• Hand Sewn Bird workshop 18th January

    I’m delighted to say that I will be running a hand sewn bird making workshop on 18th January from 7pm to 10pm in the beautiful St Mary’s Church in Bottesford, Leicestershire. It’s available for the special price of £7 including all materials because it is organised by Creative Space, a voluntary run group aimed at offering opportunities to explore creatively in many art forms in an informal and fun way.  I’m proud to say I am part of the committee for the group who are also responsible for co-ordinating and curating the Belvoir Art Trail in May. So much to look forward to.

    If you would like more info or to take part in the workshop use the message form to email me or use the messenger facility on Facebook via my page www.facebook.com/pollywhistle

    More workshops to follow soon. Happy New Year!!!

  • Build your own (BBC) Victorian Puppet Theatre

    Looking for a little old fashioned activity for the Christmas hols? Well here is a great share from the BBC, full instructions and printables for making your own Victorian Puppet Theatre.

    I discovered it whilst researching construction methods to design the Wincle Sisters Concert Hall at the Bottom of the Garden (part of the Laid to Rest Project).

    Check it out HERE! In fact check out all 25 activites and learn about the history of Christmas. Have fun.

  • Constance Thimbleton a new Commission

    I was recently approached with regards to Angelic Frankle to see if she was for sale. As the central character in the on-going Laid to Rest project (a dedicated website and podcast for which will be launched in the new year!), I explained that she was not for sale. However, I could create “sister” characters complete with their own stories.

    With a little further correspondence from the client, I was sent some beautiful pictures and insight into a favourite grandmother, a seamstress no less.

    And so Constance Thimbleton was born, a dear friend of said grandmother during their time working together in their youth, all invented of course but perfectly ‘plausible’. Connie’s story unfolds in the form of a letter to Angelica Frankle from her “dear friend and favourite old soul” Betrum.

    The full tale and images will be available on the new website. Join my mailing list to be kept updated. and do contact me if you wish to discuss a commission of your own.

  • Arthur and Mary’s trip to Leicester

    Wednesday 17th October see the opening of an exhibition at Bishop Street Methodist Church in Leicester. The exhibition will be varied and unusual because each piece has been made from a part of the old pipe organ. 

    Earlier this year there was an open invitation for artists to deposit £10 in exchange for a pipe or circuit boar, which they could take away and keep or make something with. Work could but did not have to relate to the title of the exhibition Venite’. Although many of the pieces will no doubt be prophetic in nature or based around the makers spiritual belief this was not a requirement either. 

    And so Arthur and Mary Crumphorn were born or should I say deceased? Chapter one in the ‘Laid to Rest’ project the piece reflects the vital role pipe organs played in the couple’s tragically ordinary love story. 

    The work comes with a memory-zine to take away and the full obituary as written by Angelica Frankle in her unpublished manuscript ‘The Artful Obituary’. Later this month I will post up a little video flick through the book of memories and treasure’s that Mary kept and a copy of the said obituary on the ‘Laid to Rest’ page. For now you will have to make do with a couple of little pictures and planning a trip to Bishop Street Methodist Church.  


  • All a flutter for Angels

    New Angels are going up in the shop on a regular basis (well the ones that aren’t sold before they can even get there of course).

    AND I have velvet!!! So there will be a whole range of sumptuous little winged characters arriving for your delight towards the end of the month. 

  • Just a few shots

    (and not of the tequila kind).

    Thought I would share a couple of pics of the Laid to Rest project as it is not live (if you pardon the pun).

    View this post on Instagram

    The Wincle Sisters looking most serene. #LTRartdolls #wip

    A post shared by Jane (@pollywhistle) on

  • The day I ran away to join the (Marvelous Mechanical) circus

    Well not quite a circus although there was plenty of circus type action too. No, I actually went to Compton Verney and to see the permanent British Folk Art exhibition and the Marvelous Mechanical Museum display.  (MMM)

    In such a beautiful setting, it’s a must for British Folk Art fanciers like myself. I even got to see a pieces by a few of my heros: Elizabeth Allen; George Smart and in the MMM display Paul Spooner and Sam Smith .

    It was an enlightening day out partly because I had been so desperate to go for so long and partly because of what wasn’t there are as much as what was. I can say I will be going again but I can’t say it is the folk art mecca I had hope it might be. Perhaps that is a good thing.

    Elizabeth Allen Population Explosion

  • Presenting Angelica Frankle

    Social butterfly Angelica Frankle has died aged 38 as a result of accidental hanging due to a spider bite. Her full obituary including details of why she was so interested in stranger’s funerals can be found at www.pollywhistle.com/laidtorest #LTRartdolls #pollywhistle #artdoll #mixedmedia #textileart #contemporaryfolkart

  • Laid to Rest: A Memoriam of Art Dolls

    Presenting a new body of work by PollyWhistle based around the contents of a recently discovered draft manuscript entitled ‘Laid to Rest – The Artful Obituary’ by social butterfly Angelica Frankle. 
    Starting with the sweet yet bawdy “Wincle Sisters” and the tragic yet ordinary love story of “Arthur and Mary Crumphorn” presented at two separate exhibitions in October 2018, Laid to Rest is a long term project with thirteen and a half chapters. Click here for more info and see Events page for dates and venues details.
    “It’s like finding a chest in the attic and pulling out the beautiful frocks, photos and letters that peppered a person’s life without ever meeting them!” Angelica Frankle