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ukhandmade Summer 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 summer 2017


Welcome... ...to our summer issue. We may have a ‘new look’ but we still have the same exclusive interviews with wonderful makers, designers and artists. You’ll find vibrant cityscapes, magical mosaics and sustainable design, alongside business tips and advice on art licensing and digital identity. We also have our regular selection of fabulous finds, events and reviews to entertain and inspire you, come rain or shine!

Bebe. x

Editor & Designer/Maker

Contributors

DAWN BEVINS

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

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

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.

SARAH HAMILTON

Artist & Designer www.sarahhamiltonprints.com

MATTHEW SHELLEY

PR Consultant & Journalist www.scottishfestivalspr.org

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

54 WOOLFEST

14 THE LOFT LIFE

58 MOSAIC HAPPY

26 COCKPIT ARTS

66 SPRING FLING

30 WHOLEFOOD HEAVEN IN A BOWL

72 STUDIO

34 CLARE CAULFIELD

78 INSPIRED BY THE OCEAN

editor’s picks from around the UK

furniture maker Loukas Morley shares his new venture

this year’s summer open studios

our review of this vegetarian recipe book

a well-travelled illustrator with a passion for architecture and street scenes

48 HOUSE OF CARDS

insights into Sarah Hamilton’s new book about cardmaking and art licensing

love wool, love festivals, then this is for you!

Denise Jaques makes shimmering mosaics for the home and garden

Scotland’s premier craft and visual arts event

a beautiful book full of to-die-for studios

handmade treasures with a watery theme

84 DIGITAL RETAILING

the first in a series of business advice

90 SAFFRON SOUL

indian food made easy 4 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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58

66

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We Love...

EMMA LACEY Everyday Mugs www.emmalacey.com

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MIYU KURIHARA Hexagon Plates, (opposite) www.miyukurihara.com

TANJA UFER ‘Coastline’ Ring (this page) www.tanja-ufer.co.uk 8 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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SCARLETT COHEN FRENCH ‘Square Chaos’ Brooch www.scarlettcohenfrench.com 10 | ukhandmade summer 2017


TREGEAR POTTERY ‘Birch’ Fruit Bowl www.tregearpottery.co.uk

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VANESSA HOGGE Porcelain Flowerheads www.vanessahogge.com

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THE LOFT LIFE Loukas Morley is a Cambridge-born-and-based creative. After completing a degree in Interactive Arts from Newport School of Art, Morley explored multi-media art, film-making, photography and painting, before returning to his first love, working with wood and crafting tables, beds, and decorative work from found or donated timber. Interview by Karen Jinks

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LOUKAS MORLEY

You have quite a broad range of creative skills, from painting to woodworking. Which came first and do you have a preference? It was painting, triggered at an early age by helping my dad decorate the bedroom in an abstract fashion that I shared with my brother. As an artist, I find the process of creating fascinating. Exploring how materials shape-shift as you construct, assemble and build layers, surfaces and colour, is wonderful. It’s all malleable to the will of the 16 | ukhandmade summer 2017

imagination. I love being in nature, and creating both art and furniture is a joy and honour. There is no distinction between them. Who or what inspired you to create? Well, that’s a huge question. Intuition; I’d say from a very young age, that drawing was a way of transcribing visual recall, either from life or from dreams and imagination. The same is true of painting, but with a brush and other studio tools.


The process of working with a client to design and create a piece of furniture, or shoving paint around from its original liquid state to where it finally rests, is a fascinating experience and when you’re in the flow of these creative endeavours, there is a kind of unravelling - or revealing - of something created out of nothing. I enjoy the journey of working with the flow of ideas and learning the methods required to produce a finished piece. It’s not that different than someone setting out to create a meal … although I’ve never followed a recipe. Do you have any formal training? Yes and no. I have a BTEC diploma, a National Diploma in Art and Design, and a degree in Interactive Arts which fueled my love for photography and film - although at that time, I’d abandoned my love for drawing and painting. I am, however, self-taught in the art of construction, working with wood and other materials, and learning from some wonderful folk along the way. What was the inspiration for the Loft Life brand? I feel that all along I’ve loved creating. I love buildings that were constructed for creation, production and industry, so places like Andy Warhol’s Factory speak to me. ‘Loft’ apartments are all well and good, but if they can in some way remain close to their roots of being working spaces, all the better. So, taking this into account, I have a love for creative interiors and spaces that are tailored with beautiful art and objects. It’s not simply about buying expensive designer objects, it’s about surrounding yourself with things that nourish you, even if it’s just a few simple objects, photos, ukhandmade summer 2017 | 17


drawings and keepsakes. I wanted to create a collection of functional artworks and designs that also talk about sustainability, locality, nature, colour and materials that can be enjoyed in any home. The ‘En Pointe’ stools are beautifully designed, functional pieces, but they also tell an interesting story. Tell us more… I’ve been collecting and reclaiming materials from around the city and beyond for over 10 years now. They often come from unique places, but this is becoming harder as the value of timber increases and reclaimed materials are sought after. The recent production of my En Pointe stools was made possible because of a fortunate conversation with the curator of the Museum of Classical Archeology. I mentioned some of the projects I was involved with and they told me that they were in the middle of a library refit, and asked if the wood from the shelves and desks would be of any use. We made arrangements and the production of these limited-edition stools are now almost complete. The design of this stool originated from one created for the Espresso Library Café on Cambridge’s East Road, where both Mineheart and myself were fortunate enough to help co-design the café. The tables, benches and stools were made from reclaimed timber from several sources but mostly from the university engineering department, thanks to Alistair Ross and the wood department. The stools went through several design prototypes to get to what you can find in the café today, and the En Pointe stools are a refined edition. 18 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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How did you happen upon wood with such an incredible heritage? Often this has been the result of spending many years meeting folk in and around the universities of Cambridge, through advertising and personal introductions or recommendations. It’s not been straightforward though. You could say that curious serendipity is the way that things have come about. One of my first collections of timber arrived in the form of fifty chairs from the Sydney Sussex library, because of a Gumtree ad. Some of the legs from those chairs now form the legs of the benches and stools at the Espresso Library Café. How important is it to you to reclaim materials that would otherwise be discarded? It’s extremely important! I can’t think of anything worse than good wood being thrown away. If you’ve ever spent time in a large forest or a dense woodland, and then return to the same place where all those trees have been cut down, it’s quite alarming. If you go and visit one of the largest importers of hard woods in the region (the scale of these spaces is like 2 football pitches), you will see acre after acre of trees planked and planed into storable piles for industry, construction, etc. It’s quite upsetting. For the love of wood and the joy of working, it’s very important to be mindful of exactly where products come from. You may see labels that declare it as ‘sustainable sourced timber’, but often that’s open to debate. Do you do commission work? What is the most interesting project you have undertaken? I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had some truly wonderful commissions and probably too many to mention right now. 20 | ukhandmade summer 2017


As I mentioned earlier, the Espresso Library was a fantastic commission that has led to other commissions; a variety of desks and tables for some of Cambridge’s writers and scholars, and I’d say designing an assemblage of fitted furniture for an entrance hallway for Sheila & Bruce Stuart was a rewarding project. What does the term handmade mean to you? If you visit a gallery or museum, what are we all gawping at when we get there? We are looking at the endeavors of the hand, mind and imagination of the creators of that time and place. I have machines and tools that I use in the production of my stools, and it’s a delight to be involved in the actual process of making them. If I was to outsource this work, the process would be highly systemized, the machining would be mostly automated and the stool wouldn’t be the same. So, from conception to the final piece, it’s all done in my workshop and to me, that’s handmade. Will there be more products added to the Loft Life brand? For sure, but it will take a while before I can get the time and space to set the production of the next three items of the En Pointe collection into motion. I’m also looking to make an additional bag range and limited editioned T-shirts, and these will be collaborations when the time comes. Please tell us about your planned book. There will be more than one book but for the En Pointe stool collection, we are aiming for a series of portraits of each owner with their limited-edition stool. We will have 45 wonderful portraits of interesting folk in their interiors or chosen locations. ukhandmade summer 2017 | 21


