Makers

Makers, Markets

Maker Interviews: Christmas behind the scenes

This week we spoke briefly to four talented makers about their experiences during the festive season; from increased orders to keeping up with Christmas markets. Whether you're a fellow designer or an avid shopper of all things handmade these interviews will give you an insight into a small business owner's life in the run up to Christmas. 

MICA PEET

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello, my names Mica and I’m a jewellery designer working from my studio in Southsea, with the help of my wire fox terrier Reg. I specialise in crafting unique patterned jewellery, inspired by my love of the beautiful natural world combined with modern stylized shapes.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

The Christmas period is defiantly my busiest time, it starts to really ramp up around the second week of November and slows down by the third week of December.

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

This year I’m trying to get as much made as possible so when I get really busy I won’t have to do much making, this will hopefully make packing orders much quicker. I have been prepping stock since the end of August and trying to get all my stockists orders out by the end of October defiantly eases up the stress. Family members get roped in for packing duties, especially over Black Friday weekend which is my busiest time of the year.

Do you have any tips for other makers?

I would advise getting out of the studio for a bit as this defiantly helps the mind, I’m lucky to have the beach 10 minutes from my house so escaping with my dog for an hour is great, as well as a good night sleep. I try to stop working by 7 in the busy period or at least do easy jobs like box making on the sofa, preferably with a G&T.

Mica Peet will be at our Brixton Market at the Dogstar on Sunday the 3rd of December.

PUP TART

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi I'm Hannah and I run Pup Tart alongside my dog Indy and some excellent helpers. We currently sew sparkly accessories at our brand new studio/shop in North London.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

Every year I say I'll be more prepared and every year I end up in a mad panic to get everything done. Christmas is our busiest time of the year. I would estimate that 60% if our business is made during the period Oct-Dec and every year it takes me by surprise.

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

I'm very lucky to have the help of some amazing crafty buddies who come in more often and cut out Christmas pudding bags and pack up orders. Our Pet Bow ties are very popular around this time so we try to have extra stock made up. We've also moved into a new studio which has much more room and making busy times more efficient. I spent 4 years running Pup Tart out of our leaky old conservatory so having lots of space is amazing. We just built an order packing desk which has made our lives so much easier.

Any anecdotes you would like to share?

I have so many silly ones (mostly about posting parcels). I once had to make bow ties during friends’ wedding weekend, everyone was helping the night before and we had to drive around the countryside looking for a post box. Another time there was a big rumour that there would be a late night Saturday post collection at our local post office. I was there in the middle of the night filling up the post box.

You can shop Pup Tart on Saturday 2nd December at the Dogstar, Brixton and on Saturday 16th December at Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant and Castle. Or attend the Pup Tart Pimp my Pouch workshop on Sunday 3rd December at the Dogstar, Brixton.

CLEMENT & CLAUDE

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hey, I'm Jo! I have been running Clement & Claude for 3.5 years. I started pouring candles on my kitchen table and selling them to friends and family. I now make the candles out of a studio in Walthamstow, I have about 20 stockists and I trade at regular craft fairs and markets. My main goal with the brand is to make affordable and original candles.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

It is MUCH busier! From October onward I have lots of orders coming in from my stockists as well as lots more online orders on my website. Christmas markets and shows also start around October/November time so there is lots going on. 

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

I have an amazing candle maker called Lucia who helps out lots with the production of the candles. She usually does extra hours around the Christmas period, and helps out with packing up the stockist orders. I have also recently enlisted my parents! They help out with all of my online orders, packing up the candles and sending them out to the clients. This has been incredibly valuable as I work full time separately to the candles. I generally do extra hours in the evenings and weekends to make sure I am on top of all of the admin side of things. Lastly there is also lots of prep before each market - and lots of driving around London!

See more from Clement & Claude at on Saturday 2nd December at the Dogstar, Brixton and on Saturday 16th December at Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant and Castle.

