Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea, Kate Lycett

The Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea exhibition starts on Saturday and today we profile our final two artists beginning with Hebdon Bridge’s Kate Lycett.

image.php-4Kate’s limited edition prints, hand embellished with gold leaf and thread, literately shine out from our walls, sparkling in the changing light, and kate’s passion for textile design is embedded into each scene, bringing warmth,  pattern and colour, to the Yorkshire coasts most iconic towns and villages.  Fabulous!



The Old School Welcomes Giles Davies

The Old School is delighted to showcase the work of Giles Davies, a new and welcome discovery for our little gallery in Swaledale. Summit-Thorpe-CloudLO  Through the medium of collage Gile’s creates images reminiscent of the fells and mountains that surround us, carefully matching the colours, textures and shapes of the scene with cuttings from colour magazines. Look from a distance and the collage blends together into a wonderful, vibrant landscape. Study more closely and you’ll find crowds of people, roads, cafes, flowers, lily ponds and tens of other abstract images, combining to create a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.Snowdon-icy-dawnLOWe think it’s wonderful, magical and quite unique stuff, and we’re sure you’ll think the same.

Richard & Polly 


Yorkshire Coast & Sea, Giles Davies

We came across Giles’s collage work just a couple of weeks ago. What a find! … And included in his portfolio of mountains, hills and coastlines was this superb image of Whitby with its wonderful colours and reflections.

Whitby, September Sun | Giles Davies

Though we’d already printed all the signs, posters and leaflets for Yorkshire Coast & Sea, we simply had to include it as it provides another unique and original perspective on our beautiful coastline.

… And we’re pleased say that a wider range of Giles’s work will feature in the gallery as we move into our second season (more to follow).

Richard & Polly


Rock Legends Exhibition, Paul Berriff

Running from 26th May to 24th June, Rock Legends by Paul Berriff

In the early 1960’s Paul Berriff OBE photographed bands and artists, during their first tours of the UK, who became some of our best loved and most iconic pop and rock stars. In the process Paul created a unique set of images, documenting perhaps the most exciting, creative and important, musical era in British history.

Adam Faith Sandi Shaw
Adam Faith & Sandy Shaw by Paul Berriff

The bands and artists Paul photographed include: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Adam Faith, Sandy Shaw and Pink Floyd, to name just a few.

EPSON scanner image
Paul McCartney by Paul Berriff

Between 26th May to 24th June the Old School Muker is extremely excited and proud to showcase Paul’s important and historic collection of images in our new Hartlake Gallery, in an exhibition timed to coincide with the Swaledale Music & Arts Festival.

Jimi Hendrix two
Jimi Hendrix by Paul Berriff

Richard & Polly 

Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea – Clare Caulfield

Artist and printmaker Clare Caulfield has travelled to, and been inspired by,  many of the world’s greatest cities: Paris, Venice, New York, Rome, Prague, Istanbul & Sydney, to name just a few, but for the first time, as part of the Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea Exhibition, Clare’s work will be showcased in perhaps the prettiest of them all, Muker in Upper Swaledale.

Robin Hoods Bay

Clare’s line drawings and drypoint prints, combining elements of chine-collie to add subtle colour, perfectly capture the hustle and bustle of Yorkshire’s coastal towns and villages: house stacked upon house; bright red tiled roofs; fishing boats drawn up on shore , folk milling about on the narrow streets whilst seagulls wheel above their heads; a snapshot in time captured in Clare’s unique, spontaneous, style.


When we saw Clare’s work we instantly fell in love. We’ve no doubt you will too.

Richard & Polly 



Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea

From Saturday 31st March to Sunday 13th May, the Old School Muker brings Yorkshire’s stunning East Coast to landlocked Upper Swaledale, featuring a wonderful array of Yorkshire artists and photographers. 

The exhibition will be the first to be held in our new Hartlake Gallery and to celebrate its opening, our first exhibition, and our newly landscaped walled garden, there will be an open evening on Saturday 7th April from 5:30pm – 8pm, with wine, music and a chance to meet some of the artists.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be profiling each of the artists involved and providing a sea drenched taste of their work. Stay tuned!

Richard & Polly 

Everest Base Camp Anniversary

It’s a year to the day since a small group of wanderers reached Everest Base Camp in Nepal. I was lucky enough to be among that group.

It simply wouldn’t be right to let the anniversary pass without posting a couple (or more) photos of the trek, so some that didn’t make the initial cut follow. With a fair wind we’ll be back on higher ground soon. In the meantime, in 2018, we hope to organise an exhibition of artwork focused on the mountains of Nepal and Tibet. Watch this space!

