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ukhandmade Autumn 2017

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THE UK HANDMADE MEMBERS GALLERY Jacqueline James handwoven rugs

Rachel Elliott glass sculptures Lesley McShea ceramics

Designs of the Times handmade jewellery join our growing membership www.ukhandmade.co.uk/directory-application 2 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


Welcome... ...to our Autumn issue. Cosy up and settle down to read our exclusive interviews with wonderful makers, designers and artists. You’ll find beautiful ceramics, sustainable jewellery design, nature-inspired prints and wonderful contemporary landscape art, all alongside our regular selection of fabulous finds, events and reviews. See you in the Winter!

Bebe. x

Editor & Designer/Maker

Contributors

LISA MARGREET PAYNE Craft Educator & Writer www.lisamargreet.com

KAREN JINKS

Artist & Graphic Designer www.karenjinks.co.uk

UK Handmade Magazine www.ukhandmade.co.uk Copyright © UK Handmade LTD 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without written permission is strictly prohibited. The editor’s decision on all printed material is final. Unsolicited work is accepted but does not guarantee inclusion into the final edition. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of UK Handmade or the editor.

DAWN BEVINS

Deputy Editor & Designer/Maker www.dawnbevins.co.uk

Creative Director/Graphic Design: Karen Jinks info@ukhandmade.co.uk Editor: Bebe Bradley editor@ukhandmade.co.uk Deputy Editor: Dawn Bevins dawn@ukhandmade.co.uk Advertising: advertising@ukhandmade.co.uk Events: events@ukhandmade.co.uk

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Contents...

6 WE LOVE

our editor’s picks from around the UK

14 VANESSA HOGGE

52 HANDMADE AT KEW the international craft spectacular returns to the Royal Botanic Gardens

beautiful botanical ceramics in ossified shades of white and black

58 ALICE SHERIDAN

28 BRIGHTON PRINT FAIR

66 MADE LONDON

a new event celebrating the art of printmaking

30 TARTAN + TWEED

we review this comprehensive book on these famous Scottish textiles

38 KATE HEISS

a designer and printmaker with a love of florals, bold colour and geometric pattern

48 THE PERFECT BLEND we review immunity-boosting recipes for a vibrant and healthy life 4 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

stunning contemporary landscape art

showcasing handmade from the UK and beyond

76 DIGITAL RETAILING

the second in a series of business advice

82 JANE SEDGWICK bold and playful sustainable wooden jewellery

96 INSPIRED FINDS

beautiful items curated by Karen Jinks

104 LEMONS & LIMES

citrus-based recipes review for sunshine every day


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We Love...

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RACHEL COX Tableware www.rachelcoxceramics.com

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ANNA CHAMPENEY ‘Block’ Throw www.annachampeney.com

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MICHÈLE OBERDIECK ‘Colourscapes’ in glass www.micheleoberdieck-glass.com

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CLAIRE HYNDS ‘Stevenage No.1’ & ‘Stevenage No.3’ (this page & opposite), screenprint, chine-collé & stitch www.clairehynds.co.uk

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LINDA BRISTOW Tree Sculptures (this page) www.lindabristow.com

MAIRI HELENA ‘Bronze Flush Thistle’ Linen Union & Wallpaper (opposite) www.mairihelena.co.uk 12 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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VANESSA HOGGE Working predominantly in porcelain, Vanessa Hogge crafts her unique flowerheads and vessels in her studio at Cockpit Arts in Holborn, London. Grounded by years of expertise as a ceramicist, she takes an instinctive, visceral approach to each piece, painstakingly sculpting every petal and anther by hand so that no two flowers are identical. These efflorescent flowers are fashioned in porcelain and black clay, then fired to to create brittle, ossified shades of white and lava-like black. Interview by Bebe Bradley

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Who is Vanessa Hogge? I am a returnee ceramicist! Two years ago, I started making again after a 20 year break. Graduating from The Royal College of Art in 1989, I set up a workshop in West London and for a few years produced brightly coloured floral vessels for Paul Smith, and various other stores and private collectors. It was enjoyable in the beginning and my work was selling all over the world, but over time it became repetitive and less challenging. Then the children came along and things fizzled out. In the years that followed, I raised my two children and worked as a stylist for Homes & Gardens magazine, before moving on to become a graphic designer. It wasn’t until 2015 that an old bag of clay in my shed piqued my curiosity; after some experimenting, the idea of decorative flowers for walls came out of the clay. This is what I do now full time and I couldn’t be happier. Tell us about your background; how has your work evolved from this? I did a BA (Hons) Ceramics from 19831986 at what was then Bristol Polytechnic, and an MA in Ceramics at The Royal College of Art from 1987-1989. To work in 3D and, particularly, clay, is the most luscious experience. There is no medium like it, especially porcelain which I predominantly work with; silky smooth and soft to the touch, but very strong and stone like once it’s fired. 16 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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It’s unpredictable, as so much can go wrong with firings and glazes, which all adds to the thrill. I know it’s a cliché but I still get such a buzz every single time I open the kiln. That thrill never leaves you. Your work is distinctively botanical; tell us more about the inspiration behind it. I’m inspired, obviously, by all things botanical. I love gardens - the memories of long summer holidays spent in my grandmother’s beautiful and wild 18 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

garden in South Africa. She and my mother were ferocious gardeners, digging, planning and planting constantly. I’m fascinated by the way the flower has been represented in all its forms by artists and designers over the last few hundred years. From Victorian flower painters like William Henry Hunt and Marianne North, through decorative textiles, Oriental flower painting and Indian miniatures to Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe.


Who or what is influencing you right now? There is such a resurgence of making in ceramics happening as we speak. To have access via Instagram to makers all around the world is very inspiring… there is a connection there. You work in porcelain and black clay, producing these extraordinary, rhythmic pieces in monochrome shades of white and black. What attracts you to these mediums and the colours produced? I love monotone and the starkness of the black and the white but I am working on introducing colour. I’m experimenting with staining the porcelain pastel shades of pink, blue and green which will alter the look significantly. As far as the form goes, I build each piece as it comes to me. I create a circular tile, decorate the back, make the dome and fix that on. Then I start to make the petals. It becomes rhythmic and quite therapeutic, making each petal individually and slowly growing the flower. I just do it organically; I don’t sketch it out first and I’m not looking for absolute botanical accuracy. They are flights of fancy in a way, decorative icings that I plan on becoming more lavish and intense! Your work features beautiful blooms, such as those of the Hydrangea and Daphne. What is it about these flowers that impels you to recreate them? There are flowers I love that don’t work well in clay. Hibiscus, Strelitzia and the Flame Lily, for example. The flowers I choose have a structure to them that lends itself to being reproduced, in the round, in clay. The Dahlia and the Chrysanthemum are regular, circular and repetitive in their structure; I choose blooms that allow me to create a surface pattern through the repetition of the petal structures. I enjoy so much the surprise element of altering a surface with the build-up of shapes, it’s the joy of repetition that propels me. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 19


