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SPRING 2016 ukhandmade Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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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

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Contents... 4

contributors: Spring 2016

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The speed at which most of us travel through life means that too often we miss the small things. In this issue, we slow down, to appreciate the detail, to savour the time that we have and do everything as well as we as possibly can. It’s about quality over quantity, in the things that that we do, from drawing to making to living. We meet artists and designers whose uniquely considered work demonstrates the skill of the slow process. We also have our regular wonderful finds, features and reviews. See you in the summer!

Bebe. x

finds: Editor’s Picks

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meet: George Colley

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meet: Tiffany Scull

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meet: Claire WellesleySmith

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live: Sweets for my Sweet

scene: Midcentury Modern

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do: That’s The Way To Do It!

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scene: DESIRE at Chelsea Old Town Hall

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scene: MADE London at Bloomsbury

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scene: Country Living

review: The Shopkeeper’s Home

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review: Vegan Street Food

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business: Social Media Reminder

Editor & Designer/Maker

FRONT COVER: www.maikodawson.com ; BACK COVER: www.pixabay.com

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SPRING 2016

Contributors.. .

Lisa Margreet Payne Craft Educator & Writer www.lisamargreet.com

Sarah Hamilton

Artist & Designer www.sarahhamiltonprints.com

Karen Jinks

Dawn Bevins

Creative Director & Artist/Designer www.karenjinks.co.uk

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

Teresa Verney Brookes

Mandy Knapp

Education Officer for the RSPB & Forest School Teacher

Printmaker www.mandyknapp.co.uk

UK Handmade Magazine, info@ukhandmade.co.uk, 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 info@ukhandmade.co.uk • Editor: Bebe Bradley editor@ukhandmade.co.uk • Design: Jo Askey design@ukhandmade.co.uk Deputy Editor: Dawn Bevins dawn@ukhandmade.co.uk • Advertising: advertising@ukhandmade.co.uk • PR: pr@ukhandmade.co.uk Events: events@ukhandmade.co.uk 4 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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Meet: Tiffany Scull

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Spring finds

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RHIAN MALIN Hand Held Vessels, thrown & altered porcelain with hand-painted decoration, ÂŁ25 - ÂŁ80 from www.rhianmalin.co.uk

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ELIN ISAKSSON Dew Drop, free hand blown glass, enquiries at www.elinisaksson.com

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ALISON MILNER Mughal Garden, quasi-functional ceramics, enquiries at www.alisonmilner.co.uk

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SARAH FENNELL ‘Linear’ Cushions (right) and ‘Tumble’ fabric (left) upholstered onto a vintage chair, all hand screenprinted on 100% linen, enquiries at www.sarahfennell.co.uk

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WILDFIRE TEEPEES Cross Print Yellow Trim Teepee, 100% cotton with tulipwood poles, ÂŁ135 from www.wildfireteepees.bigcartel.com

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LIZ WILLIS Newlands Sunset Necklace, oxidised silver and silk thread, ÂŁ160 from www.lizwillisjewellery.co.uk

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MEET:

George Colley by Mandy Knapp

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George Colley studied Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton, before attending The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School. Having only recently moved to London, he enjoys being in the city streets, and working predominantly from direct observation whilst capturing the essence of his surroundings in pencil and print. Do you come from a creative family? Not especially but I guess there are many forms of creativity. My mother is quite crafty, always knitting and things like that. My dad is very ‘hands on’, mechanically minded and can make just about anything, so I think that there might be some coming together of influences there. In terms of drawing or painting, not at all; it’s just something I always did and enjoyed doing. It was in art class at my secondary school that I first became interested in drawing and painting, and with helpful guidance and encouragement from my art teachers, I decided to study art, the first in my family to do so. Why drawing? Why does this medium appeal so much? Drawing appeals to me because it can immediately translate all your ideas, thoughts and observations efficiently, beautifully and very personally to paper. For me, it feels like the most natural thing to do

