Meditative woodwork and mindful embroidering are just two of the arts-based health and wellbeing activities to try out as part of Upland made.

Upland’s third annual visual art and craft fair takes place at Easterbrook Hall at The Crichton, Dumfries, on 4-5 November.

Visitors can buy beautiful handmade gifts direct from 39 Dumfries and Galloway artists and makers.

Another big attraction will be made WELL, a programme organised in collaboration with OutPost Arts, of Langholm, engaging people with arts and craft activities many of which have positive benefits for health and wellbeing.

These include seasonal card making, photography, calligraphy, woodworking and embroidery.

Joanna Jones, Upland Assistant Director, said: This year’s Upland made will be a superb chance to see and buy work from dozens of locally-based artists and makers.

“And our collaboration with OutPost Arts adds a whole other dimension to the event, encouraging visitors to the fair to think of creative activities as a positive driving force for health and wellbeing. We’re delighted that Easterbrook Hall will be putting on a pop-up café too.

“The whole event is about celebrating the handmade and supporting the wealth of professional creative talent and diverse practice of Upland members.

“It’s the perfect place to find unusual and interesting Christmas gifts that people will really love – and to try out new skills that could lead to a new interest or hobby.”

Lucy MacLeod, OutPost Arts Creative Wellbeing Director, added: OutPost Arts are delighted to be with Upland to create a complimentary programme of interactive, participatory creative activities – part of our wider DG Creative Wellbeing project which aims to increase and widen access to creative wellbeing activities. 

“The made WELL programme will feature a variety of opportunities for visitors to get stuck into making and learning about different processes – from group demonstrations and workshops led by stall holders to live illustration and calligraphy sessions. 

“All of the activities focus on how mindful making processes improve wellbeing.”

The woodworking workshops will be run by Rachel Ashcroft, known as the Woman of the Woods.

She is an artist and woodworker based in Kirkgunzeon who uses local, renewable hardwood timber and driftwood from the Solway coast to create decorative and practical objects for the home.

Speaking about the meditative wood chiselling, spoon and bowl making workshop she will run Rachel (pictured) said:“This aspect of working with wood is a mindful practice I regularly engage with, that certainty helps support my creative wellbeing; something I’d love to share with the public during the event.

“The process of carving and shaping wood with hand tools takes time. It is a repetitive movement, which also requires attention and skill, where a shape is slowly formed from a flat surface. 

“This slow unearthing of a bowl or shape from a natural material has a deep sense of satisfaction when completed, but also during the process itself.”

There will be embroidery and printmaking with Helen Walsh, an artist based on the Solway coast, who primarily works in drawing and textiles – and loves to encourage others to get involved in the arts.

Both Rachel and Helen also have stalls in the selling fair. Rachel, like many of the others, may be familiar to visitors from their participation in Upland’s annual Spring Fling open studios weekend.

The contemporary art and craft on show in the fair will include jewellery, pottery, paintings, original prints, glass and many other bespoke, handmade pieces that aren’t available in most shops.

The made WELL programme


  • Drop in Kids: arts and crafts table, 12-5pm
  • Workshop: Calligraphy Sessions (times allocated), 12-1pm
  • Demo: Mindful embroidery and have a go with Helen Walsh, 1-2pm
  • Workshop: Calligraphy sessions (times allocated), 2-5pm 
  • Drop in: Mindful seasonal card making with OutPost Arts, 3.30-4.30pm.


  • Drop in: Kids arts and crafts table, 10am-4pm 
  • Workshop: Calligraphy sessions (times allocated), 10am-4pm
  • Workshop: Meditative wood chiselling, spoon and bowl making with Woman of the Woods, 11am-12pm
  • Workshop: Mindful printmaking with Helen Walsh, 12.30-1.30pm
  • Demo: Photography with Roger Lever, 2-3pm 
  • Drop in: Mindful seasonal card making with OutPost Arts, 3.30-4.30pm.

OutPost Arts will have a stand showcasing the work of graduates from their Art Journal Project. 

Easterbrook Hall will be running a pop-up café with warming food, tea, coffee and cakes.

This year’s line-up features new participants and favourites from the past events.

Who is taking part 

  • Ailsa Black (painting)
  • Alan Cameron (printmaking)
  • Amanda Simmons (kiln-formed glass)
  • Bella Green (painting and jewellery)
  • Ridgeback Forge (custom knives)
  • Clare Dawdry (pottery)
  • Daniel Lacey (wood/furniture)
  • Dorothy Stewart (scarves)
  • Elaine Fenwick (jewellery)
  • Liz Dagg (painting)
  • Fitch & McAndrew (ceramics)
  • Heather Armstrong (ceramics)
  • Helen Walsh (textiles and prints)
  • Hugh Bryden (painting, prints and artists books)
  • Jackie Zehnder (ceramics)
  • Jay Rubinstein (wood veneer mobiles)
  • Jo Gallant (textiles)
  • Julian Francis and Suzanne Stuart Davies (ceramics, sculpture, paintings)
  • Kay Ribbens (hats, headwear and wearable sculpture)
  • Kaz Robertson (jewellery)
  • Leah Halliday (illustration)
  • Liz Steele (ceramics)
  • Louisa Birdsall (illustration)
  • Lucy Hadley (illustration)
  • Mia Heath (bookbinding)
  • The Handmade Crafthouse (woodwork, photography)
  • Morag Macpherson (textiles)
  • Natalie Vardey (jewellery)
  • Pamela Grace (printmaking)
  • Woman of the Woods (wood)
  • Rebecca Woods (ceramics)
  • Roger Lever (photography)
  • Sarah Louise (painting)
  • Sarah Stewart (printmaking)
  • Sue Hughes (textiles)
  • Susie Niven (painting)
  • Tricia Barna and Andy Philpott (painting plus homeware) 
  • Val Macadam (drawings and prints). 

Dates and details

  • What: Upland made
  • Where: Main Hall, Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA 
  • When: Saturday 4 November 12pm-5pm, Sunday 5 November 10am to 4pm
  • Tickets: £1 and free for under 12s.

See the Upland website at    

  • Upland made is funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and delivered in collaboration with Easterbrook Hall and OutPost Arts.
  • It is delivered in partnership with DG Creative Wellbeing – an OutPost Arts programme. 


Notes for editors 

About Upland

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It will delivers, events, training, networking, support and opportunities as part of a year-round programme to benefit the region, its artists, communities and economy. Upland CIC runs the annual Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. It will work closely with other arts bodies in the region to further-strengthen the sector. Upland is based at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and exists to:

  • produce and deliver festivals, events, and experimental projects of the highest quality
  • nurture an environment where artistic excellence thrives and grows
  • inspire and educate a wide range of audiences, customers and clients to understand, celebrate, be actively engaged in and supportive of visual art and craft practice
  • raise the profile of visual artists and makers locally, nationally and internationally fulfilling a crucial role in the culture and tourism of Dumfries and Galloway
  • build strategic partnerships at regional, national and international level
  • maintain a financially sound and adaptively resilient organisation
  • use, and encourage the use of, innovative and emerging digital technology
  • work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.

Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, The Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, The Heritage Lottery Fund, ASWT, Barfill. 

For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at [email protected] or call Upland on 01387 213 218.