Making Merry - Christmas shopping with a difference

Tackle your Christmas gift list by Making Merry in the Winchester district on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November.

Local people and visitors alike have the opportunity to meet a range of artists and craftspeople across the District as they open their doors for a special weekend of demonstrations, festive cheer and unusual Christmas present ideas.

Long known for its ancient treasures and public art, Winchester has steadily been establishing itself as the home of modern artistic talent and Making Merry is a celebration of contemporary art on a Christmas theme, co-ordinated by Winchester City Council's tourism unit as part of the annual Winchester Christmas Festival.

Thirty-four outlets - including private homes, workshops, studios and galleries - will open during the fourth annual Making Merry weekend. Jewellery, textiles, glass, ceramics, paintings and metal sculptures will be on display and available to buy direct from the makers around the Winchester District.
Winchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, Cllr Therese Evans, said she could not think of a more relaxing or imaginative way to tackle the annual gift-list.

"We are lucky to have so many fine craftsmakers and artists in this area and I am delighted that they have all joined together to provide such an unusual weekend. Many residents are probably unaware of the range and quality of crafts on their doorstep, and a number of these craftspeople don't regularly open their doors to the public so this seems the perfect Christmas marriage of novelty and need," she added.

There will be an opportunity to win a beautiful fused glass panel in a charity raffle in aid of Shelter - take a visit to Sue Tinkler in Kings Worthy where the panel, entitled 'Rooftops and Sky' can be seen alongside more of her glass creations. A late entry - Joe Low - at 38B Stockbridge Road will be offering an assortment of photographic prints and hand-made cards with an interesting twist.

Winchester City Council's Special Events Officer Elaine Robbins said: "We all need added inspiration at Christmas time and this weekend promises plenty of fresh ideas. There's also something very special about talking to the artist and finding out how and why the object was made. It adds the personal touch to an individual, hand-made present."

From cards and prints at very modest prices to bespoke items to lavish on your nearest and dearest, Making Merry promises treats to suit all pockets. In addition to gift ideas, some of the artists are offering refreshments, from tea and biscuits to warming mulled wine and mince pies. Others are giving demonstrations and advice, or offering discounts during the weekend on production of the Making Merry programme.

"It is also a perfect way for both residents and visitors to get out and explore the District," said Elaine Robbins.

A full list of participating venues, opening arrangements and access for visitors with disabilities can be found in the Making Merry programme available from Winchester Tourist Information Centre, telephone 01962 840500, email or on