HELLO MARILU

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I'm Mary-Ann and I run my creative lifestyle brand Hello Marilu, which I have been doing since July last year. I love designing and making, so all of my products are hand crafted in my South London studio. I screen print my art prints, notebooks and greeting cards, and hand paint ceramics such as plant pots and Christmas Baubles.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

This is my second Christmas running Hello Marilu and my schedule is already really full on in the run up to the big day! It is amazing how much busier Christmas is compared to the rest of the year. I think a big reason for this for me personally is because one of my best selling products are my hand painted Christmas baubles. Each bauble is hand painted and personalised with a name or message. The design is quite intricate and can easily take 20-25 minutes per bauble to paint. Last year I was working on a lot of orders from my home studio, and selling at markets and running my own Bauble painting workshops. This year I am actually working with Fortnum & Mason to offer a live personalisation service in-store, and running Christmas workshops for a few other brands. It’s great to feel that my little business is growing and getting opportunities like this. Of course I will still be selling my baubles on my website and I’m looking forward to taking part in a few Christmas markets as well.  It’s always lovely to meet customers in person!

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with these changes? Do you work longer hours?

I will be working longer hours, and pretty much seven days a week. I think I only have one day off to look forward to from now until Christmas, which will be my birthday! It can be a little daunting when I look at everything I need to do but it’s also pretty amazing and I know I will be able to rest in January when it will be much, much quieter! I do realise I am lucky to be so busy and I want to make the most of every opportunity for my business throughout the season. I'm also very lucky to have friends and family who have offered to help with a few things. It can be hard working alone at times as you don't want to miss out on opportunities but also you can't physically do everything yourself.

Any anecdotes you'd like to share?

It’s not just Santa’s elves who stay up all night making Christmas gifts! I'm sure there are lots of makers who will be working pretty hard this Christmas season. I think it is great that more people, myself included, are supporting smaller brands and buying original handmade gifts.

You can catch Hello Marilou at our Night Market at the Geffrye Museum on Thursday 14th December.

Makers

Behind the scenes with Limehouse Ceramics

This week we spoke to the incredibly talented Elizabeth Macneal, of Limehouse Ceramics, about the process behind her beautiful clay creations. Read ahead to hear how she works the clay and her tips for aspiring makers and designers, and don't forget to check out her profile on the Shopping With Soul directory.

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Hello Elizabeth! Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm a potter based in Limehouse, East London. I make all of my ceramics in the glorified shed at the bottom of my garden. Last year I quit my job as a management consultant to pursue pottery and writing - I definitely do not miss a life of spreadsheets and PowerPoint. 

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What’s the process behind creating a new product? How long does it take you from inspiration to final product?
First of all I wedge the clay - this removes all of the air bubbles. After cutting and weighing the clay (e.g. a big mug is 550g), I throw each piece on the wheel. This is probably my favourite part - when a piece takes shape. I don't tend to follow any structured inspiration process (e.g. working from drawings) - I'll just experiment as I go, usually at this stage. 

After drying out for a day, the piece will be 'leather hard', which means it can be handled easily and trimmed. It's at the right consistency to add a foot ring, handle, or smooth off any imperfections.

Once the piece is bone dry - which takes about four days - it's ready to be fired for the first time to 1000C. This removes all the water and makes sure it is still porous for absorbing glaze. I dip or paint on the glaze, then fire it a second time to 1240C, so that the clay vitrifies and the glaze melts. From start to finish, it will take about 2 weeks for each piece to be made. I always love opening the kiln after a glaze firing - and seeing the glossy colours inside.

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What is the most challenging part of the process? And your favourite?
The most challenging part is probably the glazing. This can lead to the biggest inconsistencies - pieces are often ruined if the glaze is too thick or thin. My favourite part is definitely throwing - I never fail to be amazed that a ball of earth can be turned into a vase or a mug or any circular shape I'd like!

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What one piece of advice would you give to a new designer maker who is just starting out?
Try a market. They are great for feedback - you can see which designs are working and which aren't. You can also work out your pricing - if something doesn't sell, it's often because I've priced it too high, and markets are a very easy way of determining this. Also, build up your Instagram. As well as being a lovely way to connect with customers and get feedback, it's also where I get almost all of my online sales. With the rise of 'cool' markets, the increased connection with handmade products, and the ease of using marketing tools like Instagram, I don't think there's been a better time to start out as a small maker. 

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What’s next for Limehouse Ceramics? Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
I always have new designs coming out - I have a pretty low boredom threshold, which definitely makes it tricky to keep my website updated, but it also keeps the work enjoyable. In the coming months, there'll be teapots, new teacup designs, and some serving bowls.

