Contemporary Textiles Fair review

Phew! I’ve just about recovered from a very busy and successful Contemporary Textiles Fair at the Landmark Centre in Teddington at the weekend.

Image: Contemporary Textiles Fair

The private view on Friday evening was one of the busiest I’ve ever experienced, and with more than 60 exhibitors there was plenty to see.

Image: Contemporary Textiles Fair

The organisation was superb, and everyone was really helpful, especially the unflappable guy in the car park scrum at the end!

The felt corsages I’ve been making certainly brightened up my stand.

And a couple of pieces I recently ecoprinted with onion skins were the first to sell.

ecoprint scarf with onion skins

I didn’t have much time to have a good look at the other stands, but some near me are worth a mention.

Sarah Grove makes lovely porcelain pieces from plaster casts of stitched, stuffed and upholstered textiles. I couldn’t resist this jug, which reminds me of the pleated shibori pieces I make.

jug by sarah grove

I also signed up to No Serial Number, a quarterly magazine about eco-conscious and heritage craft, design and lifestyle.

I also liked the work of artist Rachel Pearcey, who had the stand next to me. Her drawings in black thread are very meditative.

Image: Rachel Pearcey

All in all, a great weekend – roll on next year! 🙂

Christmas events

This year I’ve got together with three other local makers to spread the Christmas load.

Because so many fairs and markets at this time of year tend to be on the same days, we’ve decided to organise some group stalls and take it in turns to run them. This allows us to have a presence at more than one event on the same day, as well as lessening the workload. That’s the theory, anyway! 🙂

The makers I’m teaming up with are:

Processed with Snapseed.
Processed with Snapseed.

Anna Jackson of Black Cactus London, who makes lushly gorgeous handprinted art and accessories

mosaic-keep-calmKes Young of Heart in Art Workshops, who makes stylish and colourful mosaics, including door numbers and pots

ben-bowlBen Willis, who makes beautiful furniture and other household wares using traditional green woodworking techniques and timber from sustainably managed woodlands

So here’s a list of events we’ll be appearing at before Christmas.

Dulwich Christmas Bazaar

dulwich-christmas-bazaar-thumbnailSaturday 12 November, 10am-5pm
St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village
Run by Anna

Friends of Langley Park School for Boys’ Christmas Market & Craft Fair

red-baubles-soc-med-fb
Sunday 27 November, 11am-4pm
South Eden Park Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3BP
Run by Kes

Camberwell Arts Market

camberwell-arts

Saturday 3 December, 10am-4pm
Datchelor Place, London SE5 7AP
Run by me

Handmade Palace Christmas Craft Market

handmade-palace Saturday 10 December, 10am-5pm
The Alma, 95 Church Road, London SE19 2RN
Run by Anna and Kes

Rookery Christmas Fair

Sunday 18 December, 11am-4pm
The Rookery, Streatham Common, London SW16
Run by Ben

As well as these events, I’ll have a solo stall at Furzedown Community Network Christmas Market on Saturday 17 December, 4-7pm. Women of the Cloth will not be doing their usual stint at Sprout this year, so this gives regular visitors a chance to see my latest scarves and accessories!

furzedown-xmas-market

Plus I’m taking part in the Diverse Makerhood Christmas Showcase, which runs from 14 November to 8 January. There’s a special preview on Sunday 13 November, 12-5pm, with 15% discount!

makerhood-flyer-1

The other advantage of taking part in group stalls is that it allows me to go away on holiday. 🙂

I’m off to Mexico tomorrow, partly for holiday and partly to attend the 10th International Shibori Symposium in Oaxaca. I’ve signed up for workshops with Michel Garcia, Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Jorie Johnson, so as you can imagine, I’m hugely excited!

I doubt that I will have time or facilities to blog while I’m away, but I may post the odd photo or comment on Twitter or Instagram, so do follow if you’re interested.

Hasta pronto!

Busy weekend ahead

Please cross your fingers for good weather this coming weekend, as I’ve got two outdoor events coming up!

