Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Making beads from paper

I had a little dabble at creating beads out of paper over the Easter. The first set of beads, made from strips of paper I had attempted before but I didn't like the elipse shape that resulted. I know it all depends on how you cut the paper and I really wanted to figure out how to make a lovely round bead. It's more straight forward than I thought and I was pleasantly surprised at the result, I've just got to figure out how I'm going to use them in my work now. Maybe simply strung with a few pearls.

The second set are woven beads. A little more involved than the round paper beads. Much as I enjoyed making them I can't see me using them in my work as they are too geometrical but they might be incorporated in a future workshop.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Tweeting and Creating

I've been so busy that I just haven't had time to show you all the lovely creatives that I came across at BCTF.

As mentioned in the previous post, the show was very friendly. I had linked with lots of Twitterers pre-show, in the hope that I would meet some of them. The plan worked well. Imagine a world of lots of individual creative people all tweeting and creating. Since I have joined twitter, I am never alone whilst I work, I can always pause, strike up a conversation, or comment on a image or video. It's a place to SHARE. When you need to source something and you're struggling, just ask the world and the world will answer you.

So here are my lovely twittering friends, in no particular order....

Mrs Blueberry (aka @Blueberryathome) who creates cushions, purses, and the most fabulous children's craft kits house in what only can be described as American Chinese Takeaway boxes. Here's Gerry the Giraffe to give you an idea...pure brilliance.

Stephanie Earl (aka @StephanieEarl) Unfortunately, because I was so busy at BCTF I didn't get to meet this lady, although I did see her work on passing. She works in porcelain and glass. When I look at her work its like she has taken some gorgeous textured floral or lace material dipped it into the glass or porcelain, waved a magic wand and 'Hey Presto' produced a gorgeous jug or bowl. Have a look at her cup and saucer, I wonder whether it would stand up to a cup of Darjeeling poured from a matching teapot. mmmm Divine.

Rachel Lucie (aka @rachellucie) evolves jewellery using sterling silver, semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls. Her work I would say is contemporary with a classic almost traditional take. Here's one of her pieces that is so clever... and if you are a pearl lover like myself you will appreciate its' beauty.

Another lady, I didn't meet at BCTF, but was told about her little ceramic birds is Makiko Hastings (aka makikohastings) She is a japanese artist that wanted to support her country in a creative way. So she makes little clay birds, sells them and the proceeds are sent back to Japan. I think she is surprised at the response she has received from the general public.

Helen Ose (aka @Helen_Ose) knits
jaunty lampshades that delicately play with light but giving you that homey feeling. I especially like the fact that she uses re-cycled linen which is spun in the UK.

Judith Brown (aka Judithjewels) using vintage haberdashery, eg hooks and eyes and connects them using silver and coloured wire to produce the most unusual jewellery pieces. You don't realize initially what you are looking at, some of the pieces seem to have a reference to a snippet of lace. I met Judith on a seminar run by Craft & Design magazine.

Kelly Marie McCrobie (aka @kmmcrobie) went to De Montfort like myself. She is inspired by wrought iron and lace and creates fabulous accessories and brooches.

Samantha Robinson who shared a stand with me at BCTF creates porcelain jewellery and vessels which incorporate a hint of stitch or a reference to a zip or press stud, stunning work. Yet to join twitter, so keen your eyes on the twitter line.

Jennifer Lockwood (aka@) is another ceramacist who creates fun folk style creations.

Rebecca Miles (aka rebeccamaryjane) I would describe as a traditional textile artist. You need to look at her website to see what I mean, please look at the broodges, they are my absolute favourite. She also provides workshops for adults and children.

Gail Myerscough
) works with felt to create the most sumptugous brooches. We had a few discussions at BCTF about our work and we discovered that we think in a very similar way sculpturally.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The British Craft Trade Fair

Wow! Has to be my first word. I really didn't know what to expect from this event. It was my first time and the thought of exhibiting at a trade event kind of scared me. Even the week before the event I kept telling myself that maybe I was out of my depth.

It all began with the Design Factory get together last year. Margaret Bunn came and talked to the group about BCTF. She is a very inspiring lady. I think because she spoke about her routes and how she had developed her business from being on the markets that it made me want to have a go. However, it was a few months later before I actually submitted my work and finally took the plunge.

Margaret rang me the day after I had submitted, giving me more encouragement and asking me whether I wanted to be in the Newcomers section or in the main arena. Initially, I was going to book in the Newcomers section,but there was only one space and I knew Samantha Robinson, a friend of mine also wanted a space in this area. Margaret came to the rescue and suggested that we shared a stand and the rest is history.

Margaret was so helpful throughout the process, whatever question you pitted her she always came back with a reply, even if some of the FAQ could be found in the exhibitors guide.

In the build up to the event, I had begun to use Twitter, and I found that not only did I enjoy it but there were a lot of other people using it going to BCTF. So, I started a convoy, trying to encourage people to connect. It worked far better than I imagined. A ll through the show I was meeting people on other stands who had seen my tweets. I had been told that BCTF was a friendly show, but this was amazing. Everyone was so helpful. One lady I met, Karen aka Mrs Blueberry made an excellent suggestion, that next year all the twitters wear or show a little bird either on their badge or somewhere on their stand.

Would I do BCTF again? Yes, most definitely. I have to say I was a bit taken aback at the response to my work. I took orders, I took requests for exhibitions, I talked to students, visitors and buyers with the same amount of respect. I went through plenty of business cards and post cards. The only negative that I could find is eating, there never seemed enough time.