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You’ll see on The Loft Life Facebook page that we’ve been having a lot of fun shooting portraits of local folk doing their thing with the stools. What are you goals for the future? To bring everything together, live with a work/life balance and build a creative place for teaching and sharing. ‘Making’ matters and it’s why galleries and museums exist. Who are your favourite artists / designers? Those that are persistent and believe in what they do as artists, designers and creatives. Locally, Cambridge has a wide-reaching range of artists, writers, photographers, performers and musicians, and I’m grateful to be part of such a diverse creative community. If I was to name a few artists that have had some influence along my creative journey, I’d have to mention Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Frank Stella, Gary Hume, Donald Judd, Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp to name but a few. Locally, I’m fortunate to be exhibiting with Julia Ball at the Alison Richard Building until the 26th June. She is a wonderful artist who in her later years is still producing fabulous paintings. What advice would you give someone looking to start a creative business? Smile! It’s a good thing to be motivated for your chosen endeavor. Just make sure that you’re sitting comfortably with the commitment and persistence, and have as much fun as you can at every turn. It helps to have some good friends who respect what you are pursuing, as support along the way 24 | ukhandmade summer 2017

is essential for creatives. Seek advice and do what feels intuitively nourishing. Sometimes, in the early days of setting up, it’s all too common to have your mind and time split between what you would like to do and the things you might have to do to get to a secure footing in the direction that truly calls you. This does take time. Where can we find your work? Do you have any exhibitions coming up? A great platform, where most folk find out about my exhibitions and events, is my Facebook page. Love or hate it, it functions very well and I do post a lot of what other artists – both from Cambridge and beyond - are up to. Besides my current exhibition with the lovely Julia Ball, I’m part of a group show at the Unit1 Gallery in London until 17th May. Some of my limited-edition prints are also on show at Stem + Glory, a wonderful vegan venue and yoga studio in Cambridge. The En Pointe stools are currently being exhibited at the Museum of Cambridge and looking ahead, I’m planning for an exhibition at the Museum of Classical Archaeology in the summer of 2019. For more information, visit: www.theloft.life www.vimeo.com/209817152 To follow Loukas, visit: www.facebook.com/theloftlife www.instagram.com/theloft.life Images courtesy of Loukas Morley, with photography by Mike Sim and Hilary Cox Condron (p.16)


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COCKPIT ARTS SUMMER OPEN STUDIOS 9th - 11th, 16th - 18th June 2017 www.cockpitarts.com

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MEET 170 MAKERS at Cockpit Arts’ Summer Open Studios event. Visitors will be able to discover what goes on behind the scenes in the central and south London locations, and have the opportunity to purchase directly from master craftspeople and artist/makers, past and present. Cockpit Arts is an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople. Housing up to 170 small businesses at their centres in Holborn and Deptford, Cockpit Arts supports craft practitioners at the start of their careers - as well as those who are more established - to grow and build successful, thriving businesses, both in the UK and internationally. Jewellers, glass artists, weavers, ceramicists and a host of other talent will be on show, alongside demonstrations and talks from makers including Dovile Bertulyte, Julie Kouamo and Lucy McGrath. Celebrating their first open studio will be Holborn-based makers Vanessa Hogge and Camilla Meijer, and Deptford-based makers Tessa Eastman, Olivia Holland and Mila Harris-Mussi. There’s also a feature showcase curated by the renowned leather designer Bill Amberg and a pop-up stall hosted by Crafts Magazine. Enjoy delicious food at the Hand Made Food Café whilst you listen to singer Eleanor Rastall, who will be performing jazz tunes during the Friday evenings of both weekends.

MAJEDA CLARKE

CARMEN MACHADO

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Venues: Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ Opening times: HOLBORN 17.00 - 21.00 Friday 9th June 11.00 - 18.00 Saturday 10th June 11.00 - 18.00 Sunday 11th June DEPTFORD 17.00 - 21.00 Friday16th June 11.00 - 18.00 Saturday 17th June 11.00 - 18.00 Sunday 18th June Standard Admission: FREE; donations welcome! For more information, visit: www.cockpitarts.com For more information about demonstrations and alumni exhibitors, visit: www.cockpitarts.com/shop-cockpit/open-studios For more information about makers, visit: www.cockpitarts.com/shop-cockpit/open-studios/ search-for-a-maker/ Photography by Kamil Kurylonek and Yeshen Venema

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WHOLEFOOD HEAVEN in a BOWL Review by Lisa Margreet Payne

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WHEN I READ the introduction to Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl, I was expecting a simpler book than the one I discovered. The authors, David and Charlotte Bailey, have been part of the street food scene since 2010, selling healthy vegetarian wholefood food from their Citroën H van, and now sell their food at festivals, events and markets around the country. They want to encourage people to eat more wholefoods, which they describe as, “Foods that are as close to their natural form as possible: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, especially those ancient grains that have remained unchanged for thousands of years”. They state that many of the recipes can be made using just one pot, outside over a fire or on a camping stove. As a person who once took it upon herself to cook all of the meals for a three-person camping trip to Indietracks Music Festival, I know a thing or two about cooking on a camping stove. I purchased all the ingredients in advance and packed them up. I had so much baggage with me, it became a standing joke between myself and my two friends. I not only had a backpack and a front pack but also a side pack, a bag across my shoulders, and one in each hand. I was determined that we wouldn’t end up at the dirty burger van, as in previous years. Had they been selling wholefood ‘Buddha Bowls’, it might have been a different story. There are a lot of recipes in this book which are vegan or have vegan options, and are wheat-free and gluten-free, making it is accessible to a lot of people. The book is divided into seven chapters, and also includes an Introduction and a section on stocking your wholefood store cupboard.


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There are recipes for Breakfast and Brunch, Salads, Soups and Stews, Mains, Accompaniments and Sides, Baking and Desserts and Drinks, so it’s pretty comprehensive. I’m not usually intimidated by slightly more unusual ingredients, but a few of the recipes in this book didn’t appeal to me on first reading them. For example, Kaya Coconut Jam on Toast with Boiled Eggs and Tamari, their take on a classic Singaporean breakfast. I think it’s probably just the thought of mixing the tamari flavoured eggs with the sweet coconut jam. That being said, the other night I really enjoyed the Gallo Pinto Bowl with Sweet Plantain, Avocado, Grilled Halloumi and a Fried Egg for my dinner. I couldn’t get hold of a plantain, so substituted it with banana as suggested in the recipe. It was delicious. This recipe also mixes sweet with savoury, so I should probably just get over it and try some of the others which do the same. I have also made the Mexican Bean Pot Bowl with Citrus Chard, with chard that I grew myself (Oh, Sweet Chard of Mine). Having made many a bean stew in my time, I thought this one made a nice addition to my repertoire; the flash fried chard with lime is a good nutritional boost. Another main dish recipe I tried was the Sweet Potato, Chard and Burnt Tomato Hash. This was very tasty and one which I can imagine somebody making in a cast iron pan over a fire outside - mainly because that’s what’s in the image which accompanies the recipe. I’ve experimented with lots of different energy ball recipes in the past, and I found their raw cacao and walnut energy balls particularly good. I’ve bookmarked their recipe for wholefood dog treats to make for my new puppy, Molly. She has expensive tastes, being a huge fan of coconut oil, 32 | ukhandmade summer 2017