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Limehouse Ceramics is featured on our Shopping With Soul Directory, you can also see Elizabeth's stunning creations in person, at a Crafty Fox Market, on the following dates (click on each date to see details and full trader listings):
Mercato Metroplitano 18 Nov
Brixton 02 December
Peckham 09 December
Geffrye Museum 14 December
Mercato Metroplitano 16 Dec

Shopping Inspiration, Makers

Halloween Shopping Inspiration

Happy Friday the 13th! Isn’t it lucky (or maybe unlucky) that we get a Friday the 13th in October, perfect for the run-up to Halloween. In celebration of everyone’s favourite festival of fright, here are our favourite fabulously spooky finds from the Shopping With Soul Directory. Whether you're after something to grace your mantelpiece or a fashionable accessory, these picks are sure to pique your interest. And whilst these pieces definitely feel a little haunted, we think they’re perfect all year round!

Click on the photos to see more from these talented makers. Clockwise from top left:

Kayleigh Radcliffe

Floozey

El Famoso Prints

Rock Cakes

Juan is Dead

James Barker

Craft Scene, Makers, Markets

Download the Crafty Fox Zine!

At our Spring Market last week we launched our very first zine! A celebration of all the wonderful makers involved and a lovely keepsake for everyone who visited. Featuring interviews with guest curator Lisa Comfort, trader Jenny Sibthorpe, Pui from Scout Editions and illustrator Hannah Rampley whose gorgeous artwork features throughout. There is even a special Crafty Fox inspired craft tutorial from Zabby Allen so you can carry on the fun at home!

Didn't nab a copy at the market? Worry not! You can view and download a copy of the zine for yourself, by clicking here.

Makers, Markets

The Crafty Fox Zine is coming!

We are so excited to share our latest project with you - The Crafty Fox Zine!

We will be launching the zine at our Spring Market this Saturday 6th May at Oval Space in Bethnal Green, where you will be able to pick up your free copy as you go in.

The zine is filled with maker profiles, spring trends, a special foxy craft tutorial by Zabby Allen and lots more. Beautifully illustrated throughout by textile artist Hannah Rampley.

As an extra special treat there will also be a mural wall in the entrance to the market featuring Hannah's illustrations, by Coast Design Studio, perfect for an Instagram photo opportunity with your new purchases!! Don't forget to tag us in to your market photos using @craftyfoxmarket and #craftyfoxmarket.

See you there!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 12

It's #CraftyFoxFinds time again! Loads of action over on Instagram  this week, exciting to see lots of market prep for the Spring event in just over a weeks time!

Here are our top finds of the week .....

Hope you enjoy this weeks faves, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with more exciting new handmade products for you.

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 11

Hope you have all had a lovely Easter and are back in the swing of things! Its been great to see that the sugar rush has resulted in a flurry of new makes over on Instagram.  It's nice to discover new people to follow and see what our Spring Market traders are up to by checking out the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag.

Here are this week's top 9 - click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with the best new discoveries for you to enjoy!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 10

With less than 4 weeks to go until our Spring Market it's brilliant to see the progress of some of our traders on Instagram. Of course, it's also a treat to discover new makers that are using the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag.

Hope you enjoy this week's top 9 - click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with more lovely makes for you!

Resources, In Business, Makers

Our First Overseas Trade Show - By Pui from Scout Editions

 
 

Recently Scout Editions visited and showed at the Amsterdam trade show, ShowUp. Pui tells us all about their experience and passes on her top tips to you. Great advice for those who might be thinking about doing something similar!

We started to think about trade shows for this year, and decided to take part in our first overseas trade show, ShowUP in Amsterdam. A fellow designer from the Netherlands recommended it to us so we decided to give it a go. We were interested in showing our work to a new crowd, particularly out of London, so this was a good opportunity.

Although it was an event abroad, we found that it was probably one of the smoothest we've had to prepare for. I think it helped as we had taken part in many events before, trade shows and pop-up shops so it was good training. Our only limitation was the weight and size of what we were going to take,  as we had luggage restrictions. An edit of our collection was packed into one suitcase, which was a good challenge!

