Independent makers are often the linchpins of any town’s creative scene. We chatted to Steph Gibbins who founded Sunnyside Originals - a papercut artwork and crafts initiative based out of her home in Ashton.
Tell us about your business /creative venture?
Sunnyside Originals was started back in 2020 as an evening distraction during lockdown, to keep my hands away from the fridge, and to occupy my mind after a hectic day of working from home with two young children in the house. Initially, I began making greeting cards using an old scalpel and a bag of postage stamps but papercutting and collage quickly became an enjoyable, therapeutic process, so I expanded more into pictures and artwork.
What do you love about Ashton and Tameside?
I've lived in Tameside for the majority of my life, more recently in Ashton for the last eight years. Ashton town centre is just a short walk from home, and with so many small, independent businesses providing great services, from hairdressing and massages, to greengrocers, butchers, cake shops and more, it's a place I try to support whenever I can. There's also some lovely nature around Tameside, including Bank Top that is tucked away and peaceful or Gorse Hall which gives me a challenging run, as well as plenty of parks to keep my little ones entertained.
How is Ashton’s heritage and culture reflected in your business or venture?
I like to take inspiration from my surroundings in my artwork, and have recently produced some pieces ahead of an exhibition at The Market Gallery later this year, which feature Hartshead Pike, Portland Basin and Wild Bank. There are some fantastic, historic buildings and monuments in and around Ashton, which I hope to incorporate into my future artwork.
What are your 3 favourite venues/ventures and services in the town…
My favourite places in Ashton have got to be The Hair Studio on Stamford Street, where my whole family go to get their hair cut; the indoor market for butchers, greengrocers, egg stall, deli counter, take away food, and range of homeware stalls; and the library which my children love to visit.
You can check out and buy Steph’s work HERE.
Portland Basin Museum
Greater Manchester Town of Culture 2022
Tameside Cultural Services
Eve Jane Deasy