"Angels for me are very special", says Angela from Grange Village. "When you look at an angel it can be like when you go into a church and see the stained glass windows. It uplifts you.’ She enjoys making angels in the community’s Aurora Workshop. It’s been 25 years since workshop founder Michael made the first pair, in the shape of candleholders, for a kindergarten in Stroud. The simple design caught on. Now some 20,000 have flown from the hands of Angela and her friends into the hearts and homes of people all over the world.
Each one is special
Each angel begins with a piece of wood chosen with care for the environment. As much as possible, the team use wood from their own trees and the Forest of Dean. Lately they’ve received a good supply of recycled wood from the Crow’s Nest, a community building that’s undergoing a major renovation.
In the workshop’s machine room, the candleholders, decorations and a variety of other products take shape, ready for all the people who do the handwork.
A happy atmosphere
The finishing room is where everything gets sanded, assembled, painted and polished. Patty sings folksongs while she works and keeps a sharp eye on supplies of parts – she always shouts up when they’re running low. Janet, the resident expert on threading decorations, gets through a box of 100 in what seems like no time at all. Angela buffs a candleholder to a soft sheen with homemade beeswax polish. "I find it gives it that finishing touch,"" she says. Smooth and shining, another angel is ready to fly.