I’m thrilled to say that we have another great line-up of makers for this March’s Blue Magpie Contemporary Craft Fair – which, as always, occurs exactly a week before Mothering Sunday to give everyone (including me) a timely opportunity to find a suitable gift!
This year, I’ve received lots of applications from new makers to Elmslie who are hearing about Blue Magpie from other makers and on the grapevine, which is fantastic – and I also found a few new faces myself on scouting trips to other Craft Events last year . . .
Please note that several, but not all, makers featured here will be exhibiting on Sunday – as many will be swapping overnight – which is as much to give opportunities to more makers to exhibit as to give everyone visiting something new to look at each time . . .
Here’s who is exhibiting on Saturday 23rd March, 11.00 – 4.00pm:
First up are a couple of makers I met at Made by Hand in Cardiff – which is where I was brought up, and so it’s always a great excuse to return home:
Gill Oakley – Stone Hen Ceramics
Gill is a self taught potter from Penarth, South Wales. Hooked on clay since her teens, Gill launched her pottery ‘Stone Hens Ceramics’ a decade ago.
Her work has been in Foss Fine Art and Liberty, London, mentions in various magazines including House and Garden and she exhibited at City Hall, Cardiff in the contemporary craft fair Made by Hand in 2018.
A qualified horticulturalist she draws on her love of nature using seed heads and leaves to add surface detail to porcelain along with original stamps.The popular Meadow range uses delicate prints and cuts to build a picture in porcelain which is drenched in colour and then washed away leaving the highlighted design before glazing.Each piece is handmade, and so totally unique. Gill also loves working with stoneware clay and makes quirky Hens and Forager Hares. Member of S Wales Potters. Porcelain and stoneware workshops for small groups and Primary Schools.
Mobile 07821 706366
Clare Lloyd – Colour Designs Jewellery
Colour Designs Jewellery is made by Clare Lloyd in her studio in Somerset. Clare designs and makes a range of contemporary jewellery using sterling silver, polymer and resin clays where colour is the main focal point of each design – all the colours are hand mixed using a very basic colour palette, each bead is coloured, cut and rolled by hand and the handmade silver settings are kept minimal and simple to allow the beautiful colours to take centre stage.
Colour Designs Jewellery
Joe Windsor – Windsor Woodwork
I met Joe at the Hereford Etsy event last November, and was so impressed with his work that I bought a couple of his lamps! I thought he needed to widen his audience, so I asked him to apply for Blue Magpie:
After studying fine furniture at Gloucester college, Joe began his furniture making business in 2012 at his workshop in Ross-on-Wye. Using mainly local, native hardwoods with interesting figure or natural ‘defects’ such as Spalting or Burr, he creates contemporary furniture, electric guitars and lighting using traditional techniques.
Joe takes Inspiration from his surroundings in rural Herefordshire and uses a wide range of processes and techniques, incorporating methods such as, Steam bending and Japanese hand-cut Joinery into many of his pieces. He tends to keep designs simple allowing the wood and construction take centre stage.
Joe makes pieces for commission as well as for exhibition having worked with Architects, Builders, Designers and Private clients.
Jeanette Hannaby – Enamel Artist
I have been enamelling for six years and find it a fulfilling and exciting medium to work with.
I love the vibrant colours that can be achieved by enamelling and also the unpredictable nature of working with copper and vitreous enamel glass powder.
I use the dry sifting method of enamelling which is to sift glass powder over hand cut stencils onto the copper in several layers to create the picture. This is then fired at just over 800° C for about three or four minutes.
I am a passionate photographer and always have my camera with me to capture inspiration that I can then use for an enamel picture.
I have recently started making glass transfers from some of my photographs (usually trees) which I use as a complete picture or to incorporate the transfer into a landscape.
