Homemade gifts are like homemade food for me. There is nothing like them for the quality, authenticity, care and thought that has gone in to making them. Please don’t get me wrong, all presents are gratefully received! But there is a greater emotional transaction around the giving and receiving of something handmade. If you aren’t a maker yourself but wish to give a handmade gift this Christmas, then you might just want to put Jelly on your shopping list!
What is Jelly?
Jelly is an energetic Reading charity championing the creative arts – with studio space for artists which has a gallery, runs workshops that includes knit nights, life drawing, writing as well as art clubs and arty parties for children. There is even room in Jelly’s cavernous and creative new location for innovative art installations.
Jelly’s home town
Reading is probably best known for its IT industry, University and Festival. A little less acknowledged fact is that it is also a town full of creatives. From builders to artists, journalists, set builders, garden designers, furniture designers, musicians, special effects painters, art directors and stylists… Not to mention all the property developers … !
Fine Art trained, Suzanne Stallard and her award-winning team of co directors, have created a vibrant creative hub for the community. During the week Suzanne is an artist and maker at Jelly and at the weekends, she is a tutor and Knit Doctor at YAK, Brighton.
Workshops and arty parties for children
The Engine Room
The Engine Room shares space at Jelly and is a haven for an art and mental health project built by a collective.
Nigel Bish’s studio space
This is Nigel’s inspirational studio space and workshop at Jelly where he works as a metalsmith. His jewellery is for sale in the gallery shop.
Caroline Fletcher’s art installation at Jelly
Caroline’s installation is mesmerising. Caroline who graduated in Fine Art from Reading University in 2008 is building up this room set bit by bit with found objects and purchases from charity shops – layering the room rather like a magpie’s nest. There is something very cosy about Caroline’s styling but it does provoke unsettling questions of our obsession of with ‘stuff’ and what makes a home …
Jelly’s gallery: Christmas handmade gifts for sale
Handpainted business cards
I love the fact that even one of the artist’s business cards are handpainted, turning each one into a work of art.
Jelly at The Palace
In June, the team at Jelly was awarded a very well deserved Queen’s Award for Volunteering Service.
Here is Suzanne with her husband Simon Hall and their 20 year old twins Alabama and Louis who went to The Palace to collect the award.
Give someone the gift of Jelly this Christmas
Jelly is a charitable organisation and needs funds and volunteers to keep it going. Why not give someone the gift of Jelly this Christmas?
It’s good to be in the know
Thank you so much for reading! If you have enjoyed this and would like to receive email alerts for future posts then just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post. With very many thanks, Charis x