OPEN STUDIOS : “Handmade”

Opening Times : 10am – 6pm; Weekend & Bank Holidays Only.
Dates : 22nd April – 21st May
Entry :  Free Entry and Parking. Children and families welcome. No dogs please.
Enquiries :

Each year the Spring Festival offers a series of Workshop Residencies to artists and makers from Suffolk and other parts of the UK and abroad. These are offered seasonally to selected individuals during the festival period to help promote and develop their practice. For 2017, we are focusing on artists and makers who practice traditional heritage crafts or who work with wood / timber from local trees and other natural materials.

The OPEN STUDIOS are arranged in farm workshops and old stables in the back farmyard. They are open to visitors at weekends and on bank holidays during the four week Festival season between 10am and 6pm – during which time the artists / makers will be demonstrating their work and available to talk about their practice. Sales and commissions are managed by the Spring Festival sales desk in the front barns.

List of Open Studios and Workspaces

Open Studio 1 : The Old Pig Sty ~ Jennifer Hall – drawing & sculpture [Woodland Residency 2017].
Open Studio 2 : The Old Pig Sty ~ Boris Aldridge – tile maker.
Open Studio 3 : The Stained Glass Shed ~ Sharon McMullin – stained glass maker and Otis Luxton – musical instrument maker.
Open Studio 4 : The Threshing Barn Alcove ~ Ian Sedge – signwriter.
Open Studio 5 : The Farm Wood Workshop ~ River Gipping Trust Display – canal restoration work.
Open Studio 6 : The Farm Wood Workshop ~ Jim Parsons – chairmaker.
Open Studio 7 : The Farm Wood Workshop ~ Dan Hussey – chairmaker.
Open Studio 8 : The Farm Wood Workshop ~ Raymond Hopkins – wood turner and chairmaker.
Open Studio 9 : The Stable – Loosebox 1 ~ Sarah Butters – felt maker and spinner / knitter.
Open Studio 10 : The Stable – Loosebox 2 ~ Tobias Ford – knife maker.
Open Studio 11 : The Stable – Loosebox 3 ~ The Lettering Arts Trust –  members' studio.
Open Studio 12 : The Stable – Loosebox 3 ~ Saul Hunt – Tree Surgeon.
Open Studio 13 : Front Barn – Granary Workshop ~ Nienke Jongsma – leather work and bag maker. [Studio Vandertas.]
Open Studio 14 : Front Barn – Open Air Stand ~ Jon Warnes – spoon and bowl maker.
Open Studio 15 : Front Barn – Open Air Stand ~ Stephanie Bunn/Peter Dibble – rush and willow work.

Static Displays

These will be located in the back farmyard and will include displays by a selection of specialist wood workers, companies and charities that White House Farm has been fortunate to be able to work with over the past few years.
Whilst the area of woodland at the farm is relatively small, it has some stands of English oak, ash, conifers, poplar and naturally regenerated ash and willow. We have a policy of cropping dead oak trees and thinning out some smaller live, ensuring some deadwood is also left as habitat where safe.

It has been a delight to be able to develop links to the River Gipping Trust through wood worker Raymond Hopkins. Oak from the farm has been used to restore a sluice gate and footbridge on the Gipping near Needham Market. The work was undertaken at the farm by the Trust's dedicated restoration team. The Trust will have a display and slide show of their work in the farm's Wood Workshop, alongside chairmakers Jim Parsons and Dan Hussey and turner / hedge chair maker Raymond Hopkins.

More recently oak and poplar from the farm has also been supplied to two of Suffolk's leading millwrights Bill Smith and Tim Whiting. For the Spring Festival Bill will have a static display of a new set of oak stairs made for a postmill. For more information about mills and millwrights please visit SPAB or Suffolk Mills Group.

All of these projects have been supported at times by Drywood Ltd. Owned by furniture maker Michael Pritchard-Barrett, Drywood offers specialist mobile milling services in East Suffolk. For Festival 2017 it is setting up a static display of a new Alaskan Chainsaw Mill that allows for outsize planking. We are using it at the farm to create uniquely large table tops for new oak dining tables.

To use any of this wood, trees need to be felled. To complete a cross section of the local timber supply chain from tree to finished tables, chairs, bowls and boards the Open Studios also include a display by local tree surgeon Saul Hunt who has helped fell and trim trees at the farm - following on from the Berry family and in particular Paul Berry, a fourth generation timber man who has helped plant, manage and fell trees and woodland intermittently at White House Farm and Great Glemham Farms since the 1980s.

Meet the Artists

Sunday afternoons from 3pm – 4.30pm

As a new project for 2017, the Festival Exhibition will host informal talks by artists taking part in this year’s show. The talks will take place on selected Sunday afternoons from 3pm – 4.30pm..

