Sarah Cheeseman’s creative pebble art is currently on display and sale in Limpsfield’s Avalanche Gallery. While the local mum doesn’t actually live in Limpsfield, she regularly treks down Titsey Hill from her home “in the clouds” (aka Woldingham) , with children attending Funky Feet at Surrey Dance and for visits to Limpsfield Ceramics.
What’s your artistic background or is this a change of career?
I’m really an accountant by trade (Oakbury ltd) and not in the art world at all. Although I like to think I’m not a standard tax return accountant, because I deal with the ‘sexy’ side of accounting – the more creative side – planning, reporting and generally helping to drive a company forward.
Art is actually completely new to me, and I just find it very therapeutic and enjoyable. I love nothing better than creating pictures from a table of pebbles, although I’ve recently introduced sea glass, which is proving very popular.
How did you fall into creating pebble art and starting a new business?
Last August I stayed at Freshwater East in Pembrokeshire. The pebbles around that area are so pretty and diverse. On the beach one day, I saw a pebble in the shape of a ‘bride’s dress’. My sister was due to get married the following September, so I decided to try and make a wedding pebble picture. I also saw a nose-shaped pebble on the beach, which gave me the idea for my ‘Stone Noses’ card range!
When I got back from holiday, I made the wedding picture and began to make cards for my friends, which proved really popular. So, I made lots more pictures and was invited to have a stall at Hazelwood School’s fair. My art work received really good feedback and I sold several to local people, including the extremely lovely ladies at Chic Grooming in Limpsfield.
This really spurred me on and it was from that, that I really began to take it seriously and set up a Facebook, Twitter, website and Etsy shop.
How did you end up at the Avalanche Gallery?
Being so local, I travel to and from Limpsfield several times a week, for funky feet (Surrey Dance) and to pop in to Limpsfield Ceramics. Lawrence is very competitive and helpful and delivers at any time for free. It’s really due to these trips that I came across Avalanche Gallery and asked if they’d be interested in hosting my work for a while.
Where else have you sold or exhibited your pebble art?
Aside from Avalanche and my website, my work is also in the Sheep Shed at Botley Hill Farmhouse. They serve amazing coffee and cake and are very supportive of local artists. It can be really hard when setting up, so all support is gratefully received. I’m also going to be exhibiting at The Diamond pub, Oxted in May/June and have a stall booked at the West Kent Garden & Craft Show in Tonbridge on 12/13 March, so I’m pretty busy creating at the moment!
What other local support is there?
‘Keep it local’ is a great organization that supports local craftspeople, by putting on lots of craft fairs throughout the year. They are at different locations and so popular that the first opportunity to have a space this year is in September at Coolings.
What do you love about the area?
I moved to Woldingham from Sydenham four years ago and I love it. Small communities like Limpsfield and Woldingham are very welcoming and if you get involved, it’s a great way to get to know people. I’m the welfare officer at Woldingham tennis club, I run the Rainbows (Brownies) and am on the committee of the local horticultural society – Volunteers and new members are always welcome!
Find out more about Pebble Art by Sarah-Jayne at:
Aside from pebble art, accountancy, being a welfare officer, busy mum and flower fancier, Sarah also found the time to design a life-changing product following a serious illness 5 years ago…She designed and now sells the Central Line Holder, a holder/pouch for Hickman lines (central venous catheters used for administering chemo and other medication). She has now recovered from her illness, Aplastic Anaemia, but fundraises for this little-known disease via the Aplastic Anaemia Trust.
On April 22nd Sarah will be hosting an open garden and craft fundraising event for the Aplastic Anaemia Trust. The event will incorporate lots of craft and flowers – held in various gardens around Woldingham. Sarah would love more crafty input, so if you’re interested in taking part or providing a garden and/or craft activity, please contact her – firstname.lastname@example.org.