Victoria Works Studios
Art studios, courses and exhibition space in Chalford, Gloucestershire
Victoria Works Studios started on a small scale in 2013 and has grown to be home to a supportive group of artists, makers, a chef, a scientist and more. We have courses and workshops running throughout the year, plus regular exhibitions, open studios, and ad-hoc events. Information on workshops can be found here.
A bit of history - the building was originally built in the mid 1850’s initially as a mill and was known as Victoria Mill. Its life may have started as a steam driven timber mill but by 1885 it was listed as an upholstery works on the Ordinance Survey map of that year. As far as we know, the building was then an upholstery business since that time right up until, sadly, the business of Chalford Chairs was put into receivership in August 2012. The building was left pretty much abandoned until we bought it in September 2013, stuffed to the gills with everything including all the machinery, chair frames, fabric, foam and even stale biscuits and cups of tea.
Over the next year we rejuvenated the building to what you see today. Hopefully we’ve managed to maintain some of the character and history and you will see the old chair templates hanging on the walls, spring inserts for the chairs and sofas that were previously made here, as well as the odd bit of atmospheric dust! Upstairs in the corridor there is the old “flock fluffer”, or carding machine, and stuck to the large sliding door into the Loading Bay are the published working conditions for women and young children which make for interesting reading!
Today we have over 20 working studios all occupied by a variety of artists and artisans ranging from a patisserie chef, potters, painters, writers, a felt maker, a leather worker and of course an upholsterer. It’s fantastic that the tradition of upholstery continues in the building to this day. We also have spaces available for hire for those that wish to run courses, meetings or a photo shoot and The Loading Bay has been prepared as an exhibition space.
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