When we arrived in Amsterdam, we headed straight to the show venue. Fellow designers and brands were already setting up. As we had a very tight edit of products, we were pretty quick to set up which meant we could have a good look around the show while everyone was prepping.

It's always inspiring to see how other brands curate their stands and display ideas. The show was so well organised. It was also great meeting other brands and chatting with them. We gained more stockists which was great and also good fun too.

Things to think about:

1) Accommodation:
When looking into accommodation, it’s a good idea to stay somewhere close to the event venue so that its not far to travel to rest up and so that it's quick to get there each morning. 

2) Stock:
Ideally travel as light as possible. We think its a good idea to take 2-3 spares of each item, in case one gets damaged in transit, or if a buyer may like to take a sample. Additionally think about the small items you can take to dress your stand, for example, signage, descriptions etc. 

3) Price List:
As we were in Amsterdam, we decided to convert our trade price list to Euros to make it easier for the buyers. We also put a note that prices were an approximation as the exchange rate would naturally change a little when they place an order.

4) Promo Materials:
Make sure you have plenty of cards, flyers and brochures for buyers to take away with them. As the show is so busy, its good for visitors to take something visual away with them, to remind them of your work.

5) Origin:
As we were in Amsterdam, we couldn't assume that people knew that were from the UK. So we had a little signage to explain who we are and that we're from London. We found that the buyers were interested in this. 

6) Improvise:
As we had to pack light, we couldn't take any of our usual display items with us, like our large wall display board. Luckily the ShowUp stands were so well made, we didn't really need to do much to it.  A month before the show, ShowUp organisers contacted us and asked if we wanted to hire a clothes rail - we used this to hang our prints on but we had to remember to bring our own hangers. Its worth contacting show organisers to see what equipment you can hire whilst your there, which may help with your display.

7) And Relax…
After the show, we stayed on for a couple of days. A nice treat! 

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 9

This week we have landed in April and are excited to be getting closer to our Spring Market! We've enjoyed seeing everyone getting ready for the day with some behind the scenes piccies on Instagram too using the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag.

Hope you enjoy this weeks favourites, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with our choice of new discoveries!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

Maker Profile - Clara Castner

Hi! I’m Clara and I’m a ceramicist. My workshop is at my lovely fiancé’s house down in Kent and that is where the making happens.

I’ve been making since I was little. My mother used to make some of my clothes and I have always been fascinated with sewing. As I grew up, it was always textiles that fascinated me: embroidery, patchwork and quilting, dyeing my own fabric. This was always as a hobby, with the “day job” being a legal secretary. I did some City & Guilds certificates and wanted to go on to study at a higher level, so took an Art & Design Diploma at the City Lit in London. I was convinced I would study fine art textiles. However, an amazing tutor at City Lit, Robert Cooper, introduced me to clay and that was it, I was hooked. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the BA (Hons) Ceramic Design course at Central St Martins, and graduated from there in 2013.

It took a while to find my feet after university and I went back to the drawing board in 2015 and looked at all the things I love: colour, texture, everything floral. I had done some floristry certificates and started to look at vessels to compliment flowers. And so, the vases came into being.  

Each piece is made of slip cast porcelain. What that means is, I use a liquid clay that looks remarkly like white chocolate! This liquid clay is poured into a plaster mould, left in the mould for some time, and then the excess is poured out. You are left with what is called a cast inside the mould. The cast is removed from the mould and, at this point, it is very fragile. It is left to dry a little, so that it can be handled safely. I then carve the individual markings into each vase. The vases are then put into the kiln for their first firing. Once they are fired, they are taken out, checked over to make sure everything went okay in the first firing, and given a light sanding. They are then glazed, which gives the glassy finish, and then refired, this time to a high temperature of anything between 1260º and 1290º, which gives the porcelain that lovely satin feel.

It has such a beautiful texture if the clay is left unglazed, a cool satin feel and it’s white, which means it really allows the glaze to pop on the white background.

Inspiration is everywhere, but I do tend to take mine from the natural world. I let people see the patterns themselves, but I must say its lovely when someone says “oh this reminds me of silver birch” when that is exactly what inspired the carvings. I love bark, and lichen and rock, which must hark back to my A Level in Geology!