when challenged with trying to understand or describe something, which I guess is why I continue to do it. The process of drawing isn’t tied to any one medium so I suppose it’s the diversity and choices offered by drawing that excites me. For example, I could begin a drawing in pencil when working quickly outside, but could then use ink pens or watercolour pencils to continue with it before combining it with paints or pastels, depending on how I felt the image was reflecting the subject. Plus the bonus with pencils is that you can just rub it all out and start again if it’s rubbish. What is it about direct observation that appeals to you? It’s the immediacy and the challenge of being confronted with whatever is in front of you, about being fully immersed in the subject, soaking it all up and experimenting until you find a way to adequately translate what your senses are taking in. Taking this and making it into something that reflects and feels like what you are witnessing. I don’t think you can capture that any other way without directly observing it. The London skyline is changing all the time. What do you particularly like to capture in our capital? I always attempt to capture the constant movement within the city, both the visible and relatively quick Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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movement of traffic and people on the busy streets, alongside the slow demolition and construction of the buildings that dictate their routes around them. I’m interested in the history of the city, how you can find tiny old buildings nestled between tall modern skyscrapers and how the city will continue to evolve into the future. I guess I feel I’m piecing together a portrait of the city as it grows older. Tell us about the Royal Drawing School. What happens in the ‘Drawing Year’ and how has the teaching impacted on your practice. Studying at the Royal Drawing School was a great experience that really pushed me and helped me develop my practice. When I graduated from Brighton, I was conscious of all the debt I’d accumulated and was worried about the cost of studying for an MA. When I was told about the course, the prospect of a fee-free intensive year of drawing with lots of other likeminded artistic individuals was just too good an opportunity to miss. You are basically given free rein to attend as many classes as physically possible, whether it be life drawing, drawing out and about in London, drawing in museums and galleries, printmaking or making a graphic novel; they’ve got so much to choose from that you end up trying to do it all. Drawing that much over the period of a whole year is really hard work but the impact it has on your perceptions and skills, combined with the constant critical feedback you get from your peers and numerous tutors, means that you’ll find your work completely transforms into something unimaginable from what it was at the start of the year. Mine certainly did. 16 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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How did you get involved with the Targetspace project ? It was rather a chance encounter that brought us together actually. At the start of the 2015, I was about to have an exhibition at the Mercer Chance gallery in Hoxton and I was going to be painting my own frames to save some money. I was in a nearby paint shop fretting about which colour paint to get for them when I realised I was taking a very long time deciding. I struck up a conversation with the lady in the queue behind me to apologise for the fact I was holding her up. That lady happened to be Dawn Oldfield of Targetspace and we soon got talking about my exhibition, which she was most interested in because she happened to be in the process of deciding on what paint colour to go for her new office in Aldgate. She expressed a desire for some work for the walls so naturally I invited her along and it all went from there. We were interested to hear that you not only draw with pencil, but create your original prints in a very immediate way too. What techniques do you employ? I use a variety of techniques, but I suppose the ones that allow me to draw as naturally as if I were working in my sketchbook are the ones I employ the most. I often use a soft ground on some zinc or copper, delicately wrap the plates in newsprint and then take them out with me and draw on them in-situ. You have to make elaborate handles stuck to the reverse of the plate to have something to grab hold of though, because when you’re working, you can easily get fingerprints and smudges all over the print. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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I also use tetra-pak juice cartons quite a bit too. They’re great because they’re so light and small, you can slide a couple of pieces in the back of your sketchbook until you need them. I use a slightly blunted scribe that gives a line most like that of a pencil, then simply draw on and compress the foil inner-lining with it, before inking up and printing. They work surprisingly well and are obviously very cheap to make so I don’t have any fear of being precious with them. If you try this technique, just take care when you do ink them up that you don’t rip the foil by wiping too vigorously! You can usually get between 5-10 prints out of them before they deteriorate and get too washed out but you can always re-work them. Do you prefer printmaking to drawing, or vice versa? I don’t think I could pick one or the other, but then I don’t see them as that different in my practice and I always begin both by drawing on location. However, my drawings on paper will be completed there and then, often exposed to the elements and completed in haste, whilst the prints are worked on in the relative comfort of the print room once I’m back, with ample time to play around a bit and attempt to capture something of the scene from memory. I find both just as exciting because, just as experimenting and having fun with all the different techniques of printmaking can often turn up surprise results, it’s surprising what the intuitive marks from a freezing cold hand can do too! 20 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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Are there any artists who have had an influence on your work? I’ve always been a fan of any artist that draws and puts themselves out there in the elements. Naturally, Turner has been one of my biggest influences over the years, particularly his sketchbooks and his watercolours. I wish I could rifle through them! It was from learning that he always took a sketchbook with him wherever he went, that I first started drawing outside, so I don’t think I would be doing what I do now without him. I also owe Whistler a huge debt for first inspiring me to begin printmaking; his prints of the river Thames are fantastic. These two artists are the two that have had the most influence on me for sure. You mentioned that you have Whistler to thank for involving printmaking in your practice. Why is this? It comes down to jealousy I think. It was a combination of having started a printmaking course at the drawing school, doing a lot of drawing outside around London in my sketchbook and seeing his exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery that did it. I felt like a kindred spirit, drawing scenes of London some hundred years later. Impressed by how his prints of London seemed to be so effortless and sketchbook-like, it inspired me to attempt to translate my drawing style to print and therefore begin the journey to where I am now. 24 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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Sir Norman Ackroyd, the acclaimed printmaker, has his studio near you. Have you ever met him? Ha, yes, well sort of! I saw that great TV show, ‘What Artists Do All Day’, and he was one of the artists one week. I realised his studio was just up the road from me and would pass it regularly, thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great to meet and chat with him, especially as I feel akin with him in the way he sometimes works in-situ?” Sadly, on the day I did actually manage to bump in to him, I was so busy gazing over the street at his studio, hoping to catch a glance of him working, that I almost walked straight into him. He was returning to the studio with a pint of milk from a shop and I was half-way through a mouthful of sandwich. I was so shocked that I shuffled off without saying a word and missed my chance of saying hello! What is your advice to anyone wanting to get their work shown? It’s so very true what they say about networking and perseverance. I was lucky in that, after I finished at the Royal Drawing School, a few of my colleagues and I teamed up together and put on a couple of group exhibitions in some old empty buildings around London. It was a great experience and gave us the opportunity to show our work to the public. It’s so important to have people around you that are, metaphorically, in the same artistic boat as you.

It’s so much easier putting a show together in a group, and who knows who may turn up and where that may lead. Just make sure you get chatting. What projects do you have coming up? I’ve been invited to complete a residency in Tuscany alongside one of my friends this year, so that’s very exciting. We’re hoping to work together to create a body of work that we can exhibit once we are back, so fingers crossed that I produce some good work! For more information, visit: www.georgecolley.tumblr.com For more information on The Drawing Year, visit: www.royaldrawingschool.org George Colley will be exhibiting at the Mall Galleries, 7th - 13th March, as part of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2016 Images courtesy of George Colley

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SCENE:

DESIRE at Chelsea Old Town Hall From the 26th to the 28th of February, Chelsea Old Town Hall will once again be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair. This stunning mixed media, jewellery and silversmithing event is not to be missed! Visitors will be able to purchase directly from contemporary designers and makers, selected from amongst the very best in the UK.

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Desire offers visitors a choice from approximately 80 individual jewellers and silversmiths selected for their superb and innovative craftsmanship, and who possess a genuine passion for the work they create. Visitors can view and purchase from an exciting range by both emerging British talent and established designer/makers. Exhibitors include jewellers working in metals ranging from gold, silver and platinum to palladium, aluminium and bronze, and incorporating items ranging from felt, gemstones and glass to buttons, beads and enamel in their work.


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Anyone celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, may also wish to discuss or commission a bespoke piece of jewellery or silverware from one of the many of the designer/makers. Several visitors in the past have commissioned engagement or wedding rings at this event and, by working with the designer/ maker, have been able to have create a unique and individual design that means so much more to the recipient. Many of the makers will also be happy to 30 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016

discuss the remodelling of old jewellery to give it a more contemporary feel. Amongst the silversmiths exhibiting at this year’s fair are Jen Ricketts, who creates intricate handpierced functional silverware of city skylines, Rebecca Joselyn with her quirky contemporary silverware based on everyday packaging, and Brett Payne with his range of elegant candlesticks and tableware.


