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New Forest Marque: Inspired

Last week the New Forest Marque's Inspired network met for a chat and a cuppa at Furzey Gardens to discuss their upcoming plans, share insights and touch on challenges they face as freelance artists and makers.

Launched in November 2023, Inspired is 'an exciting new branch of the New Forest Marque for local artists and craftspeople who live in the New Forest district area, predominantly trade within that area, and create authentic and original arts or crafts inspired by the beauty of the New Forest - from the sea to the forest itself'.

During the session, the group gave updates on their practices, talked about upcoming plans for the New Forest Show and Hampshire Open Studios - Home, and were introduced to some gorgeous new plaques, both plastic and wooden, with the latter created for them by local luthier, Bear Wood. Made from a tree felled within the district, each plaque is individual and highlights the incredible skill of local artists and makers, both in its design and its message. Members of the group were able to get their hands on the first two (with more to be handed out soon) so that they can display one proudly wherever they go.

Kate Smith, Inspired's Membership and Events Coordinator, invited Flis Pitman from NFDC (pictured above with local artist, Shaun Stevens) along to talk to the group about all things Folio. With close links between the two networks, Kate and Flis will work together to share information and opportunities, aiming to reach as many freelance practitioners as possible from across the district.

For more information visit the Inspired website, or email Kate Smith, Inspired Membership and Events Coordinator (and artist in her own right!) at

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