As for colours, I have this mantra: “everything goes with green”! You only have to look at nature, there are so many different coloured flowers and they all go with green. The idea with the vases is that they can compliment the stems of the flowers they hold, and elongate the flower. I do, however, have plans to introduce some more colours so, as they say, watch this space!

I think I have found my favourite flower, but it seems to change with what’s in season! I think my absolute favourites would be tulips and sunflowers. I do think I’d like to try making one of the stacked tulip vessels that were so in vogue in the height of the tulip mania, but that’s a very long term project (and I’d need a much bigger kiln!).  

My workspace, until recently, has been the kitchen and the patio. However, I now have my own room in which to work - a bedroom that has been converted into a studio. It's only little but it's nice to be able to leave work out to dry and not have little paw prints from our very inquisitive cat! Come the spring weather though, I do like working outside so you will probably find me outside working again!

I couldn’t live without wifi in the studio! It can be a lonely business working away in your own space by yourself, and its great that you can Whatsapp a picture to your best friend and ask for a critique, or share what you’re doing on social media for that little boost.  

Moving forward my plan is to have a different style of vase for each type of flower, in three sizes of each, all based on a round footprint. A new shape is already in development and will be launched later this year. After that, I start on square footprints…  I am also considering making some wider low vessels that can either be used for flower arranging or serving food.

The great thing about the vases I make is, they look fabulous in groups, but they also work singly. I tend to have just one in a shelf, and then the mantelpiece will have three or four grouped together. I will pick one shape, or one colour to unify them, and have just a few stems in each one.


Shop the gorgeous collection via the Shopping With Soul Directory now!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

Maker Profile - Cliffe House Organics

My name is Thom! I am the founder of Cliffe House Organics based in Holmfirth, Yorkshire. We craft and create handmade natural products from skincare to home gifts. We are a small family team that is passionate about producing amazing products with a focus on sustainable, ethical ingredients & packaging.

Everything we make is made by hand by me

I started making soaps around 3 years ago just for fun as I was intrigued about how they were made. After studying further and taking a few courses I  began to create my own recipes and blends. I began to think maybe I could sell these and my passion for design led me to start designing packaging. After some small successes the business grew along with some new product ranges including candles, diffusers and gift sets. Everyone involved at Cliffe House Organics comes from different backgrounds from art, sales to accounts. I have had a few different jobs myself from farming to marketing!  

We started with our range of signature soaps made using 100% natural ingredients, each soap was made with a skin condition or purpose in mind such as our Cooks kitchen soap made with lemon and coffee perfect to remove kitchen smells from your hands.

We then expanded the business to include candles, again we started with a small set of 5 soy wax candles scented with essential oils. The candles we chose match 5 of our best selling soaps, each candle is hand poured and finished with a small decoration made using soy wax and natural botanicals. In time we have added Essential oil diffusers to the collection of products and again we chose to make these 100% natural by using a soy base rather than alcohol or petroleum as you get in most high street diffusers. Not only does this mean a more eco-friendly product but a longer lasting product. Since then we have added luxury gift boxes, which we can personalize, along with soy wax tealight sets.  

Being organic was very important when I set up the business. Following research, I couldn’t believe the amount of harmful things companies put in their products that they don’t make clear and even hide behind clever marketing. This includes packaging, which is a trending topic around the world at the minute as we produce too much rubbish from products being packaged badly. We only use sustainable sources for all our packaging including papers made from recycled coffee cups on all our soaps. We print using green print which uses waxes instead of inks which last much longer and can be recycled.

Most of the products we make have a similar process in some regard. We take natural base oils, botanicals and 100% pure essential oils. We blend these at different temperatures using different techniques to create the end product.

I find inspiration for new scents everywhere! Sometimes we smell a product we like but think we can improve if we added a little of this or that, some products scents are drawn from places we have been around the world or simply smells we know we would love to be on our skin or fill our home. Blending scents is probably the hardest thing we do and can take months to find the right balance.

It’s very hard to pick a favourite product from the range as I know how much work went into each one, but I would have to pick the Physic Garden diffuser. It’s a blend of rose, patchouli, lavender and ylang ylang which really fills the whole house. The inspiration was taken from a garden in Chelsea filled with these scents.

We work out of the family home which is also a B&B. We have a large cellar space which we converted to a manufacturing facility and warehouse space, although most of the house is now filled with product and boxes!