Whether you are looking to treat yourself, purchase a unique gift for someone special or commission an item for a special occasion, make a date to visit Desire at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Venue: Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London, SW3 5EE Opening times: 10.00 - 18.00 Friday 26th February 10.00 - 17.00 Saturday 27th February 10.00 - 17.00 Sunday 28th February Standard Admission: £6 For more information, visit: www.desirefair.com For full designer/maker list, visit: www.desirefair.com/exhibitors Images courtesy of CRAFT IN FOCUS

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MEET:

Tiffany Scull by Karen Jinks

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Tiffany Scull specialises in the delicate art of ‘Sgraffito’, which allows her to combine her two loves of drawing and ceramics. Reminiscent of Oriental and Arts and Crafts pottery, her designs have a timeless and ethereal quality, and would sit well in any museum. I first saw your ceramics in a gallery here in Cambridge and was struck by the museum quality of your work. Can you tell us a little bit about your process and how you get such extraordinary detail? I’m a slipware ceramicist specializing in the decorative technique of Sgraffito; it’s an Italian word meaning ‘to scratch away’. The decoration depicted on my pieces is completed before they’re fully dry, at what’s called the ‘leather hard’ stage of drying. The colours I use are ‘slips’, made up of a thin liquid clay with different ingredients added to create the final fired colours. My making process begins with the creation of detailed pencil drawings based around a theme. Placing the animals in their correct habitat is very important to me and extensive research goes into this background detail. I throw all my forms using a very white stoneware clay, which are then turned and manipulated at the ‘leather hard’ stage. My designs are neither painted, stencilled nor printed but drawn directly onto the surface and then meticulously cut away by hand. This process involves the top surface of coloured slip I’ve applied to each form, being removed whilst damp. Loop tools and scalpel blades are used to reveal the white clay body underneath. During the final stages, contrasting slip colours are added to my birds, fish or insects, and the details drawn on. I’ve developed several handmade tools over the years which allow me to create a desired line or mark. Drawing the intricate detail within each design is achieved by using the correct thin tool when the clay is at that perfect stage of drying. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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My decoration is unique to each piece and is built up over many days, with some of the larger designs taking upwards of seventy hours to cut and finish. Once the decoration has been completed, each piece is then left to dry slowly before the two firings. After the first bisque (the stage after the first firing before a glaze is applied), I brush a clear glaze onto the main themes leaving the rest of the piece matt, creating a tension between the glazed and unglazed surface. The final glaze firing is 1180째c in an electric kiln. How did you get started in ceramics? Is it something you have always been interested in? I first took a module in ceramics whilst studying for an HND at Northbrook College in Worthing. I had been searching for something to specialize in and it was during this time that my fascination for this amazing material began. Working with clay covers an exciting spectrum of areas, from drawing and design work to 3-D making and the science of understanding how clay and glazes work in the kiln. What is the ethos behind your work? With my work, I hope to celebrate the true wonder and beauty of the natural world. I have always drawn since I was a small girl, and discovering the technique of Sgraffito allowed me to combine my two passions of drawing and clay work. I enjoy trying to capture the interactions which take place between many different creatures, as if viewing a moment frozen in time. There is a story behind each piece I bring to life - of swimming fish or chattering birds - and I hope to give the impression that they might swim or take flight from the vessel or dish at any moment. 34 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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What are your favourite materials to work with? I enjoy working with watercolours and pen and ink, and some of my favourite clay designs go on to become more detailed paintings. My passion is Sgraffito, so to work with coloured slips and clay at that lovely damp stage of drying is, for me, the most satisfying and exciting medium. Do you create your own glazes? Developing my own palette of slips to work with was instinctive, and the combination of my clay body, commercial stains, metals and oxides gives a softer hue to my colours. Much like painting, I use sponges and brushes to apply my slips on top of each other, mixing and blending. I currently use a clear, brush-on glaze which I make myself and I plan to develop more slips and glazes in the future. Tell us about your workspace. My studio space is very small (about twelve square foot) but it has great height and light, and is only a few minutes’ walk from my home. Due to the size, I have to be extremely organised and visitors have often commented on how clean and tidy my work space is. I think people often have a preconceived idea of how an artist’s studio should look. 36 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


Do you have a favourite tool that you can’t live without? The tool that I use to draw the first lines onto my pieces is very special to me, and I dread the day it eventually wears down due to it being used so much. Who are your favourite artists, designers and makers? The Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau both inspire me, finding connections with the use of both nature and pattern. Gustav Klimt and the potters Elizabeth Fritsch and Mary Wondrausch are among some of my other influences. My favourite glass maker is Helen Millard who makes fantastic Cameo glass inspired by the natural world. We are great friends and have a lot in common in both our subject matter and the way in which we work. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a creative business? I think the best advice I could give would be, to be true to yourself and to love what you do. I am not influenced by fashion and have followed my own path, so for me that would be the best advice. Being a full time maker takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication so you have to be passionate about what you do and be prepared to put in the hours of work. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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What is the best advice that someone has ever given to you? The best advice was given to me many years ago by a close friend and potter. She told me to hold onto my dreams and to try to make the best work that I could at that moment in time, and to keep pushing and testing myself. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be? After watching Helen work on her glass, I would love to learn to blow my own glass and engrave it. Do you have any new projects planned? What are your goals for the future? I have a new series of wall hangings planned for next year, depicting hummingbirds feeding from orchids, and snakes and lizards amongst the branches of a tree. This follows on from a new body of work inspired by the tropics, containing designs for some large pieces decorated with Birds of Paradise in their courtship trees, alongside appropriate orchids and insect life. I would love to see how my work is received in China, Japan and America, and to take part in some larger ceramics fairs. To have a solo show of both ceramics, drawing and watercolours would be a very exciting experience and I do hope that this will happen someday. 38 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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What does ‘handmade’ mean to you? Do you think perceptions of craft are changing? To me, ‘handmade’ covers a wide spectrum of fields and can range from people making rag rugs, to top-end ceramic artists and glass makers. As a craft person, I love and enjoy being in touch with the material I use and for me that sums up ‘handmade’. I think that, in years gone by, ‘craft’ has had a very different connotation, but now it has been raised up in people’s perceptions to mean a very high level of skill and craftsmanship. That can only be a good thing. Where can we find your work? Due to the slow nature of my creating process, I don’t have a large number of permanent outlets and tend to work for select exhibitions. I do carry a small selection of pieces at the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool, the National Trust’s Cotehele Gallery in Saltash, The Junction Gallery in Oxon, and a small selection of my work is always available from the studio. More information is always available on my website and Facebook page. For more information, visit: www.tiffanyscullceramics.com Images courtesy of Tiffany Scull

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SCENE:

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MAIKO DAWSON MADE LONDON - Bloomsbury is a new fair for contemporary craft and design. The show is a companion show for MADE LONDON Marylebone, one of the top selling events for designers and makers in Europe. This spring fair is a stripped back, pared down, ‘table top’ selling event, enabling the quality and diversity of the designers and makers’ work to be simply and honestly showcased in a beautiful and characterful setting.

