Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Wow!! What a day!

What an amazing day!!

Handm@de Winchester was a great success, a huge thank you to everyone who took part and all of you who visited and spent their hard earnt pounds and pennies :)

The sun was shining, and by late morning Winchester was heaving, and we had over 1000 people visit Handm@de, this was a steady stream of people throughout the day, and the Goody Bags went quite quickly!

All the stalls looked great, and we are certainly looking to run it again next year!

Please go to the Flickr group to see more of the photos!

Thanks again if you visited, you helped create a fantastic atmosphere :)

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Meet the Maker - Monda

Just over a day to go!! So the last few Meet the Makers today, firstly Monda !!

What got you into crafting?

If I really think about it - it was probably my CDT (craft, design and technology) teacher in secondary school. He was great, and very encouraging - not many teachers had a profound effect on me, but he did. I think he saw the potential in me and nurtured it. I've also got creative parents - my dad is a writer and photographer, and my mum can turn her hand to pretty much anything: crochet, embroidery, knitting, quilting, upholstery - you name a craft, she can do it.
At University I went on to do a degree in Design Crafts - a combination of ceramics, printed textiles and multi-media textiles (and specialised in the latter two disciplines).

What is the best thing about making your softies and mixed media pieces?

One of the things I like best about making my softies, accessories and cards is that I have complete free reign over the creative process and decision making. I don't have this same level of freedom in my day job (not a creative discipline) where 'collaboration' is the buzz word of the moment. Sometimes you just want to do it the way you want to do it without having to involve the world and his brother! Also, because I create in my own time, I think it's generally quite a good stress reliever and a complete contrast from my day job which an be quite mentally and emotionally demanding at times.
Creating makes me happy - I like to produce nice things which I think people will also get pleasure from.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on ?

The handm@de stuff I have my eye on is, well everything! I'll be like a kid in a sweet shop. I'm getting married next year so I'm eager to see what Hatastic has to offer - perhaps some nice wedding headgear for me!. Also, I'd like some more of Kate's (Paperleaf) cards - her printed designs on recycled paper and card are lovely.
I met some fab people at handm@de Oxford last year, so it will be nice to say 'hi' again and see what they've been working on since the last time we met.

Lots of stuff to do, but back later with another!!!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Meet the Maker - Quercus Silver

For todays Meet the Maker, an old hand at Handm@de, well this is the third one! Please welcome Su, also known as Quercus Silver!

What got you into crafting?

From the moment I stepped into the jewellery workshop at my local college and started twisting metal I was in love with silversmithing. Along the way I became fascinated with using colour, too and began working with more unusual materials such as fabric, acrylics and a whole rainbow of resin. I like bold geometric shapes and blocks of colour framed in sterling silver. And the resin is so light I can make lovely chunky forms.

What is the best thing about making jewellery

I confess I always wanted to be a jeweller and it certainly doesn't feel like a proper job. I have a workshop in my garden here in Bath and it's full of bits and pieces, shells and pictures and my much loved tools. It's a real haven.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

I'm looking forward to the handm@de sale. I've been at all of them so far and they have a very special friendly atmosphere.. You can't beat a room full of like-minded people sharing their craft and their knowledge and I shall certainly be shopping, too.

A couple of sellers I've spotted who are new to me including Carole King, I collect prints so I shall be heading for her stall and who could resist Nonsuch and Meninafeliz's gorgeous little frame purses?

Thanks Su, I think the one thing I have discovered through Handm@de is the huge range, and how you think that jewellery is just one thing, when it actually is huge!! Another one tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Meet the Maker - Meninafeliz

Not long now!!!

Squeezing in some more Meet the Makers, and here's the next - Meninafeliz, I'll let their answers explain everything!

What got you into crafting?

Anne-Marie and I (Bebe) actually met through a mother & toddler group and - with both of us coming from creative backgrounds - discovered a mutual desire to set up our own little business that would enable us to continue to be creative but look after our children at the same time. We launched in 2005 with the name 'Meninafeliz' which is Spanish/Portugeuse for 'happy girl' and also combines our two eldest children's names: Nina & Felix. I should probably point out that neither of us are Portuguese or Spanish. She's Dutch and I'm Scottish but the name fits well!
We make accessories - jewellery & textiles - in an eclectic mix of cloth, colour, buttons and beads, embroidery, knit, crochet, layering and felting. We're also great recyclers so use vintage and reclaimed fabrics wherever possible.