Are there specific tools that you cannot do without? I don’t use many tools. I guess my rolling pin and knife are absolute requirements and my kiln, of course. Otherwise, all my flowers are pinched, squeezed and rolled out of the clay with no moulds used. I do get through copious amounts of slip (porcelain and water mixed to a smooth consistency) to stick my flowers onto the base shapes. Slip is something I couldn’t do without! Your work is incredibly detailed, particularly the large vessels with their hand-pinched flowers. How long can it take you to complete a piece? I recently spent 3 weeks decorating a large vessel with my tiniest Daphne flowers. It was a challenge as there were no guarantees that it wouldn’t crack while drying or survive the firing. As an antidote after making an incredibly detailed piece, I will produce one with giant flowers. Tell us about your current work space. What can you see out of the window? I was lucky enough to be awarded the Cockpit Arts/Radcliffe Craft Development Award for 2017 this year. This entitles me to a free studio space at Cockpit Arts Holborn in central London, the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople. It’s chocfull of incredibly talented makers and designers running successful businesses so it’s a very inspiring place to be. I love walking the hour it takes, from home in east London through the city to the studio. It seems a great privilege to be able to be creating in the centre of London. I don’t have a window with a view of rolling hills but I do have the British Museum and a plethora of galleries for inspiration right on my doorstep. 20 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects of what you do? Clay is a mystery that a lot of us ceramicists are still trying to figure out. It’s so unpredictable and that is what makes it thrilling. Porcelain, particularly, is a clay with a memory and feelings! If you rush it or stress it, it will reward you with a big crack. However, on the upside, once it’s fired, it’s so tough and beautiful and it lasts forever. I love the longevity of it. To think that pieces I make will be around for hundreds of years, with no deterioration, is a satisfying thought. Do you ever experience creative blocks and what do you do to clear them? I have to be careful to not just have my head down in my studio doing repeat designs of flowers… What advice would you give to someone starting out on their own creative path? Never give up. Life takes some strange twists and turns but keep being creative even if it is only a few hours a week. Just do it! What is the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you? A gang of very good friends encouraged me to give up my full-time office job to take a huge gamble and become a ceramicist again. I never imagined it would work out but it has... If you had the opportunity to learn a new creative skill, what would it be? I’m intrigued as to how jewellery is put together, it seems a complete mystery. It would have to be something physical like that where you really get your hands dirty. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 25


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Do you have any new projects or plans in the pipeline? I am showing my work in an exhibition called ‘Flora’ at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales, from July 22nd - September 24th. I also have three more shows coming up towards the end of this year: Handmade at Kew from October 12th - 15th, Made London from October 19th - 22nd, and the Holborn Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios from November 23rd - 26th. Where can we see, and find out more about your work? I have a body of work at the Vessel Gallery on Kensington Park Road in Notting Hill, London. You can also find out more about me or my work by visiting my website. For more information, visit: www.vanessahogge.com To follow, visit: www.instagram.com/vanessahogge www.facebook.com/vanessahoggeceramics Images courtesy of Vanessa Hogge

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BRIGHTON PRINT FAIR

15th - 24th September 2017 www.brightonartfair.co.uk

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HANNAH FORWARD

BRIGHTON PRINT FAIR is a brand-new event; a 10-day exhibition promoting printmaking in all its wonderful and varied forms. From classic printmaking and letterpress, to screen-printed gig posters and print products, the show will be a celebration of printmakers and printmaking. The fair will be hosted in the main gallery at Phoenix Brighton, and the entire space hung with unframed prints, allowing the customer the chance to choose the frame they wish. The rest of the venue will be used for printmaking classes, talks, demonstration, oneday specials and a 20th century printmaker’s exhibition, all alongside an in-house framer and cafÊ. The Brighton Print Fair will be a true festival of printmaking! ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 29


BERNARD LODGE

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Venue: Phoenix Brighton, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton, BN2 9NB Opening times: 11.00 - 18.00 Friday 15th September 11.00 - 18.00 Saturday 16th September 11.00 - 18.00 Sunday 17th September 11.00 - 18.00 Monday 18th September 11.00 - 18.00 Tuesday 19th September 11.00 - 18.00 Wednesday 20th September 11.00 - 18.00 Thursday 21st September 11.00 - 18.00 Friday 22nd September 11.00 - 18.00 Saturday 23rd September 11.00 - 18.00 Sunday 24th September Standard Admission: FREE For more information, visit: www.brightonartfair.co.uk Images courtesy of Tutton & Young

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TARTAN & TWEED Review by Bebe Bradley

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THINK OF TARTAN and perhaps a ‘toorie’ with an orange wig attached might spring to mind (Russ Abbott has a lot to answer for). Perhaps even ebullient Scottish football fans, goodnaturedly commiserating yet another match loss. Think of tweed and you might envisage damp moors and dead pheasants, or ladies lunching in pink Chanel and pearls. Regardless of the connotations, tartan and tweed are fabrics with a strong cultural identity and history. According to the authors of Tartan + Tweed, Caroline Young and Ann Martin, tartan is the, “fabric of a nation, an icon of Scottish history and identity”, whilst tweed is, “a physical embodiment of the landscape where it was woven”. Tartan + Tweed takes us on a gloriously detailed tour of the history of these textiles; from their origins in the Highlands of Scotland to their reinvention, continuing popularity and use in fashion, music, art and film. There are fourteen generously illustrated sections in this book, with the first three covering the story, history and myths of tartan and the kilt. Here you will learn, amongst other educational gems, that checked woven fabric is not peculiar to Scotland, and that the word ‘tartan’ most likely derives from the French tiritaine or tertaine and the Spanish tiritana, a blend of linen and wool. The darker side of these bold weaves is also discussed, covering The Ban on Highland Dress, and Victorian Romanticism which coincided with the ethnic cleansing of the Highland Clearances. We also discover the colourful History of the Kilt and the Myths of Tartan, including Hollywood artifice (a mention here for Brigadoon, which just happens to be one of my favourite ‘Scottish’ films, even if it’s utter tosh).


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In the next three sections, tartan’s popularity is considered, alongside its prominence in Street Style and its appearance in Contemporary Fashion. Exploring the use of tartan and tweed in fashion, we focus on designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Chanel, who have all used these textiles in subversive ways, often mimicking or parodying the aristocracy. The Origins of Tweed are uncovered in the next section, followed by The Fall + Rise of Harris Tweed, which charters the remarkable and dramatic recovery of tweed during an economic crisis and its subsequent re-invention as desirable luxury fashion fabric. Coco Chanel in Scotland, describes how, “Chanel’s attraction to Scottish fabrics was cultivated when she spent summers in the highlands with the second Duke of Westminster in the mid-1920s”; the now infamous Chanel bouclé suit becomes forever ensconced in history when Jacqueline Kennedy is pictured in pink tweed on the day of her husband’s assassination in 1963. Tweed in Contemporary Fashion (Westwood, McQueen and Chanel take pole position) and Tweed in Fashion Cultures (Sloane Rangers and the Tweed Run are fine examples) come next in line, after which we arrive almost full circle at Tartan, Tweed +Royalty. In the Buyer’s Guide to Tartan, we are advised on Types of Tartan, Choosing a Tartan, Buying, Dressing and Caring for Your Kilt. Culturally famous and instantly recognisable tartans are highlighted here, including the McQueen (rebel tartan) and Stewart (punk tartan) weaves. 34 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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Finally, in the Buyer’s Guide to Tweed, the different tweed producing regions of Scotland are featured – the Borders, Hebrides and Shetland – alongside Types of Tweed Patterning (yes, there are actually ten different types) and How to Look After Your Tweed. As in the previous guide to tartan, easily identifiable tweeds are also highlighted, and these include Herringbone and Houndstooth. Utilising a vast source of material, from historical documents to paintings and photography, Tartan + Tweed provides us with an exhaustive insight into the cultural identity and history of these textiles, both in Scotland and beyond. Whether you are a fashion student, textile enthusiast or just interested in knowing a bit more about these iconic Scottish fabrics, then this book is an absolute must. TARTAN + TWEED by Caroline Young and Ann Martin, is published by Frances Lincoln at £25. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Frances Lincoln, Walker Slater (p.33, with photography by Gabriela Silveira), Ann Martin (p.34 & p.35), Dashing Tweeds (p.36), and Samantha McCoach + Le Kilt (p.37) ISBN-10: 0711238227 ISBN-13: 978-0711238220

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KATE HEISS Kate Heiss is a Cambridge-based artist, whose approach to design and printmaking stems from a love of florals, and the geometric patterns and bold colours often found in textiles. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural landscapes of East Anglia. She works in a variety of techniques including linocut, screenprint, chine collĂŠ, collagraph and collage. Interview by Karen Jinks

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the catwalk collections and mainline commercial designs, including childrens’ wear, accessories, interiors and homeware. I then went on to work as a freelance designer for a textile print studio designing for High Street and designer brands. In 2011, I completed the ‘Introduction to Printmaking’ certificate at The Curwen Print Study Centre. Your work has a very linear, illustrative quality. How has your previous career as a textile designer influenced your current style? The way I approach my prints is definitely influenced by my techniques for designing. I pay particular attention to colour and pattern, and often refer to style trends for inspiration. I frequently work on commissions based on a brief from an interior designer.

