Featured artist

Stella Benford


As far back as I can remember I have always had a love of painting and making things from collected bits and pieces, and as a child much preferred paints to dolls and toys.

When I was a pupil at Rockingham Road School for Girls, Kettering, I won the art prize - which encouraged me to enrol in local evening classes and take 'O' level art. This developed into life and portrait painting - which I still enjoy very much.

Later in the 1970's I enrolled again at the 'Tech' in a ceramics 'O' level course, and was fortunate enough to have Shirley Philips as my tutor. She brought out the very best in all her students and encouraged five women and me to hold a very successful exhibition of ceramics at the Alfred East Gallery, Kettering.

I was now selling my pottery at craft fairs and galleries, and when Wicksteed Park Kettering was opening an art and craft area, I applied. I was successful and spent 20 very happy years there. The public could watch me making my pots and could also have the experience of 'throwing' on the potter's wheel. The theme of my work then was fantasy dragons, castles and waterfalls etc.

On retirement from the 'park' I had a studio/workshop built at my home in Burton Latimer. Whilst I continued with my pottery and painting' I now had time to experiment with different media - such as papier maché and metalwork - and even to illustrate a children's book. Also about this time a friend introduced me to John Black's life painting sessions (pre-Shed) - which inspired me to get back to life painting again.

I now enjoy exhibiting my work in and beyond the county. This can be anything from life-sized sculptures to small detailed shanty towns, to oil and acrylic paintings.

I love the 3D aspect of collage (I know I am very diverse!) - in fact, I am always ready to try a new idea or medium. I am working every day on one project or another, so do not have a typical day. If asked what is my favourite medium, I can only say it is whatever I am working on at present.

» Visit Stella's website





Kettering Revisited


On a Wing and a Prayer


On Hill Top Haze


Stoneware Shanty




Hungry Fish


Smoky Dragon





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