What's the best thing about crafting?

Making something out of nothing - designing and making a piece from start to finish and then someone loves it so much they actually want to pay you for it! Or when you walk down the street and a passer-by is wearing something that you made! That's a nice feeling.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

We're both really looking forward to the fair and meeting all the amazing designers there and especially fellow Etsy sellers. There's such an incredibly high standard and array that it would be difficult to name anybody in particular! I think that Anne-Marie and I will be fitting in some very early Christmas shopping....

Another one on Thursday!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Meet the Maker - Daisychain Designs

A week, only a week to go, and more Meet the Makers to squeeze in :)

Now it is the turn of Jo Tinley also know as Daisychain Designs !

What got me into crafting?

I’m really lucky that I come from a family where crafts were always valued and I was encouraged to knit, crochet, embroider, glass paint and lots of other crafts from an early age. I’ve still got a couple of pieces of (very simple!) jewellery that I made when I was about 11, and although I still do lots of other crafts, working with silver is definitely my passion.
It wasn’t until my little boy was born and I left full-time teaching that I turned a lucrative hobby into a business. I now work from home in a fully kitted out shed in the back garden where I can solder, cut and hammer silver to my hearts content and I love it!
It’s great being able to work my business around my family. I love passing on the jewellery making addiction too – I offer one-to-one private silversmithing tuition, teach workshops to small groups at home and teach City and Guilds Jewellery Making for Eastleigh College.

What’s the best thing about making your jewellery?

That I never stop learning and I can get inspiration from so many things around me – a pattern glimpsed on a piece of material may inspire the creation of a pendant by the following week. A fellow silversmith in the same craft guild as I belong to (Wessex Guild of Craftsmen) taught silversmithing for several decades, and told me that no matter how long I develop my skills there will always be something new to learn, and I really enjoy that challenge.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Where do I start?! I’m definitely going to have to ask a friend to come and help me on the day so that I can have a good browse and buy!
I’m really looking forward to see Quercus Silver's resin work as I love her use of colour. Then there’s Raspberry's beautiful bags (you can never have too many bags or too much jewellery as far as I’m concerned), 23 Beech Hill's gorgeous textiles, and Penny Spooner's cool ceramics – please, everyone, buy my jewellery so that I can spend the money on the other stalls!
I do at least half a dozen craft shows a year, but Winchester Handm@de is definitely the one I’m most excited about as it seems so fresh and there will definitely not be any mass produced products!

Some great selections there from Jo, and also very true about Handm@de, no re-selling, all made by the person behind the table! Lots more Meet the Makers this week, keep your eyes peeled for them!!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Meet the Maker - Carole King

10 days to go, I can hardly believe it!!! Time to fit at least another three or even four Meet the Makers in! So here is tonight's, it's Carole King, a very talented artist, and creator of lovely books.

What got you into making and creating?

Both my parents have always made things - marionettes, steam engines, clothes, working models, toys so it has rubbed off on their children- we all make things too.
I was introduced to various forms of printmaking when I trained as a teacher and have loved getting inky fingers ever since- there is always something slightly unpredictable about the results, which makes the whole process fascinating.
The books and cards came as an extension of the printing process- there are always so many test prints and experiments that are just asking to be used up in some way. Our annual Christmas card is becoming a collectors item.

What is the the best thing about making books?

The first books I made were sketchbooks for my own use: the manufacturers ones were never seemed quite the right shape or size and so I started making my own. Now I make books for all sorts of purposes; sketchbooks of different sizes and shapes-from pocket upwards, and notebooks: from tiny purse sized minibooks to special ones with pockets for keeping special letters or momentos. All are either completely hand stitched and bound or just covered with my own hand printed papers.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

I am looking forward to seeing fiveinthemorning's prints and Paperleaf always have interesting and quirky images for their cards however its always the unexpected that I like to find at craft fairs and of course the interesting people that you meet!

Thanks so much Carole, it is always great to be able to feature sellers create slightly different pieces, and something that you yourself can be creative with : )

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Meet the Maker - Corryvreckan

It's official Handm@de Winchester is full and raring to go! The last tables have been paid for, the postcards are out and about, so Hi if you have picked one up and found yourself here!

Still have some Meet the Makers to fit in before the big day, so please find out about Rachel Simpson, better know as Corryvreckan!

What got you into crafting?

