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Harrow artists showcase new work at Heath Robinson Museum

A new collection of contemporary work crafted by local designers is launching at the Heath Robinson Museum shop this April, just in time for Easter and ahead of his 150th birthday on May 31st.

The Maker’s Art range showcases handmade jewellery, textiles and glass reflecting the imagination and enchantment of Heath Robinson’s work. The makers, who mostly live locally, change every six months, creating a distinctive and continually varied decorative art marketplace at the Heath Robinson Museum and on their online shop.

Pinner resident, Jeannine Lawder, who masterminds this initiative explains: “The museum supports local designers and craftspeople, whose work is affordable and sustainable. Our aim is for visitors to be stimulated and re-inspired every time they come by curating a rolling programme of art exhibitions (there are three this year) and also by offering varied works of art and craft which can be taken home from the museum shop.”

Tejal Kachalia is a stained-glass artist based in HarrowTejal creates colourful stained glass and also enjoys inspiring others to work in this art form. Her classes have become popular, especially with professional people wanting to make something with their hands after so much time spent indoors on computers during lockdowns. Tejal uses lead-free solder and any left-over pieces are used for mosaic art.

Harrow artists showcase new work at Heath Robinson Museum Harrow Online
Tejal Kachalia at work.

Her work draws inspirations from nature, spirituality, music, and humour believing that “art should be free flowing like a river.

“I see Heath Robinson as a very interesting
artist, his artwork depicting elaborate
contraptions that are humorous and fun. He
produced designs and illustrations for the local community and schools which is something for which I also share a deep passion and strive for as a fellow Harrow resident.

“Also, interestingly, the first book that I gave as a gift to my son, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm was illustrated by Heath Robinson. Amongst other glass pieces featuring the natural world, I will be selling my “Dapper Duck” in the Heath Robinson Museum shop – a piece I’m particularly fond of due to the light-hearted fun it exudes, aligning closely with the tone of Heath Robinson’s works of the day,” says Tejal.

Jane Prentice is based in Pinner and creates exquisitely coloured and textured jewellery in gold and silver, precious, semi- precious stones and pearls. She is inspired by nature and her naturalistic pieces often include hammer marks, oxidisation and etching. She also creates intriguing ‘storytelling’ pieces: tiny figures ‘living’ in jewellery, as in her “people earrings” pictured right. Her Heirloom ring won the metalwork prize awarded by the Victoria and Albert Museum in their competition “Inspired by”.

Jane was an early supporter of the museum and continues to raise funds through The Friends of Heath Robinson Museum and The Maker’s Art. Existing jewellery can be upcycled into new designs as part of her
sustainable practice. Jane has supported a variety of charities through her sales and is currently fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Harrow artists showcase new work at Heath Robinson Museum Harrow Online
Some of Jane Prentice‘s work.

“Heath Robinson has always been a hero of mine as I love his wacky inventions and illustrations for some of my favourite fairy tales. I was absolutely delighted to create the inaugural jewellery range for the opening of the museum in 2016. The Maker’s Art is an inspired idea, to both celebrate Heath Robinson and involve local makers from the area where he lived.”

These are just two of the many artists featured at the museum. Make sure you head down to see all the fantastic work on display. The Heath Robinson Museum can be found at Pinner Memorial Park, Pinner HA5 1AE.