which I discovered when she kept licking my hands after I’d been using it (I use coconut oil as a hand and face moisturiser). The wholefood dog treats have porridge oats, spelt flour, coconut oil, crunchy peanut butter, banana and egg in them, so I’m sure that Molly will be wolfing them down. The drinks section has recipes for some unusual drinks such as golden milk, an ancient yogic drink which has been quite an internet sensation recently. Made with turmeric - known for its antiinflammatory properties - water, almond milk, coconut oil and honey (or your own choice of sweetener), it’s nurturing and healthy. There are also recipes for old-fashioned lemon barley water and Switchel, a traditional woodsman’s drink also known as Haymakers’ Punch. This is made with water, ginger root, lemon, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, and is also on my ‘to make’ list. In summary, although it is not quite the recipe book I was expecting, Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl has plenty of recipes to keep your interest, especially if you fancy something a bit more adventurous than the usual vegetarian or vegan fare. Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl: Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul by David Bailey & Charlotte Bailey is published by Pavilion Books at £16.99. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Pavilion Books ISBN-10: 1911216171 ISBN-13: 978-1911216179

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CLARE CAULFIELD Clare Caulfield is a Yorkshire-based artist and printmaker whose work is inspired by her travels to some of the world’s greatest cities. Drawing has always played an important part in Clare’s art and the magic of each location is recreated in her own unique style. She produces mixed-media paintings, original handmade prints, limited edition prints and art cards, and exhibits throughout the U.K. Interview by Bebe Bradley

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Who is Clare Caulfield? I am an artist producing paintings based on iconic cities around the world. Working in a lively drawing style, I create views of extraordinary locations including Paris, Venice, New York, Prague, Sydney, Reykjavik, San Francisco and Istanbul. Tell us about your background and training; how has your art evolved from this? I did my Foundation Studies in Art and Design at Bradford College, before going onto Staffordshire University where I gained a first class honours degree in Surface Pattern Design. During my final year, I won a trip to Venice through a drawing project and decided to use it as the focus for my end of year degree show. The Venetian buildings were a huge inspiration; I developed my drawing style during that time and 36 | ukhandmade summer 2017

it pushed me into a new way of working. I was staying just a couple of streets away from St. Mark’s Square, and had an amazing view of the piazza’s basilica domes. Venice is such a beautiful city and a very special place for me. There is nowhere else quite like it and it’s where my passion for drawing architecture began. Immediately after graduating, I worked in a London textile studio for a couple of years, designing children’s fashion fabrics. I then decided to move back up to Yorkshire, to set up my studio and focus on producing my own work and developing my illustrative style. Since then, I’ve exhibited in galleries throughout the country. Closer to home, my collection also includes the rugged beauty and charm of North Yorkshire’s coastal towns and the villages of Whitby, Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay.


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Your work has a distinctive illustrative style. What techniques do you use? As well as producing original paintings, my work has also moved into printmaking. I specialised in screen-printing during my degree, so it was great to find a printmaking workshop nearby which enabled me to continue working in this field. My love of drawing lends itself perfectly to my work as a printmaker. My sketchbook drawings are produced on location. Screen printing allows me to transfer and maintain the liveliness and spontaneity of these sketches onto both paper and canvas. In some of my screen prints, I’ll also combine hand painted acrylic, watercolour and pencil, and this results in each piece being truly individual. Another technique I enjoy is Drypoint; this is a method 38 | ukhandmade summer 2017

of intaglio printmaking where I scratch out my compositions directly onto the printing plate with an etching needle. I love drawing in this way, as you work in reverse onto the plate. The result is always a surprise! I’ve also experimented with Chine-collé, a meticulous process which allows me to introduce colour into my monochrome pieces. I paint sheets of paper with watercolour washes and use collected ‘found’ papers such as vintage sheet music or old books. These are cut into various shapes and sizes to help depict the scene, say, for example, a patchwork of rooftops, chimney pots or the coloured lettering behind a Manhattan diner sign. It can take hours to arrange these fragments and tiny pieces of paper. Only when it’s finally pulled through the etching press, is the colour bonded to


the paper and the finished print revealed. It’s an exciting and unpredictable process which produces very limited editions and I’ll often hand-finish these prints with watercolour and coloured pencil. Who or what is influencing you right now? I’ve recently returned from a trip to Berlin. It’s a fascinating city which is undergoing a lot of transformation, and it’s interesting to see gleaming new buildings alongside the older, less ‘shiny’ concrete blocks, flats and apartments. To me, it’s a city full of shapes and colour, a progressive city looking to the future. Your work often features grand architecture. What impels you to recreate it in your art? I’ve always been fascinated by architecture, whether it’s the jumble of apartments, storefronts and skyscrapers in Manhattan, the elegant splendor of Venice or just simply capturing Parisian life outside a pavement café. I love the detail and structure of buildings, the repetition and pattern that’s found within their design. I’ll study their individual detail and character closely but when I begin to draw and interpret them, the buildings seem to take on an identity of their own. What is your favourite subject matter? I love the challenge of trying to capture the life and vibrancy of big cities. That feeling of bewilderment and the unknown when you first arrive in a new place, and then you gradually get into the flow and see the patterns and energy. These are the things that excite me and aim to convey in my work. ukhandmade summer 2017 | 39


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What steps do you take to create a new piece of work? I only create work based on the places I’ve visited. Being immersed in a new city is important to me and this way, I’m able to get a true feel for the place. Hopefully, this shows in the finished piece. I use my sketchbook and camera to record and capture ideas on location, and then use these to develop my work back in the studio. I love working in a variety of media, including watercolour, acrylic, and collage. Drawing and line feature heavily in my work and I use graphite crayons, pencil, dip pen and ink, coloured pencils and pastel. I always take lots of photographs and collect interesting ephemera on my travels menus, postcards and local newspapers, patterned paper bags, stamps, leaflets, vintage books and packaging - anything that helps conjure a memory or spark my imagination. Occasionally, I’ll combine small elements of these collaged papers into my pieces. When I start a new painting, I don’t sketch it out on paper first. I begin by putting down loose watercolour shapes to suggest the forms of my subject, and then work into this with line and build it up from there. The initial drawn marks are the most important part of the whole process and I try to work as spontaneously as possible, to achieve lively and energetic line work. You employ a variety of techniques to produce your work; what is your favourite part of the process? For me, the use of colour can completely change the feel of a painting. I love the idea that just a very small detail, like the bright red canopy of a Parisian café or a string of yellow NYC taxi ukhandmade summer 2017 | 41


cabs, can completely transform an image and bring it to life. When I’m travelling, certain colour combinations will catch my eye and I know they have the makings of a magical painting and will capture that moment in time. I try to completely let go with my use of colours so, for example, the sky can be any colour I want it to be. Are there specific tools you cannot do without? My sepia sketching pens. I couldn’t survive without them so there are potfuls in my studio ensuring I never run short. They suit my drawing style and allow me to make quick lively marks. Black linework would be too heavy for me to work in but the brown ink is perfect, and they’re also waterproof so watercolour washes can be added over the top. I always work on ‘hot pressed’ Fabiano paper as the smooth surface enables me to achieve a fluid quality of line.

