The Blue Magpie is returning to Elmslie ahead of Mothering Sunday – on Saturday 3rd March from 10.30 – 4.30 with FREE ADMISSION – and as always, with the aim of Promoting and Supporting Designer-Makers to bring you the very best in UK Contemporary Art and Craft.
This time we have 17 exhibitors in a mixture of both local makers and some from further afield, some new and some returning faces, but all with one thing in common – they all produce beautiful, original and wonderful work!
As usual, the bar at Elmslie will be transferred into a cafe for the day, offering a selection of home-made cakes, savouries and light refreshments, teas and coffees throughout the day.
And here are the makers . . . ! Watch out as more will be added over the next few days – there are 17 makers in total, but first up is Worcester-based Mercedes Pearson, whose work I first came across last summer:
Artist / Designer
I trained as a Graphic Designer at West Thames College and worked in publishing for many years, designing a variety of magazines and highly illustrated books.
Working with text and images has inspired me to create my artworks. Using acrylics, coloured pencil and collage, each picture is interwoven with text from my favourite poems and stories. Last year I exhibited at The Hive, ‘Every picture tells a story’ as part of Beeline storytelling.
As part of ‘Portfolio 17’, I took part in Worcestershire Open Studios and hope to do so this year. I am involved in a number of design projects; designing booklets, fliers, a community magazine and logos for local organisations. Three years ago I designed the logo for The Worcester Show, an annual event held in Gheluvelt Park in August.
I am available for commissions.
See more of Merecedes’ work at:
My interest in clay has evolved over the last thirty years or so from the use of pots in the kitchen, to making functional pieces as a hobby and more recently as a fascinating material that allows playful flexibility and numerous opportunities in sculpture and decorative wall pieces.
Working principally in porcelain paper-clay, I make simple shapes, components, to use as building blocks for my sculptures and repetitive motifs for framed pieces. With the repetitive nature of each piece and a quiet restrained colour palate, my work reflects a calm contemplative mood that I associate with traditional women’s craftwork such as knitting, sewing and embroidery.
Magnified images of plant-life that expose the fascinating patterns within its growth have inspired me to investigate the simplest of shapes; to structure abstract forms that suggest our natural world. Flimsy rings or discs of pure white porcelain or porcelain paper-clay form the components; the building blocks for these objects that I build and grow. I hope to encourage those childlike moments of wonder – the visual and tactile joy of the simplest things that surround us.
Rhian Wyman Design
Rhian is a young enthusiastic textile designer based in the Royal Forest of Dean. All products are designed, hand woven, darned, washed and tentered by Rhian herself, using traditional techniques throughout. Contemporary designs and colour placements are influenced by Rhian’s interpretation of surrounding environments that she finds inspiring. High quality yarn is sourced from the UK, creating truly British Luxury handmade products.
After graduating with a BA Hons Degree in Textile design, Rhian undertook a year of internships with several established designer makers. This lead to her becoming a weaving assistant for Sioni Rhys Handweavers. This journey helped her to gather techniques, skills and experiences enabling Rhian to design and develop her own brand of high quality woven goods.
Since starting her own product range in March 2017, Rhian has exhibited at Made by Hand, Wales at Cardiff City Hall 2017, Solva Woollen Mill (Pembrokeshire) Christmas Fair 2017 and will be at Made by Hand, England at Cheltenham Town Hall March 2018.
Clare has been working with glass for about eighteen years, beginning with Tiffany style (copper foiled) work before learning the techniques of glass fusing.
Her work in small to medium sized decorative items typically holds a contemporary feel through the use of inclusions such as shells, glass nuggets and other found items.
These are frequently supplemented by the use of acid etching and the fusing of images and patterns into the glass. With inspiration drawn from the sea, her use of glass set into driftwood is a stunning combination. Clare has also created a beautiful range of fused dichroic glass jewellery.
Clare wainwright stained glass art (on Facebook )
Hand painted silks and wools
Shelley’s joy of colour has its outlet with silk and wool scarves and shawls, for you to wear and enjoy. She experiments and perfects various painting skills to achieve a vibrant mix of colour resulting in a unique, individually made piece.
Shelley trained as a Graphic Designer and extended her talents to textiles, following a successful career in tapestry and embroidery.
