About Us

Craft Arena is a family run business, owned by Textile Artist Denise Gannon. You can find us at Barleylands Craft Village in Billericay Essex.

Denise started Craft Arena in 2007 when she was finding it difficult getting the supplies she needed for her City & Guilds Creative Embroidery course. “I wanted Craft Arena to be a one-stop shop for Textile Art and Needlework supplies, to be able to support up-and-coming and established textile artists, and to provide workshops to demonstrate the range of creative textile techniques to new starters and more experienced artists and crafters. From our customers feedback, we have achieved our initial aims and more.”

We doubled the size of Craft Arena in 2010, allowing us to extend our Textile Art Gallery and workshop area. In July 2017, we expanded again with a larger dedicated workshop area, giving us the opportunity to have even more guest tutors, and a larger Textile Art Gallery; Alchemy. We stock a large range of Brother Sewing machines and regularly hold specialist open days and workshops in association with Brother.
Alchemy is open to the public and viewing is free. If you would like to find out about exhibiting in Alchemy, please contact Denise directly or via the web email form.

About Denise

I have stitched for almost as long as I can remember and am passionate about needlework, art, craft and creative design of all kinds, especially so when I can incorporate my other interests into my work.

I get inspiration from a number of sources, but most often from literature, archaeology and history, my other main passions. I love the imagery used in ancient civilizations, particularly British, Persian, Egyptian and Greek culture and these often feature in my work. I often incorporate textural and mixed media techniques into my designs, which are usually further embellished using hand embroidery and free machine embroidery. I have a City & Guilds Diploma in Embroidery, and am a member of Basildon Embroiderers' Guild, Creative Industries Federation, Association of Creative Industries and FSB.

I am married to Ray, who you can often find helping out in the studio, and we have two daughters - Jennifer and Wendy - two granddaughters and one grandson.