This spring we are launching a really exciting new range of candles, we are calling these The Uncorked collection as they are made using recycled wine bottles. We have cut wine bottles down and filled them with our natural soy wax and essential oils, each candles comes with a cork stopper of keep the candle fresh and they will last over 40 hours. We also have a new candle making kit coming soon filled with everything you would need to make your own natural candle.


Shop the gorgeous collection via the Shopping With Soul Directory now!

Craft Scene, Makers

Pica Studios Open Day

A few weeks ago I went to the open day of Pica Studios in York to meet some of the artists and see the workspaces in this creative co-op. Set within an 18th Century print works, the productive setting lends itself to its current purpose - housing the workshops of eighteen artists, makers, writers and musicians.

Beautifully light and filled with inspiration, for the last 2 months the space has become a hub of creativity from some well known locals such as artist Mark Hearld, ceramicist Emily Stubbs and jeweller Evie Leach.

It is fantastic to see how everyone shares the space and works so closely together. Mark shares a room with fellow artist Lesley Birch. I asked her what it was like and she told me "It's great sharing the space - we can both be in here and be working quietly, not speaking for hours. Then I can turn to Mark and say "hey what do you think to this?" and we ask each other for advice and thoughts".

Looking around, you can see the diversity of the makers with homewares in one corner, the other side of the desk covered in pastels and sketches, a dressmaker next to a sculptor with a papercut artist nestled in between. The upper floor houses a print room that is filled to the rafters with drawers and drawers full of letterpress fonts that made this typography lover go weak at the knees.

The makers all share a sense of camaraderie and watching them interact they feel more like a family than work mates. Amongst the paint brushes and half finished projects lie empty wine bottles that hint at the social side of proceedings that occur as darkness falls.

I am fascinated by visiting peoples studios and seeing how they work and the processes involved, so this was such a treat and I left feeling so inspired. Walking down that little cobbled back street I would otherwise have never known what incredible work was being produced just a stones throw away from the famed Minster, and I love that!

Hopefully this will open up the door for more co-op opportunities in York. Feeling the energy in there and seeing the artists bouncing off each other is a wonderful thing and shared workspaces are definitely the way forward, the creativity is infectious!

I look forward to seeing more from these fantastic artists and I'm hoping they won't notice if I sneak in and work from a corner behind a canvas or something, I'd be happy to be the tea lady...

Words and photos by Kayti Peschke.

Resources, Makers

Business Resources for Designer-Makers - Free Download

 
 

Running your own business, being creative and promoting yourself can be overwhelming for designer-makers - there's so much to learn! We have teamed up with Sarah Hewett who has compiled a free download for you to save, full of useful resources and articles on a whole host of topics.

Sarah has a background in creative business support and exhibition management, specialises in craft and design and spent the last 3 years on the community team at Etsy, supporting and showcasing their creative entrepreneurs in the UK.

Perfect to keep on hand when you need some inspiration for that extra push!

Click on the link below to view the guide...

 

 
 

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds Week 4

This week we have been busy selecting traders for our Spring Market, and it was lovely to see lots of applicants on Instagram too using the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag.

Here are our top finds of the week - vibrant geometric jewellery made with rose gold by Melody G and pots by HKDCeramics that use bright colours against the terracotta to great effect.

Hope you enjoy this weeks favourites, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with our choice of new discoveries!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 3

Another great week on Instagram discovering new makes with the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag on our Instagram page.

Here are our top finds of the week - a selection of hand-carved goodies by SingleMaltTeapot
 including spoons, a spoon rest and a lovely bowl - and gorgeous patterned plates by Hilda Carr Pottery, that we would very much like to eat our dinner from!

Hope you enjoy this weeks selection of makes, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with our choice of the best.

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 2

Another great week on Instagram discovering new makes with the #CraftyFoxFinds campaign on our Instagram page!

Here are our top finds of the week - a gorgeous tapestry by Sew & Saunders and some awesome handpainted and copper foiled lettering artwork by Andrew J Mason.

Hope you enjoy this weeks pics, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag so we can see your makes and we will be back again next Friday with more inspiring makes.

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds spotlight!

