Watch this space for a crafty success story

Tracy Parker Watch This Space
Tracy Parker Watch This Space

An art and craft space in Wooler is looking for larger premises less than six months after opening.

Watch This Space opened on the High Street in the week before Christmas and has quickly grown to provide a focal point for crafts in the Glendale area.

Tracy Parker Watch This Space

Tracy Parker Watch This Space

Now it is the go-to place for everything from upcycled books to renovated furniture.

The operation is the brainchild of Tracey Parker, a keen crafter herself, who lives in Wooler.

“I was making things myself, and just giving them to family and friends,” she said. “Then I got the idea to try something like this.

“I put some feelers out in the Wooler and Glendale area, and the phone never stopped ringing – I thought there are obviously plenty of crafty people round here!

“We started out with 10 crafters and now that number has increased to 26.

“We got a lot of help from the Glendale Gateway Trust,” she said. “They were great, with everything from advice when we first started to things like shop fittings.”

After deciding Wooler was the place for her, Tracey set about helping local creatives, from jewellers and knitters to digital artists, make the best of their space in the studio.

“We have a meeting before they join and we decide what they need,” she said.

“It’s got to be analysed beforehand. What we offer ranges from a bit of shelf space to a two-metre-square area. There’s no point having that if you’re just showing some tiny earrings or something.

“We do a lot of outreach workshops as well as showcasing work,” said Tracey.

“This means going out to village halls and visiting community groups with our crafters.

“We show them everything, really, from making simple jewellery to furniture painting.

“We also work closely with the local WI, the ‘Knit and Natter’ group, who help raise funds for research into MS and breast cancer.

“Hopefully if we move into new premises then we’ll be able to put on larger workshops.

Watch This Space has helped kickstart at least one local craft business.

“We had two ladies who were in basically a corridor here,” said Tracey. “They were doing some amazing quilting under the name Patchquirk.

“Now they’ve expanded out of the corridor and are really taking off. That’s great news.”