On Saturday I’m taking part in the Abbeville Fete, a great mix of street stalls, fancy dress parade, live music, dog show and other entertainment that also raises funds for charity. It will be your first chance to see my new range of upcycled indigo shibori tops, along with ecoprinted tops and my latest batch of scarves – some examples below.

I’ll be sharing a stall with Kes Young of Heart in Art Workshops, who makes wonderful mosaics, so it should be a great combination of colour and texture!

The Abbeville Fete is on Saturday 25 June, 12-6pm.

Then on Sunday I and my fellow felter Carol will be donning our Women of the Cloth hats and running free drop-in felting sessions at the Brixton Windmill Festival. The theme of the festival this year, the 200th anniversary of the windmill, is “trades and professions”, and as well as us felters there will be a furniture maker, blacksmith, bricklayer and of course millers and bakers.

flowers-phone-case

Brixton Windmill Festival is on Sunday 26 June. It starts with a parade from Windrush Square at 1pm, marching up Brixton Hill to Brixton Windmill for the festival in Windmill Gardens, 2-4pm.

Crafty Fox Night Market at the Geffrye Museum

It’s been a busy Christmas selling period so far. My two weeks with Women of the Cloth at Sprout Arts went really well, with my new line of upcycled ecoprinted clothes and accessories proving very popular!

ecoprinted garments ecoprinted garments

They were so popular that I had to make some more halfway through – and as I write this post the steamer is bubbling away once more as I try to restock for the Crafty Fox Night Market at the Geffrye Museum this Thursday.

Crafty Fox is well known for running very popular, well-organised craft markets, so I’m looking forward to my first time as a stallholder, along with 70 other designer-makers. I also love the Geffrye Museum, which explores how the home and fashions in interior decoration have developed over the years. There’s a candlelit concert on the same evening as the market, so the atmosphere should be suitably festive!

As well as my ecoprinted items I’ll also have lots of indigo shibori scarves, but not much felt, due to limited space.

This will be my last market before Christmas, but some of my indigo scarves will be available at Diverse Gifts until 4 January, and there’s always my Etsy shop (this will be closed on Thursday while I’m at Crafty Fox).

The Crafty Fox Night Market is at the Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA on Thursday 17 December, 4-9pm.

Recent acquisitions and upcoming events

I’m just back from a few days in Wales, where we had the most glorious sunny weather (previous visits have usually coincided with rain, rain and more rain!). It was even warm enough to have breakfast in the garden on one day. 🙂

The main reason for the visit was to stock up on fibre goodies at Wonderwool Wales, and I think it’s fair to say I succeeded in this!

wonderwool haul

The range of fleece, batts and tops from different types of sheep was far wider than at the Knitting and Stitching Shows, and there were far fewer irrelevant stalls selling tacky knick knacks. It was also good to meet up again with Ruth Packham, who I met at the Andrea Graham workshop in Amsterdam last year, and discuss how we are using Andrea’s techniques in our work.

The large steamer in the photo above didn’t come from Wonderwool, in case you were wondering! I picked it up in a charity shop – it’s large enough to steam a small turkey! I’m hoping it will come in useful for steaming larger bundles when I’m eco dyeing.

Now I’m getting ready for three major events in May. This Sunday 3 May I’m taking part in the Intrigue Emporium Spring Fair at Shoreditch Town Hall. It’s nice to see my felt kaleidocycle featured on the flyer, though mostly I’ll be selling indigo shibori scarves.

BC-Illustrator

Then the following weekend, 9 and 10 May, it’s Dulwich Artists’ Open House weekend – I’m teaming up with seven other artists and designer-makers in a lovely house in West Dulwich, including Gabriela Szulman, who will also be at the Intrigue Emporium show. There’s a private view on Friday evening – everyone welcome!

dulwich open house 2015

At the end of the month, on Saturday 30 May, Carol and I are running a Women of the Cloth felting workshop at the South London Botanical Institute as part of the Chelsea Fringe. Carol will be teaching people how to make a needle felted bird; I will be showing how to make a wet felted bird pod.

So we were thrilled when Gardens Illustrated magazine included our workshop and a photo of Carol’s needle felted bluetit in its feature on the Chelsea Fringe. 🙂