Mary Ward House is a Grade 1 listed Arts and Crafts ‘settlement’, where rich Edwardians went to live with London’s poor to provide legal advice, education classes and opportunities for arts and physical fitness. The show will take place in a number of stunning rooms including the old gymnasium, the theatre, the dining rooms, drawing room, library and classrooms. There will be also be a café serving drinks and light meals, situated in the house’s beautiful walled garden. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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MADE London will also be working with West Dean College to present a programme of craft based talks, demonstrations and discussions in the ‘Theatre of Craft’. Venue: Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN Opening times: 10.00 - 18.00 Friday 29th April 10.00 - 18.00 Saturday 30th April 10.00 - 18.00 Sunday 1st May Standard Admission: One day entry £10, at the door Under-14s FREE For more information, visit: www.madelondon-bloomsbury.org Images courtesy of MADE LONDON

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MYER HALLIDAY

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BUSINESS:

A Social Media Reminder by Sarah Hamilton I have written previously about the importance of Social Media to artists and designers, and I’ve encouraged you to embrace it with open arms. All Social Media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - are useful for creative businesses, enabling you to meet and engage with other artists, suppliers, press and customers alike. What’s more, for the most part, they are absolutely free. For many, however, signing-up remains a daunting challenge, but one that they’d very much like to know more about. I have therefore decided to write a follow-up feature but this time include more information on Instagram. 46 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


To refresh you, the original article outlines the basic principles, gives you top tips and suggests further reading. I focused mainly on Twitter; in certain ways, it’s my preferred platform, although this is a matter of personal preference and the most suitable platform for you will depend on your aims. Twitter’s great for sharing exhibition information and new websites, etc. Retweeting is a good way to support others and is to be highly recommended. Building a mutually supportive network is at the heart of Social Media, and I often share friends’ shows and they’ll share mine. A Facebook business page is also important to share news of workshops, exhibitions or new ranges. Remember to keep the holiday photos to your personal page, because what you did on your girls’ weekend in Ibiza may be best kept from potential customers. Of course, how you project yourself is a matter of personal choice but remember that you’ll be seen by potential clients so an air of professionalism is to be recommended. Instagram is fantastic for artists and designers, and a great way to show your designs and aesthetic. I’ve only joined fairly recently (I know, late to the party!). It’s wonderful to use as a portfolio and even gauge which pieces of work are more popular - valuable for market research! Lara Watson, former editor at Mollie Makes, told me Instagram was often her first port of call when searching for art and craft images to feature in the magazine. Many bloggers also use it to source imagery so make sure you do too. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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As I’m fairly new to Instagram, I’ve asked blogger, photographer, author and hugely talented creative person Emily Quinton to share her top tips. Emily runs photography workshops from her London studio alongside online photography courses, and has been using Instagram very successfully for years. She says, “Instagram is the most wonderful visual storytelling platform. You will find an engaging community of like-minded people, an audience eagerly waiting to discover you and endless visual inspiration. It’s also an amazing marketing tool; it’s your place to tell your maker story and share your products. To get the most out of Instagram, it’s very important to really think about what you are using it for. Perhaps you will need two accounts, a more personal one and one for you as a maker. Think of it as your gallery where people see a whole collection of your images, not just one. Work on developing a consistent style; make your images recognizable and look beautiful sitting next to each other. Share the best images you can. Shoot in natural light. Think about colours, composition and the story you want to share. Don’t forget that Instagram is a community, so don’t simply post your images and leave. Engage with other people, leave comments, ‘like’ other images and find new people to follow.

Use hashtags, but use them wisely! Find ones that you connect with; you want to grow the right type of audience, so think of hashtags as a way of finding those people. Build a collection of tags you like and use a few of them each time you post. Great hashtags for makers include #themakersyear (run by @aplayfulday), #makeitsewcial (run by @allison_ sadler_) and #abmcrafty (run by @abeautifulmess). Above all, I think it’s a wonderful thing if you can enjoy telling your maker’s story on Instagram. Then all you do will be beautiful, authentic and engaging. “ Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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These are wise words from Emily and they’ve certainly worked for me. I think very carefully about the layout of my Instagram feed, taking into consideration the relationship between colours, imagery and layouts. I use hashtags often and have engaged with other artists interested in the same things. Even words such as ‘Nature Lovers’ and ‘Artists Studio’ can be used as hashtags. A few key points to remember across all Social Media platforms: 1. Be patient. Accept that, like any new skill, it takes time to familiarise yourself with the terminology, but it really is simple and, ultimately, extremely rewarding in many ways.

2. There’s far more to Social Media than simply selling. As visual artists, building a network of like-minded people is as important to our success as immediate sales. Thank those who compliment your work. Retweet and help fellow artists. Share others exhibitions, blogs and websites.