Lizzie Weir – Anatole Design
As some of you know, I attend numerous craft events as a past-time of choice, and I’m so thrilled to now be able to share my passion for craft through organising my own event – Blue Magpie. I first met Lizzie on a freezing cold November day in 2017 through an Artisan in Bristol event – (which is also where I met Danielle ) and was immediately taken with her jewellery. This new collection has taken Lizzie in a new direction, and this is what she says about it:
“Stranded is a new collection of earrings, pendants and brooches by Lizzie Weir of Anatole Design. The collection has been directly influenced by the objects collected on long desolate beaches in Cornwall, bright sun-drenched beaches and Portugal and rough pebbly beaches in Devon…
The tumbled, battered, burnt, lost, found, stranded pieces of ephemera are collected by Lizzie, each piece a sculptural form to be turned into an original item of fine art jewellery. The marks made on the wood are created with coloured pencil, pencil and Indian ink. Repetition of mark is key to Lizzie’s work, the relationship between the circle and the line occurring throughout. Each piece of jewellery is a three-dimensional drawing, one done in wood and silver, the dialogue between the linear silver and the soft sculptural wood one of endless fascination to Lizzie. Each piece is unique, each piece has journeyed through the sea and has a story to tell”
Sasha Rae Louise – Textile Artist
A familiar face to Elmslie and Blue Magpie is local textile artist Sasha Louise Rae. Here’s what she says about her work:
“I live and work in the shadow of the beautiful Malvern Hills, a place which gives me constant inspiration. I make bold and lively prints of birds and animals using simplified images to express character and movement.
Each of my designs begins as a series of sketches exploring form and posture, arriving at a final image which I feel best captures a sense of the individual mannerisms and personalities.
In addition to my hand screen printed framed artwork, I make cushions and other functional decorative items from beautifully soft natural linen, hand printed in environmentally friendly inks with my spirited and colourful designs”. – perfect for Spring!
Karen Beard – Ceramics
Karen is a maker who is also new to Blue Magpie. Here’s what she says about her work:
“I aim to make pottery that, whilst mostly functional, can be enjoyed for its decorative qualities alone. Strong shapes, bold use of colour and simple linear or textural pattern all feature in my work. I use only the finest Stoke on Trent manufactured stoneware and porcelain clays for their joint qualities of beauty and durability.
I work from a small studio in my garden in Birmingham and gain great satisfaction from the endless possibilities that clay provides as a creative outlet in my “third age” and also from seeing the pleasure my work gives to others. I am glad to be making objects that are simple, useful, and sustainable and a lasting source of joy”.
Creative Woodturning – Paul Hannaby
Paul Hannaby is based in the Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and is a member of the Cotswold Craftsmen. As part of Paul’s woodturning, he offers tuition and writes articles which have been published in a number of publications worldwide, including the Guild of Master Craftsmen “Woodturning” magazine. Paul is also a director and trustee of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain(AWGB)www.awgb.co.uk.
Paul uses both local and imported timber to produce work intended to show the natural beauty of the wood. The features of the wood being used often provide inspiration for the final design. Combinations of colour and texture are also used to further stimulate sight and touch.
Paul’s emphasis is mainly on individual pieces, which may be purely decorative, functional or a combination of both.
At the 2011 international woodturning seminar, organised by the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, Paul was selected as the winner of the Tony Boase tribute award.
Shelley Faye Lazar – Hand painted silks and wools
Malvern-based textile artist Shelley has been a stalwart of Blue Magpie Fair’s since their inception – but she’s a very busy lady and can be found all over the country with her gloriously colourful and joyful scarves. Here’s a little explanation as to what inspires her work:
“My motivation is colour and I use silks and wools as my canvases. These results in unique vibrant hand painted scarves, shawls and, new to 2019, garments. My distinctive style enhances any outfit, servicing as functional and decorative at the same time”.
Helene Barott – Wire Sculptures
Another new face to Blue Magpie is Helene Barrott who has lived for the past 30+ years in Gloucestershire but originally hails from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Her love of Trees started young, along with a joy in Gardening in general. Her work delights in the natural architecture of the tree, unadorned and made in raw metal wire these forms are easy to appreciate.