This week we started our #CraftyFoxFinds campaign to discover exciting new products from designer makers, and every Friday we will share our choice from the week on our Instagram page!

The response has been overwhelming so thank you to everyone who has joined in and shared their makes or tagged in makers, so much talent! Our top finds of the week were the Lemon and Teatree Soaps by Butter Bar Soapery and the Graffiti Ceramic Brooch by Upsy Daisy Craft, but there was so much to choose from we simply had to share some more with you here!

Enjoy and hope you find some new Instagram accounts to follow, click on the images to go to the makers pages!

Makers

Lisa Stickley brings "Handstand" to our Peckham Market

Illustrator and designer Lisa Stickley can now add author to her list of accomplishments, as her childrens book Handstand has just been released. We can't wait to take a peek inside at our upcoming Peckham Autumn Market where Lisa will be signing copies on Sunday 9th October.

We thought we'd catch up with her to hear more about the project and what else she has been up to...

Hi Lisa! Tell me a little more about yourself, what you do, where you live, your products etc...

I am deliriously devoted to designing and creating. Having originally founded Lisa Stickley in 1999 (from my bedroom, using the original Cash’s labels my mum used to sew into my school socks) I was lucky enough to sell my first ever products to Paul Smith, Designers Guild and The Cross. Since then I have collaborated with the likes of Burberry, Harrods, Liberty, Tate, Selfridges, Heals, Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis and Japanese stores Ships, Hankyu & Isetan.

I trained as a printed textile designer at Central Saint Martins and The Royal College Of Art, and my journey so far has taken me on many adventures. I opened my first shop in 2007 in South London which, behind the scenes, doubled up as a bustling print studio and creative hub. I have designed and developed lifestyle brand concepts, and have produced and sold home-wear products and accessories all over the world.

I currently live, and work, as a designer/author & illustrator in the leafy lanes of South East London with my husband and daughters. Some of my latest work includes a range of greetings cards I have just launched with The Art Group. And more recently too, I have been indulging in a new and thoroughly enjoyable venture writing and illustrating children’s books.

Tell us about your new book… What is it about, who is it for…

My new book Handstand has (literally) just been published (with Pavilion Books) so it’s all very exciting at the moment. Handstand is a kind of counting book aimed at 3-5 year olds. The blurb on the back of the book explains a little bit more…

Handstands aren’t easy. Just ask Edith.
From standing on her hands for one second on Monday, she eventually does seven in a row on Sunday. But in between, she’s put off by worms, bees and a cheeky bird.
Count along with Edith as she learns that practice makes perfect.

The main character is loosely based around my eldest daughter Edith, and she has great fun ‘introducing’ all of the other characters as the book progresses, all of whom cause her much grief as she is attempting to perfect her upside down skills!

Have you always wanted to write / illustrate a children’s book?

It is something I fell into a bit by accident really, and I am so very pleased that I did. I had to make rather an abrupt change in career path a couple of years ago, which coincided with having just become a mum.
My mind is always on the go, creating and inventing and I often come up with random scenarios in my head. Marrying that with my love for doodling and colouring-in, and the new daily inspiration from my mini ones, sort of created a few pieces of a puzzle for a new direction. I had some suggestion and encouragement from some of my close friends and family to give writing a go, and the puzzle pieces started to slot into place!

I was then very lucky indeed to find a publisher last year who liked my work, and still can’t quite believe I am now a published author/illustrator. It has all been a bit whirlwind-ish really!


What have been your most challenging and favourite parts of the process?

The tricky bit is coming up with a concept for a story. I have a million ideas constantly buzzing around in my head, but to nail down something that could work for a book requires a good edit.

Once that bit is done it is a challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable process of bringing the book to life in words and pictures. I tend to get the writing as finished as possible first and then the illustration part comes second (albeit I visually map this out in my head at the same time the story emerges). It is then a matter of fitting the words and pictures into the format of the book and this takes quite a bit of too-ing and fro-ing to make it flow well both image and story wise.

In terms of artwork it is all equally good fun. I tend to use my VERY old typewriter to write with (there is something about the ‘clickity clack’ of the letters pounding on the paper that I find quite inspiring). And the illustration comes in the form of a variety of processes from mono-printing, painting, paper-cutting, oil pastel and line drawing with pen and ink.