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Please tell us about your current work space. I live and work from my studio in the lovely, world heritage site of Saltaire in Yorkshire. It’s a very creative place, home to many like-minded creative folk, art galleries and vintage shops. The village, founded in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt (a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry), is known for its Victorian architecture and I’ve drawn it on many occasions during my 7 years of living here. My surroundings are a big inspiration for my work so I feel very at home creating my paintings here. My studio is small so I have floor-to-ceiling shelving compartments full of books, pen pots, paints, brushes, trays of pencils, sketchbooks and my boxes of collected travel ephemera. It looks out onto the only cobbled street remaining in the village, and has a wonderful view of the United Reformed Church. Salts Mill lies at the heart of Saltaire and is just a couple of minutes from my


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front door. It’s an impressive building and home to a David Hockney gallery and fantastic bookshop, whenever I’m in need of some inspiration. You run screen printing courses from the West Yorkshire Print Workshop. Do you find teaching printmaking an important addition to your creative life? It’s great to be able to share my knowledge of this technique with others and their enthusiasm is inspiring. A lot of my students are complete beginners or may have a little experience from their college days. It’s rewarding for me to see their excitement as they turn their sketches and artwork into an original handmade print. Screen printing requires a lot of specialist equipment, as most printmaking techniques do, so they appreciate being able to come and use a fully equipped workshop in a small, friendly learning environment. What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects of what you do? My work enables me to travel to amazing places. The beautiful cities I visit then inspire me to make my paintings and prints. I love having the freedom to be creative every day. It’s also great to see people’s reactions as they view my paintings, and my interpretations of the cities seem to capture a moment which they themselves can relate to. I do enjoy the business side of my work but it does take up a lot of time. I sometimes wonder how I’ll have the time to draw all the other cities I’d love to visit! Do you ever experience creative blocks and what do you do to clear them? I have a long list of ideas scribbled down in my 44 | ukhandmade summer 2017

sketchbook so I always have lots of ideas and themes ready for my next piece. Occasionally, a painting may not be progressing quite as I want it to. However, for me, this is all part of the creative process as it then motivates me to find new ways to approach it. Something as simple as working on a different type of paper or using a new drawing tool may be all it takes. I have to feel truly inspired to create work that I’m truly happy with. I sense an energy within my drawing when I’m fully lost in the moment of making a picture, and that’s when I feel truly creative. Who are your favourite artists, designers and makers? The very early work of artist Stephen Wiltshire is a big inspiration. The architectural line drawings of London and Paris he produced during his childhood have a very loose and fluid quality. They’re beautiful and expressive, and extremely accurate considering they were drawn from memory. I also love Lucinda Roger’s drawings from her New York travel journals and the illustrations of Portland-based Carson Ellis. I also find much inspiration from the wonderful world of Miroslav Sasek, the Czech artist, illustrator and writer of the ‘This is…’ series of children’s books, created in the 50s and 60s. I have the complete series, including a vintage first edition copy of ‘This is Rome’ which is full of charming views of the city. What does it mean to you, to own a handmade object? Buying handmade is all about investing in the maker behind the work, and the time, effort and skill that goes into making each piece.


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An original work of art has a story attached. It’s special, unique and cannot be recreated. What advice would you give to someone starting out on their own creative path? Be clear about what makes your work stand out and identify what makes it special. Build upon your uniqueness and think about what you want to be known for. Make sure you love what you do and be prepared to put in a lot of hard work, energy and time. Be passionate. What is the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you? My university tutor advised us to try Blind Contour Drawing, an exercise where you fix your eyes on the object, while simultaneously drawing in a steady, continuous line without lifting the pencil or looking at the paper. It was a little daunting initially but completely freed up my approach to drawing, and totally changed how I would interpret my subject matter. If you had the opportunity to learn a new creative skill, what would it be? I’d be interested in learning the technique of etching. I touched upon it very briefly when I did a printmaking introduction course some years ago. It’s a lengthy process but one I’d like to spend some time experimenting with, to see how it may develop my work. Do you have any new projects or plans in the pipeline? A few years ago, I collaborated with the Italian menswear label C.P. Company, who reproduced five of my Paris, Venice, New York and London 46 | ukhandmade summer 2017


drawings and paintings on exclusive T-shirt designs for their Summer 2014 collection. I was contacted by them again earlier this year, about introducing my T-shirts to their stores in Japan this summer. They’re keen to promote the artist behind the artwork so will be displaying a large-scale panel depicting my painting of New York’s Flatiron Building in three of their Tokyo shops. It’s an exciting and fantastic opportunity to get my work seen in Japan, a place I would love to draw and add to my collection one day. Where can we find out more about your work? To view my full collection, find information on regular stockists or news on upcoming exhibitions and shows, please visit my website. For more information, visit: www.clarecaulfield.co.uk www.etsy.com/shop/ClareCaulfield To follow Clare, visit: www.twitter.com/caulfieldartist Images courtesy of Clare Caulfield © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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HOUSE of CARDS by Sarah Hamilton

ONE OF THE GREAT pleasures of being an artist and designer are the creative friends you share eclectic interests with. For instance, I’m sure many of you will have a penchant for at least one of my addictions, which range from seed heads, stones, leaves and seaglass to vintage tins, paper, stationery and greeting cards. Cards are a big one for me. I make them, I sell them and I collect them. I run the JUST A CARD campaign about them and now I’ve even written a book about them. My book is called House of Cards and I’m thrilled to know that, given the enthusiastic response on social media, cards seem to have you hooked too. The idea behind the book is to celebrate the very best in contemporary greeting card design, demonstrate different mediums - including linocuts, letterpress and screen printing - favoured by leading artists, and share their top tips and inspiration.  Cards can be delightful artworks in their own right. Dawn Bevins describes it succinctly in her recent review for UK Handmade, saying, “I always see the most original and beautiful handmade cards in gift shops, so I know they exist, yet for some reason when I think ‘handmade cards’, my mind conjures up all kinds of old-fashioned nastiness. When I initially heard about ‘House of Cards’, I didn’t have high hopes. I need not have worried because Sarah Hamilton and her fellow contributing artists demonstrate how to banish ‘naff’ homemade cards and instead create professionallooking pieces of art you can be truly proud of.” ukhandmade summer 2017 | 49


Inspiring you to create professional art that you can be truly proud of, is at the heart of this book. We go way beyond just projects; the book is crammed with advice on packaging, selling, gathering inspiration and even licensing designs. Art licensing is an area many designers would like to consider but don’t know or fully understand. Jehane Boden Spiers, founder of Yellow House Art Licensing, has written a chapter which comprehensively explains the process, and it’s relevant regardless of whether you make cards, homewares or textiles. Jehane’s passion and commitment to the artists she represents. ensure her approachable yet professional advice is invaluable to artists and designers. Here, she gives an overview of her chapter, sharing an insight into what she does and how the process works: “I’ve always been fascinated by the impact that certain images have on our visual world. It was the conversations around the creative process and the insight into how different artworks are received, which inspired me to extend my work as a designer and become an artists’ agent. “I have represented artists for over fifteen years and created ‘The Yellow House’ brand in 2001, when I was first launching my Artist Open House and setting up an on-line gallery. I have been selling original artworks and licensing other artists’ designs to industry ever since. “Art licensing is the process whereby an artist, agent or third party grants the reproduction rights for a specific image on a specific product, for an agreed period of time, for sale within a given territory. Licensing an image doesn’t stop the artist from selling the physical original artwork; this belongs to the artist whether the image has been 50 | ukhandmade summer 2017


part-licensed or full copyright sold. If the artist wants to license rights after selling the original, it is crucial that they have access to a high-resolution file of it. Unless the full copyright has sold, the copyright (and therefore, rights) to license the image remain with the artist (or artist’s estate) until a fixed number of years after the artist’s death. This is 70 years in the UK. “It’s a clear endorsement of an artist’s creative efforts to see their work licensed as a greetingcard or indeed any product. It can also provide an important source of income; payment can be made as a flat fee (one-off payment), royalty only (earning a percentage on net receipts), or an advance against royalties (a payment earned off at an agreed percentage before royalty payments begin). “When an artist’s work is licensed as a greeting card, it also acts as a successful calling card. One of the first things we do when we receive a card, is look at the back where the artist’s credit is included, often with a photograph or statement about their work. Artists are often directly commissioned to create original artwork as a result of their images being on cards. Interestingly, securing a card range can be a crucial stepping-stone to attracting other licensees. Successful greeting-card ranges can expand to include over 60 or even 100 designs, generating a very healthy income for the artist. “My personal view of my role as an agent is to complement the artistic process, creating a dialogue about an artist’s work and finding the right partners to publish his or her work. “Whether it be a range of greeting-cards, a series of children’s books, tableware or a collection of open-edition prints, I’m looking to find opportunities that suit the individual style of the artist and strengthens brand awareness.” ukhandmade summer 2017 | 51