Her particular love of the Windswept form is seen in a multitude of variations in every region of the UK from the far north of Scotland to the far south of Cornwall. It always evokes comments and pleasure in those who view it. Often those comments are along the lines of ‘ you can almost hear the wind’, this is what she strives to depict. Her technique was developed in isolation and produces sculptures unlike any other wire artists. These sculptures have a fluidity of movement and robust nature which has also lent itself to the garden sculpture market where Helenes work has been in regular demand.
More recently Helene has also been exploring other organic subjects such as Allium and Dandelion Heads.
Helene has exhibited in Galleries and Sculpture parks in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and further afield.
Kate Wrigglesworth – Art
Kate is a local artist who is often found exhibiting her work in and around Malvern and Worcester – and she offers a mixture of original work, prints and cards – in fact I have an original painting hanging in my office, which I purchased about 7 years ago – but this is the first time Kate has exhibited here:
I am a freelance practising Artist, Designer & Dancer based in Bewdley, Worcestershire. As well as working on commissions for paintings, I also work as an artist in residence, in schools and communities.I work in a variety of mediums from paint, textiles, collage, to three-dimensional sculptures
I use colour and composition to express emotion and create atmosphere. The flow of line in my paintings is influenced by my love of dance which adds poetry and inspiration to my work. My degree was in Theatre Design set and costume and this continues to be an influence.I have developed over the years, an expressive form of painting, a poetic language with invented symbols and shapes developed from the environment in which I live. The source of my work is based upon dreams, invented stories and created myths. My work explores characters placed in different landscapes. These characters are fictional, figurative and abstract. I exhibit my artwork nationally and locally. My paintings, prints, cards and designs are available to purchase directly or at any artist craft fairs or exhibitions which I attend.
Tanith Rouse – Jeweller
Tanith is another regular, as her work epitomises the very idea of a being a Magpie – as she sells delightful things to take home to your nest and even better that you can wear them! As a result, I now have quite a collection of her jewellery . . .! Here’s a little more about her:
I trained at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, achieving a BA (Hons) in Silversmithing and Jewellery. I love making jewellery from a variety of materials and particularly enjoy using aluminium because it’s lightweight, versatile and above all, potentially colourful. At university I became interested in the value placed on jewellery, writing my final thesis on the differences between the aesthetic and the intrinsic value of jewellery. As a consequence, I have preferred to use non precious metal such as aluminium transforming it in to something that is desirable for its beauty rather than its monetary worth.
I hand dye, paint and print the aluminium and then seal the colour in so that it becomes a permanent part of the metal. I’m inspired by bright colours and anything that glitters. My love of the sea is also apparent in much of my work often playing on the colours of green and blue.
Natalie Mitchel – Natty Candles
Local Chandler Natalie made her first appearance at Blue Magpie last November – but she was only able to be here for the Friday night preview so some of you may have missed her! But I think she was glad it was only the Friday – because she had such a run on her candles she didn’t have much stock left for her other Christmas events! Hopefully she’ll have lots of stock available for her Saturday spot as her candles small absolutely gorgeous!
Here’s a little more about Natalie: “Running a craft business was always my dream. I love to create and experiment and in 2016 I started to make candles. I enjoyed it immediately and over a year my confidence grew and with it my product ideas, so in 2017 I launched Natty Candles.
My aim is to create original, handcrafted candles using natural, sustainable waxes and the finest quality fragrance oils. Scents can evoke a place, a memory or a feeling and that is why I have created a range of scented candles inspired by my travels, nature and little everyday joys.
All of my candles are handmade from start to finish from my workshop in the Malvern Hills. I use natural rapeseed and beeswax sourced from the UK and EU. All of my wicks are braided cotton and hand dipped in beeswax, which create an excellent wax pool, releasing the fragrance gradually. My scented candles are blended with the best quality fragrances for a strong and evocative scent throw”.
Beach Glass Art – Julie Fountain
I’m delighted to say that Julie Fountain will be back at Blue Magpie for this Mothering Sunday Fair. For those you who follow us on Facebook, I was able to share the tremendous news that Julie’s business – Beach Art Glass – recently won several contracts to export her jewellery to Australia and New Zealand no less – though when I’m out and about, I often see glimpses of her distinctive glass in the windows of sea-side galleries around the UK, as they are like mini sea-scapes in their own right! Julie is a perfect example of the strong talent that we have locally, and I’m suitably chuffed that she’s chosen to return to Blue Magpie to share her work again!
