed tea towels, ceramics and Vintage Kimono bags, to just but a few items.
What are you most proud of when it comes to Wonky Wheel?
I’m proud of the service we offer to the local community in providing unique gifts for family and friends. I love selling that piece of Art for artist and sending off my little “Happy Dance” email. Did you know when you buy from an Artist at Wonky Wheel we do a little happy dance! The biggest thing I am most proud of is our workshops to see people leave so relaxed after the workshops it give me great joy and a reminder why I do what I do.
BBC Essex Quest - Interview
Sunday March 8th, 2020
Colin Steed hosting a one to one Watercolour Workshop
Chunky Crochet Basket Workshop
Foldingside Project Lampshade Workshop
Does Wonky Wheel host Art Exhibitions?
In July, 2020 we opened our Artist of the Month Exhibition with a live IGTV preview evening with Laura Beardsell-Moore collection. Laura's collection was based on Flowers, Wildlife & Animals. We had such a positive response to this exhibition we then hosted Sue Rapley Exhibition of amazing landscapes.
This July we will be launching our Artist of the Month Exhibition once again. We are currently planning to run our "Artist of the Month Exhibitions" during July, August, September and October during 2021.
Preparations for our first Art Exhibition in July 2020. I had to mark this event with a picture, Rob helps me with all of the hanging of the gallery
Artist of the Month Exhibition - July 2020
Artist of the Month Exhibition - September 2020
Thanks to our initial artists for their support, including Sarah Baddon Price for her Acrylic paintings, Alfie Carpenter and his mixed media artwork, Alison Hullyer for her dry-point artwork, Claire Folkes for her lovely Ceramics, the artist and tutor Colin Steed, for his watercolour paintings and Amanda Banham for her unique houses.
All our artists are listed on our artists listing page and our online shop allows you to see more of their artwork in our Finchingfield gallery and to buy online.
I was the tutor leading my first course based at the gallery in Finchingfield. I found communications running up to the course very good with Mary keeping me up to date with the numbers as they booked in. The day went of smoothly. The room at the gallery is enough for a maximum six painters and we are all supplied with table and chairs.
I would highly recommend the Wonky Wheel gallery to anyone looking to enrol in a course.