Tell us your background; do you have any formal training? I studied Textile Design at Bucks New University, where I learnt surface pattern design and constructed textiles. I then went on to do an MA in knitted textiles at The Royal College of Art, specializing in digital pattern. After graduating I worked for the maverick Japanese fashion designer Michiko Koshino. As part of a small design team, I worked on both 40 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

Why printmaking? Is it something you have always done? After having my first child, we moved out of London. I needed to find work that would suit school hours, so looked into learning a new skill that would enable me to work from home. I completed the printmaking course at The Curwen Print Study Centre in Linton, Cambridge. I realised that I could transfer my known skills to new techniques such as relief and mono printing. What is your preferred printmaking method? Most of my pieces are linocuts and screenprints. I like to mix the two disciplines and often hand paint directly onto the screen to create fluid backgrounds, and print the tighter illustrative linocuts over the top. More recently, I have been hand colouring linocuts with watercolour paints that give a subtler tint of colour.


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Do you still work in textiles? I don’t work in the textile industry anymore but I do create surface pattern designs for a variety of companies. I have provided designs for Athena, Woodmansterne, Camden Graphics, Art Angels and the giftwrap company Re-wrapped. Who or what is influencing you right now? Nature is always a massive influence on my work. I love the summer months when everything is in bloom. I can forage for things in the countryside and take lots of stock photographs to work from during the winter months. Tell us about your workspace. We converted our garage into my studio by adding glass doors and skylights. It overlooks our allotment, which provides a great source of inspiration. Robins and Blue Tits often keep me company when I’m working alone. What are your favourite tools of the trade? I have three favourite lino-cutting tools, but the things I can’t live without are my light box and electric screwdriver! Do you keep sketchbooks? How important are they to your creative process? I yearn for the day when I can spend more time sketching. At the moment I take lots of photographs when I’m out and about with the family. I then manipulate them on the computer and work from them in my studio. My sketchbooks are more like scrapbooks of all the images I have collected. 42 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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What does the term handmade mean to you? I love that a handmade product has such a strong connection to the maker. It can reflect so much of their personality and a dedication to the process. However, I don’t feel strongly that everything I make needs to be handmade. In my studio, I produce hand-pulled, original prints alongside a collection of exclusive prints that I’m happy to be reproduced. Who are your favourite artists/designers? I love the work of the French designers Atelier Bingo. They produce great pattern and colour combinations and I love their diverse business model. As well as making art, they work on graphic design, illustration and interiors projects. I admire the illustrative prints of Jeremy Speck, Matt Underwood and Mark Hearld, and the bold dynamic use of colour and pattern by Raoul Dufy, William LaChance and Andy Warhol. What advice would you give someone looking to start a creative business? Within your body of work as an artist, don’t be afraid to create a commercially successful product. It will financially enable you to explore the more experimental work. What was the best advice someone ever gave to you? “Do interesting things and interesting things will happen.” What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects to what you do? It’s always thrilling to hear compliments about my work. Recently, I have been given some lovely ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 45


commissioned projects, which I find very rewarding. I’m currently working on a series of prints for a private Norfolk estate, depicting the rare indigenous wildlife that resides there. I have had permission to explore lots of wild and wonderful habitats that ordinarily I wouldn’t have been able to see. Last week I was thrilled to spot the rare White Admiral butterfly. I’ve also just finished working on bespoke prints for a new ‘boutique’ bed & breakfast. I feel very privileged to be able to work the way I do. I just get frustrated that there are not enough hours in the day! Do you ever have creative blocks and if so what do you do to clear them? I like to walk in the countryside, visit exhibitions, travel, buy good reference books and immerse myself in Pinterest and Instagram. If you had the chance to learn a new creative skill, what would it be? I’ve always had a desire to make pottery so I’d love to learn more about ceramics. What are your goals for the future? To continue to create prints and see my work applied to various products. For more information, visit: www.kateheiss.com To follow, visit: www.instagram.com/kateheiss www.twitter.com/kateheiss www.facebook.com/Kateheissprintmaker Images courtesy of Kate Heiss

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THE PERFECT BLEND

Review by Lisa Margreet Payne

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YOU COULD BE forgiven for thinking, as I did, that The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters is just another recipe book promoting smoothies and juices. Indeed, the subtitle of, “blender recipes to boost immunity and detox the body for a vibrant and healthy life”, still doesn’t give away the contents. This gluten-free and vegan recipe book is packed with delicious and healthy recipes, of which only a small proportion are smoothies or juices. The Perfect Blend is divided into twelve distinct categories, each including an introduction to a few key ingredients (which the author refers to as ‘heroes’) and their health benefits. The chapters feature recipes for increasing energy, immunity, detoxing, weight loss and reducing inflammation. There are also on-trend sections featuring, for example, low carb and alkaline forming recipes. Tess focuses on nutrient dense foods and, although the blender is an essential tool, her recipes include everything from gluten-free vegan lasagne to coconut cream topped cheesecakes, which sound incredible. So far, I’ve only just dipped my toe into the vast array of delicious looking recipes and can’t wait to try more. The names of the recipes did make me cringe occasionally. One that I tested - Sexy Celeriac Slaw with Lime and Poppy Seeds - was totally delicious. However, anyone who has ever seen a celeriac will agree that it’s pushing it, to describe it as sexy never mind my own thoughts on describing food as ‘sexy’. I also tried out the Cheeky Chickpea and Rosemary Soup and, most recently, Soured Cream, So Good!, but does everything really have to sound like a 1970s’ “Nudge, nudge! Wink, wink!” sitcom? Names aside, they were all delicious and encourages me to investigate other recipes in the book.


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There are a lot of gluten-free and vegan recipe books around right now, which is fantastic if you choose to eat this way. Until recently, it was very hard to find recipes to cater for this lifestyle. However, if you look at enough of these books, the recipes can appear repetitive. The Perfect Blend uses innovative taste combinations to enliven classic recipes and introduces some new ways (to me at least) of combining ingredients. Tess brings a unique touch in the addition of optional health ‘boosters’, which can be used to enhance the health benefits and change the taste of the recipes. I noticed in the back blurb that the author has signed a deal with Kitchen Aid (the type of blender featured prominently on the front cover), but don’t be put off if you don’t own one like this. I’ve made the recipes using both my cheap ‘stick’ blender and food processor, with success. My understanding is that the more powerful blenders will make your creams, sauces and dips etc., smoother in a shorter amount of time. I’ve been happy to have a few lumps and bumps of deliciousness in mine, although I must admit that, at the time of writing, I am awaiting delivery of a more powerful blender. This may have been inspired a teensy bit by the recipes in this book, which happened to coincide with the slow decline of the power of my (admittedly old) stick blender. I’ve got my eye on those cheesecake recipes! So, there is a lot more to this recipe book than first meets the eye. If you’ve been finding some gluten-free and vegan recipes a bit bland and are searching for new and innovative recipes to try, then I would recommend The Perfect Blend. I’m sure that even people who don’t follow a strictly gluten-free or vegan diet, will find a lot to like in these recipes. 50 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


The Perfect Blend: Blender Recipes to Boost Immunity and Detox the Body for a Vibrant and Healthy Life by Tess Masters, is published by Jacqui Small LLP at £16.99. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Jacqui Small LLP ISBN-10: 1911127209 ISBN-13: 978-1911127208

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HANDMADE AT KEW 12th - 15th October 2017 www.handmadeinbritain.co.uk 52 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


HANDMADE IN BRITAIN returns to the Royal Botanic Gardens for the third edition of the fourday international craft spectacular, Handmade at Kew. Coinciding with the event this year, will be the inaugural sculpture exhibition Sculpt at Kew. Taking centre stage in the heart of the botanical gardens, Handmade at Kew will be housed in an elegant pavilion next to Kew Palace. Over 150 highly skilled, internationally-renowned artists, makers, craftspeople and galleries will showcase their ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles, metalwork and jewellery at this innovative event. Visitors have the unique opportunity to learn about the ideas and processes that shape their work, and purchase or commission work directly. Handmade at Kew takes place amongst Decimus Burton’s glasshouses, a feat of Victorian engineering and British craftsmanship. Your ticket not only gives you access to the event but also to the whole of Kew Gardens, allowing you to soak up the delights of the world’s most famous botanic garden with its fine glasshouses and rare blooms. It’s a fabulous day out for the whole family and a rare opportunity to indulge in heritage, horticulture and shopping. Ceramics and pottery are in vogue and this event clearly illustrates why. From cutting edge tableware to textural art objects, the diversity of this popular medium is showcased by leading ceramicists from the UK and beyond. Perfectly in keeping with Kew, Lisa Ellul creates exceptional sculptural vessels and forms inspired by nature, and Tiffany Scull reflects her passion for Art Nouveau and the natural world with her elegant and richly-coloured ceramics. For functional objects, look no further than Mia Sarosi’s stunning porcelain tableware, hand painted with wildlife and botanic designs, and Eva Radulova’s fragile porcelain and bone china vessels in pure white.

AMANDA ANDERSON

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Glass is a dynamic medium that can be blown, moulded, sculpted or cut and shaped into a myriad of forms. Leading glassmakers will illustrate its infinite possibilities, showing a mix of sculptural and domestic pieces. Glassblower Adam Aaronson uses painterly techniques to create traditional pieces with a contemporary edge. Thomas Petit creates beautiful abstract patterns in striking colourways on his modern vessels and bottles, and Wendy Newhofer creates glass pieces finished with intricate designs inspired by nature. There’s an astonishing array of textiles across fashion and interiors. Camilla Thomas creates beautiful woven textiles for interiors using the softest merino yarns, and is inspired by the light and movement found by the coast on the island of Anglesey. Treat yourself to a stylish new outfit by Terry Macey & Angelika Elsebach, who make clothes for women of every age and size, in Irish linen and Donegal and Scottish tweeds. Cosy up with luxury knitwear designed by Collingwood-Norris and made in Scotland using the softest lambswool, and accessorise with a timeless leather bag from Williams Handmade. Discover exquisite silverware from talented silversmiths including Lesley Strickland, who specialises in the use of cellulose acetate (derived from cotton oil) combined with sterling silver. Influenced by all things Bauhaus, Isabelle Capitain’s pieces have a strong sense of shape, with diamonds or gemstones at the centrepiece of her designs. Oxx Jewellery combines unconventional materials such as vinyl records with precious stones and metals, to produce luxurious, enduring statement pieces. Yen focuses on movement and fluidity, crafting molecular pieces both soft and dynamic, and Victoria Walker also looks to movement with her seed-pod lockets featuring tiny articulated flowers that emerge into bloom. 54 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


LISA ELLUL

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Working with traditional techniques and new technologies, Karen Westland creates refined silverware and jewellery using 100% recycled precious metals, inspired by tools built to explore space. Regarding themselves as poets without words, Finnish designers Latimeria create functional but also emotional and sensitive products in metals often perceived as cold and hard. Ashleaf London find inspiration in nature and cast objects in bronze for their beauty and form. A growing number of exhibitors work in wood to create decorative sculptures and functional furniture. Nico Villeneuve designs high-end furniture in contemporary forms, while wood-turner Richard Shock produces one-off pieces that are both functional and artistic. Craig Narramore creates rustic statement furniture, while Sally Burnett produces sculptural objects from green wood, relishing the shapes and textures formed through working with a living material that moves and twists throughout the process. Work by many of the UK and international exhibitors at this show would never find its way to the average High Street. Most of the artists are award-winners in their own countries and only sell through, galleries, exhibitions or by appointment. Book your ticket now!

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Venue: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey,TW9 3AB Opening times: 10.00 - 18.00 Thursday 12th October 10.00 - 18.00 Friday 13th October 10.00 - 18.00 Saturday 14th October 10.00 - 18.00 Sunday 15th October Standard Admission: ÂŁ18 per day on the door (including entry to Kew Gardens); concessions available for Kew Members For further information and a list of exhibitors, visit: www.handmadeinbritain.co.uk/kew For further information on Sculpt at Kew, visit: www.handmadeinbritain.co.uk/sculpt Images courtesy of Handmade in Britain

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ALICE SHERIDAN With a background in graphic design, London-based artist Alice Sheridan creates bold, textural landscapes that reflect a need to escape from the everyday and induce an emotional response from the viewer, rather than a recognition of place. Interview by Karen Jinks

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increasingly digital, I missed that satisfaction of creating a physical object. For a while, I juggled freelance design work with renovating our home. After my children were born, I went back to life classes as a creative outlet. Since then, I have continued to explore different approaches and still take time to learn from other artists, alongside the development of my own practice.

Who is Alice Sheridan? When people ask if I’m a ‘proper’ artist, I never quite know what to say. It’s almost like a different species! I’m a wife, mother to two children (12 and 15 years old) and a black miniature schnauzer, and now paint as much as I can. We live in London and I work from my studio at home. Tell us your background; do you have any formal training? After my foundation course, I studied a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design, because I wanted a more practical approach to a visual art. However, as work became 60 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

Your work has a strong graphic feel. How has your training influenced your painting style? The problem-solving element of design always appealed to me. The idea of setting a brief I find helpful too; with art, the possibilities are endless so it can be very helpful to set some guidelines for yourself. Limitations encourage you to explore. For example, I have filled a sketchbook with colour notes and small paintings done from only three colours, when I wanted to learn more about the mixing properties of different paints. A couple of years ago, I spent time working with different printmaking techniques. In a way, it didn’t suit me well. Creating an etching plate can be so time consuming and the idea of simply reproducing multiple prints didn’t appeal to me at all! Some of the more unpredictable processes such as spit-bite (where you paint with the acid), I enjoyed, and now bring that freedom back to my painting where I feel more comfortable with welcoming unplanned elements into the work. I also included elements of pre-printed graphics within my prints as chine collé (images are collaged into the paper as the print is being made) and this has now become part of my practice. I include collage within the early stages of many paintings, just to break the surface, and in a small collage sketchbook I use to create compositions.


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Overall, my work has become edgier in the way that I use colour and tone, and I seem to like paintings with clear definition. At the start I’m always thinking about placement and this reminds me of balancing a page layout. Towards the end, the changes I make become increasingly subtle and careful, and I think this attention to detail, amongst the more expressive marks, brings a real focus and feeling of attention. That attention to detail definitely comes from my design background.

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What is it about landscapes in particular that appeal to you? Initially it was the ability to step away from my normal life. I discovered being outside in nature, particularly wild spaces, felt very restorative for me and landscapes were a way to record that. More recently I’ve been thinking of landscape as just the place we find ourselves and how it helps to be aware of our surroundings; to be conscious of how we respond to what we see, and what we choose


to notice and include. So the landscapes are far less literal and almost come from a place within. They are more about a feeling and an emotional response. I call them ‘landscape unlocked’, because they aren’t tethered to a real place and it seems that this more abstract way to create a painting allows people to respond with their own interpretation, which is always great to see. Who or what is influencing you right now? Last year, I took a three-month programme with the Californian artist Nicholas Wilton, and so much on that course made wonderful sense to me. It really busted some pre-conceptions I had; “Art should be hard work, you have to know exactly what you are doing, you must use only high grade materials and not mix them.” It’s crazy really, the beliefs we hold that stop us creating. Since then I’ve found much more freedom in the way that I work and I’m much less anxious about it. It’s a total cliché but I’m enjoying the journey and very grateful for the generous way he shared his experience, and I try to do the same through my own social media. The idea of working with random chance in the paintings is very appealing. This is quite new for me as I never used to be able to create without a specific starting point. Now I allow the paintings to develop as they progress and they really change along the way. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 63


Tell us about your workspace. I work in a room that’s about 14ft x 12ft, at the top of our house. It’s not the most practical; there’s no sink, the ceilings slope, and there are lots of stairs so it feels I’m always carrying things up or down! Over time, it’s changed; I used to have a large 8ft x 4ft plywood table but when I wanted to work larger, this became the floor. I have fixed a grid system of nails to one wall so that I can easily hang the cradled wood panels I work on, higher or lower as necessary. I prefer this to an easel as they are easy to rotate and I’ll often work on the floor too. It gets pretty messy. In some ways I’d love a larger studio away from home but, at the moment, this suits me as I can work right until the children arrive home from school. The key is adapting whatever space you have, to the way that suits your current work. There was a lot of older work and materials I was holding on to ‘just in case’, and clearing all that out of my working area felt so good. What are your favourite tools of the trade? The simple things - my hands and pencils! Sometimes brush strokes can be too obvious and the direct contact of hands with paint makes me feel very connected. It’s fun too (and slightly less serious), to get in and smear paint over large areas with the heel of your hand. A dark 6B pencil is my go-to for quick sketchbook drawings as you can create so much variety of line. For drawing into wet paint, pencils make a great mark. When I’m painting, I use all sorts of things; sandpaper, credit cards, metal scrapers, and, practically speaking, I have a rubber cloth which is essential for helping twist off tight caps on tubes of paint. 64 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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Do you keep sketchbooks? How important are they to your creative process? I seem to go through phases and have different sketchbooks for different things. I have a large A3 book which is just for big loose marks and playing in, and a small square book which is my ‘no drawing’ book and only includes mini collages. I use this to warm up and it just helps me tune in to making visual choices and selections. The collages rarely become studios for final paintings, but I think the restraint they have is starting to come through more in my work. Everything feeds in eventually. We spend a lot of time in Dartmoor and I have a small A6 book which comes out in my coat pocket when we are walking. These drawings are quick. Often I use only very simple lines which 66 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

describe the movement of the landscape or the way a road or wall cuts through spaces, and maybe some colour notes. I tend to work in these during holiday times only. I’m searching for something different in my sketchbooks now days; not just a representation of the landscape, but a simplicity of visual language. What does the term handmade mean to you? It means someone has put something of themselves into it. I think as we grow increasingly digital with our interactions, there is more need than ever for something which feels human. People have a strong desire for things which are unique, and handmade objects or works of art can be intensely satisfying for people. We need that tactile connection which


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can be missing from much of modern life. I think there is a move away from mass produced items as people make more conscious choices towards things which they treasure and enjoy. Who are your favourite artists/designers? At the moment, there’s a New York artist called Robert Szot who fascinates me. It’s that idea of creating something from nothing. That’s the illusion of abstract work and something I’m moving towards. What I find enthralling is that whatever you create, it’s the sum of your previous experiences; what you’ve noticed, your visual discernment. When things rise to the surface subconsciously as well as through design, it’s always a joy to look back and track their origins. I love many painters of the 50s and 60s, such as Peter Lanyon, and it makes me laugh that I’m trying to work in a way they already achieved seventy years ago. In contemporary terms I love Barbara Rae and Michael Honnor for their expressive marks. To calm me down, I enjoy Euan Uglow and Nicolas de Staël for their considered restraint. What advice would you give someone looking to start a creative business? Don’t be put off by everything you feel you have to know before you begin. You’ll learn as you go along and it will get easier. Start with something tangible, join a local event perhaps. Keep a record, as it helps to look back and see how far you’ve come. Do it because you love it. That will keep you going in the moments you become disheartened. Sometimes you have to be brave and do things you don’t feel ready for, and it’s these things which will take you to the next level. Be honest and be yourself and you can’t go far wrong.

What was the best advice someone ever gave to you? It was actually to do with children. “Just remember, good or bad, it’s just a phase!”, but if you apply that to art and making, it works too. It reminds you just to keep going and trust the process. If you have a bad day, it doesn’t mean you’re no good, and if something great happens along the way, just enjoy it for what it is. I find it easier actually with art. At the end of the day, it’s only paint! What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects of what you do? The most rewarding is collecting work from the framer. I love the process of working through a painting, but as they near their end, it becomes more anxious for me. That moment when you say, “There, that’s finished”, you are also saying, “That’s as good as it gets”, and it’s open to judgement. It can be nerve wracking. While they are at the framer, I often dream about them. I forget what I finished, I forget the detail … but unwrapping them, I have a sense of distance which really allows me to see them fresh and enjoy them. Hanging them at an event and seeing people’s enthusiastic response is always wonderful, of course. What can be frustrating is all the associated technology we now need to know. My image storage system really needs some work! But getting to grips with all this stuff makes you feel more empowered, and I’m stubborn and stick at it until I get what I need. A few years ago, I had to track down a photographer for my work and now I have someone I trust, I’m so pleased with the quality of prints I can offer as result. So the headaches are usually worthwhile. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 69


Do you ever have creative blocks and, if so, what do you do to clear them? I think everyone has blocks from time to time. I find that I get most stuck when I have too many ideas jostling for attention and it’s hard to focus on the next step. I find writing particularly helpful. Get the ideas noted down and you know they won’t be lost, and you can see more clearly what to get working on first. Usually I work on a group of paintings together, so if I’m stuck on one, I can put it to one side. Often working on the others gives me an idea of what will help. Sometimes you need to do something radical like covering up most of the surface, but if it’s not working then what do you have to lose? I have a studio notebook where I write notes about paintings and what I like (or not!). I find being precise and putting things into words helps me identify what I actually want from each painting. Understanding relationships between all the paintings has helped me this year as well. For example, I noticed I was using red or orange a lot as accent colours, so I was determined to do a mainly red painting. Although it was a challenge, as red is quite dark and can possibly a bit aggressive, this became one of my favourites. Sometimes though you just need a break. Making anything creative takes energy so occasionally you need time away to do something totally different and have new experiences. Eventually you get the pull back again or realise that you have twitchy fingers to get going again. If you had the chance to learn a new creative skill, what would it be? This summer, I went away on a course with Lewis Noble and I started painting on canvas again. 70 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


Large wood panels can get heavy so finding an enjoyment with working on canvas is something I will be developing. I also have an idea for some photography/painting hybrid images which is bubbling away at the back of my mind … but going back to long hours in front of a computer screen is putting me off doing that! What are your goals for the future? To find new venues for showing my work. Having a solo show to work towards would be wonderful. Being featured in a magazine was a goal for this year, so thank you for making that happen! As far as the work is concerned, I’ve learned that it’s a fine balance between having a clear idea about what you want to develop, and trusting in the process and seeing what emerges. I have a group of larger paintings I’m just starting and I’m excited about finally working on a bigger scale. At some point I would like to teach, but some kind of more open forum rather than a traditional workshop. When it happens, it will probably be on a whim, because it’s an idea which keeps bubbling up but isn’t formed yet. Where can we see your work? My next main event is Windsor Contemporary Art Fair on the 11th and 12th November. I usually do two art fairs a year and open studios every June, with other group shows and submissions dotted between. For more information, visit: www.alicesheridan.com To follow, visit: www.instagram.com/alicesheridanstudio www.facebook.com/AliceSheridanArt Images courtesy of Alice Sheridan

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ANNA CHAMPENEY

MADE LONDON 19th - 22nd October 2017

www.madelondon-marylebone.co.uk

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MADE LONDON IS one of the top selling events for designer/makers in Europe. The fair showcases the very best and most original handmade work from the UK and beyond, with makers themselves selling their highest quality contemporary craft and design direct to the public. Visitors to MADE LONDON are always impressed by the variety and originality of the craft and design on show and love exploring the venue at One Marylebone. A range of work is selected from makers across all media; ceramics, glass, wood, precious metals, textiles and more. The team behind MADE LONDON insist on exceptional work and choose designer/ makers already established in their field, as well as new and emerging talent. This event enables the makers to meet the public to discuss inspiration, design process and future projects, and gives the opportunity to establish relationships between maker and consumer. Work can be bought at the event or commissions can be taken. MADE LONDON is a relaxed and friendly event, renowned for its lovely, laid-back atmosphere. Taking place at One Marylebone, a stunning Sir John Soane church in central London, it’s directly opposite Great Portland Street tube station and next door to Regents Park. The building brings its own attraction, with the majestic Soane Hall and the light filled gallery spaces all adding to the interest of this show.