3. Don’t send automated messages asking people to, “Like my Facebook page” or, “check out my website”, the moment you follow someone. You wouldn’t arrive at a dinner party and immediately thrust your business card in front of your fellow diners. You’d chat, engage, ask them about their life, dog or holiday and hopefully by the end, you’ll be the best of friends. Build a mutually supportive network in the same way you would in the real world. See you in Cyberspace! It’s fun, friendly and, believe me, IT WORKS. 50 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


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Join Sarah & Emily on Twitter and Instagram: @SarahHamiltonPS @EmilyQuinton For more information on Sarah Hamilton, visit: www.sarahhamiltonprints.com For Sarah’s Social Media and Marketing workshops for artists, designers and small businesses, visit her website for updates and details. Email sarah@slhprints.com for further information and pre-registration. Follow Sarah’s @JustaCard campaign on Twitter. This campaign aims to encourage people to support and buy from artists, designers and Independent shops. For more information on Emily Quinton, visit: www.emilyquinton.com www.makelight.io Try Emily’s free Taster Course to help kickstart your Instagram: www.makelight.io/instagram-taster Images courtesy of Fiona Murray, Sarah Hamilton and Emily Quinton Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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REVIEW:

The Shopkeeper’s Home by Bebe Bradley Have you ever wandered into a beautiful retail space and wondered what the home of the owner would look like? In The Shopkeeper’s Home, author Caroline Rowland visits both the shops and homes of more than 30 independent lifestyle retailers to give you a peek behind the scenes. When I first came across this book, I assumed that it would be just another “oh, look at the unachievably attractive shop/home/interiors” coffee table type of book. I was kind of wrong. Ok, the book is absolutely brimming with beautifully photographed and highly attractive shops/ homes/interiors but, in the first half of this book, you are actually given achievable and sensible interior decorating advice. Entitled Decorating Ideas and illustrated using elements from some of the shops and homes featured, there are plenty 54 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


of furniture and lighting ideas, suggestions for storage and display, and advice on layout, walls and floors too. With nine sections on all of the interior elements that you would expect, there is a gamut of contemporary, vintage or industrial style inspiration for your own retail or residential space, including sections on Capturing a Style, Colour Stories and Textiles.

The second half of the book focuses on the Shopkeepers at Home and at Work, and Caroline takes us on a global tour through her personally curated selection of independent stores. Travelling from the USA through Europe to the UK, each shop owner is individually profiled and we are allowed a thorough rummage through their creative concepts.

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We look at how they have decorated and styled both their retail and residential spaces, and discover how one has influenced the other. The five sections explore shops with specialisations ranging from lifestyle and vintage emporia to homewares and crafts. All reside in varying types of retail spaces, from converted barns and repurposed gas stations to what could be regarded as the more conventional, with traditional shopfronts. A comprehensive directory at the very back of the book details the 100 Best Shops, should any of the shops featured warrant your further investigation. Whilst there is an emphasis on how to apply the rules of retail merchandising to the home, if you have a stall or selling space and are stuck for ideas on presentation and display, then The Shopkeeper’s Home makes for brilliant and cohesive reference material. As Caroline says, “A top priority in any retail space and home environment, display is what makes a space truly interesting�. If you are running a retail business, you will already know how important it is to make goods look desirable enough to prompt a purchase from a customer, and you may be already familiar with a few of the suggestions that she makes. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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It’s worth remembering that the different stores featured here do not embody your average or every day shopping experience. According to Caroline, these are “The World’s Best Independent Retailers” and, whilst they may employ standard merchandising rules, there is a definite unifying theme in that almost all of them use an eclectic combination of industrial, rustic, retro and modern style. So much so that, on browsing through this book, it is at times difficult to ascertain one shop from the next. In some of the instances illustrated, it is not easy to differentiate between the home and the shop either, so closely entwined are the styling, merchandise and home furnishings. Perhaps this is just indicative of the current trends and taste in a certain market sector and fortunately for me, I quite like this mix, but it’s certainly not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. The Shopkeeper’s Home clearly demonstrates that your retail area need not be markedly different from your living quarters, if you don’t want it to be, and that both your personality and style can be creatively and successfully reflected in both the home and retail environment. The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland, is published by Jacqui Small at £25 and is available from all good bookshops. Images courtesy of Jacqui Small. ISBN-10: 1909342904 ISBN-13: 978-1909342903

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SCENE:

The Country Living Magazine Spring Fair takes place at Islington’s Business Design Centre in London, from the 16th to the 20th March. With the prospect of fine sunny days and the outdoor lifestyle, it’s a fair full of delight and surprises that sets the mood for the new season. You’ll find great ideas to brighten up your home, give your garden a new lease of life or help refresh your wardrobe. Come to the fair and enjoy an inspiring day out! 60 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


Things to Do and See The Fair is about simple pleasures: things to make, talents to nurture and gifts to give. Visitors will find inspiration to bring elements of the spring countryside into the home, with furnishings and accessories that are fresh and new. Spring’s promise of warmer days suggests outdoor pursuits with picnics, sporting occasions and parties, so there is food and fashion for every taste. Away from the hand-picked stalls, there are expert craft demonstrations and handson sessions in the Craft & Create Rooms. Celebrate the wonderful variety of makers, crafters, designers and producers that Britain has to offer. This is a day for delighting in contemporary country living. Talks and Demonstrations In addition to the wonderful shopping provided by our exclusive producers and makers, the Craft and Create Rooms offer the chance for you to fashion your own treasures. With a varied daily programme, you can draw, make and sew items to take home with you. Meanwhile, in The Country Living Theatre, there will be talks and demonstrations, panel discussions and lifestyle tips to entertain and educate. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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The Producers Village Stop by to meet traditional farmers, kitchen table bakers, artisan chocolatiers and organic wine makers, and sample their delicious offerings before you buy them to take home. The Show Garden Award-winning garden designer Lucy Summers takes ‘Beside the Seaside’ as her theme for a garden that features gaily-painted beach-huts, a small boat and objects from the seaside. Punctuated with bursts of spring colours, the focal point will be the brand new hyacinth ‘Midnight Mystic’, provided by Thompson and Morgan. New makers and Budding Entrepreneurs The Newcomers Market, located on the Gallery Level, hosts first time exhibitors enabling them to grow their business and connecting them with people that will love their work. On Wednesday, 16th of March, there will be a Pop-up Market in the Gallery Hall. The market features a carefully curated collection of crafters, makers, designers and artists who are making their first foray into selling to the public, with a chance to see if their idea has commercial possibilities. As part of this build-a-business day, there will be talks from expert entrepreneurs, packed full of useful advice for would-be start-ups. 62 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