Her pieces enhance and flatter the wearer and become treasured, like jewellery – and they keep you warm!
Facebook – Shelley Faye Lazar
Twitter – @SFLazar
Instagram – shelley_faye_lazar
Ceramics & Textiles
Sarah Nicol is actually a textile designer with a BA (hons) in surface pattern from SCAT in Taunton 1996 and then an MA in textiles from Bath in 2008.
In 2009 she wandered into her partners pottery and asked if she could paint a pot or two. And their little business was born. She painted the design she had been making in her textiles. The mat slip and soft colours echoing the natural dyed linen and wools she favours in her pillows. The original collection was inspired by a two day train journey from LA to Seattle. She drew a 12 metre scroll as the countryside and flashed before her and those quickly noted shapes became simple folk art designs.
In 2016 she started to develop a new range. Fish. Working with fish is been a favourite since she was 12 and was taken on the snorkelling holiday in Kenya. A few years later her art A-level included a two term fish project this set a love of drawing fish into a lifelong passion. The first year of her MA it was dedicated drawing and embroidering fish so, although it came naturally to paint them on the pottery it is only now they are ready to be launched as a range.
The paintings and drawings are about beauty in everyday things, favourite china, shoes, cotton reels and cutlery, the memories and recollections that they spark. I love to focus in on the small things, buttons, pins, lettering, and imperfections, creases, chips and cracks.
I began collecting vintage clothing, from jumble sales, as an eccentric teenager in the late seventies. I love to paint dresses and jackets linking them with objects to tell stories about where a dress came from or what happened on a day it was worn.
I work in both oils and watercolours, liking them both equally for their very different qualities, choosing the medium that seems to best suit the subject. I stretch my own canvases in a traditional way, using raw linen, zinc tacks and rabbit skin glue. My watercolours use the contrast of precise pencil drawing and a loose and fluid colour. I paint most days, often working on two or three pictures at a time, for variety, one standing up at an easel and another sitting down at my drawing board.
Originally from Bristol, I have lived in the Forest of Dean for almost thirty years, with potter, Nigel Lambert.
Mariette Voke February 2018.
Sasha Louise Rae
I live and work in the shadow of the beautiful Malvern Hills, a place which gives me constant inspiration.
I create bold and lively prints of birds and natural forms using simplified images to express character and movement.
my Instagram @sashalouiserae
my etsy store SashaLouiseRaeDesign
Ali is a designer/maker based in Herefordshire creating a distinctive etched and oxidized, one-off range of silver jewellery. The funky jewellery collection carries an appealingly honest and rugged element, which is solid, classy and often attractive to both men and women. Alis’ love of photography and textured surfaces becomes central to the pieces; nature, architecture, coast and poetry are used for her inspiration to adorn the work.
Ali studied as a mature student at Hereford College of Art, gaining a distinction for her sculptural metalwork. The metal evolved and pared down over time into the sculptural silver jewellery; the silver etching has largely been self-taught. The techniques Ali employs mainly include acid etching, oxidizing, saw piercing, soldering and granulation.
Ali is a member of Worcester Guild of Contemporary Craft as well as the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craftsmen.
“Sarah Pinnell fretwork started as a hobby in 1995. Since then the hobby has grown into a flourishing business, but is still run very much from home, with all finishing of the wood completed on the kitchen table!!
I use mainly native British hardwoods, including English oak and European oak, cherry, maple and beech. Inspiration for wall plaque designs come from nature, with fretwork tree silhouettes being a source of fascination for me. Each piece is individually cut from one piece of wood using a fretsaw, with no two pieces being identical. All wall plaques are hand sanded and hardwoods finished with 3 coats of oil. I also offer a range of puzzles, all cut on the same machine. These are mainly cut from solid oak and again have the same oak oiled finish which is completely safe for children.”
I am a porcelain potter. I throw porcelain vessels enriched with oxides and slips that depict the coastlines of my childhood. Inspiration comes from the merging of sea and sky, water and sand. Porcelain is demanding, it encourages intuition and integrity. The combination of inspiration and material drive my work forward, resulting in constant subtle changes. Each pot stands as an individual but it is the culmination of the pieces before that prevent it from being static and promote further development.