MICHĂˆLE OBERDIECK

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Venue: One Marylebone, London, NW1 4AQ Opening times: 10.30 - 17.00 Thursday 19th October 10.30 - 17.00 Friday 20th October 10.30 - 17.00 Saturday 21st October 10.30 - 17.00 Sunday 22nd October Standard Admission: ÂŁ10 on the door; under 14s FREE For further information, visit: www.madelondon-marylebone.co.uk For a list of exhibitors, visit: www.madelondon-marylebone.co.uk/artists Images courtesy of MADE LONDON

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Digital Retailing: DEVELOPING YOUR BRAND by Bebe Bradley

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WHEN SETTING UP your own business, one of the most important elements to consider is visual branding. It also happens to be one of the most overlooked. As discussed in our previous article (UK Handmade Summer 2017), you should now have completed your market research, have a unique high-quality product and an ‘identity’ or ‘brand name’. However, the ‘identity’ or ‘name’ is not enough on its own; how you present yourself visually matters too. Remember that, in ‘Internet Land’, you are up against everybody else … and their mum. When that customer finds you, you need your website and logo to be eye-catching, memorable and, most importantly, reflect you and your work. Think of companies and brands that you purchase from in everyday life, and how their logos create an immediately recognisable identity and sense of trust. These companies and brands spend a lot of time and money developing their visual identity to get it right, and this also applies to smaller businesses. You may feel confident enough to create your own logo or you may decide to pay a professional to do it for you. Regardless, spend time doing your research and get a clear idea of how you want to present yourself and your ‘brand’, and aim to appeal to as many people as possible. Think about designs and colour combinations that best reflect your work and personality. Less is definitely more; any good design book, magazine or website will advise you to keep your colour palette restricted to a few harmonious colours. Choose subtle tones and complimentary colours that are easy on the eye, and make sure that any text is large enough to read and in a legible font (no Comic Sans, thank you very much!). Avoid blinding your customer with clashing colours, illegible or tiny text, or text in a colour indistinguishable from the background colour. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 77


If you have decided to use your own name for your business, then this may become your logo, your literal ‘signature’, unless you have chosen some sort of symbol. If you have chosen your own name, many use a handwritten font or replication of their own signature and this provides a very simple but effective logo that can be used in many different scenarios. Check out your favourite shops, makers, blogs and websites. Look at the colours they use, the designs and the layout. Write down what you like and what you don’t, what you feel works and what doesn’t. Hopefully this will help you understand what makes the shop, maker, blog or website appealing (or not), so that you can apply similar principals to your own. This is also applicable to your business cards and stationery. Reasonably priced printing services are widely available and business cards can be a helpful promotional tool, if they contain the relevant information (website, shopfront and contact details). Consider including a business card with every item that you sell. Be consistent. When you have chosen a colour palette and design or come up with a visual combination that you like, stick to it. Wherever you appear, both online and off, whether it be in social media or retail sites, etc., aim to use the same colours and design - fonts, images, style and graphics - across the board. Consistency will help make your brand recognisable. We asked small business mentor Heidi Burton of Digibloom for her ‘good branding’ favourites. She begins with Hello Harriet. “Harriet Gray’s individual style of drawing, along with animal-themed illustrations and specific colour-themed photo backgrounds, all combine to create a strong illustration brand. This trio of elements can be found across all her online profiles, and is in line with her products too.” 78 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


Heidi loves looking at illustration websites because, “They’re often works of art and much more aesthetically interesting than the average website. For example, illustrator Kate Hindley has a simple website, yet it’s full of character (and characters)! Her drawings are her brand, and her style is consistent and recognisable over all her social media accounts and website. Rima Staines has created her own corner of the (online) world with The Hermitage, with unique illustrations in any space an image can be displayed, including her blog and social media headers. Whenever I see work by one of these artists, I immediately think, “That’s a Hermitage!” or “That’s a Hindley!”, such is their individuality.” Remember that selling online requires that you actively market, promote and drive custom to your site or store. It can be hard work and self-promotion doesn’t always come easily to many artists, designers and makers. Unless you very ‘lucky’ and/or incredibly talented, with your work capturing the zeitgeist and flying off the shelves, you must work at it. It may take weeks, perhaps even months, to attain that first sale but don’t waste time contemplating your navel; use it wisely for more market research and promotion. It needn’t be daunting; network by joining groups, show your wares on social media and link to your site or store. Read, research, read, and research some more. Polish your photography skills, talk to other artists, look at trends and sites, shops and blogs. There are lots of workshops out there - online and offline, free or for a small fee - so look at what’s available and what will make a valid addition to your current skillset. It can be a steep learning curve but it’s worth it when the first sale comes in. All this will be made easier for you, if customers can instantly recognise your visual brand. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 79


CASE STUDY: JAM & GINGER “Jam & Ginger was formed when I commenced freelance work over 3 years ago. Quite simply, the name came about as I wanted something that would ‘stick’ and was also not too ‘designy’. I used to receive post that said ‘Jammie’ instead of ‘Janine’ (my name) and I always liked it so, like I say, it stuck. The ‘Ginger’ part comes from the redheaded influence in my life, my husband Graham. He is a huge part of everything I do, so it only felt right that he should appear in some sort of form in the brand!

“With regards to the style, I like to think of my work as being energetic. At the time, I was doing a lot of hand-drawn type; much of my work is handdrawn and I wanted this to be conveyed within the logo but also wanted it to be simple. I don’t do fussy! It all came together quite quickly and 3 years on, I still feel like it fits.” 80 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


CASE STUDY: Marna Lunt “I’m a self-proclaimed branding addict. There’s nothing I love more than a good rebrand and an excuse to get lovely things printed. I’ve seen a few ‘transformations’ in the years I’ve been in business, and nothing ever really felt final or 100% where I wanted to be. I’d have perfect branding and then either someone would copy it enough to make me want to distance myself from it, or I’d move onto a new project or style. “A few years ago, when I knew I’d found my one true love of fine art embroidery, I decided I needed to finalise my branding and make everything flow better. I’d had a while to ruminate on what I needed to use it for, and had made a list of my needs and future plans. I found this vital in the branding process. “I worked with Tia Lush from Who Ate My Crayons Ltd. We had worked together before on blogs and previous designs, so she knew me well and I was confident that she knew me, my work and style well enough to basically mind read me. Being creative, I’m extremely controlling on my final vision and what it should be (which I have to say, has only been a hindrance to me where branding is concerned). Once I let go of a lot of control to Tia and trusted her to do the work I knew she could, things flowed perfectly. “The first step was to think of colours and fonts, and what personality I and my business have. It’s more difficult than you think but once we had those down, Tia did all the hard work; I sat back and enjoyed the ride. “When rebranding or searching for a logo or brand design, I would suggest working with a designer with whom you have a strong ‘relationship’

and whose work you like. Take a step back and consider how others see your style, work and personality. Also, think about where your work is going to be seen, what colours will grab your customer’s attention and what will tell them that this is YOU. Finally, I recommend reading Fiona Humberstone’s How to Style Your Brand (read the review in UK Handmade Autumn 2015). It gives a great understanding of what the designer needs from you to make a brand successful.” For more information, visit: www.digibloom.co www.helloharriet.com www.katehindley.com www.rimastaines.com www.jamandginger.com www.marnalunt.co.uk www.whoatemycrayons.com www.thebrand-stylist.com Images courtesy of Pixabay, Jam and Ginger and Marna Lunt

