SUMMER: 2015 Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Summer Showcase The UK Handmade Showcases buy the best in handmade and show someone you care www.ukhandmade.co.uk/showcase 2 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
contributors: Spring 2015
In this issue, we bring you exclusive interviews with designers and makers who combine creative skill with craft and artistry. From wonderful cake concoctions and beautiful bespoke embroidery, to advice on how to hold an ‘Open House’, we have something for you all. If dear old Blighty doesn’t come up with the meteorological goods, we also have inspirational events to keep you busy and out of the wet, alongside our regular selection of fabulous finds, features and reviews. See you in the Autumn!
Editor & Designer/Maker
finds: Editor’s Picks
meet: Aurora Cacciapuoti
meet: Amy Swann
meet: Zara Day
live: From Tower Block to 4 Acres
120 do: Ladybird, Ladybird
scene: The Contemporary Craft Festival
scene: Ray Stitch
scene: The David Parr House
live: Lazy Afternoon
FRONT COVER: www.rosemary-rose.co.uk; BACK COVER: Bebe Bradley
scene: Outlaw Events
review: Makers’ Spaces
review: Wild Cocktails
review: Out of the Pod
business: Open House
business: Location, Location
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Summer 2015 Contributors... Lisa Margreet Payne Craft Educator & Writer www.lisamargreet.com
Artist & Designer www.sarahhamiltonprints.com
Creative Director & Artist/Designer www.karenjinks.co.uk
Finance Director & Maker www.myfuroshiki.com
Deputy Editor & Designer/Maker www.dawnbevins.co.uk
Director of the Contemporary Craft Festival www.craftsatboveytracey.co.uk
UK Handmade Magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ukhandmade.co.uk • Copyright © UK Handmade LTD 2015. 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. Creative Director: Karen Jinks email@example.com • Editor: Bebe Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org • Design: Jo Askey email@example.com Deputy Editor: Dawn Bevins firstname.lastname@example.org • Advertising: email@example.com • PR: firstname.lastname@example.org Events: email@example.com 4 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Meet: Amy Swann Teresa Verney Brookes
Education Officer for the RSPB & Forest School Teacher
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CLARE WILSON Anemone Paperweights, all enquiries at www.clarelwilsonglass.co.uk
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EMILY KIDSON Orange & Cream Laminate Necklace (right), all enquiries at www.emilykidson.com
LANE ‘Sardines’ (opposite), hand-pulled screen print £55 (unframed) from www.lanebypost.com Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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ABBOTT & ELLWOOD ‘Bird & Stars’ Trolley Clock (right), hand printed on stainless steel, £104 from www.abbottandellwood.com
JUDY SCOTT Lampshades (left), hand printed, £59 - £75 from www.judyscott.co.uk Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
SARAH WATERHOUSE ‘Frond’ and ‘Bud’ Box Floor Cushions, in hand printed hemp and organic cotton fabric, £95 from www.sarahwaterhouse.co.uk
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JENNY LLEWELLYN ‘Plume’ Necklace, with hand cast silicone components, £680 - £750 from www.jennyllewellyn.com
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JILL SHADDOCK Slash Cut Vases, ÂŁ50 each from www.jillshaddock.co.uk
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Aurora Cacciapuoti by Karen Jinks
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Aurora Cacciapuoti is as fun and as charming as her work; her energetic and imaginative line drawings inject colour and fun into the most ordinary aspects of life. When she is not busy with book illustrations, she is keeping her ideas fresh with daily doodles or being commissioned to do portraits in her recognisable style. Please tell us a little about yourself. Born in Sardinia, I have lived in the UK since 2010 and am an illustrator based in Cambridge. I have a degree in Psychology with a specialisation in art therapy. I like to cook, to run and I love cats. When did you first know you wanted to be an illustrator? I have always drawn, all my life, but it was in 2009 that I realised that I wanted illustration to become my work. Do you have any formal training? I am currently doing the MA in childrenâ€™s book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art - Anglia Ruskin University. Previously, I did a number of short courses and amongst these, illustration summer schools at the Edinburgh College of Art and at the International School of Illustration in Sarmede, Italy. Your work is fun and quirky; where do you get your ideas from? From people, behaviour and from the things that happen to me; I like to observe life and people. Oh, and from music. Music inspires me a lot, it just creates images in my mind. I always listen to music while I am at work. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Who are your favourite artists? I have many, but I think my top ones are Edward Gorey and Quentin Blake. Tell us about your workspace. I try to keep it as tidy as possible, but it constantly looks like a bomb has exploded as soon as I enter the room. I will soon have another work space in a shared studio with other artists. You heard it here first and I can’t wait! Do you have a piece of work you are particularly proud of? It’s always the last one! Do you ever get creative blocks and how do you remedy it? I doodle on my sketchbook. If I am really stuck, I will go for a run or a walk. What are the best things about being a freelancer and what are the worst? The best of it is that you can manage your time as you like. The worst of it is that sometimes you end up working all the time. It can be very solitary work and that’s why I’ve decided to have a studio in a shared space. What advice would you give someone looking to become an illustrator? You need a lot of patience and the ability to overcome frustrations. If you really want to do it, never give up, even when it looks it’s too difficult. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
You also need a lot of organisation to make things work so buy a diary and take note of everything you need to do, day-by-day. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! What was the best piece of advice someone gave you? Be patient and determined. If you could learn a new skill what would it be? I would love to learn how to create ceramics. It’s something that really fascinates me. Describe your perfect day. Wake up with a gorgeous breakfast, go out on an excursion or short trip, then spend the evening with friends. I enjoy the everyday little things a lot. What projects are you currently working on? I am now working on my new picture book for a UK publisher and illustrating fiction books with Italian publishers. I am also working on a book cover for a book about Roald Dahl works. I’ve just finished my illustration for Pint of Science, and its Creative Reactions. The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting and fun talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public in pubs! 20 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
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This year, in Cambridge, the team also organised an exhibition with every artist responding to a scientistâ€™s research topic. It was a very interesting, fun and exciting project. My theme was graphene and I learnt a lot from it! What are your future goals and aspirations? My aspiration is to be a good illustrator and develop in my practice, writing and illustrating new stories, and learning new things. Where can we find out more about your work? You can see more of what I do on my website, my blog, and on Facebook and Flickr. For more information, visit: www.auroracacciapuoti.com Images courtesy of Aurora Cacciapuoti
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BUSINESS: Open House by Sarah Hamilton
As artists and designers, the time we spend in our studios making our work is extremely precious; it’s what we enjoy most and gives us our creative satisfaction. We spend hours drawing, testing colours and sourcing new materials. We gather inspiration by visiting exhibitions, devouring books, blogs and magazines, and discussing our ideas passionately with friends. However, I’ve yet to meet a creative person who enjoys selling and marketing their work. Indeed, most mutter through gritted teeth about how they’d prefer to leave this to someone else. Unless you are lucky enough to have a benefactor (the likes of which usually only appears in Dickens’ novels), most of us are sadly in the position of
If you take part in a grand exhibition where you pay a significant fee e.g. Country Living, much of what you’re paying for is their marketing of the event.
having to support ourselves from the sales of our work and also, in many cases, supplementing this by working part-time. There are numerous ways to sell handmade work, many of which I’ve already referred to in this column. One significant route to market is to participate in events, craft fairs and exhibitions, ranging from local craft and design shows and Open House/Studios, to large scale exhibitions such as The Country Living Fair and The Handmade Fair. All are excellent opportunities to meet clients, gauge response to your artwork, and engage and network with other artists and press.
They’ll have a dynamic sales team whose sole role is to ensure those all-important, art-loving buyers break down the door and stampede straight to your stand with gold cards at the ready. Well, that’s the theory anyway…
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I take part in numerous shows per year; these include a mixture of paid events and those which friends and colleagues instigate ourselves. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The obvious advantage to staging your own exhibitions is that they don’t require the payment of a hefty fee.
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Open House/Studio events are extremely popular as people thoroughly enjoy seeing the artwork made in the studio, chatting about techniques and asking about inspiration. My Open House is my most favourite annual event as its lots of fun and I enjoy meeting up with friends and customers whoâ€™ve supported me for years. The downside to staging your own event is that the dynamic sales team magically has to morph into you. 26 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
The only way people will come to your event is if you make it happen! This can either be a fairly daunting prospect or, as I have learnt, it can be an enjoyable part of the creative challenge. In my experience, approaching the marketing of your event with enthusiasm, gusto and most importantly, a strategic plan, is a sure-fire way of ensuring your event reaches the desired audience which will give you a far greater chance of success.
Below is an outline of how I promote events such as my Open House, though any exhibition you stage can be approached in a similar fashion.
event page and ask everyone involved in the event to invite friends from it. Post images of the artwork on show on Instagram.
THE MAILING LIST Maintaining an up-to-date mailing list is incredibly important to designer/makers. Collect the email addresses of everyone who buys artwork from you, or who shows significant interest. Make a separate list for every event, and load them into your newsletter software (by event) so that you can keep track of who’s who. Many people use Mail Chimp or Mad Mimi. Approximately one month before my Open House, I’ll send a newsletter email as a ‘Save the Day’. About 2 weeks beforehand, I’ll send a slightly modified version of this as the invite and then send this again 6-7 days before as a reminder.
SOCIAL MEDIA Every newsletter has a link which you can post on Twitter or Facebook. Tweet this link often in the run up to an event, two or three times a day even. You may think people will get fed up with seeing it but, as most people simply drop in and out of Social Media, most will only spot it once or twice anyway. Don’t be shy; imagine it’s your job because you need to spread the word and get your message out there. If no-one knows about your event, you can be certain they won’t come! Make a Facebook
THE INVITES Make an inexpensive flyer or postcard - always including a map and transport information - and post them door to door. We distribute about 5,000 leaflets in local shops and homes. I team up with another Open House and each venue has one side of the leaflet or postcard. As we have a number of artists taking part, this cuts down on the legwork and expense. I can see you nursing your blisters at the very thought of this but as they say, “No pain, no gain!”
