A POPULAR craft centre in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside is once again offering families the chance to view a range of pieces created by local artists as well as those from further afield.

The Jinney Ring Craft Centre, near Hanbury, Droitwich, is staging its annual Sculpture Trail around the gardens and ponds at the venue.

The trail has been a feature in the centre’s calendar for about 12 years and usually exhibits more than 100 works of art.

It offers a chance for new as well as returning artists from around the country to show their work and create a dramatic exhibition using a range of different media and subject matter.

Each sculpture is placed to offer inspiration for potential buyers who are thinking about adding a sculpture to their garden. All the pieces are for sale or able to be commissioned.

Key pieces on the trial are the striking abstract structures by Simon Probyn from Herefordshire who has been awarded a gold medal this year for his garden display at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

Simon, who trained at Holme Lacey in Herefordshire, came to sculpting after 30 years in another field. He creates original abstract and figurative sculptures for the home and garden out of recycled or new heavy industrial steel.

Evesham artist Wendy Stafford, who produces giant fused glass flowers, is one of the newcomers to the centre’s sculpture trail. Although interested in art from an early age, she has only been in business for four years creating stained and fused glass works.

She is self-taught and works from a studio in the bottom of her garden in the village of Offenham near Evesham. She also teaches stained glass and fusion techniques.

Another newcomer to the Jinney Ring Sculpture Trail is Northamptonshire-based Liz Dixon who produces textured sculpture and art using recycled items together with Powertex Art Supplies fabric and textile hardener.

Liz originally trained as an engineer and is another self-taught artist. She worked in both the defence and automotive industries for 26 years before taking the leap to change career when she discovered textile sculpture in 2011.

The Jinney Ring, which originally opened in 1980, is run by Malcolm and Amanda Sunter and is home to 12 craft studios including glass blowing, textiles and woodwork. The trail is an ideal opportunity for the centre to display larger works of art than it can usually accommodate within its 200-year-old barn buildings.

Holly Burman, marketing officer at the craft centre, said the events manager Carolyn Baldwin has been masterminding the sculpture trail for the past five years or so and the exhibits are a collection of pieces that have caught her eye.

“We like to have a connection with local artists as well as those from further afield and we have a mix of new ones and some returning ones. There are certain artists customers will come back for every year.

“They are large pieces and the whole idea is that it takes people around the gardens and it inspires people to create things in their own gardens,” said Holly.

She added that the artists can usually offer delivery options for customers buying large or unusually shaped pieces.

The 2017 Sculpture Trail is open daily from 10am to 5pm from August 25 until September 30. Entry is free of charge. Refreshments are available from the Farmhouse Restaurant and further details are available at www.jinneyring.co.uk.

The trail will be launched on Friday August 25 from 10am to 12 noon and refreshments will be available in the conservatory. This will be replicated on Saturday for those unable to attend on Friday. All are welcome.