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JANE SEDGWICK Originally from West Yorkshire, Jane Sedgwick lives and works in rural North Norfolk, with her partner Tim – also a maker – and their dog Bertie. Together, they manage a small woodland which provides fuel and a sustainable supply of timber for their work. Interview by Bebe Bradley

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Using traditional woodworking techniques, Jane hand-turns a range of bead forms in sycamore, which are then combined in numerous ways to create bold, playful wooden jewellery in a multitude of designs. She gathers her inspiration from vintage toys, modernist architecture, folk art and infographics from the 50s and 60s. The playful use of colour, geometric shapes, repetition and order, tactility and movement are all recurring themes in her work. Tell us about your background; how has your jewellery evolved from this? After a very enjoyable foundation year at Jacob Kramer College of Art (now Leeds College of Art) , I studied on the B Des (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. I made sculptural silver and copper vessels but always introduced colour in some way, using other materials such as ceramic, semi-precious stones and plastics. I didn’t quite find my ‘thing’ and wanted to try out ideas for wearable sculptural pieces, so applied for a place at The Royal College of Art on the MA Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery course. Whilst at the RCA, I furthered my interest in colour, geometry and scale, and my postgraduate collection explored physicality and location. I made large, colourful, lightweight headpieces, setting the wearer in stark rural and urban locations, and used photography to record the events. I was very much inspired by performance-based art and dance. I then focused on teaching in higher education for many years, but always had some knitting on the go and made woven baskets. When we moved to Norfolk in 2010, I needed to re-focus my practice. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to make but I knew I would use colour and mixed media, and that the work would be wearable. 84 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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Your jewellery has a wonderful nostalgic feel; tell us about the inspiration behind it. I’m attracted to anything which is old and painted. I love how the paint is rubbed or chipped off through wear. I particularly like old wooden toys; their signs of use (through play), the combinations of materials and simple mechanisms, the bright simple colours and their bold graphic form. I own a small but growing collection of old toys and games, and have a simplistic or nostalgic love for these things from older times, an ‘idealistic view’. Play and playfulness drive my work, but I also like the theory of play and I’m fascinated by colour theory. With many things inspiring me, there’s always structure and order but combined with variable elements. I need this balance in my work; one can 86 | ukhandmade autumn 2017

get lost with too much choice, so I need limitations to be able to play, create, and explore effectively. I like a framework. Who or what is influencing you right now? I’ve collected lots of driftwood from the beaches of North Norfolk, much of it from local beach huts damaged or destroyed by recent storms. I’m enjoying playing with ‘found’ colour, rather than choosing colours to paint myself. The pieces that I collect are very random and I like the process of choosing, sorting and deciding how best to use the limited material I have. My interest in children’s building blocks, quilts and the work of Margaret Mellis and Kenneth and Mary Martin, have been a great influence on this body of work.


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You work in wood harvested from your own sustainable woodland. What attracts you to wood as a medium? I’ve always liked wooden things but never worked with wood until a couple of years back. I taught on the Crafts programme at the University of Derby for many years. It was a broad-based course and I mainly taught jewellery and drawing, but the programme had a strong focus on sustainable issues, which I really connected with. I had always been a little uneasy about precious materials, and also manmade materials like plastics, although I was attracted to them because of their vivid colours. I worried about filling the world with things I had made, that people might not keep! Learning more about issues to do with sustainability provided a framework and helped me define what I wanted to make, how I would make it and why. When we took over ‘Warren Wood’ eight years ago, both Tim and I wanted to use materials from the woodland. Tim has a background in working with wood and natural materials for sculpture. I needed to learn new skills, so gave myself a few months of practicing various techniques and processes, and particularly took to woodturning. It’s quite a disciplined process, but I like the limitations and challenge of where it can take me. I really love that I am working with a natural raw material, rather than a material which has first been made by someone else. If a piece doesn’t work out as I had hoped, it simply makes decorative firewood! I particularly like turning greenwood (unseasoned); it’s very satisfying, with the shavings peeling away in continuous strips like ribbon. 88 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


Your work features precise geometrical shapes and design. What draws you to these forms and what impels you to create them? I have very fond, vivid memories of my early education, particularly nursery and primary school. I enjoyed going to school, despite struggling with the subjects to the point of tears on numerous occasions. I loved the buildings, the classrooms, the furniture and the equipment. My nursery and junior school were new builds in the 70’s and at the time felt very modern. This must have stuck with me - the materials, the books, the diagrams and objects, even the drawers and cupboards where things were stored. I’m also a bit of a maths geek, loving graph paper, pie charts, Venn diagrams, angles, symbols, formulae and equations, and like using this source material for purely aesthetic interest. It emanates from theory but just looks satisfying too. I enjoy the measuring and counting involved in making batches of repeat units for my pieces, although I suppose some people would find it monotonous. I love the tools which help measure and regulate this work in the studio, the rulers, callipers, engineer’s squares, gauges and templates. Your jewellery has a bold and recognisable colour palette. What attracts you to these colours? I adore colour! Colour charts make me giddy, all the colours are so lovely! Colour theory has always been an interest of mine, so when I began to make jewellery again, I started at the beginning, with primary colours, then moved onto secondary colours, etc. It all relates back to colour use with early years’ education. I also like colour coding, the way we use colour to help organise and help us navigate through everyday tasks. The colours I am currently using are simple, happy, playful, orderly and optimistic. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 89


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What steps do you take to create new pieces? I’ve always enjoyed drawing and keeping sketchbooks but I’ve found, in the past, that this has held me back from making. I spent too long sketching and designing, and not enough time actually making. Now I tend to use my notebook when I’m not in the workshop, for jotting down ideas when I’m on the move. I think best when I’m on public transport (that’s why I don’t like driving!), and I always have a pen and paper next to my bed for night time revelations! I’m not good at problem solving when I try too hard; adaptive practice works best for me, with a basic loose framework - a material, a technique, a vague idea of an outcome e.g. earrings or a brooch - and then I play. My new work tends to start when I’m finishing off an existing piece, reflecting on what I like about what I’m making, how I could change or improve it, or what I could add or take away. My favourite pieces often appear unintentionally. There are a lot of ‘what ifs’. What if I cut this in half? What if I paint it blue? What if I drill holes in it? The bead forms have been very helpful for the development of my work, as numerous designs can be made by altering the shape of the bead, the colours, the amount and order of appearance, etc. This adaptability is useful when repeating units. Are there specific tools that you cannot do without? The woodworking lathe is essential for my current work. Many of my hand tools, I’ve had for 25 years. My favourite hand tools are my piercing saw and parallel pliers. I am also very fond of my Adana printing press - it’s a beauty and I make my own letterpress business cards with it!

What is your favourite /part of the process? I enjoy ‘turning’ but the only drawback is that’s it’s just noisy enough not to be able to follow what’s on the radio. Painting my beads is such a relaxing task in the evenings, and it’s very satisfying stamping my beads with my initials or logo before stringing them together. Tell us about your current workspace? What can you see out of the window? We have a general workshop in our converted double garage which I share with Tim, containing the pillar drill, lathe, sanders, band and circular saw, and this is where I do all the heavier, dirtier work. There’s a studio in the house where I paint and carry out the more precise elements of my work, and it’s also where I thread, finish and pack my jewellery for posting out to suppliers and customers. Both workspaces look onto our courtyard and garden. I’m a keen gardener and love growing things from seed. There’s a few herbs and raised beds for vegetables, in amongst the traditional cottage garden flowers. Doors and windows are open whenever weather permits, to hear the birds outside whilst I work, and keep an eye out for visiting butterflies. What are the most rewarding and frustrating aspects of what you do? Seeing lots of beads turned, painted and finished ready for threading is very rewarding and I can spend hours rearranging them in different patterns! Unfortunately, there’s also a significant amount of ‘cutting back’ (sanding to get a nice paint finish and edge) which can get a little tedious if I’m making a large batch of beads before an exhibition, but it’s necessary for the current look of my work. ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 91