Urban Sprawl, Kathmandu
From Kathmandu to Lukla
Day One, Kusum Kanguru towering above
Hills at Monjo
Ama Dablam
Everest Massif
Ama Dablam
Heading to the Khumbu Glacier
On Kala Patthar, 5,643 metres, Everest & Nuptse Behind


Ama Dablam, Everest & Lhotse, Khumjung Village & Our Lodge at Tashinga
The plane home, Lukla 
Faded Elegance, Kathmandu






Avril Cairncross Raku Pottery


Introducing Avril Cairncross’s Raku Pots with Spouts and Pots with Pendants to the Old School Gallery.

Avril’s passion for Raku ware, and for the process through which the patterns are formed, are embedded in her work. In Avril’s own words:

“The pots are thrown with a porcelain body, modified to withstand the thermal shock of the raku firing, and decorated with a technique known as ‘naked raku’, so-called because a resist slip is applied to the burnished biscuit-fired surface before glazing.  After firing and reducing in sawdust the hardened glaze cracks away like slender pieces of eggshell, leaving behind a silky white surface with smokey veins and dots.  Each firing is different, and every pot unique.  Sometimes the surface patterns are disappointing, heavy, unbalanced.  So they go in the bin or are occasionally re-glazed and fired again.  But then at other times you wash off the powdery surface of the still-warm pot and something meltingly beautiful appears, as a gift.  That’s what I love.  It’s the result of a partnership between the clay, the fire, the smoke, the conditions on the day and the potter getting out of the way.”

Whitby Breakwaters, Kate Lycett


The Old School is pleased to welcome the work of Hebden Bridge artist Kate Lycett into the gallery with this wonderful framed print of Whitby, embellished in gold leaf and embroidery, stretching our portfolio right across North Yorkshire to Yorkshire’s coastline.

Title: Whitby Breakwaters

Medium: Framed Embellished Limited Edition Print of 150.

Size: W80 x H64 cm (approx.) framed

Price: £396

Kate’s distinctive style, based on her background in textile design, brings a fresh and original take on some of Yorkshire’s most iconic locations, whether it’s Whitby, Castle Howard’s Temple of the Four Winds, or Robin Hoods Bay.

Please don’t hesitate to call in to see the full range of Kate’s prints we have in the gallery. Wait too long and they’ll be gone!


New life, New Site

Garden Map

My photoblog will soon transition into the website for the Old School Muker – some of you might already spotted it’s recently become a test bed. All the old blog posts will remain for while. And I’ll continue to blog about cameras and photographs, as well as the comings and goings at the Old School, but the focus will become the Old School Gallery & Craftshop.

Thanks for visiting the site over the past few years, and I hope you’ll continue to do so.

All the best


Sigma SD Quatto H – First Shots

I’ve only had literally 20 minutes shooting with the Sigma SD Quattro H (paired with a Sigma 18-35mm DC) but couldn’t resist pushing out these shots. I was blown away when I first processed images from a Sigma Merrill … and I pretty much have the same feeling processing these. Can’t wait to get out and really put the camera through its paces.

Occupation Lane, Muker | Sigma SD Quattro H
Purple | Sigma SD Quattro H
Slate Roof | Sigma SD Quattro H

Post- processed using SPP and Lightroom.


Conversations at the Old School – Sigma Foveon Cameras

A wonderful thing about working in the Old School Gallery is the many conversations we have with the folks who visit; whether it’s the American lady who suddenly recited three Robert Frost poems, or the ex RAF Nimrod pilot who told me tales of flying over the North Atlantic, or the Chinese film maker recently returned from Tibet. We learn so much in these conversations and hopefully give a little back on the subject of art, crafts and photography.

Ivelet Bridge, Swaledale | Sigma DP0 Quattro

A recurring conversation concerns Sigma’s “secret” cameras with their magic Foveon sensors. The trigger is the overheard debate between customers, discussing whether an image is a photograph or painting. It quickly moves on to the vibrant colours and immense detail, even in the far distance … and that brings us to the technical bit about Bayer sensors and Foveon sensors, micro-contrast, photons and wavelengths.

Muker Meadows Sea | Sigma DP0 Quattro

If the technical bit doesn’t kill the customer off they invariably buy the print! … And one camera club member liked the print so much he returned to say he’d bought the camera!

Muker Meadows, Swaledale | Sigma DP0 Quattro

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the top selling photographs in the gallery are taken by the Sigma DP0 Quattro. It offers something different from Bayer sensored cameras that the buying public seem to be instinctively drawn to, unbiased and unburdened by any technical knowledge or heavyweight marketing budgets. And as a photographer it provides me with a distinctive, unique, tool with which to capture the stunning scenery that surrounds our tiny village in upper Swaledale.









Making Tracks in the Dales

So many tracks, which to follow?

Above Askrigg, Wensleydale | Sony RX1rII
Above Askrigg, Wensleydale | Sony RX1rII
Pennine Way, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII
Occupation Lane, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII


Occupation Lane, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII
Occupation Lane, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII
Track to Muker, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII