All images copyright the artist (listed below)
Montage created by Tina Francis from Web images
Those of you who read this blog on regular basis (thanks pals!) will know that my bespoke stitching only uses second hand wool, I am as much interested in the story behind who owned the wool as I am in the new piece I create. Some of my second hand stitching has been used to create the tapestry needlepoint kits that I sell but of course these kits contain new wool! Taking a look at my stand neighbours at The Handmade Fair there seems to be a common theme of tradition and memory woven into our practices, lets take a look at the people that will surround me at the end of September.
Firstly The Littlecote Soap Co. founded by Elaine Stavert 12 years ago after a life-changing move from a London television career to a farm in the heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside. Inspired by the surrounding countryside and her favourite things in life, each ethical range is made from traditional recipes with exclusively designed perfumes that are quintessentially English with contemporary twists. This all sounds a bit like the good-life and yes it seems that it is because one of the ranges is based on gin and tonic!
Bobo Stitch has a very special piece of history in the making as the company is named after their daughter Olive, see their site for the full story. Whilst the kits used traditional cross stitch the patterns created are really something quite special and heirlooms in the making.
Speaking of tradition the work by Chachoulie concentrates on recycling the rich embroidery of Palestine, a country that has a rich heritage in cross stitch. The national dress of the region is defined by its embroidery and each dress tells a story with its colours, patterns and shapes, revealing not only which village the wearer is from but also her marital status.Rima set up her company to showcase her creativity through the cultural identity of Palestine and to keep the folk craft of the region at the front end of fashion.
Onward! How will you have the time to visit us all! The powerhouse that is Puntobelle design all their own fabrics and then use them to create really useful products, I am particuarly looking forward to the Travel Wallet which will set anyone,s holiday off to a great start. Some of these patterns are already design classics and so will be around for a long time!
Whilst Puntobelle use their own fabrics for their designs Creative Quilting bring you fantastic fabrics for all your quilting needs. Set up with just 5 bolts of fabric in 1989 the shop now boasts 2000 bolts! Hopefully a good selection of them will be making their way to the fair. A huge amount of quilting knowledge will be there for the taking on this stand, don't miss out on asking for advice if you want to start working with fabric.
There is a Norwegian saying about if you want to sing you will always find your song which I was reminded of when I read how printer Sarah Hamilton describes her work which revolves around colour for her the colours must sing which I can appreciate being a tapestry artist! Sarahs prints have a Scandinavian feel but are also based on her love of 1950's fabrics and among others Eric Ravilious and Georges Braque (a Tina Francis favourite). Sharing a stand with Sarah will be another print maker called Gabriela Szulman whose work is inspired by the nature of memories, over the years she has saved family photographs and printed ephemera from the 1940s and 1950s to create beautiful collages which are now being used for a new range of scarves that will be launched at the fair.
Using family memorabilia is taken to the next level by The Hutton Emporium who will be exhibiting work from members of the Hutton Family. This exciting mix of styles and practices will be great to see, I will be trying to find a link in the styles! Emma Hutton is a jeweller who adds history to her pieces by giving them a worn and cherished look with different pattination techniques.
After a long day at a show I like to sit down and look at something really beautiful for a while before I start to pack away and this time I will be looking at the fantastic hand painted and naturally dyed wools of Watercolours and Lace. I am very interested in the way that a naturally dyed wool can bring immediate texture to any piece especially as some of the dyes are from right here in the UK.
So there we go just a few of the stands in the West Tent that I will be sharing my time with from 19th to 21st September. I will be blogging more soon about other stand holders that I know whose work is nothing less than fantastic.