Dorset Art Week on North Street

Last week was Dorset Art Weeks (DAW) which has been going strong since 2006. This is where artists across the county open their studios and homes for a week (24 May – 8 June 2014) to joe public exhibiting their art and it’s all free!

There’s a fabulous brochure which lists all the artists taking place, their location, opening times and bio. With nearly 300 artists exhibiting across Dorset – there’s something for everyone to see.

Having lived in Charminster for nearly 7 years I never managed to get to attend a DAW exhibit. So, on the last Sunday of the event I decided to pay a visit to my two local DAW listings #59 Karen & Keir Francis and #60 Lesley H Phillips who are all located on North Street. Quite literally a stone’s through away from my front door.

#59 Karen & Keir Francis

Karen and Keir were delightfully welcoming and Karen took me through her glass jewellery collection. I was like a child in a candy shop and have already ear marked some very unique pieces of jewellery for my birthday.

Karen Glass

Karen layers and fuses glass with a kiln using casts to produce unique and quirky jewellery. There was a distinct marine feel running through the collection with deep blues and greens, across earrings, pendants, and necklaces. And there were some wonderful pendants and earrings in a bronze-esque colour which changed colour depending on the angle you looked at these. Now I’m sure there is a more technical arty phrase to this, but to the lay lady it was pretty magical.

Karen with her favourite piece (see necklace close up below)

This is my favourite!


To find out more about Karen’s glass jewellery check out her collection online – She also makes custom orders, so you design something truly unique for that special someone.

Keir Francis – Photoart & Photography

Keir’s work was hanging around studio complementing Karen’s jewellery. His range is made up of very cleverly layered photos on canvases which to the untrained eye like mine looks like a beautiful oil painting! His collection is a mix of West Country favourites from Corfe Castle, Weymouth Harbour to Bournemouth as well as other iconic locations.

Keir in front of some of his iconic pieces

Check out Keir’s website to view his imagery and follow him on Twitter @keirfrancis

#60 Lesley H Phillips

Now Lesley is a name that most people in Dorset would recognise. She’s a silver and gemstone jeweller who’s had her collection featured in Vogue. See, definitely one to watch. I bet Anna Wintour knows her name. She had a delightful bespoke handcrafted collection in very affordable prices which would make a great present for any occasion or to treat yourself.

Lesley with some of her very impressive collection

Check out her full range online and give her a like over at Facebook Handmade Silver Jewellery or follow on Twitter @DistinctlyDeco

For more details on Dorset Art Week and discover some fabulous unique artists head to

All the best & next time on the blog Behind the Castle 2014.

Becky x

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