Sunday 23rd April : TBC
Sunday 30th April: TBC
Sunday 7th May : TBC
Sunday 14th May : TBC

The Farmyard Classroom

The end of the OPEN STUDIOS trail takes you back to the Farmyard Classroom. This was created in 2014 with generous support from Natural England. It is furnished with floorboards and furniture made with oak from the farm created by Raymond Hopkins, Alex Johnson and Drywood Ltd. The paint on the walls was dug up from a field called Holly Tree. The Classroom is used for Farm Education visits by local primary schools and students from Easton-Otley College. More recently, we have also teamed up with Marisa Formicola to offer “Flourishing through the Arts” – a programme of workshops for children aged 4-10 years old, both home and school educated. For more information about Marisa’s workshops, please contact the farm / Festival Office : 

Farm Nature Walks

The circuit of OPEN STUDIOS includes a large map signboard of the farm. During the Spring Festival a series of short Farm Nature Walks are made available for visitors to use and explore : The Woodland Nature Walk, The Hedgerow Nature Walk, The Bluebell Walk and the Meadow Nature Walk past the big picnic table.

If you visit the OPEN STUDIOS and farm, please feel free to explore the Nature Walks – but please keep to the waymarked routes and also please treat the land as a home to wildlife .. go quietly, take time and photos, but leave nothing but footprints !

* Health & Safety : Please note that the ground may be uneven in places. Visitors are responsible for their own safety when using the Nature Walks and visiting the farm. Please keep children accompanied at all times and please do not enter ‘No Access’ areas on the farm. FIRST AID and FIRE MUSTER POINTS are marked in the farmyards.

  • Thank you to our sponsors

    Aspall Cyder and Suffolk Coast for supporting this year’s Alde Valley Spring Festival !

  • Pop Up “Hedgerow Tea Rooms”

    Open at Weekends serving cakes and pastries supplied especially for the Festival by chef Peter Harrison.


  • Try out local pubs :

    Try out local pubs : The Crown Inn, Great Glemham; White Horse, Sweffling; White Horse, Rendham; The Crown and Golden Key at Snape; The Ship Inn, Blaxhall are all within 4 miles.


  • Come and visit the farm on foot or by bike:

    Free parking for cars – share journeys if you can. Children and families welcome – no dogs please.


  •  New for 2017 : ‘Writing at Great Glemham”:

    A series of Writing Residencies linked to Farm Suppers each Thursday and Festival Talks each Friday with guests Alistair Carr, Aljos Farjon and Jack Cooke.


  •  New for 2017 : “Handmade”

    A series of over ten Workshop Residencies and Open Studios showcasing local crafts and heritage skills – inc chair making, knife making, wood turning. Open at weekends and Bank Holidays.


  •  Meet the Artists:

    Informal guided talks on Sunday afternoons during the Festival from 3-4.30pm.

  •  New for 2017 : To the Moon and Back:

    A new life size bronze by Craig Hudson of Marley the dog on display in the fields.

  • Come and visit the farm on foot or by bike:

    Free parking for cars – share journeys if you can. Children and families welcome – no dogs please.

  • New for 2017 : bronzes from Maggi Hambling:

    Bronzes from Maggi Hambling’s Aftermath series on show in the Farmyard barns.

  • Pop Up “Hedge Quarters Tea Rooms:

    Open at Weekends and Bank Holidays serving cakes and pastries supplied especially for the Festival by chef Peter Harrison.


  • Don’t forget local market days:

    Mondays at Campsea Ashe auction rooms [with tea room]; Tuesdays at Framlingham; Wednesdays in Saxmundham – and Snape Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month.


  • New for 2017 : Festival Exhibition Quercus & Co ~

    New for 2017 : Festival Exhibition Quercus & Co ~ Celebrating the English Oak, Woodland and Widlife – including paintings and drawings by Jelly Green of trees and woodlands from around the UK.


  • Farm Suppers with Peter Harrison:

    Each Thursday evening during the Festival - £35.50 per person – three courses served at the farmhouse refectory tables by candlelight. BYO beer / wine.


  •  The Big Spring Picnic Saturday 20th May:

    The Big Spring Picnic takes place on Saturday 20th May. BYO picnic sourced from local shops in Framlingham, Saxmundham, Leiston, Snape, Aldeburgh & Orford ! Booking essential – limited places.


  • Don’t forget local market days :

    Mondays at Campsea Ashe auction rooms [with tea room]; Tuesdays at Framlingham; Wednesdays in Saxmundham – and Snape Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month.


  • New for 2016 :

    ‘Writing at Great Glemham” – a series of Writing Residencies linked to Farm Suppers and Festival Talks.

  •  Spring Festival launches on 22nd April:

    This year’s Spring Festival launches on 22nd April for 4 weeks with a rich programme of Farm Suppers, Festival Talks, Open Studios and Meet the Artists sessions.


Works for Sale

We have some wonderful works by artists that exhibit at the festival currently for sale. Details >
The Festival Shop

Stocking a range of unusual cards, books, walking sticks and other handmade items made on the farm & by local artisans. Details >
The Suffolk Chair Collection

The Collection of original early – mid nineteenth century Ball Backs has been set up as a design reference collection. Details >

Icon Painting in the Alde Valley

For more information....
Details >
Food Adventures

We have listed some of the Alde Valleys outstanding food businesses.
Places to Stay

The Alde Valley and East Suffolk are full of good homestays, holiday cottages, B&Bs and hotels.
email us - click here >

Solutions website design