In the meantime, I hope House of Cards will inspire you to embrace the joyful world of card making and sharing. Your friends and family will certainly delight in receiving your cards as much as you enjoy making them. House of Cards by Sarah Hamilton is published by Pavilion Books at £14.99 ISBN-10: 1910904570 ISBN-13: 978-1910904572 For more information on the book and campaign, visit: www.madmimi.com www.justacard.org Whether you decide to dive straight in and attempt the projects demonstrated in House of Cards, or prefer to branch out into licensing your own designs, it’s worth remembering that, however beautiful cards are, there’s so much more to them than just pretty picture. Card sales help fund galleries, museums, charities, bookshops and, of course, artists and designers. Their wider cultural impact was brought home to me when I read the quote, “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card, we’d still be open.” This poignant observation reminds us all how vital funds, generated from even the smallest of sales, contribute to the livelihoods of so many. This simple message is at the heart of the JUST A CARD campaign which encourages people to support independent shops, designer and makers. Do read about the campaign and join our wonderful supportive community over on Instagram and Twitter. 52 | ukhandmade summer 2017

To follow, visit: www.twitter.com/sarahhamiltonps www.instagram.com/hoc.cardbook www.instagram.com/justacard www.instagram.com/sarahhamiltonprints Jehane Boden Spiers also acts as an Independent Mentor, and offers artist consultations and portfolio reviews. For more information, visit: www.jehane.com To follow, visit: www.instagram.com/jehanebodenspiers Images courtesy of Sarah Hamilton


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WOOLFEST 23rd - 24th June 2017 www.woolfest.co.uk

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WITH OVER 150 different stalls, including nearly 20 livestock stands, Woolfest 2017 promises to be one of the most varied ever! “Woolfest continues to be as popular as ever,” says Jean Wildish, a member of The Wool Clip and one of the organisers. “Applications have easily exceeded the space available and it’s quite a balancing act to make sure that we get a good mix of familiar faces and new businesses. We’re pleased to be welcoming about 12 new stallholders, plus another 10 or so in our shared space area, alongside designers and makers who’ve been regulars at Woolfest for 13 years. It all bodes well for another varied and inspiring Woolfest.” Different felting techniques and approaches continue to be a recurring theme at Woolfest. This year’s ‘Carolyn Rawlinson Memorial Stallholder’ is Hellen Edwards, a textile artist from Stockton-onTees in County Durham. Hellen’s work combines wet felting techniques with creative embroidery and 3D needle felting, and her subjects range from glorious floral arrangements to the industrial structures of the northeast of England. “We came across Hellen’s work when she applied for a stall at the end of 2016,” explains Jan Beadle of The Wool Clip. “The intricacy of her designs is amazing and the novelty of some of her subject matter is eyecatching too. We think visitors will enjoy meeting her and finding out more about how she works and her inspirations.” Elsewhere at Woolfest, the International Feltmakers Association will be showcasing some of the best work produced by its UK members, as well as running demonstrations and opportunities for visitors to try out the wet felting technique. Regular needle felting stallholders such as Sew Sister, Riddles, Bright Seed Textiles and Jenny Barnett will ukhandmade summer 2017 | 55


be at the event, and there will also be examples of nuno felting and other techniques at The Wool Clip stand. Jean Wildish says, “We’ve always aimed to create an event with something for everyone, with every wool craft represented. There’ll be plenty to see whether you’re a knitter, weaver, spinner, crocheter, or even something completely different!” Woolfest is known for its focus on local and rare breeds, fleece animals and raw fleece; the roots of all things wool. Over twenty different breeds of sheep, goats, alpacas and rabbits will be on show, including the return of all three native Cumbrian hill breeds, courtesy of Alison O’Neil, the Shepherdess who farms near Sedbergh. Pam Hall, member of The Wool Clip and a Herdwick sheep breeder, elaborates: “The animals, and especially the daily ‘Rare Breeds Parade’ in the Main Ring, are a highlight for many Woolfest visitors. The raw fleece sale is hugely popular with anyone who spins, as it’s such a rare opportunity to buy fleece direct from the farmer. Over 400 fleeces were sold at Woolfest last year and we know that fleeces from past events have gone as far afield as Japan, Russia and Finland.” Venues Lakeland Livestock Centre, Lakeland Agricultural Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0QQ Opening times: 10.00 - 18.00 Friday 23rd June 10.00 - 17.00 Saturday 24th June Standard Admission: £10 per day (including full programme) or £15 for a two-day ticket with free entry for accompanied children and free parking. For further information, visit: www.woolfest.co.uk Images courtesy of Woolfest 56 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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MOSAIC HAPPY Denise Jaques is an award-winning artist and, most recently, Surrey Artist of the Year for 2016. She uses a wide range of materials, including glass, ceramics, metal, wire and found pieces, to create beautiful mosaics for the garden, the home and for wear. Fascinated with the journey of experimentation and excited by the unknown destination, her work has a strong sense of colour, pattern and rhythm, and plays with the idea of distorted reflections. Interview by Karen Jinks

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Who is Denise Jaques? I am a mixed media mosaic artist and teacher, based in Farnham, Surrey. How did you get started in mosaics? After graduation, I was keen to continue developing new skills and explore different media and techniques. I had done some research on contemporary stained glass and mosaics whilst studying, and was fascinated by the creative possibilities. I took a short course in stained glass and started experimenting with mosaic. Your mosaics are very bold yet shimmer in the light. What type of glass do you prefer to use? I use a wide range of reflective and opaque glass including mirror, iridised and dichroic glass. I also use a kiln to fuse and form glass, creating original textured pieces for my mosaics. What is your favourite part of the making process? The beginning and the end! I love selecting the colour pallete at the start of the piece. The bit in between is pretty good too, and the final part of the process is the grouting. The grouting is the least creative part of the process, but the cleaning up after the grouting is amazing. I love seeing all of the pieces neatly surrounded by an outline of grout. The contrast between the matt grout and the shimmering mosaic glass makes me smile every time. Have you had any formal training? Yes, I studied a BA (hons) in Textile Design at Central St Martins in London. This was a highly creative course, which allowed me to experiment 60 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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with lots of different media and push the boundaries of materials. My fascination with the journey of experimentation and excitement of the unknown destination started here. Who or what inspires you? I am inspired by colour, distorted reflections of nature, landscapes and seascapes. I aim to make garden spaces more beautiful by creating colourful, shimmering mosaics which sway and play with the idea of distorted reflections of nature. The pieces move gently and cast ethereal reflections around the garden, a bit like a disco ball reflects light. I love creating a disco of fragmented light in a garden all year round. I am currently producing a new body of work inspired by my favourite places, ‘Land and Sea’. These pieces are based on places I have lived, loved and worked; the Essex coast and Surrey hills. Do you ever have creative blocks? If so, what do you do to clear them? No, I don’t have time for creative blocks. My studio time is precious. I make lists and sketches every day and plan my time well. I’ve always got loads of ideas for new pieces and I only wish I had more hours in the day to execute all my ideas. Tell us about your workspace. I work in a studio at the end of my garden. It has two large windows in the roof, so the natural light is great, and it is very well insulated as I hate being cold. The walls are lined floor to ceiling with shelves full of clear plastic boxes, which are full of coloured mosaic tiles and glass. It’s a bit like a ‘pic ‘n’ mix’ sweet shop. I love it! 62 | ukhandmade summer 2017