I have always done some sort of craft, my mum taught me sewing and knitting but I preferred spending time hammering stuff at my dad's workbench. I always loved crafts at school and had a progressive junior school where if you worked hard and completed all tasks early you could go and spend the rest of the day in the pottery corner with the clay! I started a jewellery course at Whitehouse Arts in Cambridge about 5 years ago after wanting something a bit more long term as a hobby than the watercolour work I had been doing. With great tutors and facilities it all snowballed from there and I haven't looked back since. There's just so much to learn with metalworking that I think I've found my lifetime hobby. For example, I've recently taught myself pearl stringing and that's led on to me working on designs for new silver clasp endings for strung pearls as I'm not keen on the commercially available ones.

What is the best thing about making jewellery?

My work is heavily inspired by the seaside and I enjoy developing a design based on memories of the Norfolk coast. I remember textures and movement of light from spending along time living, walking and cycling around there. I work hard trying to recreate image into precious metals and then into a final piece. I make pieces that I like but the bonus pleasure is when someone also loves your work and gets pleasure from wearing it.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Quercus Silver, particularly the hewn bracelets. Also Hodge Podge Arts, her work is so diverse and creative. I have a large mouse button from Handmade Cambridge that will be sewn onto a cardigan my sister knitted for me.

Thanks Rachel, so much lovely stuff, and so much more to see at the Guildhall on 5th July!

Watch out for those postcards and posters in you live or work in Winchester, another Meet the Maker this week : )

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Meet the Maker - 23 Beech Hill

Back again with another Meet the Maker after the postcard adventure, and hello if you are coming her for the first time after picking up one of the cards :) Please have a look around and visits our artists!

So this time on Meet the Maker it is time to say a big hello to 23 Beech Hill, also known as Laurie Redman!

What got you into crafting?

I can't remember a time that I wasn't being creative. I think my first memory of being creative was when I was about 6 years old. I would pull out the books from my parents bookcase that had a blank page at the beginning or end. Drawing paper must have been short ! Hey, I was just expressing my early creative flair. That's what I tell my parents now when they remind me of it. Still, better than drawing on the walls I suppose.
I always drew horses. Prancing horses, rearing horses, standing horses. Always horses. And my passion for horses has always remained.

At school, I achieved a grade 'A' in 'O' Level Art and also studied 'A' level Art and History of Art. Unfortunately the pull of working with animals was too great for me and I left my studies to become a Veterinary Nurse before taking my final exams. I did however pass my mock 'A' level exam with a grade 'A' before leaving.

I continued to dabble in watercolour painting and painted animal portraits for friends and family. However, my career took a different path and I never seemed to find the time to paint. This drought went on for many years. I got married and had my beautiful daughter, Tilly. When she was three years old I decided that I needed to plan for the day that she started full time school. I'd been a full time mum and I didn't want to be left at home missing my little girl.
So, one day I bought a sewing machine. Friends and family thought it was hilarious - I'd been asked to leave needlework at school ! Hopefully my work speaks for itself now.
If only that Needlework teacher could see me now ...

What is the best thing about creating your textile items?

I find it incredibly satisfying when a textile piece comes together after starting life as a doodle. I love colours, I love mixing the 'not so obvious' together. I love experimenting. I love the time that I have in my sunny little studio listening to the radio. I love to work whilst Tilly is being creative at her little table in my studio too. I love my Springer Spaniel, Archie, snoring underneath my sewing table. I love to hear people say 'Ooh, that's lovely'. I love the satisfaction that comes with making an appreciated , quality BRITISH handmade item.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Funky Mutts. Having a dog myself I can't wait to see their range of gorgeous goodies.

Thanks Laurie, it is great to have such a diverse and exciting selection of items that will be at Handm@de Winchester, remember it is now only 3 weeks away!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Postcard printed!

I collected the postcards for Handm@de Winchester today, very exciting!!

These are to go to all the stall holders, and to advertise the event in Winchester, so if you live in Winchester, watch out!

Another Meet the Maker coming soon :)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Meet the Maker - Hatastic!

Creeping closer now, 4 weeks to go before we open at 10.30am on 5th July at the Guildhall! So without further ado, please welcome Hatastic! also known as Chloe!

What got you into crafting?
I've always had a keen interest in making things. Usually it comes about when I want something a little bit different, either in my house, or to wear and either I can't find it, or when I do its too expensive for my budget, so I make it instead!

