• Handmade Interact – spring programme of virtual craft events announced

    On: April 23, 2020
    In: Events, Latest News, Online Shop
    Views: 1459

    We are excited to announce Handmade Interact; a series of live demonstrations and talks featuring selected craftspeople. The online events are FREE to attend – but places are limited, so register now.

    The pandemic we are facing has created multi-dimensional challenges and risks for many people. Amongst the many who are impacted are small creative businesses in the craft sector. Handmade Interact is an initiative to further strengthen our partnerships with craft communities and connect audiences with makers.

    World of dioramas, books and ephemera with Alison Stockmarr
    Wednesday 29 April, 4pm

    With an ethos of storytelling and repurposing, Alison Stockmarr turns original books, records and found ephemera into beautifully collaged pieces. The original work is photographed and A2 limited edition and signed giclée prints are available to buy.Join Alison on a tour of her studio as she reveals all about the inspiration and processes behind her work and demonstrates some techniques for you to try at home. Followed by a Q&A.Register now

    Patinating bronze sculptures – demonstration by Pomarius’ Alice Andrea Ewing
    Wednesday 6 May, 4pm

    Pomarius collections are botanical, bronze casts of the produce of gardens, historical locations and ancient trees in the UK. The project is led by artist Alice Andrea Ewing, with every specimen collected, cast and finished by the artist at her Suffolk studio and foundry.In this virtual event, Alice will be patinating and finishing some pomarious works, followed by a Q&A.Register now

    Linocut printmaking demonstration with Sarah Cemmick
    Wednesday 13 May, 4pm

    Cumbria-based maker Sarah Cemmick specialises in wildlife printmaking and linocuts, taking inspiration by the hares, songbirds and abundant furry creatures she sees in and around the surrounding fells.

    In this virtual event, Sarah will offer a printing demonstration using one of her lino blocks, followed by a Q&A.

    Register now

    Find out more at interact.handmadeinbritain.co.uk

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  • Q&A with Handmade Oxford exhibitor Studio Wolle

    On: April 3, 2020
    In: Design stories, Events
    Views: 1170

    Ahead of Handmade Oxford (17 – 20 September) we caught up with Lara at Studio Wolle, to find out how she has adapted to the new everyday.

    How have you been adapting to the new everyday?

    It’s been a bit of a stressful time if I’m honest, as I can imagine it has been for everyone in this situation we find ourselves in. As I damaged a tendon in my elbow at the start of lockdown I have had to find different things to do while I rest and heal. I honestly miss weaving, it’s a massive stress reliever for me so it’s been challenging to be without that for a while.  Not being able to weave has started to affect my own mental health and it made me think about how the loss of our normal daily lives may be affecting other’s mental well-being.

    In terms of adapting, my main thoughts were about how I could find something to offer people that would help pass this isolation period with a bit more comfort in their lives. Due to the nature of my products, they often carry a higher price tag than people want to spend in this current time. So, I started thinking about small items which promote productivity while still allowing me to be creative and make a little bit of cash to help keep my business going.

    It’s been important for me to be able to stay productive but also potentially help other people who are also struggling mentally in this time. I have found painting has been a great temporary replacement for weaving, it’s been therapeutic and allowed me to switch off my brain at times. It’s also easy on my elbow so that’s another bonus!

    I have been hand-painting some small notebooks which I plan to sell soon for a few pounds, I’m hoping people will be interested in them as a encouragement for them to draw, write, and generally be productive. I am using one of my painted notebooks at the moment to write down ideas for weaving patterns that I want to try out once I can weave again and doing that has helped me stay more positive.

    What does your working day look like at the moment?

    My working day varies a bit, as I work for NHS 111 my time is split between those shifts, mentally regenerating after those shifts and then my business work. On most weekdays I spend my morning catching up on emails and other assorted admin tasks that I have more time for now that things aren’t so busy. From about mid-morning I am usually in the studio where I can immerse myself with being creative for a while, my cat Marley will often come and sit in the studio with me and sleep, but his silent presence is nice all the same. In the evening I will usually head to work at 111 at about 4.30pm and then I will be there taking calls till around 12pm.

    At the weekends I work solely at 111 from 8am till either 2pm or 4pm, so my afternoons when I get home I usually leave aside for self-care and personal time otherwise I think I would burn out.

    Working with your online customers and suppliers, have there been any challenges?

    I will be honest, online sales have pretty much dried up currently, so that has been challenging in itself as panic does set in a little bit sometimes. Thinking about ways to market in a tasteful and conscious way during this time has been something which I have had to put a lot of thought into.

    In general, all my current suppliers that I use are all still operating fairly normally so I haven’t thankfully run into any hiccups yet! I think as long as the postal service is still running things can carry on moving forward which is reassuring at least.

    What joy does creating bring at the moment?

    As someone who can often get trapped inside my own head, being creative is my main outlet. Being able to find freedom through creating during this time of restriction has been ever so important for me.