I produce all of the elements for each picture by hand then scan these into the computer and collage together to create the final compositions. Often some of my textile prints will come into play at this stage too, used as background pattern or to collage a dress or pair of shorts onto a character.

Favourite part… every bit.

 

What can we expect to see on your stand at the upcoming crafty fox Autumn markets?

I shall be at Crafty Fox with my new book, signing, selling copies and introducing it to the world. I shall also be selling my new cards and some original artwork based on my Handstand Book illustrations.

Any other new projects in the pipeline?

Yes… a few. Some of which are top secret so I can’t tell at the moment.

Other new projects include ongoing collections of cards with The Art Group and two further children’s books with Pavilion Books, which are being published next year. And a PILE of ideas for many more books after that!

 

Makers

Taking The Leap - by Luke Adam Hawker

Doing what you love and making a living from your craft is the goal of many designer makers. Crafty Fox trader Luke Adam Hawker has recently done just that and taken the move into full time making with his art.

We caught up with him to see how things were going and find out about his latest projects.

You can meet Luke and see his creations in the flesh at our Brixton Market this Sunday, 18th September; or at our Peckham Market on Saturday 8th October.

Hi Luke! Tell me a little more about yourself…
I was until recently a full time interior designer, spending the majority of the past 6 years working in the high-end residential sector. I was lucky enough to work for architectural practices that valued my drawing ability and I’ll continue to take on freelance work, as I can’t imagine leaving it all completely behind. I am based in Herne Hill, but I travel all around London to draw on location, for self initiated projects and commissions. I then produce limited edition signed prints of those drawings to sell online and at markets.
 
How long have you been making and selling your work?

My first experience of selling my work was at a Crafty Fox market in Peckham two years ago. I remember that first market vividly… frames crashing down to the ground and me standing there glowing bright red, trying and failing to act as though it was all part of my master plan! Despite the breakages and embarrassment, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and even earned enough to cover my many breakages. More importantly it kicked off the start of a steep learning curve.
 
At what point did you think you could go full time with your art, and how did you make it a reality? Was it a scary move to take?
I think the process of realisation was a gradual one; each market and exhibition built my confidence and grew my audience in an organic and natural way. 
 
Essentially the only way to make it a reality is to take the risk. For me, this was not a scary process but an exciting one. I’m fortunate to have already built a career in the creative industries. Although I have left my full time job as an interior designer, I have not left the industry - just shifted my main focus and allowed myself more time to practice my art.

What are the best platforms for you to get your work out there?
Nothing beats meeting people face to face, where they have the opportunity to explore my work in greater detail and I have the chance to explain my process. This is why markets are such a great platform, more so than specific art exhibitions. The environment is more relaxed and that makes interaction more natural.
 
In terms of social media, I think all have something to offer, but as a visual platform, Instagram is hard to beat.
 
Any advice for other designer makers thinking of making the leap?
I think the best advice I could give is to try your best to make it not feel like a leap. Try to dedicate as much time as you can to your craft  - if you find you are choosing to spend time on it, rather than going to the pub on Friday night….then you’re probably ready. Ironically, I think I made the decision whilst at a pub.
 
The most common obstacle for people making the leap/jump/step is financial. I spent a lot of time working out how I could reduce outgoings and pay the rent and bills on what I knew would be a reduced income. It is essentially a decision to place value in how you spend your time over how you spend your money. Turns out time isn’t money after all, its time! We need to spend it wisely.

What products will you be bringing to the upcoming Crafty Fox Autumn markets?
I am very excited to be bringing my Blue Plaque Door print along to Brixton on Sunday the 18th September for its debut; this has been a year in the making with over 40hrs of drawing all around London. The project celebrates the amazing people and architecture of London. If you are still wondering what on earth I am talking about, take a look through my Instagram.
 
I will also have my third print in the “Peoplewatching” series with me, “Glastonbury” I had a lot of fun drawing the mayhem of the festival this year, even if most of that time was under a brolly. I’m hoping to meet somebody who made it into the print…you never know.

A massive thanks to everyone who has supported me and my work so far, hopefully see you at a market soon.
 
www.lukeadamhawker.com
www.instagram.com/lukeadamhawker
www.twitter.com/lukeadamhawker

B&W portrait image by Michael Drummond.