Friday, 30 October 2009

Meet the Maker - The Cake Factory

Hi - I'm Tina - married to scrummy hubby Tim with two gorgeous girls, Georgie 8 and Poppy 6 and two lovely step-children, Calum 16 and Jess 14. We live in a little hamlet 3 miles outside Woodstock, Oxfordshire with our absolutely gorgeous cocker spaniel Beanie who thinks he's human just like the rest of us!
I guess I've always erred on the side of arty crafty but never really put it to good use. Not until I had my children that is and started making their birthday cakes. It all grew from there - I absolutely love designing and creating cakes that are uniquely special to someone. It's a challenge and enormous fun and hopefully puts a smile on people's faces! Christmas is always special and I love decorating these cakes, hopefully creating a bit of sparkle, not to mention scrumptious to eat!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Meet the Maker - Hodge Podge Arts

Tell us a little about you

My name is Karen Turner, creator of HodgePodgeArts. I am married to Martin and have 3 children and a very lazy lurcher called Archie. I am based in Brackley, Northamptonshire.

Have you always been crafty, or is it something that you've picked up more recently?

Although I originally trained as a nurse over 25 years ago I have always had an interest in art. I have been creative in some way all my life but it was when I visited a Jackson Pollock exhibition in 1999 and was blown away by the sheer energy and life in his paintings that I decided to take my interest in art much more seriously. Since then I have completed various art courses including 'Preparation For Fine Art' and an 'Art and Design Foundation' course where I gained a distinction. I am currently studying for a BA (Hons) Design Crafts degree at Oxford and Cherwell college and will be showing my work at New Designers, London , in 2010.

Have you been particularly influenced by any other artists or events?

I have a long list of Artists and crafts people who I admire or have influenced my work in some way over the years. I visit New Designers show most years and have just been to see the first part of "Origin", came out of there with my head buzzing full of ideas!! waaaay too many for my poor ole head to cope with! :-) but I love going to art exhibitons, craft fairs and galleries of all descriptions. Etsy and the Handm@de fairs have been fantastic. They have built up my confidence as well as introducing me to lots of other wonderful like minded people.

What is your favourite piece?

My favourite ceramic piece of work that I have made so far is an installation piece I did as part of my degree course this year. It is called "Forgotten" and is about the decline in family values and families no longer sitting around the table to eat their meals together. The table has been laid out but only one person has sat down to eat. The whole piece is meant to look as if it has been left for years to deteriorate, abandoned.

What other artists are you excited about seeing at Handm@de Oxford?

Oohhh I love seeing all of them!! They are all so fabby!
I love looking at all the jewellery makers as it is something I can't do myself but I also love chatting to other ceramic artists/potters about ideas, making processes etc as there is always so much to learn.

Friday, 23 October 2009

An A-Z of Exhibitors... "A" is for;

Alex Fendryk

Alison Pilkington

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Meet the Maker - MiaBelle Jewellery

Tell us a little about you

Hi I'm Belinda, I live in Staffordshire with my husband and son. I'm originally from Australia and have been living in the UK for 7 years. I run Mia Belle Jewellery and sell on a number of different UK & global sites. I also sell brass jewellery findings & stampings on Etsy, my store is The Brass Charm Co. Lastly I run Shop Handmade UK, a directory of UK based designer / makers now with over 1100 designers listed.

Have you always been crafty, or is it something that you've picked up more recently?

Yes, crafting and making started when I was about 10yrs old. I would make fabric lavender sachets and sell them on consignment at a local craft & gift shop. My mother has always been a crafty person so it just rubbed off on me and crafting was something we always did. It was later in my teens when my mother moved into making bridal headwear using Swarovski crystal that I started making jewellery.

Have you been particularly influenced by any other artists or events?

I wouldn't say I'm influenced by just one artist, I think seeing the vast amount of talent we have in the UK is inspiration itself. Seeing the different materials & techniques designers use is interesting and it does make you think outside the box. Recently my mother visited from Australia and she has been working with silver art clay so I started to test a few designs out and I hope to bring some of these to Handm@de Oxford.

What is your favourite piece?

I really like my Flora Gold Earrings. I love gold and the handmade hoops compliment the gorgeous Czech glass flowers. They are a stunning green with gold flecks on them.

What other artists are you excited about seeing at Handm@de Oxford?

I'm really keen to see Pennydog Jewellery & Quercus Silver, both who work with resin but in such very different ways. I'm also keen to see all of Hatastics' designs as I've seen Chloe's hair clips and they are gorgeous.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Gift Ideas - Food!

Christmas isn't Christmas without plenty of delicious food!

At the moment we have 2 food sellers on our list - both were with us last year too, and both were mentioned several times in the days after the 2008 fair, by visitors and exhibitors alike.

Above: Sand Art Cookie Jars by Caroline of 'In A Pickle'
Below: Chocolate Selection by Mervi of 'Belflair Chocolates'

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Joe Hurry Creations

Joe Hurry Creations is a new addition to our list of sellers - as I was adding the link to the list to the right of the blog I carried on and checked out his shop... only to find this card which made me giggle;

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Meet the Maker - PennyDog Accessories

This week we're chatting to Kerry of PennyDog Accessories. Kerry is returning to Oxford this year with her gorgeous resin jewellery and accessories.

1) Where does the name PennyDog come from? Its quite unusual!

PennyDog came about when I adopted a greyhound- Penny- and I wanted to donate money through my craft to rehoming more ex-racers by donating to the Retired Greyhound Trust.

2) How long have you been making resin jewellery? It looks like it takes a lot of time and effort to create.

It actually doesn’t take that long at all as it’s made in batches and there’s a lot of waiting around for it to cure. I’ve been making jewellery for over 10 years since I sold it to my teachers at school during lessons! I’ve tried various mediums including Precious Metal Clay, polymer clay, beadweaving, etc. Resin has been something I’ve worked with for coming up to 18 months now so it looks like I’m sticking with it this time!

3) Are you exhibiting anywhere else in the next few months?

I am setting up a workshop/gallery space due to launch on 1st November so a lot of my time before then is being devoted to the set up of that and filling orders from my stockists for Christmas. However there are a few big fairs, about 5 weekend days in a row over November, my details are over here!

4) If you had to choose one thing to buy at Handm@de Oxford, what would it be?

I already have a beautiful crochet necklace from Blue Fish Handmade, so I think it will have to be a vintage fabric doggy from Fabric Nation, I’ve had my eye on one for ages!