    Due to my work at NHS 111 I do find it hard to switch off, over the past few months the demand on the service has risen and risen, as soon as I start a shift I am answering calls non-stop. Everyone around me at work is under so much pressure and stress and whilst it is a very rewarding job it has become very mentally and physically draining. It is easy to feel surrounded, at work at 111 it’s a fairly constant stream of peoples concerns about covid-19, then the news and social media is swamped by further information and opinions.

    So, for me being creative in my downtime offers me that time for relaxation and to escape from everything. To me this is so valuable as otherwise I think I would feel overwhelmed most of the time.

    The sense of community and support that is within the handmade craft world at the moment is amazing, being able to create seems to be ever so important for everyone. It’s truly wonderful and inspiring to see the support between makers, customers and just communities in general at this time.

    As a team we have seen you give time to 111 – what positive comments have your audience given you to keep going?

    I have only recently started speaking about my work for 111 in relation to my craft so it’s a fairly unknown aspect for many of my followers. I think the current situation has encouraged me to speak about it more and how that work informs my practice.

    When speaking to people about it recently, many are sympathetic as you can imagine. A lot of people tell me to take time to relax and switch off, to make sure I eat well and take time for myself.

    Being able to help people when they call 111 is rewarding in itself, but I appreciate it so much when someone will tell me that my creative work has helped them feel a little joy. Being able to help people in anyway is what keeps me going and trying.

    How are you thinking of using this time to prepare for Handmade Oxford in September?

    Well, in some ways I am thankful as I have some extra time to heal and be careful with my elbow! But mainly it’s a good excuse to further develop ideas and to produce a better body of work. It’s given me more time to go over past work and development samples. With the extra time I am thinking about how I can diversify my product range to offer more than just cushions. Nothing too drastic but a little more variety never hurts!

    Currently I am using this time to teach myself to use Illustrator better, so I can create some digital designs to potentially be printed on woven fabric, either as bag lining, bag covers, table linen etc.

    I am working on my business presence and marketing strategy a lot more now so hopefully by the time the show happens there will be a little bubble of interest.

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  • Q&A with Handmade Oxford exhibitor A Heart of Glass

    On: April 1, 2020
    In: Events
    Views: 1265

    It’s important throughout these uncertain times, to keep communicating, continue making and sharing stories. We caught up with Handmade Oxford exhibitor, Jo Mullins of A Heart of Glass to find out how she has adapted to the new everyday. 

    As a team, how have you been adapting to the new everyday?

    I’m not going to lie…it’s been a challenge! As Nick and I run a mobile gallery, we are used to being on the go all the time and love travelling round the country with our glass. So the cancellation and postponement of our shows has certainly meant being more ‘creative’ with how we show the work to a wider audience.

    What does your working day look like at the moment?

    After a sneaky lay-in, I spend a few hours a day on social media, sharing images of our pieces and more detailed information about the brilliant artists behind them. Although we are unable to trade face to face right now, we do have an online gallery and we’re continuing to receive orders and send items out where we can. Just last week, we sent a piece to America and it was wonderful to receive a photo of it in its new home.

    We are also blessed with lots of wonderful countryside round where we live in Norfolk so we’re getting plenty of exercise!

    Working with your online customers and suppliers, have there been any challenges?

    Sadly, this virus knows no borders and our glass artists in the Czech Republic have also been affected. To this end, production has suspended for the foreseeable and the glassworks has had to close. We have an order outstanding for over 50 new pieces which they will continue to work on once it’s safe to do so.

    We did however receive an order from America just yesterday with 8 outstanding new pieces so I have been busy photographing and sharing details with our collectors.

    What does it feel like when the gallery makes a sale for one of your artists at the moment?

    To be honest, it’s always a great feeling but particularly at the moment given how uncertain things are. Most of our artists are self employed and are unable to work as it’s not ‘essential work’ as such. So to receive the news of a sale and positive feedback is an amazing way to lift the spirits and encouragement for them to keep doing what they do.

    As a team we have seen you continue to focus on on your represent artists and future events – what positive comments have your audience given you to keep going?

    We are very grateful that our customers are so loyal and we get a real sense that once restrictions are lifted (and its safe to do so), they will be out in force to support the fairs. Although social media interaction is plugging a bit of the gap right now, it doesn’t replace the personal touch you get face to face. Shows like Handmade Oxford provide the perfect opportunity to see hundreds of amazing pieces all in one place. You can meet the galleries and artists, handle the work and hopefully take home a wonderful piece to enjoy for years to come.

    How are you thinking of using this time to prepare for Handmade Oxford in September?

    We’re very excited to be returning to Handmade Oxford and as mentioned, will have lots of lovey new work to share at the show. We had very positive reaction to our artists work last year and this years selection will be even better.

    Image: Geode Purple by Fay Miller (A Heart of Glass)

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  • Handmade Oxford moves to 17 – 20 September 2020

    On: March 26, 2020
    In: Events
    Views: 1112

    In light of the current situation and putting the health, safety and wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors, partners and team first, we have decided to move the dates of Handmade Oxford – The International Contemporary Arts Festival. The Festival will now take place from Thursday 17 – Sunday 20 September 2020.