What is the best thing about making making your range of items?
The satisfaction and thrill of having made something and it gets noticed and complimented on is the best. Before I started selling my hats, people used to come up to me and asked where I hat bought my hat! Wish I had had some business cards then!

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know?
I was Young Clothes Show Designer of the Year when I was 16.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?
There are a lot of things I love but I'll try to pick three:
I adore 'Chaise by Me' by Emma Hedley - such fun!
'Lovebirds' by Made with Love is going to be my definite treat as soon as I can!
Last but definitely not least is More Cake Designs Children's Mushroom/Toadstool Applique Cotton t shirt - TOO CUTE!

Who would you like to see dressed up in one of your pieces?
Ooo it would have to be people like Erin O'Connor, Alison Goldfrapp, Roisin Murphy, Bjork and even Lady Gaga! C'mon - you know you want to...

Having only begun my business in March in this year, so much has happened! I have a 10 piece order, two commissions for bespoke pieces and next week a very exciting meeting to provide a service making bespoke headdresses for an ethical wedding dress service. But I have to say the buzz started with my application to attend my very first craft fair with Handm@de. I can't wait to see first hand what people say about my current collection!

What a fantastic Meet the Maker, thanks Chloe, and congratulations on winning the 'Fashioning Technology' competition on Folksy!!

More soon : )

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Meet the Maker - Paperleaf

It's hot here, and we are now moving in the last month before Handm@de Winchester, so getting very warm indeed :)

Once again, it is time to Meet the Maker, and I would like to introduce you to Paperleaf, also known as Kate!

What got you into crafting?

Growing up I only had a passing interest in craft - my gran taught me to knit and crochet, but I was always more of a science nerd than cool art student. I only discovered how much I enjoyed making things when I moved to Oxford a few years ago and joined the knitting society at my college. When planning our wedding last year, we decided to do most things ourselves as we were on a budget. I had so much fun designing and making our invitations with my newly acquired Gocco machine that it turned into a full-blown hobby, and then Paperleaf was born so that I had an excuse to keep making!

What is the best thing about making stationery?

Well, it's great to have a never-ending supply of cards for when I've forgotten someone's birthday! I also love hunting down the images I use on my cards, which mainly come from old copyright-free books that I find in Oxford's Bodleian Library. And I've met some great people through the craft scene - both online and in real life, having taken part in the previous two Handm@de fairs at Oxford and Cambridge!

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

There are lots of sellers at Winchester who I haven't seen before so I can't wait to check out everyone's creations... I'm especially looking forward to meeting Frankie from Swell Vintage - she's such a cool and crazy chick, and her jewellery is amazing! And also excited to catch up with Vanessa (Monda) - she was my next-door neighbour at Oxford Handm@de and I just love her little monster creations!

Well it is just over a month to go, and I only have one table left, so if you are out there, and maybe make things from wood, or traditional sweeties, but you make it and it is totally individual, and you would like to take part, please mail me at handmadewinchester @ raspberry . co . uk

See you soon!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Meet the Maker - Joe Hurry

Now I guess it would be quite sexist to say this, but this Meet the Maker is a bloke! Please meet and greet Joe Hurry :)

What got you into crafting?

Years after being inspired by a David Shrigley book in the Tate Modern I was working in a call centre (sad, I know). The job gave me a good opportunity to conceive hundreds of new drawings (having spent years drawing already) and I was able get much better at the actual drawing part during this time.

One day a few pages of these drawings got passed to a friend, who passed them on to someone else who also passed them on. They made their way around the whole room and there was a surpisingly good response. I didn't think that anyone except myself found them funny (they were a little strange to say the least). Someone asked whether they could make t-shirts with them and this made me realise that perhaps I might have something here.

A while later I made a decision. I was working in Curry's at the time and living in Brighton. We had a horrible flat that was grubby and completely overpriced and I didn't want to work for such a souless corporation anymore. So we gave notice on the flat, I quit my job and we started looking for somewhere in the countryside. A month later we had moved to Wiltshire and I started turning my drawings into cards and creating what is now Joe Hurry Creations! (True story)

What is the best thing about creating your illustrations?

My favourite thing is being able to share my sense of humour with people. It's especially great when people laugh at cards that I've always found funny but never been sure other people would get.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Hodge Podge Arts has some of the best ceramics I've ever seen - just amazing. I'm very excited to see more of Turned Light's handmade beads as they look brilliant. Also I think Jenny at Jenny's Textiles makes beautiful things, although as she's my fiance I am a bit biased! :D

Thanks Joe for taking part, more and much more very soon!!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Meet the Maker - Beads by Sam

Sorry for the delay! But back again for some more wonderful Meet the Makers :)

Today, a jeweller who has taken part in all Handm@de Fair so fair, please welcome Beads by Sam !

