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Artist Anke Sayn Rainbow, describes herself as an adopted Geordie. Needless to say she was thrilled that a piece she created of one of the North East's most iconic landmarks, was selected to be part of another famous building's future.

Anke, who now lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, set up Desayn two years ago after completing a silver-smithing course. Her metal creations are now bought by local customers and also those who've moved away. She gets orders from Geordies all over the world.

When she saw a call from Newcastle Cathedral for local artists to submit a piece relating to the city to be buried in a time capsule beneath it's new floor, she put forward a few of her designs. One of them the Tyne Bridge, which was selected.

The capsule, containing a mixture of local items, will remain buried beneath the cathedral's floor for the next hundred years.

Anke says they were goose-bump moments when her piece was chosen and she then attended the burial ceremony.

"I'm still quietly humbled...being an adopted Geordie... and only starting out as an artist in 2019. It's immensely inspiring as I set out on my creative journey."

See more of her work and links to her site in Anke's Tin Shed Studio

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Ali Elly's latest work was a 100 day labour of love, not only for marine life, but also the entire planet.

In a bid to highlight the fragility of earth's oceans and their endangered species, she used Instagram's #The100Day Project, during summer 2021, to paint endangered seahorses.

The Project invited everyone to do something they loved for 100 days and post a daily picture of it.

Ali, who is fascinated with seahorses, painted100 species of them from around the world.

To coincide with the  26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, which aimed to accelerate action towards tackling the crisis, Ali launched 30 of the Save our Seahorses designs for sale, to help raise awareness even more.

Ali, who is based on the Northumberland coast, has a background in textile design and uses natural patterns and organic formations in her work.

Her seahorse images are created in her trademark clean, uncomplicated style, which has a strong emphasis on illustration.... and her obsession with the colour blue!

Visit Ali's SOS Exhibition in our online gallery and see more of her work in her Tin Shed Studio  where you can also find her contact info and how to buy her pieces.

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We're very excited to share news about a new exhibition by artist Bernie Clarkson, who's one of the newest members of our online studios.

Bernie, who is originally from the North of England, now lives and works in London, where her studio is based. However she's back in the North East for a new three-month long exhibition of her work at Newbiggin Maritime Centre, which starts mid-November 2021. If you'd like to meet her  and find out more about her work, she'll be at the Centre on December 4 for a special Meet the Artist session.

See more of Bernie's work at her Tin Shed Studio where you'll also find links to her website.

Here's what she says about coming home. 

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The Tin She's been finding out more about the inspiration behind author Margaret Skea's historical fiction.

She grew up in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles, where violence was a daily part of life, but Margaret couldn't write about that conflict because it was too close and too personal.

Instead her first novel centred on a Scottish clan feud that ran for 400 years. She says that was in a way the same situation, hundreds of years removed

Now, living in the Scottish Borders, Margaret is well-known for her historical fictional writing, which concentrates on violent periods in Scottish history.

She's produced 5 novels and a collection of award-winning short stories.

In 2020 she was short-listed for the Book Brunch prize and was runner up of the Historical Novel Society Award.

See more about Margaret and her work at

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Ruby, who's 15 and still at school, set up Murray Prints as a project during lockdown in 2020. Now her sea-inspired paintings are helping to raise funds for The Wave Project, a national charity which helps vulnerable children and young people improve their health and well-being through surfing and mentoring.

Ruby, from Whitley Bay on North Tyneside, donates 25% from the sale of her art to the Project, which has 12 centres across the UK, including one at Tynemouth.

Even while studying for her GCSE's, Ruby carried on fund-raising and also does volunteer work for a local homeless charity.

Helped by her mum Nicola, who is a regular sea swimmer, they came up with the slogan "Love you to the Sea and Back" which appears on all her paintings. 

"It's hopefully helped others and provides joy to people in these current circumstances" says Ruby.

She and her work were recently featured in Outdoor Swimmer magazine and  if you'd like to meet Ruby and see more of her work, she'll be at The Tin Shed's Autumn and Christmas fairs at Bamburgh on Oct 17 and Nov 14, 2021 10am-4pm

You can also buy her work at

For more info email

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Silk painting is an ancient tradition which was used widely throughout China and other parts of Asia before the invention of paper, two thousand years ago.

This led to the demise of silk painting, which was only kept alive by local artisans. Thankfully in the 1930's their work was spotted at an exhibition in Paris and silk painting underwent a fashion revival.

It's popularity and uses have continued to grow, but who'd have thought this delicate ancient art could be used to decorate everyday household items.

 Textile artist Jean Haste, who's a member of the Guild of Silk Painters, says she's always thinking of new ways to use it.

She fell in love with silk painting because of the intensity of the colour it can produce and the element of surprise. It's a complex process where the artist only has limited control over the end result.

Jean, from Stockton on Tees, says her main range includes silk scarves, jewellery and purses, but she also uses silk to create lamps and lampshades. Recently she has started fusing the silk onto glass bowls and vases and was commissioned to created silk covered perspex screens and glass kitchen splashback. 

She says the main challenge of these large pieces was getting a big enough frame to stretch the silk and making sure it didn't get any air bubbles in it when it was laid out.

Visit Jean in The Tin Shed's Artists Studios at

Or contact her for more info at

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television presenter

Ian is best known as the main anchor of ITV's North East Tonight news programme and before that as a sports' presenter.

What he isn't known for is painting. In fact, until recently even Ian didn't know he had such artistic ability. 

Always interested in art, his wife Tessa gave him a ‘starter set’ of acrylic paints for his birthday at the beginning of 2020.

However it was only during lockdown a couple of months later, that he started following some YouTube beginner tutorials.

When Ian's local pub landlord heard about his new found skills, he challenged him to paint a picture of Sycamore Gap. The painting now has pride of place in the pub at Heddon-on-the-Wall.

Ian now joins regular painting sessions with online groups.

"In these uncertain times I feel I’ve stumbled upon a relaxing & heart-warming way of socialising with kindred spirits across the globe - all of us starting with our own blank canvases."

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Edinburgh artist Wendy Helliwell is as passionate about recycling as she is about her work.

In fact it often IS clothes, pages from glossy magazines and thrown away items in her 3D statement pieces.

It also led to a new project, Lipfill Not Landfill.

Wendy is quick to explain that this is nothing do with cosmestic procedures, but layering recycled clothes to create her sculptural pouts.

Wendy is also well-known for her colourful Quirky Queues, often created from the same issue of a magazine to capture the mood of the time. She says these pieces are a perfect platform to showcase her love of fashion and highlight today's culture of consumerism, excess and waste. Many feature shopping trips, VIP parties, ladies who lunch and designer handbags.

Last year Wendy's sculpture for the Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail helped raise over £5,000 for the charity when it was auctioned off.

Aff Yir Rocker paid homage to Scottish music and the importance of recycling. It was created using clothing donated to the charity by some of the country's greatest musicians including Midge Ure, Shirley Manson and Jim Kerr 

It also features performers' signatures such as Lewis Capaldi, seen here.

After being on public display at Waverley Station, Aff Yir Rocker was bought by the owner of the Edinburgh Corn Exchange where it is now displayed.

Wendy's work can be seen in a number of Scottish galleries and she's a regular at art fairs in Edinburgh and the Borders.

Or visit her site at