    Ticket holders have been contacted by See Tickets and will receive new e-tickets within 7 – 14 days. For any further questions, feel free to get in touch.

    September is a wonderful time of year and will present an opportunity for a much-needed day out after what will continue to be an uncertain spring and summer.

    We hope that you, your family and friends are well and we look forward to welcoming you to Waterperry Gardens in September.

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  • SNEAK PEAK | Handmade Oxford 2018

    On: April 8, 2018
    In: Events
    Views: 2122

    Over the past few months we have been working really hard here at Handmade in Britain, and as the spring approaches we are getting more and more excited about our brand new show; Handmade Oxford

    We have some really amazing creators exhibiting at this show, who have handpicked and tailored their work for the S/S 18 top trends. They shall be showing at Handmade Oxford from 18 – 20 May 2018. Here’s a teaser into what you can expect…

    Stand out from the crowd with this statement necklace by Ulli Kaiser, or be the hostess with the mostess with Aline Johnson’s glassware.

    This S/S 18 is also about embracing those softer hues of coral and aqua, as can be seen in Piccolpasso’s stunning tiles. Use the whole range on your walls for a total make over, or just a couple as statement pieces.

    Make any outfit iconic with Helen Chatterton location scarves. The detail and quality of silk is second to none, and are a must have for this season.

    To view these artist’s work, and so many other talented makers visit our website to get your tickets for the exquisite Handmade Oxford.

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  • ARTS THREAD | Emerging maker opportunity

    On: February 21, 2018
    In: Events
    Views: 15222

    Here at Handmade in Britain we are always looking for new talent to work alongside our team, which is why we have teamed up with Arts Thread to bring an exciting opportunity to recent graduates and start up makers. This partnership is giving Emerging Talents the chance to exhibit at TWO shows; Handmade Oxford, and Handmade Edinburgh.

    By working in partnership with Arts Thread we are able to offer promotion to all makers before, during and after the show. This opportunity is not one to be missed, and it is really simple to apply.

    If you are interested in exhibiting your work with one of the leading companies in curating craft events then click here for our Oxford show and here for our Edinburgh show.

    We can’t wait to have you on board!

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  • Opening Night of Handmade at Kew

    On: October 19, 2017
    In: Events
    Views: 1601

    Another successful night at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew! We began our third year of Handmade at Kew show with a VIP Private View launch event in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Each and every exhibitor was prepared for what was to come during the evening.

    There were about 200 exhibitors this year, with disciplines including jewellery, glass, furniture, ceramics, textiles and so much more. Every stand was unique and stood out in its own way for visitors to enjoy. The tickets included the whole of Gardens as well as access to Handmade at Kew.

    Yet again, Wild Island Botanic Gin and Fentimans came through with their delectable combination of gin & tonic or gin & rose lemonade, starting the evening refreshed and ready to start the show.

    Throughout the night, guests browsed the stands on offer, chatting to exhibitors and purchasing beautiful handmade products.

    Thank you to Farrow & Ball for their extraordinary botanical wallpaper, with intricate and colourful designs to brighten your day everyday.

    All night we heard wonderful comments about the show and the handcrafted designs and decors. Everyone made sure to check out every stand to take notice of everything and even purchase the pieces they loved the most.

    If you missed Handmade at Kew, make sure to check out Handmade at Edinburgh (27 – 29 October) or even Handmade in Britain at Chelsea Old Town Hall (10 – 12 November).

    Photographs by Tatiana Gorilovsky and Nicola Jell

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  • Opening Night of Sculpt at Kew

    On: September 26, 2017
    In: Events
    Views: 1053

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the most exotic gardens to hold the greatest collections of plants from around the world. Being able to present and sell our sculptures, which are created by many different artists, is a remarkable opportunity.

    We launched Sculpt at Kew with a private viewing of the exhibition. During the night, the guests were served complimentary Gin and Tonic by our wonderful sponsors Wild Island Botanic Gin and Fentimans. The drink was heavenly and helped start off a perfect evening.

    Incredible artists like Guy Portelli, Jilly Sutton, Marcia Raff, Andy Young and many more attended the opening night with their friends and families to view their own and other artist’s sculptures. During the evening, artists interacted with each other and with us to gain a wider perspective on each piece of art. Getting to know the background of the sculptures, gives you a better understanding of the meaning behind the work.

    As the artists, press and VIP guests had a tour around the gardens, a beautiful sunset arose behind the sculptures, showing them in a whole new light. Each sculpture captured the orange-red light in its own unique way, giving the guests a whole new reason to admire the work.

    We were delighted by the exceptional feedback from the guests during the evening. Many loved the setting of each sculpture around the gardens, as the incredible art blended with nature making the pieces look more natural and stunning.

    So, if you have the time this year until the 15th of October 2017, come along to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and view Sculpt at Kew, both indoors and outdoors. Why not even bring along your friends and family and make it a day trip to the Gardens. It’s a show worthy of being at the top of your to do list.

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