Venue: The Business Design Centre, Islington, London, N1 OQH Opening times: 10.00 - 17.00 Wednesday 16th March 10.00 - 17.00 Thursday 17th March 17.30 - 20.00 Thursday 17th March (Gala Evening) 10.00 - 18.00 Friday 18th March 09.30 - 18.00 Saturday 19th March 10.00 - 15.00 Sunday 20th March Standard Admission: Adult advance £14 / £17.50 on the door Subscriber advance £12.50 / £17.50 on the door OAP advance £12 / £12 on the door Child (5-16) advance £9 / £9.50 on the door Under 5s free Gala evening advance £10 / £14.50 on the door For more information and further booking options, visit: www.countrylivingfair.com Images courtesy of Country Living

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MEET:

Claire Wellesley-Smith by Karen Jinks

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Claire Wellesley-Smith is an artist, writer and educator based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Specialising in projects that use local, natural colour from homegrown and locally foraged plants, she dyes and stitches on reclaimed cloth, using slow processes that allow time for consideration of methods of production and narratives of use. Her book Slow Stitch is an embodiment of her philosophy of slowing down, taking time to reflect and simplify the processes involved in creating, working with old techniques and providing provenance to each piece of work. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in textiles. I live near Bradford in West Yorkshire, with my four daughters. My working life is a mixture of coordinating community-based projects - mostly in arts and health, and arts and heritage - and my own practice. I found a non-traditional way into textiles, although like many of us, I had a mother and grandmother who never seemed to sit down without some stitching or knitting to hand. From an early age I was making things; patchwork, clothes alterations and embellishments, making things for my room, etc. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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I studied politics at university, which I loved, and it’s particularly the aspects around engagement and participation that have really stayed with me. However, I lived with fine art students and spent a lot of my time hanging about their studios in an envious fashion. In our student house we all sewed, to the point where we had a communal rag bag for our patching and mending projects. After graduation, I worked with people, first in advice work and then in community engagement projects. When my first daughter was born, I began to make in earnest. I took some adult education classes in textiles and began to volunteer and then developed a community arts practice of my own. What is the ethos behind your work? I suppose that I work with connections. I don’t like working in isolation, as demonstrated by my community-based practice, and I work in collaborative projects with other artists and organisations. These connections extend to the way I work with local landscapes and materials. I like to be able to pull threads together (pardon the textile pun), and create work and projects that are really embedded in places and the stories of people. The time it takes to make these connections is central to my work as these are often slow processes. 66 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


What are your favourite materials to work with? I’m very fond of my collection of hand-dyed threads, all dyed using locally grown plant dyes. I use mostly silk thread and this takes colour beautifully. I use these to stitch on to reclaimed fabrics. I collect old woollen blankets too, and often use pieces as wadding or as backing material for stitchbased work. Do you use your own dyes? Can you explain the processes you use? I like to use ‘local colour’ from the plants found in my local environment, grown at my allotment or from the communitybased projects I work with. There is something very pleasing about knowing the provenance of my materials and, in most cases, having begun that process with a handful of seeds and engaged with it fully throughout. Most plant dyeing processes are fairly simple, although I also grow my own indigo and woad, and it’s a complicated process extracting colour. However, the beautiful blues are worth the effort. Tell us about your workspace. I have a studio in the basement of my house. It’s an old terraced house with separate access through the back yard. It’s a functional space, with an old Belfast sink, useful for dyeing in, and the original cast-iron range, which is good for storage and display. I have a large number of books that I use for reference, and years’ worth of teaching resources and research that also live in the space. I run occasional workshops for small groups there too. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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Do you have a favourite tool that you can’t live without? I’m very fond of my tailor’s shears. They belonged to my grandmother who worked as a machinist from the age of 14 and was incredibly skilled at making clothes. I get them sharpened at my local ironmongers. You have been involved in numerous community projects. How important is working with other people to your practice? My community-based practice is central to my work. It’s what I do in my main job, working for Hive, a community arts charity based in Bradford. I co-ordinate and deliver long-term projects based around health, wellbeing and engagement with personal and local heritage. The projects I work on are collaborative. Participants have a large input into the content and outcomes. I’ve learned so much from the groups that I work with as we do a lot of informal skill-sharing. I know my city and the communities that live here much better as a result and this is a real privilege. Have you always been interested in social history? My first degree was in politics so yes. I also live in an area that is rich in industrial textile heritage; the social history of the place shows in the buildings and the landscape. I often use local archives when 70 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016

beginning new projects. There are always new stories to uncover, or objects that can be revisited or reactivated in someway. You’ve collaborated in some projects with Mental Health practitioners. How do you think craft helps to improve people’s wellbeing? I think that the wellbeing benefits of craft are huge. Making of any kind is a generative activity, the process itself helps you to look forward. The repetitive nature of handwork, the pleasure found in handling textiles and choosing natural coloured fibres and fabrics, and the concentration required for this hands-on, slow process, can be a great distraction technique. Textile craft activities address commonalities – themes, stories and symbols – that work across cultures and for all people. I’ve co-ordinated several projects that have used a combination of engagement with outdoor spaces and craft activity, and this proved to be a great model for wellbeing outcomes. Who are your favourite artists and makers? I saw the retrospective of painter Agnes Martin’s work at Tate Modern last summer and found it very moving. The paintings are large and minimal, painstakingly made. The individual brush strokes reminded me of stitches. Louise Bourgeois’ fabric works are endlessly fascinating - as is her writing.


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I particularly like her quote, “The act of sewing is a process of emotional repair”. I also love the work of Canadian textile artist Dorothy Caldwell. The way she embeds place in her work through her process is inspiring. We loved reviewing your book Slow Stitch. How did it come about? Batsford (my publishers) were interested in developing a project that drew on my experience of ‘whole process’ textiles from seeds to fabric and slow textiles in general, so we took it from there. Do you have any new projects planned? What are you goals for the future? I’m currently working on a joint exhibition with textile artist Hannah Lamb which will take place this summer, and also developing a project with a large textile archive in Lancashire. I’m really hoping to begin a PhD about craft practice and engagement … fingers crossed. If you could learn a new skill what would it be? I have always wanted to learn to weave. For more information on Claire Wellesley-Smith, visit: www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk Slow Stitch by Claire Wellesley-Smith is published by Batsford at £22.50. For more information, visit: www.batsford.com Images courtesy of Claire Wellesley-Smith

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SCENE:

Midcentury Modern

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COUCOUMANOU


Do you love Scandinavian and American Modernism? Is it European Bauhaus or British, French and German Industrial? Are you looking for a huge range of prices and styles from the best in 20th century design classics and modern collectables? Find it all at Midcentury Modern, in association with Elle Decoration.