I throw porcelain vessels enriched with oxides and slips that explore my fascination with coastlines. Inspiration comes from coastal divisions where the sea leaves traces on the sand in undulating ripples and from the ever changing line between sea and sky.
I make individual pieces alongside groups and small installations. The forms are the landmarks of my childhood. The material I use is versatile and beguiling and I enjoy every aspect of every process from inception to the final ceramic form.
For more than 20 years Jane Hickman has been painting using the Batik technique.This process allows the artist/designer to control coloured dyes when painting on a woven material such as silk or fine cotton. Water based dyes are used in conjunction with hot liquid wax to determine where colours appear in the painting.
In 1986 she set up her studio in the Herefordshire countryside. Since that time she has developed her work and sells through Galleries,Craft Shows and Flower Shows. If you look through the following web pages you will see that her main subject is flowers. Her interest in Flower painting is reflected in her love of gardening.
In the beginning, she sold only original Batik paintings but over the past 20 years she has published a range of greetings cards and a separate range of prints. Her latest venture has involved having her designs printed onto silk, velvet and wool fabric to produce an extensive range of scarves.
Gabi & Nick Ward
Nick and Gabi Ward are designer makers of handmade ceramics. Nick studied Studio Pottery at Harrow School of Art. Gabi studied Textiles and Ceramics at West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham. They went on to design and create work for the international interiors market. In recent years they have returned to their craft origins and are selling their work through galleries. Their current work includes thrown, decorated earthenware using figurative and abstract images inspired by natural form. By using the hand drawn technique of sgraffito and painting the pots with stained slips they achieve a contemporary finish.
They work together in their stone barn in rural Herefordshire
Handmade Designer Glass and Gemstone Beadwork Jewellery
Sam Hemming creates unusual and individual pieces of designer jewellery using Egyptian, African and Native American techniques. Taught basic beading techniques by an expert American Beadworker/Designer, she has been developing her craft and individual style ever since.
She has sold work in the Fine Jewellery Dept of Liberty’s of London, with the WGDC, (Worcester Guild of Designer Craftsmen), and at high quality exhibitions throughout the UK. She also has work in select galleries throughout the country.
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.
Printed Textiles and Gifts
My work is inspired by folk art and the Arts & Crafts movement and it combines my love of history, nature and poetic verse.
I produce hand drawn designs which are then screen printed onto fabrics and board to produce a range of decorative objects for the home – each piece is made by my own hands from original designs, to printing, stitching and finishing.
I have been working as a print maker and designer for over 30 years after studying printed textiles at Manchester Polytechnic, working in a textile design studio in London and then running my own greetings card and gift wrap design business. I now enjoy creating objects which satisfy and amuse me and I hope that you like them too.
Boho Buffalo is no ordinary brand of fashion accessories….it is the very essence of wanderlust, modern bohemianism and sass … because the Boho Buffalo customer is no ordinary woman.
Boho Buffalo is a brand of luxury fashion accessories born from the travel experiences of Welsh surface designer Emma-jayne Lloyd.
Inspired by the most beautiful and cultural destinations on the globe, the sumptuous products are hand made in Wales from a UNIQUE combination of genuine leather hide & dichroic glass. Traditional leatherwork techniques are amalgamated with modern bohemian fashion trends to create a stylish range of jewellery and bags which include Swarovski crystals, hand printing and beading.
The Valleys born designer was inspired to create Boho Buffalo after two years of living on the island of Mallorca. The intense beauty of the island and modern boho chic of spanish women was the catalyst for developing a new and exciting brand of Boho-Chic fashion accessories.
‘I was initially introduced to leather work in Marrakesh, where I spent an entire night in a basement watching young brothers making bags for the family to sell at the market the following morning. When I moved to Mallorca I sourced leather scraps from the many shoe factories on the island, bought an old leather sewing machine from an elderly shoe maker and the journey began there!’
‘The dramatic coastline of Wales had always been a significant inspiration in my work but the vibrant bohemian vibe of Ibiza & Mallorca impelled me to incorporate more embellishment and playful colour combinations. My travels in the USA, Far East and Morocco are also clearly illustrated in the collections which incorporate intricate patterns, vivid turquoise gemstones, imprinted leather hide & jewel tone crystals & glass. The intention is to transport the wearer to exotic, happy places with my lovingly made pieces.