THE POSTERS Make posters, laminate them and ask kindly local businesses to display them. I make one saying ‘NEXT WEEKEND’, then the weekend before, I change it to ‘THIS WEEKEND’. I also put these up near my local train station and add arrows giving directions. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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WORK WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES Local businesses usually enjoy mutual support. I will often put the name of a few local restaurants on my newsletter and ask if I can put up a poster in their window in return. It helps to suggest other things in the local area which your customers can also do to make the trip a good day out. This benefits everyone and is community spirited.
THE PRESS RELEASE Always approach local press and bloggers, and ask them if they’d like to feature your event; they’re as keen on featuring interesting events as you and an art exhibition is always popular. And finally, this is just a guide on how to market your events. It’s how I approach mine although there are many other imaginative ways to do this. You’ll be delighted when people actually make the effort to come, have fun and enjoy the day, and remember to take their name and address for your mailing list! I have many people who come every year. It’s so important to keep in touch and it’s so lovely to catch up with them and share the fun. For more information on Sarah Hamilton, visit: www.sarahhamiltonprints.com Images courtesy of Sarah Hamilton Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
The Contemporary Craft Festival by Sarah James It’s been a particularly exciting year for The Contemporary Craft Festival. In the past few months, it has won ‘Event of the Year’ in the Visit Devon Tourism and Visit South Devon awards, and Silver in the highly prestigious ‘Tourism Event of the Year’ at the South West England Tourism Excellence awards. The Contemporary Craft Festival is one of the UK’s largest and much loved craft events, with over 200 diverse and talented makers of contemporary craft selling directly to up to 10,000 visitors. The makers, who travel from all corners of the UK, include award-winning silversmiths, potters,
On the edge of where fact meets fiction, the Curiovan awaits you, a mobile gallery and museum funded by Arts Council England, showcasing the natural world and art inspired by it. One Hut Full is a multi-sensory experience presented in a beautifully made shepherd’s hut, which immerses visitors
furniture makers, textile artists, print and paper artists, glassmakers and jewellers. Always looking to improve and impress the loyal and discerning Festival audience, the event has more activities than ever before. The Festival programme is full of workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, craft curiosities, children’s activities and entertainment, street theatre, festival food and live music.
in the world of hill farming on Dartmoor. Barrel Top Wagons has teamed up with Design Nation to present leading designer/makers in one of their wooden towing vehicles, handmade in Devon.
New features for this year include the ‘Textile Tipi’, held in association with Plymouth College of Art, and filled with hands-on craft activities. 30 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
The Festival’s demonstration and workshop programme is particularly packed. Textile artist Dionne Swift and potter Tone Von Krogh have been collaborating on a new collection. As well as demonstrating at the Festival, they will present a room set featuring their own textiles and ceramics, as well as their collaborative work.
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Other demonstrators will include wood turner Mark Sanger, jeweller Leoma Drew and squeegee warrior Print Garage. You can now choose from 24
Venue: Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AU
2 hour workshops, including ring making, stained glass, needle felting, book binding, willow weaving, embroidery and printmaking.
Opening times: 10.00 - 17.00 Friday 5th June 10.00 - 17.00 Saturday 6th June 10.00 - 17.00 Sunday 7th June
In association with Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery, the Children’s Craft Tent is full of free inspirational workshops for children, run by leading arts and countryside organisations including The Devon Guild, Cirencester’s New Brewery Arts, Stover School and Dartmoor National Park. Add some world-class Punch and Judy, amazing street food, walkabout theatre and great live music, and you have an exceptionally creative weekend in an idyllic setting on the edge of Dartmoor. To win a pair of weekend tickets to The Contemporary Craft Festival, please enter their competition here.
Standard Admission: Adult day ticket £8 / concessions £7 3 Day Weekend Tickets £15 / concessions £13 FREE ENTRY for accompanied children under 14
For more information, ticket and workshop bookings, visit: www.craftsatboveytracey.co.uk Images courtesy of The Contemporary Craft Festival
TRACEY FALVEY Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Amy Swann by Bebe Bradley
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Amy Swann lives in a pretty village on the Welsh border near Chester, with her husband and three little daughters. Her beautiful and unique hand-painted cakes are each crafted to become oneoff works of art, and she brings her client’s ideas to life for occasions which are special to them. Her passion and aim is to create magical treasured memories, working with themes such as nature, and the seasons, their stories and their loves. Who is Amy Swann? I live in two worlds; the first is very much family orientated, as a wife and a mother to my 4 year old and two year old twin girls. The second is my creative world which takes me on some amazing adventures; I’m a bit of a butterfly. Tell us about the ethos behind your wonderful art. That’s a difficult question as I just do things my way and it happens so naturally. I guess I always stay true to my own vision and style. I am truly inspired by so many makers, florists and illustrators, but ultimately I have my own idea of how I want things to look and it’s very instinctive. I just want to make beautiful objects. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Describe your current work space for us. Books, books and books! Magazine cuttings and botanical illustrations are pinned all around me. My laptop is normally to hand as I am a Pinterest addict and I will often source colour combinations and concepts this way. I try to work from fresh flowers where possible, and there are pots and pots of powder colours, inks, brushes and old tea cups (which I never drink warm!). You’ll also find a few bits of Playmobil, plastic play cups, plates and wooden cupcakes as my eldest daughter Clara looks after me while I’m working! I am constantly making so even in the evening, after the bedtime routine is done, I sit with a little kit on my knee and keep going. It is a bit of an obsession and, believe it or not, a way of relaxing at night. A bit like knitting, I just do it but also because I’m not sure that I’m very good at keeping still! What experience and training do you have, and how has your cake art developed from this? My degree is in printed textiles which is very evident in my style. The way I use colour and texture really defines my work. I am self-taught and approach cake decorating as an art form; it’s just working on a different surface with a different medium. I don’t follow a formula; I just look and I respond to what I see, as I would if I was painting and drawing flowers. It’s just another way to record information. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Your technique and the resulting cakes are absolutely stunning. Who - or what - influences and motivates you? There are so many elements in life that influence me. Growing up in the Welsh countryside, immersed in nature, has had a major impact on my work. Seeing flowers in their natural habitat, set in little country lanes, around waterfalls and wild mountains, means you have an inherent understanding of the balance of nature and seasons. I am always in awe when I go â€˜homeâ€™ to north Wales and I see new things that inspire me every time. I really believe that this appreciation of the beauty of nature was instilled in me from a young age, and it has led to a subsequent understanding of beauty in the simple things thatâ€™s hard to learn. I am motivated to create beautiful objects inspired by things that I love. Old fabrics and wallpapers, ceramics, lace and embroidery, I guess you could say anything with pattern. My colour palettes are very much influenced by these things and at the moment, I am really enjoying magazine commissions and collaborations with photographers on themed and styled shoots. Seeing my work in context with other beautiful things motivates me to push myself harder, and get better at and more creative in what I do. 38 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
You studied textiles; how has this influenced your cake design and has it been a difficult process for you to master? Most of the course was spent studying, drawing and painting flowers for repeat pattern and, most importantly, learning to understand colour. This was invaluable in my journey. I have my amazing Art teacher at A-level to thank for my sculptural skills, which is a huge aspect of my work. She specialised in paper sculpture and taught me how to translate ideas into 3D form. All of these elements have somehow come together to bring me to where I am now, but my textile background is key in the way I approach my work. Tell us about the inspiration behind your work. What is inspiring you right now? Flowers and their natural habitat are a constant source of inspiration, and there is so much inspiration on our doorstep. I love the British countryside and I strive to promote its enchanting qualities. I am relishing working on my garlands at the moment, for both cakes and bridal crowns, as they enable me to really embrace this feel. There are lots of amazing florists out there who I always refer to. The Blue Carrot in Cornwall always amazes me with her style and sophistication. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Your work has a â€˜narrative qualityâ€™, in that you are able to style the entire event, from the cake through to the co-ordinating illustrated stationery, table decorations, hanging pieces and quirky props. What creative aspects of this do you enjoy the most? I love to research and gather information. I try to give myself a theme or a concept, and collect inspiring artefacts and images to bring my vision together. My drawings are important to me and are important in translating my ideas to three dimensional forms. 42 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
What steps do you take to create a new piece? I gather inspiration, I draw, photograph and put mood boards together. I make flowers individually, line them up and then spend ages on the composition as a florist would, putting a bouquet or arrangement together. Itâ€™s about the balance of light, shade, texture and scale. Is there a specific tool that you cannot do without? My ball tool and camera, both are invaluable at different stages.
What do you love most about what you do, and what do you find the most frustrating? I love being inspired by other peopleâ€™s vision, bringing themes and concepts together collaboratively. I find that the most frustrating part is time, because I always have too many ideas and never enough time to fulfil everything. I push myself too hard at times. The responsibility of dealing with bespoke commissions for such personal, special occasions must entail a great deal of pressure. What do you do to take time out and relax? Yes, itâ€™s a very big responsibility but the pressure motivates me. I love being with my family relaxing and enjoying the simple pleasures. I am in awe of my children and consider myself blessed to be able to both enjoy them and spend time doing something that I love. Your cakes are homemade using local and fair trade ingredients, and the decorative work is handcrafted and made from sugar paste. Have you seen a change in what it means to people to own a handmade or hand-finished object? The change in craft in the UK goes hand-in-hand with a revival of homespun skills. It has become more accessible and affordable, allowing people to own something special and unique. People are once again investing in heirloom pieces and are enjoying personalising their space. Smaller businesses are promoting this as we see more and more beautiful galleries and independent shops investing in craft makers. Craft is now valued and showcased alongside more traditional art forms. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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The wedding industry has seen a major revolution in recent years. Brides are looking for an individual and creative occasion. It’s almost become competitive, and it’s all about the details where craft and makers are often used in styling a concept. Again, people are investing in one-off pieces. What does ‘handmade’ mean to you? To me, it’s about giving a little piece of yourself to someone else. What advice would you give to someone who is starting out starting out in their own creative venture? Build up a concept and slowly grow an identity; I think that having that ‘special something’ about your work is so important. Collaborate, network and be motivated to work. If you have a product, find a good photographer who understands you and your work. My break came when I was selected to be featured in Country Homes and Interiors Magazine. I was on maternity leave at the time with my eldest daughter and I submitted my work to the country business award. I was selected as one of six to be showcased and since then, I haven’t stopped! I had my twins two years later, but had to keep going as I had an invaluable platform to showcase my work and opportunities don’t wait. Say yes if your instinct tells you to, even if there is no immediate financial gain. The little things can often lead to the bigger things! Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
I spend my days looking after my kids, making, and working most nights on commissions. My time is completely filled but rather than being exhausted, I get more energy from doing it. I am driven by the passion for what I love doing and knowing the potential I have. I guess being confident is also important. I keep going back to a quote I remember from my student days, “You must have things you care about. Otherwise, you are empty”. I hope to instil this ethic in my children as they grow up. If you had the opportunity to learn or employ a new creative skill, what would it be? I’d love to learn more about photography as it’s so important in bringing my work to life. It’s really hard to find a photographer that understands how to capture what you are about. Good images are invaluable. Where can we purchase and find out more about your cakes? My website shows a portfolio of work, and I use Facebook as a blog with regular updates of what I have been up to. For information on my floral crowns, visit Bandeau D’Amour by Amy Swann. What’s next for Amy Swann; do you have any new projects and what are your goals for the future? I am really enjoying working on and developing my floral crowns at the moment, and also collaborating on some exciting shoots. I hope to work on an installation of my handmade flowers in a public space and perhaps put on an exhibition of cakes and sugar flowers as an art form in a gallery. I am just waiting for those exciting opportunities to bring on new challenges. 48 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
For more information, visit: www.amyswanncakes.co.uk Images courtesy of Amy Swann Photography by Simon Parker, Andrea Pennington and Lowri Pendrell
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Ray Stitch by Nicola Mesham Founded by Rachel Hart in 2008, Ray Stitch started life online. Once the right premises had been located, Rachel took the plunge and opened a ‘walk in’ shop in Islington. Alongside a carefully selected collection of fabrics, Ray Stitch stocks sewing tools, buttons, trims and patterns. The shop operates over two floors, providing enough space for the diverse range of classes on offer in the ‘Sewing School’. I caught up with Rachel to find out more about her business, inspiration and plans for the future. After a career spanning eighteen years as an architectural model maker, Rachel has had a lifetime of making things. With experience of making clothes, furniture and even building her own house, Rachel explains her motivation for setting up Ray Stitch. “My absolute favourite part of any making process is choosing the materials and when it came to sewing, I was disappointed not to be able to find the inspiring bits and bobs I needed all in one place. Hence the haberdashery boutique, everything you need, lots of choice but carefully curated so as not to be overwhelming”. 50 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Although Ray Stitch began as an online enterprise, Rachel always knew that the plan would be to have a ‘bricks and mortar’shop. The face-to-face interaction with her customers provides inspiration and motivation for Rachel. She says, “I’m continually inspired by people visiting the shop, either wearing something amazing that they’ve made, or putting together a combination of pattern and fabrics I would never have thought of. I also love going to the Fashion and Textile degree shows and talking to students about their projects when they come in the shop for fabric. I often feel there’s too much inspiration and not enough time!” Alongside the diverse range of haberdashery products in stock, Ray Stitch also run an exciting timetable of sewing classes to help customers tap into their creative streak. Rachel explains that, “Our classes are taught by our regular team of four very experienced teachers. We also have other specialist workshop leaders who give our timetable its unique variety and range. We hold classes every night of the week, at the weekends and on four weekday mornings. You can begin with the absolute basics of machine sewing and progress right through to advanced dressmaking and pattern cutting, or you can be introduced to hand and machine embroidery, patchwork, applique, quilting or Blackwork. You can do a one-off three hour session or a course of sessions running over six weeks. Most of our autumn class dates are on the website but if you’re interested in something and can’t see dates for it, please get in touch with us”. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
The popularity of the shop and classes indicates the appetite for ‘handmade’ is still strong. I asked Rachel if shows like the ‘Sewing Bee’ help raise the profile of sewing. She says, “Yes, they certainly do because they introduce new people to the art of sewing, but there are many people of all ages who have always been makers. We see a lot of people who have quite stressful, non-creative day jobs for whom the opportunity to create something with their hands in the evening or at the weekend is a real pressure release. Because it’s so absorbing and satisfying, it completely takes their minds off the day-job”. Since its foundation in 2008, Ray Stitch has become an established part of the Islington sewing scene. The boutique is now run by four members of staff and supported by the team of sewing tutors. Rachel has her sights set on the future and possible expansion. She tells me that, “I’d like to open more shops. I’m always being asked to bring Ray Stitch to this or that town and I’d absolutely love to do that. We’d keep the basic shop ethos the same but part of the success of the Islington branch has been the ability to respond to what our local customers like and want. I would like do the same in other locations and give each shop its own identity”. 52 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
By making the transition from online retail to running a bricks and mortar shop, Rachel is able to interact directly with her customers. She inspires them with new classes and products and in turn the customers inspire her to create new avenues for Ray Stitch. Rachel runs a local business that nurtures creativity and helps to reduce the homogenisation of our high streets. Hopefully she can realise her plans to expand the business and bring Ray Stitch to a town near you. For more information, visit: www.raystitch.co.uk Images courtesy of Ray Stitch Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Location, Location by Mich Yasue Where we work can have a big impact on our productivity, profitability and happiness. Philip Johnson, Director at Locate East Sussex, offers advice on three popular options – working from home, co-working spaces and individual premises – whilst three designer/makers provide insights into the pros and cons of their choice of premises. Locate East Sussex is funded by the county, district and borough councils of East Sussex and makes no charge to businesses that seek their support. As Philip explains, “Here in East Sussex, we are experiencing something of a renaissance as a location for designer/makers. The county has always been popular, but is benefiting from growing cultural offerings combined with affordable property and existing networks of creative entrepreneurs. From the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea and Towner in Eastbourne, to Charleston (summer retreat of the Bloomsbury Group) and the awardwinning Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, East Sussex has a plenty to offer, with thriving villages and bustling towns - including Rye and Lewes - all set in some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside. We work with all sizes and types of businesses, from large companies through to startups, helping companies to grow and develop, as well as attracting new companies into the county”. 54 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
In Philip’s view, working from home certainly has its benefits, especially if you’re a ‘start-up’. You won’t have the added expense of having to pay for your space, although you and other family members may have to compromise or make certain sacrifices in your home in order to accommodate the business. Clearly, there will be no time spent on travelling to and from work either. However, at home you may be subject to plenty of distractions and have very few opportunities for face-to-face interaction with colleagues. If you are working from home, set yourself some simple rules regarding what to do and when. Try not to complete every domestic chore before sitting down to work and, as for the enormous number of other distractions, always ask yourself, “Would I be doing this if I was in an office?” A regular routine may sound like the kind of thing you’re trying to avoid but it really does help to make the most of the home-working day and will help you resist the temptation to finish early or take a long lunch! If you miss chats at the water cooler and interaction with others or find that you’re too easily distracted whilst working in the home, then a co-working space could be the answer. Co-working offers all of the advantages of working in an office whilst letting you operate on your own. As well as desk space, most shared work spaces include Wi-Fi, coffeemaking facilities and access to meeting rooms, etc. There is also the opportunity to mingle with others, share ideas and get, as well as give, advice.
OAKWOOD SOAPERIE Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Liz Foster of Liz Foster Design rents a workshop space at the York Eco Centre which offers spaces to start-ups and small businesses. For Liz, one of the
However, I know that I am much better at ‘going to work’ rather than working from home. It gives me discipline and also I meet people every day.”
main advantages is the ‘easy-terms’ lease, which means she only needs to give a month’s notice if she decides to leave. Her rent also includes utilities so that she knows exactly what she is paying each month, which makes planning easier. As she notes, “On the downside it is located on a retail park, so not an obvious location for people looking for artists!
When thinking about co-working, it also pays to consider what other businesses may already be there and the overall culture of the space. Remember that you are often joining a community, rather than just renting a desk.
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Leigh Burrows of Lilac Pearl has a shared studio space in Leicester’s Makers’ Yard, a council-owned converted factory building with 12 studios, some
When looking for premises, you may want to take the following points into consideration:
shared and some with individual tenants. For Leigh, “The choice of Makers’ Yard made sense, as it is a creative space where there are lots of common interests. It is also an inspirational place to go to. Sharing a space has the advantages of being in company, although not everyone comes in at the same time so there are also quiet times to get on with things. We share ideas (and music selections!), discuss our work and reflect on each other’s practices. I am fortunate that I get on well with my studio co-workers; I can see that there would be a disadvantage if people find it hard to get on and share the space properly. There certainly needs to be ground rules in a shared space. For me, having
• the size and layout of the premises • the structure and appearance, both inside and out • special requirements, such as high ceilings and
a shared space was about affordability and about testing the waters; we are not tied into a lease. I would eventually like my own space but the shared studio works for me now.”
your type of business to operate from the premises • access and parking for yourself, deliveries or customers, including disabled customers • the level of business rates charged • service charges that may be made for phone, broadband, reception, etc. • charges or shared charges for maintenance or refurbishment • if you need the flexibility to alter or expand • the requirements of your long-term business plans
If you are ready to find your own individual premises, Philip advises that, “It is often best to draw up a list of requirements and use this to inform your search. As well as commercial property agents, remember to tap into and connect with local networks as other like-minded companies may know what space is available.”
natural light • facilities and comfort for you, your employees and visitors, including lighting, toilets and kitchen facilities, etc • what sort of area you want to be in • proximity to local amenities • broadband connectivity and capacity • utilities, such as power and drainage, and any special requirements (for example, three-phase electricity) • permission, including planning permission, for
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Ceri Aitman of Oakwood Soaperie found her premises within the rural, 18th century National Trust property of Gibside Estate whilst attending the twice monthly ‘Farmers and Craft Market’ there. Her converted hayloft provides a place to undertake all aspects of her business, from making, wrapping, and processing orders to handling e-mails and marketing. There’s even a dedicated garden plot in Gibside’s walled garden where she grows botanicals for use in her products. “We’re planting lavender, chamomile, cornflowers, poppies, and calendula again this year as they did so well last year ... my studio was festooned with drying blooms right up until late September.” As Phillip notes, “It’s always worth contacting your local district, borough or county council to ask about support that they might provide for business. Usually this is best done first through the council’s website. When searching the web for financial support in particular, be aware that there are a number of companies that make a charge for providing information about grants and loans that might be available to start ups and growing businesses. All of the information you need about funding sources should be available to you at no cost. He adds, “In East Sussex, for example, there is a programme of grants and loans that are available for companies. Eligibility is based around the number of jobs being created and the applicant providing match funding, and is subject to an application process and review by an independent panel.” 58 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
LIZ FOSTER DESIGN
Liz Foster also benefitted from additional support when moving into her workshop. “I received two months free rent as a special offer and free business mentoring. But be prepared to work hard in getting it set up; I had a sink and partition walls put in and had to paint the floor and walls. It’s worth it though, so don’t give up!” Images courtesy of Liz Foster, Leigh Burrows and Ceri Aitman For information on Locate East Sussex, visit: www.locateeastsussex.org.uk For information on the makers featured, visit: www.lizfosterdesign.com www.facebook.com/LilacPearlTextiles www.oakwoodsoaperie.co.uk Useful links: www.yorkecobusinesscentre.com www.makersyard.com www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside
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Maker Spaces by Dawn Bevins In Maker Spaces, Emily Quinton takes us into the homes and workspaces of 13 designers and makers from the US, the UK and the Netherlands, and observes the connection between our creativity and the environments we create around ourselves. The book is divided into four key chapters which group the homes by their style. For example, the first chapter and style is Rustic, featuring lots of wood, exposed brick, various blues and greys, all softened by dry flowers and indoor plants. The following chapters are Homespun, Retro Chic and my personal favourite, Eclectic. We are introduced to each designer or maker and their home, and then shown their workspace separately, making it easy to see similarities or differences between how they work and how they live. 60 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
There is a nice balance in the type of housing featured and it all feels relatable; some are large, some are small and they range from warehouse apartments and compact apartments to houses, etc. We are shown a lovely variety of workspaces, whether they are in a loft, the corner of a room, a garden studio or a shared space away from the home. It was really interesting to see designer Donna Wilson’s home, and I particularly loved the giant toy trees hanging in her son’s room and her colourful woven chairs. For those of you familiar with UK Handmade and its contributors, the beautiful home of our very own Sarah Hamilton is also included. Sarah’s love of colour and pattern is evident throughout her home, and I’ve been left with both kitchen and vintage drawer envy. However, as I read through this book, I found that there was something niggling at me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Despite it having all the right ingredients - stunning yet realistic homes, great photography, an insight into the designer or maker’s life, their background and how they work - I couldn’t help but feel a distinct lack of connection. It wasn’t until I came to the last two homes that it all began to make sense. Looking at the home of illustrator Maartje van den Noort, I read that “she had to seriously declutter and get rid of about 90 per cent of her things”. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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I suddenly realised that a lot of the homes in this book appear to be so very organised and neat, something that I couldn’t possibly achieve without indeed purging most of my things. It came as quite a relief then when I gazed at the images of the final home and workspace, that of illustrator and educator Kate Bingaman-Burt. It seemed a little cluttered compared to some of the others but I looked up from my notepad, taking in the scene in front of me and smiled, as I had clearly found a kindred spirit. I loved the way she described herself as a maximalist, rather than a minimalist. I think I might be a maximalist too and I also order my books by colour. A lovely touch at the end of this book is the section called Making a Living, which asks each of the featured designers and makers to offer tips on how to turn your hobby or passion into a business. There is some great advice included but the one reoccurring piece of advice that stands out is ‘to be patient’, and that’s not something I’m particularly good at. It’s fascinating to see how other makers live and work. After initially feeling a little uninspired, I felt that, by the end of the book, I had learned something about myself and how I’d like my own workspace to develop. I’ve accepted that I’m a maximalist and that I have a lot of stuff, but I also see the benefits in the art of organisation, which is something I intend to work on. Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton, is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £25.99 and is available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small, with photography by Helen Cathcart For more information, visit: www.rylandpeters.com ISBN-10: 1849756198 ISBN-13: 978-1849756198 Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Zara Day by Bebe Bradley
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Zara Day provides an exclusive design service through her business Rosemaryrose; her beautiful and bespoke hand-embroidered fabrics are produced to her clientsâ€™ specifications. From the old and restored to the new and contemporary, her experience in printed textiles combines with expert skill in embroidery to create a unique approach in the design of her furnishing fabrics. These designs are created exclusively for each of her clients and tailored to the shape of the individual chair. Working with British-made wools and silks, designs are applied to the base fabric by hand, using free machine embroidery and intricate, traditional hand-embroidered stitches to embellish. Who is Rosemaryrose? I named my company after my two daughters, whose middle names I combined. As a lot of my work includes florals - and I especially love roses - I thought it was a good name to indicate my initial style of work. I now provide a design service creating bespoke and decorative, handembroidered furnishing fabrics made in Britain. These are custom made for specific projects, and tailored to each of my clientsâ€™ particular requirements. I offer an antidote to mass production, and these hand crafted designs create a unique and luxurious piece of furniture that can sit within a carefully designed interior space, and reflect the personality and individuality of the owner. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Tell us about the ethos behind your work. I initially wanted to revive forgotten chairs, as a reaction to the throwing away of pieces of good furniture, just because a person becomes bored with it. I am fond of reinventing pieces and hate the idea of the throwaway society. Many of the old chairs I work with have very well made frames and are created from beautiful types of wood that you just canâ€™t buy on the high street. I wanted to react against mass production and create unique pieces that you wouldnâ€™t be able to find anywhere else. My clients know that they are commissioning a truly individual piece and, by working on a piece that has been in a family a long time, I aim to create an heirloom of the future. I capture elements of their personal history and design it so that it sits well within the home that it will be placed. The work I have created for interior designers looks at my reaction against the repeated, printed fabrics which I specialised in, having studied a BA Hons in fashion and textiles design. Pattern is fundamental to my designs, but I look at mixing it and its placement, rather than just creating a repetitive pattern. I interpret a design scheme they, the interior designers, have devised and I love responding towards a room setting and creating a piece exclusively for that environment. I have chosen to focus on using handcrafted skills in the production of my furnishing fabrics because I love the act of embroidering, and wish to promote and develop the use of hand embroidery in the creation of high-end luxury interior products that are exquisitely made. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
When I work with private clients, I aim to provide a valuable experience by working through various design stages with them. The time I invest in discussing and establishing the requirements of each client, ensures each product is tailor made especially for them. My clients are interested in the narrative and providence of the pieces they purchase, and they value the methods that are used to create them. Some like the fact that they are able to meet the artisan directly and that their ideas can be interpreted into a personalised piece. You have 20 years of work and experience behind you. How have your beautiful textiles been borne out of this? When I left college, I worked as a freelance textile designer creating paper designs, and drawing and developing a design in colour is still fundamental to the textiles I produce. I always draw out each design or manipulate images digitally for each piece I produce. I had several jobs working in different areas of the design industry including costume and prop design, and these collected skills influence the work I produce. I fell into teaching after I did some workshops for children and loved teaching my skills to other. As a result, I retrained as a secondary school teacher and taught textiles and general art and design at secondary schools, and at a college working on HND courses. During these 70 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
different experiences, I developed the processes I use in my furnishing fabrics, which I have refined over the years. I’ve always drawn with stitch and see it as another medium with which to convey an image. I began producing textile art pieces, contained within a frame and concerned with hidden memories. But I fell in love with how fabric changes when placed on a three-dimensional object. I’ve always had a passion for interior design and, if I’m creating a new collection, will think of the rooms my fabrics are being designed for or I’ll react to the actual room a commission is going to be placed in. The idea for my ‘chairs that tell a tale’ that led to my collection of furnishing fabrics, came from when I was exhibiting my textile art pieces. A visitor commented on how she couldn’t find a fabric special enough for a chair she had had in her family for generations. It had so much sentimental value that none of the fabrics on the high street seemed worthy enough to represent this. I knew I could create a very special personal fabric and this was my starting point. Who or what influences and motivates you? I am very self-motivated and can’t sit still; I’ve always felt the need to create. When I create fabric, I always find an image of an interior that I imagine it will be placed in and I design with this in mind.
I find Kit Kemp’s interiors extremely inspiring, and I love her juxtaposition of very different textiles; mixing different scale patterns, textures and unusual colour combinations with wonderful pieces of art. I also like Tricia Guild’s use of colour. As a student, I visited a Designers Guild collection launch and since then, have always admired the colour combinations in her fabric designs. My influences are always changing and they come from all aspects of the arts. I am currently admiring the work of graphic designer Lorenzo De Grandis and the textile art pieces of Tilleke Schwarz. Tell us about the inspiration behind your work. Who - or what - is inspiring you right now? My current collections illustrate the techniques I use but any combinations of images or patterns can be explored. In my ‘Fragment’ collection, I focus on cutting away areas to reveal hidden patterns or images, and different depths are created by applique, to which free machine embroidery techniques and hand stitches are added. In my ‘Memories’ collection, partially eroded patterns are created throughout by embellishing a varied combination of fabrics with traditional hand stitches, and producing a rich tapestry of colour and texture. The fabric takes on the appearance of already containing a history, posing the question, “Is it old or is it new?” Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
I have a fascination with layers of pattern that are revealed when wallpaper peels away - the contrasting patterns from different periods of design - and this has influenced these first two collections. I always look to the natural world for inspiration and especially florals. In my ‘Cluster’ collection, interesting textures which draw the eye over the form of the piece, are created using traditional hand-embroidered stitches, and inspired by transient patterns created by fallen debris, seed heads, petals and leaves. Your ‘Chairs that Tell a Tale’ are hugely evocative. What steps do you take to create these pieces for a client, and has the technique been a difficult one to harness? Because it has been a medium I’ve used since I can remember, it just seems natural to capture an image or translate a pattern with stitch. My father had a handdriven Singer sewing machine when I was a child, and I was allowed to play with it. We had a sewing box full of interesting threads and buttons which I always raided, making pieces with scraps of fabric. My dad was always really good at reinventing items. Art materials were always available for me to use and I never remember a time when I didn’t amuse myself by drawing. The processes I now use, I’ve developed and refined over a long period of time. I’m always challenging myself to find new ways of incorporating stitch with other textiles processes to create an interesting surface texture or embellishment. 72 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Jemima Lumley Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Is there a specific tool that you cannot do without? Yes, my embroidery needles, my Bernina 1008 sewing machine and my camera. I carry my camera everywhere in case I come across interesting natural forms or textures that may be useful in design development. Do you have any pieces or projects that you are particularly proud of? It will always be the last piece I have created. Because each piece is bespoke, I love the challenge of creating a new design. It’s exciting to hand my fabric over to the upholsterer, have the finished chair returned and see how the fabric is transformed when applied to the form of the chair. In some cases I get to deliver the pieces direct to the clients, and it’s great to see their reaction and how the piece fits the place it has been designed for. Everyone always seems to love my pieces and that’s when I feel really proud of what I have created. What do you love most about what you do, and what do you find the most frustrating? I still have to pinch myself and take stock of where I am. I’ve started my own business, I’m doing a job that I love and I have a studio at home which works fantastically around my family. I hardly switch off and I’m always thinking about what I’m working on, so if I have an idea, I just pop into my studio and record it. 74 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Being able to work on designs at different times of the day really suits me. I am very structured in the hours I work during the day, but can’t help myself sneaking in to my studio in the evenings or weekends. I love sharing my studio with my youngest daughter, who is very creative, and watching her excitement when experimenting with different mediums. It’s great when my older daughter declares she wants to join us and she gets involved in making something. The most frustrating aspect is how long a piece can take to make; my mind is already designing a new piece and I just want to get onto the next piece. Describe your current work space for us. My studio is in my home with lots of light flooding in a large window. I have desks running down two walls where my sewing area and drawing area is arranged, and there’s an old wooden desk placed against another wall where I do all my paperwork. I have mood boards all over the walls, with ideas for the designs I’m currently working on, or the future ideas that I would like to develop, with scale drawings taped to the walls to work from. I have a basket of old wallpapers, a collection of lace pieces that inspire some of my current designs, and a collection of magazines and books that I use for inspiration. One of my favourite items is my Roberts radio. I have to listen to music when I work to give me a sense of time when I am embroidering. I can lose all sense of time. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
What do you do to take time out and relax? When I’m working, I always make time during the day to take my dog out for a walk. I’m sitting down most of the day and I like to get some exercise and stretch my legs regardless of the weather. Some of my work is influenced by the changing seasons so I love to embrace all types of weather when I’m out for a walk. I record how the onset of the different months brings a change to the different flowers, leaves, seed heads and berries that I find around the countryside I live near. I also like to run, which I find relaxing and love being outside. I grew up near Brighton and miss living by the sea. Cornwall is one of my favourite places and when we go there on holiday, I run along some of the coastal paths with sea views which are amazing. Cornwall’s north coast - particularly Constantine Bay - is where we escape to as a family and I have seen my daughters grow up on its shores, exploring its rock pools and watching the sunset on its sand dunes. It feels like home and it’s where I feel most relaxed. Have you seen a change in the perception of ‘craft’ in the UK, and what it means to own a hand-crafted object? There are many layers to ‘craft’ produced in the UK. I have seen aspects of these over the last few years become more desirable and valued. Elements are now seen as luxury items. Those who are buying or commissioning these pieces are better informed about the time and processes that are invested in creating them and appreciate the craftsmanship and their quality. I have seen some retailers taking on board the consumers’ desire to own handcrafted objects and this has helped in certain cases to promote these as quality products. It’s the job of the maker to inform and educate their buyers of this. 76 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
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What does ‘handmade’ mean to Zara Day? My fabrics are made with care and attention to detail, using a varied combination of handembroidered traditional stitches, and free machineembroidery where I use a machine to draw with. My aim is to produce pieces which are exquisitely made. Owning a handmade object is purchasing something which is unique, that has soul and character and in my case, not mass produced. What advice would you give to someone starting out on their own creative business and what’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you? To identify their unique selling point and their target market, then research it to make sure that there is a demand for what they will be producing. In doing so, you can refine and develop your idea and it will be more successful. The best advice I was given was by my parents; make sure you love what you do as a job as you will spend most of your adult life working away at it. If you had the opportunity to learn or employ a new creative skill, what would it be? I love working with British wool for some of my upholstery fabrics and would like to have the skill to make men’s suits out of lighter weight, woollen cloth. I am fascinated by the attention to detail and the hidden construction of a bespoke tailored suit,
the intricate handcraft skills and the art of pattern cutting. I would want to focus on the traditional methods and create a suit for my husband. Where can we find out more about your work? Visit my website and Instagram for my images that influence the designs for my different collections. There’s also Pinterest for a glimpse into textile pieces by other artists whose work I admire, and Twitter for tweets about other designers creating bespoke design I like, information on what I am working on and events that I am taking part in. What’s next for Rosemaryrose and do you have any new projects? The principles and hand crafted techniques that I use in my chair designs are also applied to the design of cushions, lampshades, footstools, headboards and wall hangings for clients. I am working on a small anthology of covetable collectibles that will be available to buy as limited editions, including lampshades and cushions. I’m also creating new designs on Irish linens and will be experimenting with contemporary technical fabrics. For more information, visit: www.rosemary-rose.co.uk Images courtesy of Zara Day Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
The David Parr House by Karen Jinks Just over a year ago, I was privileged to be given a private tour around a tiny little terrace house in Cambridge. On the outside it looked exactly the same as all the others in the street and you would never guess at what was hiding inside. Incredibly the inhabitant, Mrs Palmer, had been custodian of a secret treasure created by her grandfather David Parr for a staggering 85 years until her recent passing. As well as being a beautiful story in itâ€™s own right, the research into David Parr has uncovered his connection to the Leach family; a long line of cooks, artists and master craftsmen who have their own historical significance. The house is now in the careful hands of Curator and Trustee Tamsin Wimhurst, who will ensure that the legacy of the David Parr House will continue for years to come. 80 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Tamsin, please tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to discover the David Parr House. At present, I work for a variety of museums and history projects in Cambridge. My career in heritage began when my children started school and I volunteered at a museum to help out with their learning program. After a few months, I was lucky enough to become their education officer
when the post became vacant; prior to this, I had trained to be a teacher and taught until my children came along. What I love about independent museums is that there is a lot of opportunity. If you want to develop an idea, the chances are that you can. I had the idea to put on an exhibition called â€˜A Space of My Ownâ€™ where I interviewed and photographed a variety Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
of people in Cambridge about a space that was important to them. Someone rang up the museum and suggested that I should interview Mrs Palmer about her house. I arranged to meet her, knocked on her door and walked into this amazing space. How did you feel when you set foot across the threshold and saw the interior for the first time? I knew very little about what I was looking at but felt that it was very special. I was standing in the front room of a small terrace house and enveloped in a riot of pattern and colour. Nothing seemed to fit together; flowers, leaves, candy stripes, scrolls, large, small, gilding, graining â€Ś there seemed no place to rest the eyes. But it was captivating, more so because it had survived so intact for so long. When you started to look into David Parrâ€™s life, did you have any idea what you would uncover and who he worked for? There was so much to uncover, much more than I had the time to do but luckily a friend, Shelley Lockwood, volunteered to help me with the research. We began knowing nothing so whatever we found out was going to be a bonus. As a historian, I am used to making the most out of a few bits and pieces but with this project, there was no need to do that. 82 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Firstly, there was David Parr. Born in 1855 to a working class family, he worked his way up to be an artist decorator and worked for many of the great designers of the late Victorian era, such as William Morris and George Bodley. In his spare time, he set about to decorate his home in the same way as he did the rooms of palaces and the naves of churches. He did it by lamps and candlelight, using materials that he salvaged from his work or were given to him by grateful clients. He mixed his own paints, cut his own stencils and designed his own patterns. It was a project that he worked on for 40 years of his life and never completed. But then we found that there was another amazing story to be told â€“ that which was linked to the firm that David Parr worked for â€“ F R Leach & Sons. There was not only an amazing story but there was also an amazing archive.
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What impact did the Leach family have in Cambridge? Shelley discovered that, as well as the countless private homes, shops and businesses, there can be very few Cambridge churches, civic buildings and grand College rooms which were not grained, painted, gilded, glazed or otherwise decorated, even built, by at least one member of the Leach family in the century between the 1860s and the 1960s! The most famous and most prolific member of the family was Frederick Richard Leach (18371904), a self-styled ‘Art workman’. He built up the firm of F.R. Leach (and later F.R. Leach & Sons) over 40 years from 1862, creating workshops at City Road, an office on King’s Parade, and a showroom and shop at St Mary’s Passage. By 1881, he employed 28 men (including David Parr), two women and six boys. The firm offered high standards of artistic craftsmanship in all aspects of decoration; from graining, painting, lettering and gilding to cabinet work, stone and wood-carving, stained glass, metalwork, tiles and textiles, whilst working with highly-regarded architects and designers such as George Frederick Bodley, Charles Eamer Kempe and William Morris. 84 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
FR Leach’s showroom, now a clothes shop
Sadly, schemes such as the Assembly Room of the old Guildhall and the elaborate ceiling of the Masonic Hall on Corn Exchange Street have not survived, but we do have many stunning examples of Leach work all over Cambridge in churches and College buildings, including Jesus College Chapel, All Saints, St Botolph’s and St Clement’s churches and Queens’ College Old Hall. Although most of the firm’s records were consumed by a fire in 1970, there is a rich archive of family papers and artefacts, all waiting to be worked through. As a trade card for the Leach firm from the 1880s shows and as the appointment diaries are beginning to reveal, Frederick Leach and his skilled workmen not only worked in Cambridge but travelled the length and breadth of the country. Perhaps the most prestigious job was at St James’ Palace for William Morris, but there was also the church of St John the Baptist in Tuebrook, Liverpool and St Salvador’s in Dundee. Even before Frederick Leach, the Leach family had made their mark in Cambridge; Frederick’s father, Richard Hopkins Leach, was a well-known inn-sign painter and decorator in Cambridge (four of his signs can be seen at the Museum of Cambridge) and a respected member of the Britannic Lodge (Oddfellows). Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
After Frederick’s death in 1904, three of his four sons continued the family business in Cambridge. Barnett McLean Leach specialised in stained glass
What do you think was the key to their success? Shelley found that Frederick was clearly skilled as an artist, painter and decorator, as were his father
and woodcarving. He had a workshop in St Edward’s Passage and carved the figures of Christ, Mary and St John on the rood in the Catholic Church (OLEM) in Cambridge as well as making the Conybeare Memorial window in Barrington’s All Saints church.
and elder and younger brothers. We think Frederick could see the value in creating a firm with suitable workshops which would employ a variety of skilled craftsmen, and teach apprentices the full range of artistic workmanship required to fulfil the latest elaborate designs and decorative schemes for new churches, civic buildings and grand private houses.
Frederick McLean Leach was a cabinetmaker and Walter Perry Leach (and later, his son John) continued the business from the shop on King’s Parade and workshops in St Tibb’s Row and Caroline Place. Barnett McLean’s son, Francis Leach, continued his father’s work from the workshops in City Road. There are several examples of his work to be seen in Cambridge, including two stained glass windows in the chapel of St Edmund’s Hall and a window in St Mark’s, Newnham, as well as the altar of St John Fisher in the church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs (OLEM). He also carved a statue of the Virgin and Child which stands in St Mary’s school in Bateman Street. It is believed that his work can be found in very many Catholic churches across the country, unattributed and, as with his grandfather before him, often created free of charge.
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He was undoubtedly a success in terms of the sheer number of projects the firm worked on. Everywhere you look, whether it be church or grand house, if there was any building or restoration between 1860 and 1900, Frederick Leach is there, especially if Morris, Bodley or Kempe are there too. We can say that he had the good fortune to be trusted and used by some of the leading architects and designers of his day but, without having the business records, it is not clear how successful the firm was in financial terms. Indeed, sometimes it’s hard to understand how they made any money at all as most accounts of Frederick Leach’s work in the churches of Cambridge thank him heartily for his astonishing work and for doing it pro bono as a gift to God! The firm of F R Leach & Sons continued after Frederick’s death until the partnership was dissolved
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in 1916 through voluntary liquidation. Family you think this story is in today’s modern world? legend has it that it was under-charging for work on It’s the passion, love and individuality for what the Benson building at Magdalene College which they did that comes across strongly from both the ruined the firm. Fortunately, some estimate books for the firm for the years 1912-1920 survive in the Cambridge Record Office and A C Benson, Master of Magdalene features frequently in them, so time and some more research may yet tell us the full story. Stories from the past often feel far removed from our own contemporary experience of everyday life. However, the Leach family were craftsmen and artists, a lifestyle which has experienced something of a renaissance over the last few years as UK Handmade can attest to. How important do 88 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Leach story and that of David Parr, qualities which are recognisably important to anyone who is creating. There is also the strong belief in recycling and reusing which is and should be a very current theme for those who are ‘producing’; beauty and satisfaction do not necessarily have to cost a lot. What are your future plans for the David Parr House? We are now having to think about how we can curate the house and open it up to the public, but it is not easy due to its size and fragility.
There are so many stories that the house could tell and I am keen to preserve the unique atmosphere that it holds within its walls. This atmosphere emanates from the people who lived and cared for it so, in the future, I want to engage with creative people from a range of backgrounds who will respond to the house, and take its message and ideas to a wider audience. Our steering group of four volunteers are working on the house in their spare time and we welcome the public to book private tours, although please note that we can only take groups of up to 6. This will help raise the money required to begin the necessary conservation work on the house. We have lots of exciting ideas for the future, so please do keep in touch via our website.
For more information, visit: www.davidparrhouse.org Photography by Howard Rice ÂŠ David Parr House CIO
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Wild Cocktails by Bebe Bradley Lottie Muir is a gardener by day and a mixologist of botanical cocktails by night. She is the creator of the Midnight Apothecary, a pop-up cocktail bar set in a rooftop garden above Brunelâ€™s Thames Tunnel, in the heart of London. Here she grows many of the ingredients for her mixes and itâ€™s on Saturday nights that she sets aside her gardening gloves and dons her apron to become the Cocktail Gardener mixologist. Moving from flowerbed to bar, she concocts and produces plant-powered cocktails, made with seasonal fruits, herbs and edible flowers harvested from her garden and foraging trips nearby. 90 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Wild Cocktails is Lottie’s first book and if you are interested in gardening, foraging and experimenting with flavours, then this beautiful book should be a compulsory purchase. In her introduction, Lottie explains that “the concept of wild cocktails is about extending your cocktail cabinet outdoors, using garden and foraged botanical ingredients to infuse and garnish your cocktails.” For many of us, a cocktail could be considered an expensive indulgence but Lottie factors thriftiness into the decadence and so balances “beauty and thrift, art and science, wholesomeness and revelry” to complement each other. She says, “The same is true with the cocktails themselves. Get the strong, weak, bitter, sweet and sour elements right, and you’re pretty much where you need to be”. The daughter of an avid gardener, Lottie’s inherent passion for “urban farming” and foraging is clear, and it’s her knowledge of the plants and desire to show them in their best light that infuses her cocktails. The wild element of the Midnight Apothecary bar is emphasised in the setting in which her cocktails are served. It may well be in the centre of a city but as Lottie explains, “The urge to get close to nature is a common cry in any city. The more complicated and sophisticated life becomes, the more we crave simplicity and authenticity. It’s a primitive impulse to put our hands in the soil or sit in a circle round a fire. It’s simple, ancient and feels just right”. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
So as a guest at her bar, you will likely find yourself seated by the fire pit, toasting marshmallows and chatting, with a cocktail in hand. Like a good cocktail, the combination of ingredients is important and she aims to invoke memories by providing the complete sensory experience, redolent of “a summer’s day or a walk in the wood”, because, “At their best, cocktails – and gardens – are magical creations that balance wildness and design in an orgy of the senses”. There are just 3 chapters in this book, but each features sections with thorough information on all that is required to produce your own wild cocktail. The first chapter is all about The Cocktail Cabinet, covering The Pantry, The Booze, Growing Your Own Cocktail Cabinet, Foraging, Basic Kitchen Equipment, Making The Cocktails and, last but not least, Experimental Mixology On A Budget. Lottie explains both gardening and cocktail-making basics in easy and un-intimidating detail; you’ll discover what botanicals and edible flowers you will need throughout the year, with helpful and friendly tips on how to get the best out of your growing space. There is sensible advice on foraging if you plan to venture beyond your garden wall, and you are reminded throughout the book that foraging for wild ingredients requires expert knowledge, and that overconsumption or misidentification can lead to illness or worse. You are also introduced to the basic equipment and techniques for making infusions and syrups as well as cocktails, and there are suggestions aplenty for gorgeous, botanical garnishes. 92 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Chapter 2, The Cocktail Elements, features The Strong, The Sweet, The Bitter Truth and The Acid Test. There is a wide selection of bitters, syrups, infusions, macerations and liqueurs to choose from, which can then be utilised in the recipes of the third chapter. There are over 100 recipes in this book and the range and variety is quite astounding, with the flavour combinations suggested by Lottie both intriguing and inspirational. It’s difficult to know exactly where to start with the recipes in this particular chapter, so exciting are some of the concoctions, but you could certainly kick off with a glass of Wild Fennel, Fig, Grilled Bergamot and Star Anise Rum whilst you wait for your Scented Geranium and Lavender Limoncello to mature. I can’t wait for the heady blooms of summer to emerge so that I can begin to stock my drinks cabinet with floral syrups, including Honeysuckle, Gorse Flower, Lilac and Sloe Blossom. Amongst the Garden Cocktails, Foraged Cocktails and Mocktails and Restorative Cocktails of Chapter 3, you’ll find delicious drinks such as the Wild Violet Sour, the Woodland Martini, the Jam Bellini and Red Clover Lemonade. You’ll also find the more ‘unusual’, such as the Bacon and Garlic Old Fashioned, The Field of Dreams (with egg and peas!), the Fennel, Tarragon and Chard Collins, and the Birch, Ginger and Wisteria Detoxer. Any of these recipes should more than adequately enable you to appreciate the flavours of both the garden and the wild, with or without the kick of alcohol. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Finally, at the back of the book, there is a wonderful and comprehensive resource list, containing useful links and information ranging from books and websites to foraging experts and courses in the UK. If you are having trouble differentiating between your cobbler and a Collins, the answers are liable to be listed in the detailed glossary. Interesting, informative and engaging, Wild Cocktails is an absolute pleasure to read, and is stuffed with original recipes and stylish photography. I adored it and I’ve already ordered copies to give as gifts. I’m sure that the recipients will spend many a happy hour (pun intended) as I have done, absorbed in this glorious book. For information on the Midnight Apothecary, visit: www.thecocktailgardener.co.uk Wild Cocktails from the Midnight Apothecary by Lottie Muir, is published by CICO Books at £16.99 and available in all good bookshops. Images courtesy of CICO Books, with photography by Kim Lightbody ISBN-10: 1782492003 ISBN-13: 978-1782492009