PAUL KELLEY

You’ll find everything for the eclectic home at this much-loved one day show; from an original Cherner chair to a contemporary piece by a hot young British designer. Source the latest furniture, wallpaper, ceramics, cushions and gifts upstairs after you have scoured and snapped up the most collectable vintage furniture and home ephemera on the planet downstairs. Collectors on the hunt for even more mid-century furniture, ceramics, fabrics, art and glass, can take a walk to the South Cloister, Lower Hall and North Cloister where 40 more dealers are situated. Midcentury Modern and The Midcentury Show have a cult following of aficionados and design lovers from all over the British Isles, who gather a few times a year at Erno Goldfinger’s Haggerston School and Dulwich College to feed off their mutual love for design at what has been described as an inspiring museum-style pop-up shop. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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Furniture designer Matthew Hilton says, “Held in the beautiful and very appropriate Christison building designed by Wates in the Sixties, this show is stuffed with all the recognisable classics of Scandinavian, American and British heroes of 20th century design. It’s like visiting a design museum where you can sit on the classics, talk to knowledgeable people and then take the exhibits home with you. I enjoy every show immensely and would recommend this show to any lover of design.” Venue: Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, London, SE21 7LD Opening times: 10.00 - 16.00 Sunday 28th February Standard Admission: Advance entry £9, online only, from 10am Entry £10, at the door, from 10am Trade/Collectors entry £15, at the door, from 9am For more information and ticket bookings, visit: www.modernshows.com Images courtesy of Modern Shows

ATELIER SCHROETER

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BIGGS & QUAIL 77

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REVIEW: TASTE by Dawn Bevins

If I tried to summarise TASTE in just one simple sentence, it wouldn’t work. “A book of infographics about food” doesn’t sound like the most interesting of reads and, in fact, sounds more like something I’d leave languishing at the bottom of the pile. But what an idiot I would have been because, thanks to the amazing illustrations by Vicki Turner, this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve come across this last year! It’s a solid, classy-looking book and I love the cover. It’s the use of a limited colour palette, the layout, the great use of white space, the stroke-able spot gloss and the posh design that screams confidence and … ehr, taste, and the bright, bold, modern illustrations and layout continue throughout. Delving into these pages feels indulgent and it turns out that a book of infographics can be a curl-upon-the-sofa-with-a-mug-of-tea book. 78 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


The book is divided into seven chapters, separating various food groups. You begin with a selection of fruit and vegetables in From the Plot (apples, beans, herbs, nuts), then move on to Off the Farm which covers foods derived from animals (beef, insects, milk, cheese, honey) and then to Out of the Water, where you find fish and seafood. Here it was wonderful to finally find an easy-to-read, comprehensive list of fish which are sustainable and okay to eat, and those that aren’t. Being more accustomed to the food items in the first three chapters, I wasn’t surprised by some of the information but there were still lots of interesting bits such as, did you know (I didn’t) that a devotee of mushrooms is called a mycophile? I personally found the second half of the book the most interesting; In the Larder includes everything else that isn’t your average fruit or vegetable, animal or from the sea (olive oil, soy sauce, lentils, pastry and jam) and On the Table, a selection of meals and things you can make (Dim Sum, ramen, pasties, pancakes, macarons and doughnuts). I loved the randomness of the selected foods and some of the really useful pointers e.g. are your macarons cracked on top? That’s because you didn’t leave them to rest for long enough. The final chapters are From the Bar, which includes soft and hot drinks as well as alcohol, and Any Other Business, which includes useful conversion charts and a table showing you when fruit and vegetables are in season. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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Some books full of facts and information can be dull and heavy-going. Although this may not be the most in-depth and detailed book in the world (I’ve reviewed books entirely about whisky before), it’s delightful and fun. It’s jam-packed with bite-size pieces of information and presented in brightly coloured, illustrated flow diagrams, pie charts, Venn diagrams, spider diagrams, timelines, step-by-steps and even the odd recipe. The colourful and clean style is bright and exciting, and Laura Rowe’s relaxed and humorous style of writing is warm and friendly, making the whole book accessible and engaging. It may not be the book you turn to in order to make yourself an expert on something in particular, but it’s a lovely treasure to dip into which will make you smile again and again. I’ve learnt about various buns and dumplings found in Dim Sum (something which I didn’t know anything about) and I now have the ability to turn to my friends and say, “Did you know that the UK spends £986 million a year on eggs?” Who doesn’t want to share that kind of information? 82 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


If you want to know what all those different types of pasta are called, or what the different meats in a charcuterie are, you’ll find it here. If you want to know the basic methods for how tofu or soy sauce are made, you’ll find it here. If you want suggestions for pizza toppings, sandwich fillings or what flavours will work best with apricot, it’s all included in TASTE. It might not be the most definitive food book on the planet, but I do think that it’s possibly the most eclectic, most original and utterly gorgeous one I’ve seen. TASTE by Laura Rowe is illustrated by Vicki Turner and published by Aurum Press LTD at £20. Available from all good bookshops. For more information, visit: www.aurumpress.co.uk Images courtesy of Aurum Press LTD ISBN-10: 1781314632 ISBN-13: 978-1781314630

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Sweets for my Sweet by Bebe Bradley

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What better way to show someone your love than by giving them a homemade treat?