What are your favourite ‘tools of the trade’? My everyday mosaic-making tools are a Leponitt double wheel cutter and an oil-filled glass cutter. However, I couldn’t be without a whole load of power tools which I use to make the bases for my mosaics; my angle grinder, fret saw, band saw, mitre saw…

You run a variety of workshops from your studio. Is teaching integral to your creative life? I have a passion for inspiring others to create, and have been running workshops and teaching for over 20 years. In 2015, I founded Mosaic Happy; please visit my website for more information on mosaic workshops.

Do you work to commission? What has been your favourite or most unusual project? Yes, I do work to commission. I’m about to start working on large mosaic dog kennel for the charity Blue Cross for Pets which will be displayed in London next year.

How do you maintain a good work/life balance. I work from my studio which is at the end of my garden, so the commute is great. I’m usually around to greet my 2 teenage daughters when they come home from school and I can nip into the house to prepare dinner or hang out the washing ukhandmade summer 2017 | 63


whilst waiting for something to dry in the studio. Being an artist can be a lonely experience, so I also teach mosaics at a local college and run workshops from my studio a day each week. Describe your perfect day… My perfect day would be 100 hours long - there’s never enough time to fit everything into my day. In my perfect day, the sun would be shining, the housework would have already been done and I would have plenty of uninterrupted time in the studio, listening to the radio and creating new mosaics. I love spending time laughing with my family; I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband and two creative teenage daughters who all bring me so much joy. My favourite days involve sunshine, making something with my hands and having my family around me to love and laugh with. What does the term handmade mean to you? One of my great passions is owning original art and craft. I love seeing brushstrokes, thumbprints and loose threads in a piece. I drink my coffee from a handmade cup, put my pencils in a hand printed pencil case, serve dinner on a handmade platter and wear handmade jewellery. Knowing that I am using one-off pieces in my everyday domestic life gives me a sense of pride in British craft. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a creative business. Spend time mastering your craft. Identify what makes you different from every other maker out there. The most important thing is to be original. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be? Welding. 64 | ukhandmade summer 2017


What are your goals for the next few years? To develop relationships with galleries and create opportunities to exhibit nationally and internationally. Where can we find your work? Have you got any exhibitions coming up? From the 3rd - 18th of June, I will be participating in Surrey Open Studios. I will also be opening my own studio to the public for the Leigh Art Trail, from the 10th - 17th of June; you can find me at venue no.12. Later in the year, I will be exhibiting at the New Ashgate Gallery from the 29th September – 11th November, in my Surrey Artist of the Year solo show. For more information, visit: www.mosaichappy.co.uk To follow, visit: www.facebook.com/denise.jaques www.facebook.co/mosaichappy1 www.instagram.com/mosaichappy_denisejaques Images courtesy of Denise Jaques

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TREVOR LEAT

SPRING FLING

27th - 29th May 2017 www.spring-fling.co.uk Written by Matthew Shelley

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THE FUTURE OF CRAFT making is an issue close to the hearts of the team behind Spring Fling. Billed as Scotland’s premier visual arts and craft open studios weekend, it will see 93 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors. With 2017 being its 15th birthday, the organisers are taking the opportunity to celebrate its success, look back at its development and consider the future. Some artists and makers have been taking part in Spring Fling for many years, helping to shape an event that has grown and thrived to the point where it now sees around 13,500 people make over 40,000 studio visits per year. It also generates approximately £1.5 million for the economy of a rural region which, whilst beautiful and welcoming, has suffered a serious decline in many of its traditional industries. It’s one of the reasons why Spring Fling and the many projects carried out by its parent organisation, UPLAND CIC, are invaluable. Take a more detailed look through the participants and you’ll find that a great deal of encouragement is being given to emerging makers. For them, Spring Fling can be a valuable way to attract the attention of a whole new audience. The selection panel places a strong emphasis on quality; the ceramicists alone include well-established names such as Archie McCall, the former Glasgow School of Art Head of Ceramics, renowned woodfired slipware makers Hannah McAndrew and Doug Fitch, and contemporary designer Myer Halliday.

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A love of variety is also evident, with fabulous glasswork by Amanda Simmons, the glorious creations of hat maker Kay Ribbens, the architectural metalwork of Adam Booth and the incredible sculptures of willow worker Trevor Leat, whose giant figures are burned at the climax of many festivals including ‘Wickerman’. Amongst the newcomers this year is jeweller Ruth Laird, who specialises in striking pieces inspired by the built environment and specifically the skyline of Glasgow where she is currently based. Originally from Dumfries, she is amongst several people invited to take part in the ‘Springback Scheme’ which maintains links with artists and makers currently outside of the region. Over the years, Spring Fling has looked for ways to help makers find new places in which to present their work, and most recently collaborated with New Brewery Arts (NBA) in Cirencester on the craftoriented exhibition Outpost. The 30 contributors, jointly selected by NBA and Holly Burton, from the Crafts Council’s Learning & Talent Development Team, included Ruth Laird alongside fellow makers such as jeweller and Commonwealth Games medal designer Michael Pell. Whilst part of the work for Spring Fling and Upland is to connect makers with customers, it also offers opportunities to learn. The annual Modern Makers programme provides young people with expert mentorship. Besides the development of projects for contemporary reinterpretation, it can also occasionally be a way of transferring disappearing skills to a new generation. This was certainly the case with Godfrey Smith, last keeper of the region’s centuries-old clogmaking tradition. In 2014, shortly before his death, Godfrey took great delight in working with teenagers who learned how to design and make their own 21st-century clogs. 68 | ukhandmade summer 2017

DANIEL LACEY

KAY RIBBENS


ARCHIE McCALL

HANNAH McANDREW & DOUG FITCH

This year, seven potters led by Hannah McAndrew and Doug Fitch, are passing on traditional and contemporary skills to a group of young people. One of their tasks will be to make tableware to serve a communal meal at the end of the project. It’s a great way to develop creative thinking and practice in young people at a time when such skills have a shrinking part in school life. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges for Spring Fling and Upland is to foster a recognition that Dumfries and Galloway, far from being a backwater, is a creative hub. Much like Cornwall, its combination of superb sea and landscapes, affordable property and creative community is a magnet for artists and makers. Tradition and innovation mingle with excellent results, and furniture making is one area where this can be clearly seen. The likes of Daniel Lacey actively combine historic and contemporary techniques with spectacular success. In 2010, he was named as one of the ten best up-and-coming cabinet makers in the world in David Savage’s book Furniture with Soul - Master Woodworkers and their Craft. Elsewhere in Dumfries and Galloway, furniture maker Philip Wilson - an apprentice in the region before moving away for many years - has returned to his roots. Many who have attended weddings at Gretna’s Old Blacksmith’s Shop will have taken their ease sitting on the Rennie Mackintosh chairs he made more than a quarter of a century ago. You’ll also find Ian Cameron-Smith, pushing the boundaries of how glass can be used in furniture. ukhandmade summer 2017 | 69


