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!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Swell Vintage

Here is the first 'Meet the Maker' for Handm@de Winchester!

Francesca Murray is Swell Vintage, and her jewellery is a fantastic combination of antique, vintage and her amazing imagination!

So Francesca, what got you into crafting?
It allows me to bring together my love of jewellery and all things vintage! Also, I like the idea of making pieces that are one-of-a-kind and that hopefully people will come to treasure.

What is the best thing about making your jewellery?
Definitely being able to experiment with styles, and also that I can wear what I make. It's the crafty equivilent of a sandwich board, and it also allows me to gauge people's reactions. That way I can get make pieces I know people will like, and I get to look good in the process - brilliant.

What Handm@de stuff do you have your eye on?
I'm so excited that Paperleaf is going to be at Handm@de Winchester too! I know she was a big hit in Cambridge, so I can't to browse her lovely papery wares.

I'm ever so excited about taking part in a Handm@de exhibition. It'll be my first EVER exhibition, and I feel confident that I will be in good company.

Thanks Francesca for being the first 'Meet the Maker' for Winchester, watch out for more soon :)

Monday, 6 April 2009

90 days to go!!!

It seems incredible, but it's true, there are less than 13 weeks to go before Handm@de hits Winchester!!

Cambridge looked fantastic, if you would like to see more images from the day, please check out the Flickr group -

photo courtesy of Hodgepodgearts

There are now have nine tables still available, so if you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact me as soon as possible at handmadefairs @ raspberry (dot) co (dot) uk

In the next few days we will have the first of our 'Meet the Maker' articles, keep your eyes peeled for that, and for all the other info that will keep you in touch with who and make you can see in Winchester on 5th July!!