Who are your favourite artists, designers and makers? It’s so difficult to choose! Learning about great artists and designers was initially how I got interested in making. As a child, it was very inspiring to know that people from my area of West Yorkshire had become great artists, so I’ve always been fond of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney. There’s the also the work of Alexander Calder, because of his playfulness in his mobiles and Cirque Calder, and the order within his public sculptures. I’m strongly influenced by artists of Constructivism; De Stijl, Dada, especially the Bauhaus and particularly the colour theory work of Josef Albers and the avant-garde ballet productions of Oskar Schlemmer. I adore Schlemmer’s costumes for the Triadic Ballet - the colour, the forms; nonsensical, playful and just a little bit sinister! What does it mean to you to own a handmade or hand finished object? I like knowing a bit about the maker, the attention to detail and well made, considered design. I’m a very tactile person, so like textures and how things feel in the hand. What advice would you give to someone starting out on their own creative path? I think you need to be determined but patient. It’s too easy to rush into things. Makers need to be strategic about what they present, to who and when. Being involved with others makers, through exhibiting together at shows and being part of collectives or groups, really helps you work out where you fit into the creative world. What’s the best advice someone’s ever given you? Measure twice and cut once. 92 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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If you had the opportunity to learn a new creative skill, what would it be? I feel lucky that I watched lots of classic animation as a child, from Oliver Postgate’s films through to more sinister examples from eastern Europe. I’d like to combine stop motion animation with my work in some way. I’m also really interested in collecting natural local materials, to produce my own pigments and cordage. What would be your perfect day? A good walk with our dog Bertie, or a canoe adventure on the Norfolk Broads. Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? I’m working on a series of brooches to mark 25 years of the clothing company Old Town, and focusing on new work for MADE Marylebone in October. It’s a lovely venue, with a really fabulous line-up of makers this year, so one not to miss! Where can we see, and find out more about your work? You can check my website for current stockists and events. I love using Instagram, so new work and new ventures are usually posted there first. For more information, visit: www.janesedgwick.co.uk To follow, visit: www.instagram.com/janesedgwickjewellery Images courtesy of Jane Sedgwick, with photography by Richard Drury

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Inspired by nature...

LIZ COOKSEY ‘Wayside I’ - wire crochet and copper (this page) ‘Mixed Bed with Red Berries’ - wire crochet and copper (opposite) www.lizcooksey.com 96 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


“My inspiration comes from natural habitats; hedgerows, garden borders, and meadows. I create shapes and structure with wire and copper, combining delicate fine crochet in a varied palette of subtle colours. My more recent work has developed from mainly framed relief pieces to free standing threedimensional work, where simple wooden plinths become fertile ground from which springs an exuberance of natural forms.� ukhandmade autumn 2017 | 97


JAM & GINGER ‘Echeveria’ (this page) ‘Hewenden Viaduct’ (opposite) www.jamandginger.com “This piece, like most of my paintings, is inspired by a love of plants and the vast variety of colour and texture they hold. Succulents in particular I find fascinating and intriguing to illustrate/paint. Such solid leave shapes and forms but with a multitude of tones and hues within. Such happy plants too - how can you not feel happy whilst looking at an Echeveria or any other succulent!”

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LAURA CHAPLIN Lampshades (this page) ‘Moth’ (opposite) www.laurachaplin.co.uk

“I love being an artist. Having an artist’s eyes and brain. Having the ability to see potential in the mundane. I wonder what else might keep me happy, energized and at peace all at the same time? I love that I can see beauty in imperfection. I love that in my darkest moments I can look to nature and feel uplifted and calm.” 100 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


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Jillian Riley Fluted bottle, old round neck bottle, small cross hatch poison bottle (this page) Large cross hatch poison bottle (opposite) www.jillianriley.co.uk

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“Drawing inspiration from my love of nature, an interest in mythology and a passion for things that are a little on the dark side, I have created a collection of bottles with a twist. I take old poison, scientific and apothecary bottles, make moulds and slip cast them in parian or porcelain clay. They may be decorated with oxides, waxes and my own pen and ink illustrations of bugs and poisonous plants, alongside other delights and curiosities including the odd dodo! Some bottles are more sculptural. Using reclaimed woods, I hand-turn stoppers to support individually sculpted porcelain birds and creatures. Each bottle will then be finished with either sterling silver, copper or re-purposed items making each piece totally unique.�

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LEMONS &Review LIMES by Dawn Bevins

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I AM WRITING THIS just after the end of a June downpour. The previous two weeks of heat and sunshine (that I thought would never end) already feel like a distant memory. Outside, droplets are hanging from the backs of our little wooden garden chairs and the sky is a textureless blanket of grey. This sudden change in weather has left me feeling quite demotivated, and I’m even dressed head to toe in grey. I definitely need something to perk me up, so what better than the thought of zesty lemons and limes? My main reason for wanting to review Lemons and Limes is that I always feel that they are, as an ingredient, a bit underrated. I love lemons. I drink hot lemon water every morning and it does far more for my mood than a glass of orange juice ever has. I know we all appreciate a drizzle of juice on our pancakes or even a slice of drizzle cake, but I was keen to find out how I could incorporate more of these fruits into my cooking, rather than just satisfying my sweet tooth. The humble lemon is very important to Ursula Ferrigno. She was brought up on the Amalfi Coast where her family were in the lemon growing business; in fact, her family first came to England on a mission to sell them to bartenders in London. She has written this book to celebrate all that is wonderful about these little fruits, appreciating their unique properties and versatility.


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There are six chapters full of exciting recipes, nearly all of which are supported by bright, enticing, summery photography by Clare Winfield. The first chapter, Small Bites, includes recipes that you might turn to for a picnic or light lunch. I’m feeling particularly drawn towards the Mini Feta & Lemon Spanakopita, the Salmon and Kaffir Lime Cakes and the Bean, Lemon and Herb Potato Cakes, as I think they’ll be just the thing to liven up weekend lunches. Chapter two has recipes for Soups and Salads, and I am tempted by the Peking Duck Salad as it looks not only tasty but easy to make too. I’m also intrigued by the egg and lemon based Avgolemono soup and the Mexican Lime Soup with Toasted Garlic and Citrus Juices. Meat and Poultry and Fish and Seafood are the subject matters for the third and fourth chapters.The choice of recipes takes us on quite the global tour, visiting the likes of North Africa with Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas, Carrots and Preserved Lemon, Mexico with Mexican Chipotle Turkey Tostadas, and Spain with Salmon Escabeche with Celery and Citrus. Chapter five shares Vegetable Sides. I do get a little tired of vegetables being labelled as side dishes, as if they are a less important source of food. Many recipes here would sit happily in chapter two or work as a light lunch. I would gladly sit down to Roast Cauliflower with Almonds and Preserved Lemons (even if the cauliflower doesn’t appear to get roasted within the method) or Butternut Squash with Lime Dressing and Toasted Seeds. 106 | ukhandmade autumn 2017


As expected the final chapter provides recipes for Sweets and Drinks, so expect to see curd, gelato, profiteroles and jelly, as well as Lemon and Ginger Barley Water, Mojitos and Limoncello. I find it quite charming that each chapter also includes an essay on some aspect of lemons and limes, whether that be their history, how they are grown or their benefits to health. These essays help to break up the recipes, adding some depth and variation to the book. I’ve found some real inspiration on how to use more lemons and limes in my cooking. It’s been interesting to see a great mix of classic recipes mixed with some more unusual ones, and I’ve been impressed by the variety of ingredients and different types of cuisine. The colourful brightness of the book design and the anticipation of such an array of flavours is the perfect antidote for any dreary day. Lemons and Limes by Ursula Ferrigno, is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £14.99. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small ISBN-10: 1849758069 ISBN-13: 978-1849758062

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See you in the Winter...

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UK Handmade Magazine Autumn 2017  

Cosy up and settle down to read our exclusive interviews with wonderful makers, designers and artists. You’ll find beautiful ceramics, susta...

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