HACS blog

  • HACS Belmont Abbey Art Day

    On 7th August, HACS members attended a painting and sketching day at Belmont Abbey, in Hereford. We received the kind permission of the Abbot to spend time in the private monastery gardens and in the church. The grounds of the Abbey offered creative opportunities ranging from rose gardens and fountain, to the graveyard, and lawns leading up to the church, as well as the church itself. You can read more about the history of the monastery HERE

    Our day began as we gathered under the large trees in front of Hedley Lodge. It was beautiful weather; the glare of the heatwave subdued to a bright and breezy summer day. 15 members attended with easels, sketchpads and a variety of media. We trooped off to the gardens and each found a nook, bench or comfortable spot under the trees, next to the fountain or by the rose bushes. The graveyard in particular was a popular spot.

    At 1pm we broke for a delicious lunch in Hedley Lodge after which we gathered again to be taken to the abbey church. The church dates back to 1859. It used to be the Cathedral for the Diocese of Newport and Menevia which covered the whole of Wales and Herefordshire. The church itself is named after St Michael and All the Angels – something which is delightfully depicted inside the church by its 156 angels (statues, carvings and stained glass)!

    The day was well-received by all members. Most people admitted they were out of practice at doing art en plein air and they welcomed the opportunity to do art outdoors in a quiet environment without being interrupted by curious passersby. We all agreed that it was an event worth doing again and that next time we would make it a longer day so that participants could focus on perhaps completing a full piece of work, instead of smaller pieces and sketches.

    HACS hopes to repeat the Belmont Abbey Art Day next year due to the resoundingly positive feedback from members! Follow us on Facebook for updates on events and exhibitions. And click HERE if you would like to join the society for just £20 p/a.

  • HACS June Coffee Morning: a talk on textiles and glass


    At HACS’ June coffee morning, we were happy to host a talk by HACS member Michele Clayton, glass artist. Michele combines a solid background in textile skills with glass fusing techniques to create unique pieces of glass.


    Michele’s working career began in the City of London, yet through the many twists and turns of career life, she kept up an interest in art as a hobby, exploring cross-stitch (for which she received commissions) and lacemaking. Her art teacher had told her she was not good enough for art school, yet undeterred by this damning appraisal, Michele continued to pursue her love of crafts, gaining skill upon skill, such as quilting. Indeed she exhibited her quilting work at Alexandra Palace and the NEC where she received a positive response to her work.


    Life took Michele from England to Italy and back again, from urban London to Yorkshire and finally to rural Herefordshire. Consequently, inspiration has come from many and varied geographical locations, from the built environment to nature.



    In 2012 Michele “got the buzz for glass” as she says. And in May 2018 she completed a Portfolio course at the Hereford College of Arts.


    With infectious enthusiasm and passion, Michele showed us examples of her textile work, and then her glass work. She explained the glass making process for each piece such as slumps, moulds, dichroic, inclusions (e.g. plants like hydrangeas, fuchsias and freesias, copper, “confetti” glass pieces) and even using bicarbonate of soda to make bubbles!



    Michele explained that, for her, art is a very tactile experience, and so she encouraged us all not just to look her work but to pass it around and feel the weight of the glass, the smooth or uneven surfaces, the sharp edges and to hold pieces up to the light to get the full spectrum of experience.



    It was a delightful talk that was appreciated by all who attended. We had a full room and everyone engaged with thoughtful comments and questions – a testament to Michele for drawing us into her world of textiles and glass for a morning!


    You can find Michele on Facebook – uniqueglassart and at www.uniqueglassart.co.uk


    ©HACS 2018


    Show dates for Michele’s work:
    9 – 23 June – HCA Synthesis 2018. Michele’s Foundation Art and Design work on show at Pigott Close off Wittern Way. There in person on Wednesday 13 June 1-3pm.
    Regular exhibitor at Timothy Hawkins Gallery in Church Street, Hereford.
    8-16th Sept 2018 – H-Art  – with a group from HCA FAD course at “H-Art week at Twyford Cookers” 





  • Introducing HACS After Dark

    This week saw the second occurrence of HACS’ new social event – HACS After Dark! While our monthly coffee morning every 1st Tuesday of the month is well-established, we heard our members concerns that not everyone can make a weekday morning. And so HACS After Dark was born – an evening social gathering at Gilbies Bar and Bistro in Hereford Centre where artists and craftspeople can meet, eat and make merry while sharing thoughts on the arts and crafts and anything else that comes to mind!

    Gilbies is a relaxing and welcoming environment for HACS, especially as this year HACS members are exhibiting their work each month in the upstairs gallery, and we are also exhibiting for H.art week in September at Gilbies!


    HACS After Dark is on every third Wednesday of the month, from 6pm onwards. HACS members are welcome to bring guests, and if you are interested in finding out more about the society you are also very welcome to come along and join us!