What got you into crafting?

The first time I did anything crafty was when I made 150 wedding gifts for my wedding 4 years ago. I was not a crafty person but I did love craft products. Then I have started to make bead jewellery last year after being introduced to it by my friend who makes her own gorgeous necklaces and rings - www.jenbailey.com

What is the best thing about making bead jewellery?

The best thing about making bead jewellery is the positive feedback I get from friends and customers who love wearing my jewellery.

Your jewelry is quite unique. I love how your creations seem organic- the beads to not seem so far removed from their natural state. Is nature an influence on your work? What are your inspirations?

Yes, nature definitely influences my work. I personally love the look and feel of natural materials. Last year I went to an amazing resort in Thailand where everything was made from natural material. It was a great inspiration.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

I have my eye on many items. One particular item is the Quercus Silver‘s stunning bangles!!! I am so thrilled that Quercus Silver is going to be at Handm@de Winchester fair.

Thank you! Keep your eyes peeled for more Meet the Makers coming soon!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Meet the Maker - Fizzology

It is time for the next Meet the Maker, with another craft, this time to keep you looking young and beautiful :)

Please meet Jane McGillivray, better known as Fizzology!

What got you into crafting?

I have been crafting for as long as I have memories. My Mum was always sewing things so I just copied her. I didn't have 'children's' scissors or tools I just used whatever she did and I never cut myself although I do remember sewing a garment to the clothing I had on once! My favourite childhood crafting was Plasticraft, a 1970's kit which you mixed stuff to make paperweights in which you embedded items. I now do this with soap!

What is the best thing about soap making?

I love being able to create all sorts of unusual looking soaps. I especially love the look on my friends faces when I show them my newest creation. A week before Christmas I ran out of soap base and could not get any supplies until after the New Year. By the time it arrived I was like an excited kid - forget the pressies I just wanted to get creating again.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Everything really, I just love seeing what everyone else can create. I used to live in Wickham and then Lee on the Solent so I'm really excited about coming back down to Winchester for Handm@de. My 2 girls were born in the hospital in Winchester so it'll be a pilgrimage for them!

Thanks Jane for sharing the excitement of soap making with us, I can't wait to see and smell them!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Funky Mutts

and now for something completely different!

I would like to introduce you to Helen Moorcroft, better known as Funky Mutts!!

What got you into crafting?

Strangely I am from a family of keen crafters but I was never very interested when I was younger, I was always much more into cookery.
I really had a daydream about 4 years ago of creating lovely pet accessories and matching pet accessories as I am a big animal lover. I harboured my dream for a few years with my sensible side saying it was a silly idea until a close friend of mine gave me her support and encouragement and told me to give it a try.
Thanks to my brilliant family and their skills they taught me how to make the collars, leads and human accessories and whenever I have an idea I work with my mum to come up with the prototype to see how well it works and the best way to make it.
I use mainly Liberty of London and ethical fabrics which are designed by my friend Annegret Affolderbach of CHOOLIPS Lifestyle management and hand printed by Women in Progress in Ghana. I have a new range of collars coming out for the Winchester fair using Amy Butler fabrics as well which I am really excited about.

What is the best thing about making items for Funky Mutts?

I have to say Funky Mutts is my dream job I love everything about it I love trying new fabrics and I really love the finishing touches when I have made them hand sewing in the Funky Mutts label. The best things of all though is getting the photo's through from customers of there dogs wearing there collars it is lovely to see them in action!

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Of course I love anything to do with dogs and think that 23 Beech Hill have a fantastic idea I love their stuff. Everything is amazing and such talented people I am really looking forwarding to meeting everyone and having a good look round at Winchester I better bring a large float as I will probably end up buying loads!

Thanks very much Helen for taking some time out to talk about Funky Mutts, it is great to be able to have someone at Handm@de Winchester with such a different range.

The next Meet the Maker will appear on Saturday :)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Turned Light

Sorry this one is a bit late, but I hope the action shot will make up for it!

Let me introduce you to Kate Ward, better known as Turned Light, a lampworker and jewellery artist.

What got you into crafting?

