Mary Sewell  - Mark making techniques & the machine
Mary Sewell  - Mark making techniques & the machine

Mary Sewell - Mark making techniques & the machine

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Portland Works

Randall Street


S2 4SJ

United Kingdom

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Sheffield Design Week Workshop:

My workshop will include a short tour of my studio where participants will get the opportunity to look at my work and ask any questions. This will be followed by a hands on workshop exploring "The Machine" through mark making techniques using paint, ink and wax. We will work together as a group on a large scale and from this each participant will develop a piece and take home their individual concertina book.  

It will be a opportunity for participants to express themselves creatively in a relaxed and supportive environment. 

Make the perfect gift for Christmas.


Workshop times and dates:
Sunday October 30th
Workshop One:  11.00am - 1.00pm

How many people can attend each workshop?

Cost per person for attending your workshop:


About Mary Sewell

Over the past ten years I have been a studio holder at Portland Works, an old cutlery works complex in Sheffield. Having recently moved within the complex to a large, light, airy space, which I share with four other artists, my work has changed from figurative to abstract.  One of the main themes in this new work is a sense of place and the space I occupy both externally and internally; my physical environment and personal inner space.  I use both photography and drawing as an integral part of my practice collecting details of shapes, colours, and textures of the environment I occupy.  I am inspired by the work of abstract expressionism, exploring gesture, shape, line, light and dark to evoke emotion and movement in my work.  This currently gives form to my painting which aims to express that which is dynamic, the movement of where we are now.
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Q&A with Mary

Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Working in a toothpaste factory on a Kibbutz in Israel in the 1980's......

How would you describe your work?
Exploratory abstract oil paintings. Balancing form and spontaneity.  Drawing and photography is also an important part of my practice.

Where are you based? How would you describe Portland Works and your workshop?
In a large bright studio at Portland Works an old cutlery factory. 

Thinking of your role as a maker, what are you most proud of, and why?
To keep going as a creative person for 25 years and inspiring others to be creative.

What is the most satisfying part of the work you do?
My studio practice and engaging in the creative process. 

What would be your dream project?
Spending time in the Sonoran Desert and producing a body of work.

What are you working on at the moment?
A series of abstract paintings exploring a sense place.

When you're not working, what do you like to do?
Walking in the hills.

Anything at all that you'd like to let us know about your work: 
I have been a studio holder at Portland Works for 10 years and a practising artist for 25 years.  I have worked with lots of different groups facilitating art workshops .  My work has developed over the years, starting as a photographer and moving into figurative painting and now into abstract painting.

Information about Portland Works:


Portland Works, a red brick grade II* listed factory,  is one of Sheffield’s most iconic Victorian buildings. Built in 1879, the engine room of Sheffield’s industrial revolution has diversified substantially over the last century. The birthplace of stainless steel is now home to 23 makers specialising in contemporary and traditional manufacturing. Product versatility extends from custom made knives to sipping gins. Items produced today at Portland Works play a role in a myriad of daily activities from keeping coats off of the floor at Arbourthorne Primary School to serving cream cakes at the Savoy, Britain’s first luxury hotel.

Two world wars later and Portland Works has seen better days, despite the odds being stacked against renovation and rebirth, the site of significant historical importance was saved in 2013 by over 500 community shareholders. The once neglected building is now in a state of continued renovation, steadily transforming a romantic ruin into affordable and retrofitted workshops fit for future generations of Sheffield makers.

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Georgina Barrett - Manager
0114 275 9354


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Portland Works

Randall Street


S2 4SJ

United Kingdom

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