AMANDA J SIMMONS Two years ago, Spring Fling staged its Making. Art exhibition in Berlin which featured a dozen emerging and established artists and makers. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the exhibition was that Dumfries and Galloway enabled audiences in one of the world’s great cultural capitals to see how craft making can be at the heart of contemporary art. More recently, there was an international collaboration in which leading street artists from Berlin, Rome and Glasgow were invited to team up with artists from the region to create the Spring Fling ‘Rural Murals’. These projects promote exactly the kind of cross fertilisation, artistic and cultural exchange that are needed for craft making and the visual arts to stay fresh. 70 | ukhandmade summer 2017

There are also contributions from families and individuals who have found great joy in touring the studios year after year, to revisit the familiar and sample the new. In some cases, they have developed close relationships with participants and have themselves become important elements of the weekend. Potter Clare Dawdry praises Spring Fling regular Helen Dias for her fantastic enthusiasm and encouragement over the years, and says she has now become a great friend. In turn, Helen has witnessed Clare’s creative development and growing success, for example, when she was commissioned to make tableware for Tom Kitchin’s Michelin starred restaurant in Leith.


It’s personal accounts like these that reveal the depth and breadth of the impact that Spring Fling has on lives and culture. Across the country, and overseas too, there are homes, offices and a multitude of other spaces containing pieces purchased during visits to the Dumfries and Galloway studios. Perhaps it’s the fact that the event is selective, meaning visitors can be assured of high standards, which attracts them off the beaten path to visit one of Scotland’s lesser known regions. Visitors often find themselves drawn into the easygoing atmosphere and enjoy exploring unusual and intriguing studios, ranging from castles and converted water mills to cottages and theatres. The art and craft they find is made more meaningful by meeting with the makers, discovering and even trying the processes involved, and the revealing of a very different way of life. The result is that the art or craft they take home is imbued with memory and experience. This is what makes Spring Fling endure and blossom, and hopefully ensures its place in the cultural calendar of Scotland for many decades to come.

RUTH LAIRD

To find out information more visit: www.spring-fling.co.uk www.weareupland.com Images courtesy of Spring Fling

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STUDIO

Review by Bebe Bradley

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IT’S NOT ALWAYS easy or possible to find the room in your home that will allow you to pursue a passion or even just ‘work’. Not all of us are fortunate enough to have the space and for those of us who create, we know that a studio or environment where we can do this is a very special thing indeed. It should not only allow you to be creative but practical and inspirational too. For many of the artists and craftspeople featured in Studio: Creative Spaces for Creative People, the constant is that, “A studio has to be somewhere you actively want to spend time in”. This may seem obvious but as we are affected on many levels by our surroundings, it makes sense that they should be conducive to our creativity. Sally Coulthard’s book features real-life case studies, ranging from designers and artists to crafters and writers, and shows the reader just what can be achieved on every budget. Many of these international studio owners you will recognise and they include illustrator Emily Sutton and ‘decor8’ blogger Holly Becker. In her introduction, Sally sets the tone, stating that, “People who use studio spaces know what significant spaces they are. A studio isn’t just a small building or room, it’s an acknowledgment that what you are doing is enough to deserve its own space”. You may be surprised to find that this isn’t just another coffee table book stuffed with pretty pictures of artsy studios; it’s about affirmation of personality and creativity, because, “If you try and work in a space that isn’t fit for purpose or doesn’t help your craft, there’s a tacit understanding that what you are doing doesn’t warrant a proper working environment. It’s kind of self-sabotage”.


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Continuing this theme, we know that ideally, if you do anything creative, “you need a space that supports your passion”, and whilst some of the studios featured are perhaps beyond what most of us could feasibly afford, there is an acknowledgement that a creative space need not be grand or even expensive because, as Sally states, “Creative pursuits rarely make millions, so it’s always useful to see how other people have found inventive ways to create a workspace on a small budget”. It is indeed. There are three sections in this book, beginning with Studio Inspirations. The chapters in the first section cover all the bases on studio décor and style: Bright, Mono, Natural, Industrial and Collected. There are some glorious examples here, ranging from spare rooms, desk space and basements to industrial space, shepherd’s huts and chateaus. French designer Nathalie Lété’s wonderful and surreal studio deserves a special mention, if only for the giant rabbit. The second section focuses on Studio Work, with chapters detailing Crafts, Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art, Illustration and Design, Writing, Blogging and Photography, and Workshops and Upcycling. Here we look at the equipment and space required by your work, and how to best accommodate it. There are plenty of clever tips and ideas; for example, if you are relegated to the corner of a room, use a double-sided book case or room divider for screening. This means that, “You don’t have to clear away at the end of every craft session but, more importantly, you can also work undistracted by your domestic surroundings”. The studios featured in this section are probably as far from being stuck in the corner of the living room as you can get, but inspirational nonetheless. 74 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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It’s also probably worth pointing out at this stage that the studios in this book are styled to within an inch of their lives so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up too much about the unrealistic lack of mess. The third section, Studio Elements, helps you plan your ideal studio space and includes a checklist of things to consider when sizing up a space e.g. access, services, heating and ventilation. There’s further sensible advice and practical suggestions in chapters including Desks, Seating, Lighting, Storage and Drying Spaces. The chapter on Studio Practice particularly caught my eye and, I think, best conveys the theme of the whole book and the point of having a studio or space in which you can work. “Studio Practice is just that … practice.” As Sally highlights, it’s about committing to practice, experimenting and learning, knowing yourself, being comfortable – both physically and with mistake making – and finally, getting out there and meeting like-minded people. Inspirational, informative, and packed with ideas and practical solutions, Studio shows us that spaces for creativity can be achieved on any budget and still look beautiful. As Sally says, “If this book inspires you to be creative and make a space where you can express yourself, that’s the best result I could hope for.” STUDIO: Creative Spaces for Creative People by Sally Coulthard, is published by Jacqui Small at £25. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Jacqui Small ISBN-10: 1911127187 ISBN-13: 978-1911127185 76 | ukhandmade summer 2017


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Inspired by the ocean...

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SUE RAPLEY ‘Coastal Contemplation’ www.suerapley.co.uk


SARA LEGRIS Sea Glass Bowl www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SaraLeGrisCreations

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DECUMI DESIGNS ‘Ocean’ Recycled Aluminium Cuff www.etsy.com/shop/decumidesigns

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DARIO FISHER Humpback Whale Print www.dariodesign.co.uk

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KIRSTY ELSON Driftwood Sculptures www.kirstyelson.co.uk

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ARRA TEXTILES ‘Wave’ Throw www.arratextiles.co.uk

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Digital Retailing: Identity by Bebe Bradley

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HOW CAN YOU CREATE a strong identity (brand) for your online creative business? How do you choose a business name and define your online presence? So here you are. You have taken the first steps in setting up your small creative business. You have your product and now you want to sell online. Where do you begin? There is some essential groundwork to be done before you start thinking about setting-up your online shop, designing the website, fiddling with labels and business cards, and worrying about whether your stationery is on-trend with that particular shade of Pantone. You must ask yourself if there is a market for your product. Your family and friends might think that your handcarved Tofu animals are AMAZING but seriously, is anyone else going to want to buy what you are selling? Is it unique enough to capture the eye and imagination of the discerning customer? What is your USP (Unique Selling Point) and who is your competition? Have a good look at the market in which you want to sell; research the type of products that sell well and which are the most popular. Look at the current trends in style, colour, design and pricing, and find out who is purchasing and where the traffic is coming from. How is your product going to fit into that market and what will make it stand out from the crowd? If you fit in too well, then frankly, you may as well be invisible. Bear in mind that it can take a while to discover your niche and find your target market so don’t dismiss doing a bit of research; businesses will spend months and even years researching the market before launching a new range or product. ukhandmade summer 2017 | 85