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A Cornish company that started with a small market in Penzance, has taken its ‘crafting’ experience out of Cornwall for the first time this May, with a massive Artisan Craft Show in Bristol. Outlaw Events, which offers a unique concept in artisan craft events, is set to expand in 2015, with major shows taking place both inside and outside of Cornwall. Established two years ago by mother and son team, Judi and Josh Wildeman, the company has held three events to date, each of which have been hugely successful and grown in scale each time; from 35 exhibitors and 500 visitors at the very first event, to 60 exhibitors and 1,500 visitors at the third. The Bristol Artisan Craft Show represents an ambitious step up in size with some 4,000 people expected to have passed through its doors over the two-day event. This year sees two large-scale, two-day Artisan Craft Shows taking place; Bristol the first, with the second at the Royal Cornwall Showground in November, and with 80 -90 exhibitors participating in each. The team will also be putting on a Summer Market and a Food and Drink Festival as part of Falmouth Week, an event that draws an additional 100,000 visitors to the town over the nine days. They will also be running their now eagerly anticipated Christmas Market in December. The Artisan Craft Shows are a unique concept that takes the traditional craft show to another level, with hand-picked exhibitors, crafts to buy, a demo stage, expert-led taster workshops, ‘makers in residence’, a pop-up café, Crafty Kids area and more. They have tapped into the growing appetite for all things craft and the ‘make and mend’ mentality that has sprung up on the back of the recession. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Josh tells us that, “We were originally inspired by the contemporary indie-craft movement in the US, which is huge. After being disappointed with what was on offer in the UK, we set out to create our own craft show with a difference. Crafts and making have soared in popularity over the last few years, with a boom in all things homemade, up-cycled and artisan. We have an application process for those wanting to be part of all the shows, which allows us to select a varied line-up of some of the best crafting talent around.” Judi explains further, “We wanted to create a show that we would want to go to; where you can buy beautiful things, meet the makers, learn new skills and try your hand at various crafts, all in a beautifully styled venue with good food and drink on tap! If you think about how far food and drink shows have come over the last decade and what they now offer visitors, you will have an idea of the sort of experience we create for those interested in artisan crafts. They can come along, spend a day enjoying a unique shopping experience, have a go at a vast array of crafting techniques and return home inspired.” She continues, “The new shows in Bristol and Wadebridge are a huge step for us. They allow us to accommodate more hand-picked exhibitors, with space for many more visitors over the 2 day events. 98 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
We have plenty of scope for bigger demo theatres, plus room for the other elements that make our events unique, including our ‘Make and Take Theatre’ where 25 people can have a go at making something”. Josh adds, “We found that a number of Cornish craft makers applied to be part of the Bristol show, on the back of the success they had at our Cornish events. This really endorses what we are doing and we are thrilled that our events can help showcase the incredible arts and crafts talent we have in Cornwall and in turn, support and help their businesses grow.“ This year, Outlaw Events has also created a series of sponsorship opportunities around its shows – aimed at like-minded companies wanting to raise brand awareness. Businesses interested in finding out more about this should contact Judi Wildeman on firstname.lastname@example.org For more information on forthcoming events and exhibitor applications, visit: www.outlawevents.co.uk Images courtesy of OUTLAW Events
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Out of the Pod by Lisa Margreet Payne Out of the Pod, by Vicky Jones, focuses on the less glamorous cousins in the vegetable family, the legumes. Beans and lentils still have the whiff of seventies vegetarianism around them, harking back to a time when people didn’t always know about the proper soaking and long cooking time required to get the best out of them. This led to some rather insalubrious ‘side effects’, shall we say, for delicacy’s sake. A huge variety of tinned beans and lentils are available now which cuts out the need for the overnight soak and cook. But dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are much more economical to buy, especially if you want to buy organic. And remembering to chuck your chickpeas in a pan of water before you go to bed isn’t that much of a hardship, is it? 100 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
I love the fact that Jones decided to devote a whole book to legumes, and she does it well. Out of the Pod covers the history and botany of pulses, the ‘canned versus dried’ debate and yes, even touches upon the flatulent issue. It has sixty recipes, and over half of those are vegetarian. The rest use small amounts of meat, poultry and fish. I made the Salad of Puy Lentils with Roasted Beetroot, with beetroot and herbs harvested from my garden. Such a simple but filling lunch, it was delicious, with a subtle elegance to it; something about the distinctive flavour of thyme mixing with the earthy tones of lentils and beetroot. It’s the kind of dish I can see myself making if I had friends coming over for lunch. You can throw it together with the minimum of fuss but it’s still a classy dish. I had it plain, but I think if you topped it with some crumbled salty feta or griddled halloumi, it would be amazing. I also made the Lentil Moussaka and again, it was another win. Whether you make a veggie or meaty moussaka, it’s always a dish that takes its time to come together, but is worth the wait. In fact, I think it’s one of those dishes which is better made the day before and then eaten after heating up the next day. This gives the flavours the chance to marinate and the aubergine the time to become velvety, fall-apart-in-your-mouth, soft. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
This book also came to my rescue this weekend. I had to cook a big pie for the volunteers who came to help out on my market garden open day, as part of our ‘bring and share’ lunch. I’d planned on cooking an ‘Ithaca Pie’ with greens from the garden. But, due to an oversight with the rice and greens (I forgot to put them in the fridge overnight so they smelt distinctly ‘off’), I found myself with a pastry lined pie dish and no filling. Then I remembered a recipe for Spiced Chickpea and Spinach Pasties that I’d bookmarked. Instead of making individual pasties, I used the ingredients for the filling and made it into one big pie. The chickpeas with tahini, cumin and coriander contrasted perfectly with the spinach, parsley, mint, oregano and thyme, all freshly picked from the garden. The pie was a huge hit. I’ve still got loads of recipes to try; Quinoa with Butter Bean Salad and Avocado, Black-eyed Beans and Squash in Coconut Milk and Succotash (bean, corn and squash stew) are the next three, but I’m going to make the Succotash first. This is usually a meaty recipe, but Jones has created a vegetarian version for this book. For the gardeners amongst you, you may have recognised beans, corn and squash in the Succotash as the ‘Three Sisters’. This is a growing technique which demonstrates companion planting at its best. The corn (maize) stalk provides a climbing 102 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
post for the beans and the large leaves of the squash suppress the weeds and keep the ground moist. The roots of the beans release nitrogen into the soil which feeds them all, but especially the fertiliser-hungry squash. According to Jones, “Because the plants support and protect each other, Native Americans believe that by eating the three vegetables together, they in turn will be protected.” The ‘Three Sisters’ are also featured in the logo I designed for Oakcroft Organics, my organic market garden; for the mutually supportive growing relationship as described above and also because I’m the middle one of three sisters. Yes, there is a lot to love in Out of the Pod. But did you think I’d forgotten desserts? Oh no, just because Jones has written a book on legumes, it doesn’t mean you miss out on pudding. For someone who has happily chomped on sweet potato brownies and giggled as her unknowing friends wolfed down her turnip cake, you’d think I’d be comfortable with beans in cakes. And yet, why am I not tempted by Black Bean Brownies or Sweet Broad Bean Tart? I think I may need to challenge myself to expand my horizons here! I’ll start with the Bean Torta with Walnuts and Lemon. It occurs to me that, as the recipe uses cooked beans and polenta instead of wheat flour, it would be a good cake for someone who is on a gluten-free diet. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Far from being a ‘crunchy-brown-rice-andgranola’ kind of wholesome cook book, Out of the Pod takes a fresh look at the nutritionally rich world of beans, lentils and other legumes. The recipes are simple, tasty and inspired by cuisines from all over the world. There is a lot to keep you interested and coming back for more in this book, and I heartily recommend it. Out of the Pod by Vicky Jones, is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from all good bookshops. For more information, visit: www.rylandpeters.com Images courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small Photography by William Reavell ISBN-10: 1849756112 ISBN-13: 978-1849756112
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LAZY Summer AFTErNOON by Bebe Bradley
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Who doesnâ€™t love high tea, sitting in a pretty garden in the summer sun? A combination of sweet and savoury recipes is the perfect treat for a long, lazy afternoon in the sunshine with friends. Earl Grey & Lavender Iced Tea A take on the traditional pot of tea, this is a refreshing iced tea with a just a hint of lavender; perfect for a hot summerâ€™s day. Makes 2 litres. Ingredients 2 litres of boiling water 6 Earl Grey tea bags 2 sprigs of fresh lavender flowers 60g of caster sugar Lavender or mint sprigs, to garnish METHOD 1. In a large pan, add the boiling water to the tea bags and lavender flowers, and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. 2. Strain the tea into a large heatproof jug and add the sugar, stirring well to dissolve. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate until required. Serve the tea in ice-filled glasses and garnish with lavender, edible flowers or mint sprigs. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
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Peach & Goat’s Cheese Pastries These dainty and delicious pastries can also be served with salad for a light lunch or starter. Feel free to make your own pastry but don’t feel guilty about buying ready-made; it’s quick, convenient and just as good. Makes 12. Ingredients 1 sheet (320g) of ready-made, ready-rolled puff pastry 1 ripe sweet peach, stone removed, quartered and cut into thin slices 100g soft goat’s cheese Runny honey, for drizzling Freshly ground black pepper, to season You will also need a baking sheet, lined with greaseproof paper. METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Cut rounds from the pastry with an 8cm cookie cutter and place onto the prepared baking sheet. 2. Prick each round evenly with a fork and spread each with a spoonful of goat cheese, leaving a 1cm border all round from the edge. Top the goat’s cheese with the peach slices and season with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. 3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed-up and golden, and the peaches are soft and slightly charred. Serve warm and drizzle lightly with honey just before serving. These pastries are best eaten on the day of baking. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Strawberry Shortcakes Wimbledon, ‘pick–your-own’, Pimms and cream teas ... it’s definitely strawberry season. Summer isn’t summer without the glorious strawberry. Makes 6. Ingredients: 115g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting 175g of cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 50g of caster sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 250g of Marscapone cheese 25g of icing sugar plus extra for dusting A punnet of ripe, sweet strawberries You will also need a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. METHOD: 1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using a butter knife, stir in the sugar and vanilla, and combine to form a soft dough. 2. Knead the dough lightly and roll into a cylinder shape, approximately 6cm in diameter .Wrap in cling film and chill until the dough is firm, about 10-15 minutes. 110 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
3. Remove from the fridge (or freezer) and cut into slices with a sharp knife; each slice should be approximately 1cm thick. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool completely.