Award winning glass artist Julie Fountain has captured the essence of the seashore in her unique jewellery designs. She has created a stunning collection featuring her handcrafted glass beads and beautiful sterling silver, inspired by the sea.
Julie first started glass beadmaking from her Malvern studio in 2007 and she went on to become one of the most respected in her craft in the UK.
Julie’s beadmaking adventure has taken her around the world and she now supplies her jewellery to independent shops from England to Australia, as well as selling to the public from her own website – https://beachartglass.com
Danielle Flowers – Contemporary Craft
Danielle is another lady I met at Artisan in Bristol one very cold November day – and it’s always such a thrill to find beautiful wood and treen – especially from a young maker! She’s certainly making her mark and her work has evolved every time she is here.
Danielle was born in the rural, market town of Ludlow, Shropshire. Her keen love for woodland walks, has greatly inspired her connection with the natural elements. In turn, informing her three dimensional, material explorations throughout her studies at Ludlow College and Hereford College of Art and Design. Flowers graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University, School of Art and Design in 2016 with a first class BA (hons) Artist, Designer, Maker, and since has set up as a young entrepreneur in the create industry.
Danielle handcrafts contemporary, wood turned home décor and jewellery, from the rural surrounds of Ludlow, using native timber sustainably felled in Shropshire. Juxtaposing the unique grains of British hardwoods, with raw silver, brass and leather to create timeless statement pieces.
Inspired by the primitive connections and relationship of material and process, encapsulating the transitional state of change between elemental materials; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. Flowers strives to create balance and harmony between material qualities and their aesthetic values. Engaging with the rhythmic and meditative process of woodturning, with the aim of preserving traditional craft processes and highlighting contemporary British craftsmanship.
Michaella Smart – Mimie Poterie
Michaella is yet another new face exhibiting for the first time at Blue Magpie. Trained under Liz Teall, an established Cotswold artist potter, Michaella Smart founded Mimie Poterie in 2016, an independent ceramics studio based in the historic town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Michaella mainly produces functional ware, marrying contemporary design with traditional techniques. She suse the local flora as an accentuated backdrop to Japanese inspired slipware designs and patterns. Michaella finely throws earthenware and stoneware pieces, ensuring lightness of the produced objects without compromising their durability, as they are designed for everyday use. Each piece is handcrafted carefully, embracing the unique variations of the materials used in the production. Great attention is given to the ergonomics and aesthetics of each designed object, to guarantee the user a renewed uplifting and enjoyable feeling each time the pieces are used.
As an explorative artistic questioning on identities and biographies, Michaella is also currently creating a collection of vessels which are inscribed with storylines then pitfired. Her inspirations stem principally from the role of clay as a witness of time evolving and human traceability in fossilised forms.
Amelia Strong – Jewellery
And completing the line up for Saturday 23rd March – yet another new face!
“I am a Herefordshire based contemporary jewellery designer maker. Making jewellery to commission and for exhibitions I working primarily with silver and semi precious gemstones.
My work is inspired by adventure, especially the welsh coast where I spent a lot of time growing up and still visit often. The discovery of Coastal formations, natural forms, shapes and their patterns heavily influence the design, textures and mark making in my ongoing collections.
I am a creative person and have been slowly making and creating since graduating from university with a First Class, BA degree in 2014 but it wasn’t until the middle of 2017 I decided to become an independent business. I was awarded the Alloy Jewellers Graduate Placement and Bursary in 2014. I then become a member and shortly after I became vice chair, in 2017 I was elected Chair of Alloy jewellers”.
So – that’s it – 17 makers in total – 7 of which are staying for Sunday and 10 of which will be swapping overnight to give you even more reason to pop back in again on Sunday!
Info on the Makers exhibiting on Sunday 24th March will be available soon . . . ! Hope you can make it along. Anna x