If you’ve completed your market research, you should now be thinking about your ‘identity’, your ‘brand name’ and what it is that you want to convey. You can, of course, just go with your own name because, after all, it’s who you are. Here at UK Handmade, we’ve noticed that more and more designers, makers and artists are choosing this personal option over a generic business or brand name. Using your own name makes you easier to find and gives your business a personal touch that your customers will want to buy in to. If you do decide to head down the ‘business name’ route, then think about what it is going to express to your target market. Bear in mind that some of the most recognisable business names today began as made-up words. There are three main points here to consider: 1. Your name is the ‘hook’ on which your business will hang, and sometimes it’s better to be deliberately vague. Selling shoes doesn’t mean that you have to have ‘shoes’ in your name. ‘Apple’, ‘Amazon’ and ‘Starbucks’ don’t tell you anything … 2. Keep it short, sweet and instantly recognisable. You can always extend the domain name in the URL to make it unique, because the chances are that the short and sweet are already taken. All the more reason to be original! 3. Make sure that people can spell it and pronounce it properly. Imagine yourself picking up the telephone and saying it to a potential client. If you feel awkward saying it out loud, so will they. Whatever name you choose, choose it with care. Ok, a name is not set in stone and it’s your prerogative to be able to re-brand when you want to but do remember that it can be time-consuming, costly for you, and potentially confusing for your customer, if you do decide to go down that route. 86 | ukhandmade summer 2017


So now that you have a product and a name; how are you going to present yourself to the online world? The first thing that most people will do is purchase their domain name. If you don’t possess basic web design knowledge, then you may have to consider the cost of hiring a professional web designer, which will save you time and money in the long run, instead of struggling it do it yourself. Stick to what you know and do best. Back in the day, many people began with a ready-assembled storefront such as Etsy, Folksy and Big Cartel or a blog (Wordpress, Blogger, etc.), with easily accessible, customisable templates. However, if you do have some basic web design knowledge, there are plenty of hosting sites with site-building features and free templates or ‘themes’, alongside a huge range of customisable choice available for free on the internet. If you choose the ready-assembled storefront, choose the venue that will work best for you. There are plenty of sites to choose from, some of which are free and some of which incur a small fee. The ‘storefront’ generally entails personalisable spaces for you to list your products, and post your profile and T&Cs (within the site’s own rules and regulations). Your listed items can then be found through the sites own ‘search’ tool and search engines, and purchased via the site’s shopping cart and secure payment system. It’s an easily accessible way to sell and many artists, designers and makers have achieved success using this method. Remember, however, that success is not achieved overnight and on-going marketing and promotion is an absolute must. ukhandmade summer 2017 | 87


Remember that social media is a great way to both connect with and sell to your customer base. Storefronts are easy to set up on Facebook, and Instagram has a community of like-minded artists, designers and makers cross-promoting and selling their products via selections of beautifully considered images, linking directly to their websites and Facebook pages from their profiles. Remember that the quality of the images you use to promote yourself and sell your products is absolutely key to making your online presence work for you. The importance of bright, clear, high quality images cannot be emphasised enough. Look for free tutorials and helpful hints on the internet, to make the best of your photography. With the exceptional quality of camera phones currently available, expensive camera equipment and lighting isn’t absolutely necessary but you should, at the very least, learn and understand the basic principles of product photography. You will find that some of the online selling venues aimed at the higher end of end of the market, curate their products and have specific requirements with regards to image quality and styling. If you can’t do it, then it will be worth investing in someone who can because in the online world, ‘image’ is everything. Images courtesy of PIXABAY

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SAFFRON SOUL Review by Dawn Bevins

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I LIKE INDIAN FOOD but I’m scared of cooking it. It always looks so complicated; there is usually quite a lot of meat (which I’m trying to cut back on), it seems to use a lot of dairy (which can make me ill) and requires much deep fat frying (I don’t have or want a deep fat fryer). This usually only leaves me with a handful of recipes I can try, so how refreshing it is to discover Saffron Soul by Mira Manek. Saffron Soul is a vegetarian Indian cookbook which focuses on the healthier side of Indian cooking, so we are talking alternative milks and only shallow frying. Perfect! Mira takes the healthiest recipes from her Gujarati heritage, inspired by her mother and grandmother, and adapts them into nutritious, easy-to-follow meals. In the introduction, we learn how British-born Mira questioned Indian food as she was growing up, as she too assumed that it was all unhealthy. It was only by researching the food and delving deeper into her heritage, that she came to realise just how nutritious and beneficial Indian ingredients can be. Vegetarian Indian cooking is based on lentils, vegetables, grains and spices. We are introduced to Mira’s favourite ingredients which she lists under various subheadings such as Spices, Ready Masala Spices, Grains, and Key Pastes and Garnishes. In these lists, Mira often includes a brief explanation of what an item is, the type of flavour it has, what it’s used for and the health benefits it is said to promote. The recipes themselves are divided into six chapters. The first is Soulful Mornings and breakfast has never looked so exciting! It includes delights such as Mango and Cardamom Smoothie and Saffron Porridge with Jaggery.


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Soulful Mornings is followed by Anytime Favourites, and here I have my eye on the Masala Grilled Aubergine. The third chapter Light Meals, as the name suggests, offers the reader meals suitable for a tasty lunch, such as Indian Summer Salad (kale, cabbage and strawberries) and Whole Mung Bean Curry, which looks deliciously hearty. The fourth chapter covers Traditional Thalis. A ‘thali’ is made up of a selection of various dishes, served on a platter, and is essentially a meal compromised entirely of curries. Mira provides you with three different thalis (which read a bit like a menu), and then gives you the individual recipes for each component of the thali. It’s nice to see a photo spread of each thali showing the dishes labelled with a page number, so you know which is which and where to find the recipe. The chutneys and pickles for the thalis are at the end of this chapter. As you would expect, Desserts follow on from the mains. There are two yoghurt based recipes, the traditional Shrikhand and Mango Shrikhand Cheesecake. However, this inclusion of dairy is balanced out by Lime and Saffron Vegan Cheesecake, so there is something for everyone. I also want to try the Brown Rice Kheer with Dates, Almonds and Poached Apples. The final chapter, Spiced Drinks, is where you will find your Chhaas (slightly more refreshing version of a lassi), your milks e.g. Badaam Doodh Masala Almond Milk, and various tonics, refreshers and waters, like Saffron Limeade and Winter Tonic (a cinnamon and orange infused water). 92 | ukhandmade summer 2017


This book has made me so happy. As far as I’m concerned, it has ticked all the boxes. Not only is it vegetarian - with many of the recipes appearing to be vegan too - I also happen to have many of the ingredients already to hand. The recipes are diverse and easy to follow, and Nassima Rothacker’s photography throughout the book is clear and vibrant, making the food look delicious and exciting. I really couldn’t ask for anything more from an Indian cookbook. As I said in earlier in this review, “Perfect!” Saffron Soul: Healthy Vegetarian Recipes from India by Mira Manek, is published by Jacqui Small at £20. Available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Jacqui Small ISBN-10: 1911127187 ISBN-13: 978-1911127185

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See you in the Autumn...

94 | ukhandmade summer 2017

UK Handmade Magazine Summer 2017  

Welcome to our summer issue. We may have a ‘new look’ but we still have the same exclusive interviews with wonderful makers, designers and a...

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