A COLLAGE of worktops, shelving, tables and chairs has been collected to help a new community art studio get up and running.

York mum and local artist Nicola Stead is launching The Creative Studio next month – and reached out to the people of York to help fit out the workshop on a shoestring.

Nicola, 35, mum to four-year-old Mia, has ploughed £11,000 into opening the new art studio at Audax Close, Clifton Moor, to pay for kilns, equipment and tools as well as signage, advertising and marketing – but turned to the wider community to find furniture and fittings.

She used Freecycle – the online recycling network where people offer unwanted goods for free with the aim of keeping them out of landfill.

She said: "I have been collecting stuff for the past three months. My daughter and I have been on a mission all over York to collect items. One third of it is in my garden, the rest is in two garages."

More than 30 different people have donated goods including kitchen cupboards and worktops, chairs, coffee tables, bar stools - and even a pot for melting wax.

Among the more unusual items is a scoop from the former Badger Hill Bakery, which closed down after almost 40 years in business. "It was used for scooping sausage-meat, and is said to have helped make three million sausage rolls!" says Nicola.

Nicola is using it all to fit out the studio space, which will offer art classes to adults, teens and children.

"My whole ethos for the studio space is to use materials which otherwise would have been thrown away. Not only that, it has helped me to budget, because I am a single mum with limited resources."

One of the first workshops, starting on June 20, will be an eight-week ceramics course for beginners, teaching them how to make a simple coil pot as well as glazing, slip casting and adding texture to the clay.

There will be other courses too on enamelling, using mixed media and upcycling jewellery. Other local artists besides Nicola will run the workshops and courses. The studio can also be hired for creative parties.

The studio space will also be open to artists, who can hire it for a fee when it is not being used for workshops.

Nicola said: "The studio space will also give opportunity for individual designers and makers who wish to use the facilities to create their own work. We will have a potter's wheel and kiln, plus much more equipment and tools for artists, along with storage for them to keep their work. In addition, we will be providing 3D materials to buy at low prices. We will also have space for local designers and makers to sell their artwork on low commission rates."

Nicola is an artist and art tutor, who specialises in sculpture and 3D art, with a background in special effects. She is a part-time tutor at York College, currently working on media make-up special effects.

She said there are lots of benefits from getting arty. "It is a great way for people to express themselves. Also the feeling of achievement is so vital to human beings. We all want to have that feeling of self worth and art can give you that."

To find out more about The Creative Studio, and book for courses, visit its Facebook page @TheCreativeStudioYork and sign up for the newsletter via its website: thecreativestudioyork.co.uk