4. To assemble the shortcake, combine the Marscapone with the icing sugar. Top 6 of the shortcakes with a spoonful of the Marscapone mixture, add strawberries and then dust with icing sugar. Stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place, the shortcake biscuits should keep for up to 2-3 days. When ready to use, top with Marscapone and fruit as required.
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Savoury Profiteroles & Sweet Éclairs Don’t be afraid of the big bad choux; choux pastry is surprisingly easy to make and suitable for both sweet and savoury fillings. If you are making both profiteroles and éclairs, the recipe below will give you enough choux pastry for both; just use half of the mixture for each. BASIC CHOUX PASTRY Makes approximately 20 profiteroles or éclairs. Ingredients 50g of butter 150ml of water 110g of plain flour 3 eggs, lightly beaten METHOD 1. Place the butter in a large pan along with the water and melt over a low heat. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and add the flour (make sure your water is boiling when you add the flour otherwise you’ll end up with a watery paste). Working quickly, beat the mixture rapidly to form a ball of dough in the pan. 2. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes. Beat the eggs into the cooled mixture, a little at a time, until well combined and a stiff paste is formed. 112 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
Raspberry & White Chocolate Éclairs Ingredients ½ the quantity of choux pastry (as opposite) 100ml of double cream, whipped A punnet of fresh, sweet raspberries 50g of good quality, white chocolate Makes 10 You will also need a greased baking sheet, lightly splashed with cold water. METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Place the choux pastry mixture into a disposable piping bag or sandwich bag. Snip off the end and pipe 10, 6cm lengths onto the prepared baking tray, making sure that they are evenly spaced. Bake for 20 minutes or until the éclairs are well-risen and golden brown. 2. Remove from the oven, slit the sides of the éclairs to allow the steam to escape and set aside to cool on a wire rack. 3. When completely cool, fill the éclairs with the whipped cream and raspberries. Gently melt the chocolate – either in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water – until smooth and glossy, and then drizzle over the éclairs. These éclairs are best eaten on the day of baking. Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
Smoked Salmon Profiteroles You will also need a greased baking sheet, lightly splashed with cold water. Ingredients ½ the quantity of Choux pastry (as previous) 100g of cream cheese 100g of smoked salmon, sliced into small pieces Chopped dill or chives, to garnish You will also need a greased baking sheet, lightly splashed with cold water. METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Place heaped teaspoonful’s of the choux mix onto the prepared tray, making sure that they are evenly spaced. Bake for 20 minutes or until the profiteroles are well-risen and golden brown. 2. Remove from the oven, slit the sides of the profiteroles to allow the steam to escape and set aside to cool on a wire rack. 3. When completely cool, mix together the cream cheese and smoked salmon and fill the profiteroles. Sprinkle with chopped dill or chives and serve. These profiteroles are best eaten on the day of baking.
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G&T Ices Is there any more refreshing summer cocktail than a Gin and Tonic? These ice lollies provide a perfect palate cleanser for after lunch. Makes 2 ices. Ingredients 30ml Gin 150ml tonic 3 teaspoons of caster sugar The finely grated zest and juice of one lime Cucumber or lime, finely sliced You will also need an ice lolly mould and lolly sticks. METHOD 1. Mix together all of the ingredients, pour into a lolly mould and add a slice or two of cucumber or lime. 2. Freeze until just set, about 2 hours, and then add the lolly stick. Freeze until set. 3. Remove the lollies from the mould and consume immediately, preferably in a hot, sunny garden and in the company of good friends. Images courtesy of Bebe Bradley
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LIVE: From Tower Block to 4 Acres
by Lisa Margreet Payne
Can I borrow you for a minute? Leave your worries and day-to-day stresses aside for just a moment. I promise you can go back to them as soon as we’re finished, but for the next few minutes I want you to focus on what I’m about to tell you. Now, you’re clever folk (you’re reading UK Handmade magazine for a start) so there’s a chance you know what I’m about to tell you. But for now, I want you to think about it as if you’re hearing it for the first time. You know when you cut open a tomato and all its seeds fall out all over the chopping board? Well, each one of those seeds has the potential to grow into a whole new tomato plant. And each tomato
We’ve become disconnected from where our food comes from. Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Lidl? Abel & Cole, Riverford or Ocado? No. It comes from the soil, it comes from the seed, the seed inside the fruit
plant will produce lots of tomatoes during its season, which in turn will have lots of seeds inside. Each one of those seeds could grow into a whole new tomato plant and … Can you see where I’m going with this? Doesn’t that just blow your mind? And this isn’t just limited to tomatoes, of course. All our food that we grow from seed has the ability to reproduce to make more food and more seed. The pepper seeds we discard, the cucumber seeds we leave in, the squash seeds we scoop out (and some of us roast and eat). Each of these is a power house of more seeds and more food.
and veg that we eat. The seed that we put into the ground, water and nurture until it forms a plant and the plant forms a leaf and the leaf becomes the food. Or the plant forms its leaves and then it flowers, and these flowers transform into tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. Or you plant a bean and it grows into a bean plant, and once it flowers, these flowers transform into tiny pods. The pods swell with water and grow in the sun until they’re full of beans to eat and sow for another crop next year. And on and on goes the abundance cycle.
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Food is the one uniter. We all need to eat to live. There are so many different diets out there, ways of eating, voices telling you what you should or shouldn’t be eating. But these voices, diets and lifestyles fade in and out of fashion. Whether you’re paleo, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, locavore, organic, slow food, real food, no carb, high carb, any combination of the above or none, we all need to eat. Our planet can provide the food we need and it’s been doing it for millennia. This is what summer makes me think of. Summer - the reward after the harsh long winter of cabbages and root veg, followed by the slow yawning of early spring and The Hungry Gap. Early summer is the end of the slow transformation from flower to bean, tomato or chilli, the ripening. Late summer is the harvest of these fruits, warm from the sun, chopped lazily and tossed with fresh herbs and olive oil. When all you need to feast on is that tomato, bean and chilli salad with herbs and olive oil, together with some crusty bread and salad leaves to feel like you’ve eaten handsomely. We need to reconnect with the food on our plate. Whether we get it from a farmers’ market, a veg box delivery or pick it up at the supermarket on our lunch break, we need to remember that these items are grown and not made. This is what our bodies need to be strong and healthy. Good, wholesome, nutritious food. This is real food. Images courtesy of Lisa Margreet Payne For more information, visit: www.oakcroft.org.uk
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DO: Ladybird, Ladybird
by Teresa Verney Brookes
As an outdoor teacher, I am regularly asked if you can tell a ladybird’s age by counting its spots and I always feel terribly mean when I reveal this is merely an ‘urban myth’! To avoid disappointment, I keep my Guide to British Ladybirds book handy, as folk are usually thrilled to learn instead that there are 46 species of ladybird in the UK. Of these, only 26 are the familiar, brightly coloured spotted ones (including yellow, orange and red) whilst the rest are actually quite dull and unrecognisable as the ‘archetypal’ ladybird. People are also often surprised to learn that ladybirds are a type of beetle. Their Latin name is Coccinellidae, meaning ‘clad in scarlet’, and many
threatened, will secrete a yellow, foul-smelling oily liquid from their leg joints! But ladybirds and their larvae really are gardeners’ friends and they happily
are named after the amount of spots they have. For example, we have the two-spot, the ten-spot, etc., with the seven-spotted being the most common in the UK. The bright red, seven-spotted ladybird is also thought to have inspired its common name, with ‘lady’ referring to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady) who in some early paintings is seen wearing a red cloak, and the seven spots are symbolic of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Mary.
munch their way through thousands of aphids at this time of year. Please don’t be tempted to use chemical controls or pesticides in your gardens this summer, as this will not only deprive ladybirds of vital food, it will also affect many other insects and creatures further up the food chain and can actually make your aphid problems worse. You can also help ladybirds - and other mini-beasts - by not being too tidy in the garden. As usual, I am going to plead for you all to leave plenty of ‘rougher’ areas in your garden, with lots of nooks and crannies for them to hide and hibernate in.
Another popular fact is that they taste disgusting (a work-friend of mine once licked one!) and when 120 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
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Images courtesy of Pixabay
voracious, and thus have the potential to outcompete our native ladybirds. In order to monitor its spread across Britain and assess its impact on our native ladybird, The Harlequin Ladybird Survey has begun, so please keep your eyes peeled and do report any sightings on their website. The site has lots of free downloadable identification guides but as a rough rule of thumb, Harlequins are larger, slightly different in shape and tend to have brown legs, unlike our native ladybirds which have black legs.
This might include patches of long grass, piles of dead leaves, log piles, etc. If you are worried that your neighbours may not approve of such slightly unkempt areas, my tip is to put signs up saying ‘Wildlife Area’ so that they can see you are managing your patch in a positive way rather than just neglecting it! You can also buy ready-made ladybird homes from many garden centres or, of course, you could make your own. In recent years, the highly invasive, non-native Harlequin ladybird has become a real threat to our native ladybirds as they are much larger and 122 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
The UK Ladybird Survey has several app’s available for iPhones and Android devices which include information and images to help you identify ladybirds on the move. The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives website has some fantastic ladybird related resources and activities for children. Finally, ladybirds are believed to bring luck and apparently, it’s customary to ask it a question if one lands on you. However, perhaps one of the ladybird’s finest auguries is its ability to foretell your marriage partner, although this seemingly only applies to girls! Useful links: www.harlequin-survey.org www.ladybird-survey.org www.naturedetectives.org.uk
The UK Handmade Makers Directory UK Handmade is delighted to announce the launch of our new Makers Directory! Founded on our successful online magazine, website and forum, our carefully curated directory brings together the best of UK Handmade and will allow viewers to search through our community of makers, designers and artists by location and creative discipline. An effective and professional platform to promote your talent, choose from either a Standard Directory Listing or Premium Portfolio. To find out more visit www.ukhandmade.co.uk/directory-application
Summer 2015 | ukhandmade |
autumn issue: 03. 08. 2015 124 | ukhandmade | Summer 2015
In this issue, we bring you exclusive interviews with designers and makers who combine creative skill with craft and artistry. From wonderf...