THIS year’s Salisbury Contemporary Craft event comes to Salisbury Cathedral today (September 8) and tomorrow (September 9).

It will be showcasing about 50 stalls selling the best of contemporary craft from across the South West and beyond.

Entry is free, browsing is welcome and it all happens within the Cloister surroundings.

For those wishing to get hands-on or to learn the tricks of the trade from experts, the Craftivate programme supported by Arts Council England will allow visitors to observe the techniques used by these superlative craftsmen up close, and to study their finished articles.

In the North Transept, workshops will be available for those wishing to try their hand with some exquisite craft skills alongside the experts.

Bookable online from mid-July, workshop places are limited so spaces must be reserved ahead of time.

There are also plenty of free opportunities to find out more about creating and making from working artists representing Plain Arts Salisbury, who are giving demonstrations in a marquee on behind the East Cloisters.

The cathedral’s own stonemasons will be showcasing their skills in the inaugural Contemporary Stone Challenge, in which members of the works team will be competing to create contemporary designs, trying out innovative ways of working with the stone. The Challenge takes place in the picnic area behind the Cloisters.

Other free events include a Craft Circle where visitors can watch artists in action, with demonstrations taking place between 10am–4.30pm each day.

There will also be free storytelling between 11am and noon and 1pm and 3pm beneath Queen Victoria’s cedar trees in the Cloister Garth and music out on the west lawns.

A special exhibition of the cathedral’s own contemporary treasures, including embroidered altar cloths and copes, will be open in the Trinity Chapel and specialist cathedral guides are offering Contemporary Walk-and-Talk options to Salisbury Contemporary Craft and Cathedral visitors as a one–off alternative to the floor tour.

For those thirsty for information a free Human Library will operate on both days in the Cathedral Cloisters between noon–3pm. No physical books are in this library but some experts can be hired ‘off-the-peg’ to discuss art, culture and society, contemporary craft and hobbies.

For more information go to