I have always been interested in art and craft, and I did my degree in Craft at Portsmouth University in 1996. There I learned skills in silversmithing, metal casting, ceramics, kiln formed glass, printing and etching and more..

In May 2007 after several years of making jewellery with bought beads, and experiencing the frustrations of many jewellery artists with the quality and choice available of mass produced beads, I bought a starter kit from Tuffnell glass and with the help and support of an online glass forum, Frit Happens, got started in lampworking.

After a year of setting up in my tiny kitchen with my Hot head torch, I bought a Nortel minor and an oxygen generating machine, and set up a bright airy shed to house my workshop, so now I have my own studio in the garden with my torch and kiln set up ready to go, it is lovely to escape down there and get torching!

What is the best thing about doing lampworking and create jewellery from it?

The freedom to create what I want and then to use it how I want is fantastic. Also making the beads is amazing, the way that different types of hot glass works together, the ways that colours change, and adding extra things, like silver and gold leaf, make the possibilities of lampworking endless.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

I am looking forward to seeing Julia Davey's gorgeous ceramics, I was eyeing up her lovely tiles on Folksy recently, so I was pleased to see she would be there at Winchester. Also looking forward to seeing Fizzology as I love all the beautiful, inviting soaps!

Thanks for taking part Kate, hopefully the next Meet the Maker will be around on Wednesday!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Facet Nation

11 weeks to go, and it's flying by, and I have 7 tables left, so please contact me at handmadefairs @ raspberry . co . uk if you are interested : ) But, lets get back to the important stuff, here is the third Meet the Maker, this time with Amy Hubbard, who works under the name Facet Nation, a jeweller who works with silver and semi-precious stones!

What got you into crafting?

I've always been into arts and crafts since I was little and always looked at things in shops and thought 'there must be a way I can make that myself'!  Im a definite magpie too, so have always admired and been facsinated by jewellery & gemstones.
I did Art & design at school, then college then went on to do a degree in Metalwork and Jewellery making, and have been a professional jeweller for two years now.

What is the best thing about making jewellery?

The freedom to be as creative as I like!  I find jewellery making quite relaxing & satisfying when a piece is finally finished.  You can sit back and say 'I made that!'  It makes you feel very proud. Even better when you see other people wearing your jewellery. 

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

Funky Mutts!  I think accessories for dogs are so hot right now!  Funky Mutts have a great looking website and really well made products.  I will definitely be checking out their stand at Winchester!

Thanks Amy for taking part in Meet the Maker, watch out for the next one in a few days time :)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Blue Fairy Designs

Only 12 weeks to go now, and so we have the next Meet the Maker :)

Please welcome Helen Clemons, also known as Blue Fairy Designs, a fused glass artist who has found her way from buying one necklace!

So Helen, what got you into crafting with glass?

I first got into dichroic glass after falling in love with a necklace I bought on holiday in Devon.  I'd never seen anything like it before, and after doing a bit of research into how it was made, I became a bit obsessed with finding out as much as I could about all things glassy!  I went on a basic one day jewellery course locally, which gave me the underpinning knowledge in how to cut glass.  I then saved up and bought a mini kiln towards the end of 2007, and the rest is history!  I have now upgraded to a (much!) larger kiln, and have recently been on an Advanced Fusing course at Creative Glass in Kent.  As well as jewellery, I also make larger items, such as coasters, candle holders and wall art.
I have also just started lampworking, and hope that I will soon be good enough to incorporate my own beads along with my fused glass jewellery.

What is the best thing about working with glass?

The best thing about glass fusing is the magic that happens inside the kiln!  Very different effects can be achieved by using different glasses, temperatures and times, so opening the kiln is always exciting as what comes out is usually very different to what went in!  I also like it when friends show me an outfit they've bought, and describe a piece of jewellery they'd like to go with it, I do my best to make something just for them, and it's lovely when someone is really chuffed with what I've done for them.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?

I'm really excited about taking part in H@ndmade because I think there are some fantastically talented craft people out there and there's not enough recognition of the amount of work that they put into their craft.  I think a lot of people are coming round to the idea of buying one off unique items, rather than mass produced, buy-it-anywhere stuff, so events like H@ndmade are bringing crafts kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
I am particularly excited about Turned Light's beautiful lampwork beads, Blue Fish Handmade's pretty crochet and Caroline Green's
gorgeous ceramics.  In fact, there are too many to mention, I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody!

Thanks Helen for taking part in Meet the Maker :) Watch out for another one very soon!