2. Wrap two-thirds of the dough in cling film and

SWEETHEARTs

is even, dusting with more flour if required. Wrap the coloured dough in cling film, and chill both doughs in the fridge for 20 minutes. 3. Roll out both doughs separately, between sheets of greaseproof paper, to approximately 1cm thick. Use the large heart cutter to stamp out hearts from the plain dough, and then use the small heart cutter to stamp out the middle. Use the small cutter again to stamp out hearts from the coloured dough and pop those hearts into the centre of the large hearts. Keep re-rolling and stamping until all the dough is used, placing the completed hearts on the baking trays as you progress. 4. Refrigerate the trays of hearts for 20 minutes

Little shortbread biscuits that even the smallest sweetheart in your life could make and present to their Valentine. Quantity depends on the size of your cutters. Ingredients 300g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting 200g unsalted butter, diced and softened 120g caster sugar 2 large egg yolks 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Pink food colouring You will also need 2 greased and lined baking sheets, and heart shaped cookie cutters, one large and one small. METHOD 1. Place the flour and butter in a large bowl. Working lightly and quickly, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a ‘breadcrumb’ consistency. Add the vanilla, sugar and yolks, and then combine until you have a smooth dough (you may have to knead the dough lightly).

set aside. Add one or two drops of food colouring to the remaining dough and knead until the colour

whilst you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Bake for 20 mins or until pale golden, and set aside to cool on wire racks. Stored in an airtight container, these biscuits will keep for 3-4 days. Gift as they are, in a pretty box or wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. For an extra special treat, serve as a dessert, sandwiched together with whipped cream and fresh raspberries or strawberries.

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BLACK FOREST BROWNIES Irresistible fudgy little hearts, stuffed with cherries and chocolate. Quantity depends on the size of your cutter. Ingredients 100g butter, softened 250g soft brown sugar 125g of good, plain chocolate (at least 50% cocoa) 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 100g plain flour ½ teaspoon of baking powder 100g of glace cherries, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of cherry jam or confit Cocoa powder, for dredging

Dollop small amounts of the cherry jam evenly over the top and use the blade of a knife to swirl the jam into the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the centre of the oven.

You will also need a greased and lined 20cm square baking tin, and a heart shaped cookie cutter. METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Place the chocolate, butter, sugar and vanilla in a large pan and melt gently over a low heat until smooth. 2. Remove from the heat and add the eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly, add the chopped cherries and mix again to combine. 3. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. 86 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016

4. Use a sieve to dredge the top with cocoa powder and then allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely and then carefully stamp out heart shapes using the cookie cutter (alternatively, just cut into small squares). Any crumbly leftovers are good served with vanilla ice cream. Stored in an airtight container, these brownies will keep for up to a week.


CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES Simple to make but very, very indulgent! Ingredients 225g of good plain chocolate (flavoured, if you fancy!) 175ml of double cream Sifted icing sugar or cocoa, to dust You will also need a plate and a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or cling film. METHOD 1. Break the chocolate into a large, clean bowl. In a small pan, bring the cream to the boil and pour immediately over the chocolate. Stir well, until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate has melted.

2. Allow the mixture to cool completely at room temperature until set. When the mixture has set, use a teaspoon to scoop out small pieces onto a suitable plate. 3. Dusting your hands with cocoa powder or icing sugar, roll the pieces into balls and immediately roll the balls in the sifted cocoa or sugar. Place on the prepared baking tray and chill until set. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, these truffles should keep for up to a week. Dust with extra cocoa or icing sugar before serving or presenting as a gift. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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MELTING MOMENTS

2. Weigh the dough and then divide evenly to make

These heavenly little sandwich biscuits filled with

sure your biscuits are consistent in size. Lightly flour your hands and roll the dough into small walnut-

buttercream and jam are appropriately named. Makes approximately 15 sandwiches. Ingredients For the cookies: 250g unsalted butter, softened 60g icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 250g plain flour 60g cornflour Icing sugar, for dusting For the filling: 50g unsalted butter, softened 125g icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 50g full-fat cream cheese You will also need 2 greased and lined baking trays. METHOD 1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl, until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla and mix well to combine. Sift the flour and corn flour into the bowl, and combine with the butter mixture until it comes together to form a very soft dough. 88 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016

sized balls (mine usually weigh about 20g each). Place onto the prepared baking trays, leaving a few centimetres between each biscuit. Using a fork, gently press down the top of each biscuit. 3. Chill the trays of dough for 15 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 180째C/350째F/Gas 4. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes or until pale golden. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the trays to a wire rack to cool completely. 4. To make the filling, place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix until just combined. 5. When the biscuits have cooled completely, spread a small amount of jam onto half of the biscuits. Carefully spoon or pipe the cream cheese mixture onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich pairs together. Dust with icing sugar and serve. Stored in an airtight container, these cookies will keep for 2-3 days. Images courtesy of Bebe Bradley


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REVIEW:

Vegan Street Food by Lisa Margreet Payne You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a little bit obsessed with food. If I’m not talking about it or eating it - or up until a short while ago, growing it - then I will be reading about it. I read recipe books the way other people read fiction. Thankfully, Jackie Kearney’s Vegan Street Food is the kind of book that you can read that way, being a foodie’s travel journal across Asia. On top of that, this book is a visual delight, including some of Kearney’s personal family photos as well as food photography by Claire Winfield. One thing that I loved about Vegan Street Food is that out of the one hundred recipes, I can cook them all! In most cookery books, although they may have a few vegetarian recipes, they’re usually relegated to a very small selection. It’s the same with most menus in restaurants when you eat out, unless you go to a dedicated vegetarian or vegan restaurant. So although the title rather gives it away, it’s great to have a whole vegan recipe book devoted to Asian food. 90 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


I found my sentiments echoing those of Kearney’s when she wrote, “I have never really wanted my food to be labelled as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’. It’s a personal choice that I eat this kind of food. My passion is for food that tastes great and keeps us and our environment healthy.” She adds that, “I want to create recipes that are adaptable to different produce and seasons, and that tell something about our journey along the way.” There can be, as Kearney notes, bad associations for vegan food in terms of “flavour, texture and substance.” It’s good to see more vegetarian and vegan cookery books being published at the moment, but I do find it sad that people are still excluding delicious food through the name of what it’s called. I also find it sad that we have to divide ourselves up into meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, etc., and that there always seems to be some kind of guilt or competition around how or what kind of diet you’re eating. I’ve started saying that I’m ‘flexitarian’ when people ask me what I eat. My preferred diet is local, organic and largely plant-based. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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However, I will also mix in other things if necessary, to make it easier when visiting people or eating out, if my preferred food isn’t available. Food should be enjoyed as a sensual but simple experience. It shouldn’t be labelled or stressful, and that’s why it’s encouraging to see more books like Vegan Street Food are being published. It would be even better if this one could just be called ‘Asian Street Food’ as it says on the inside cover, without the need to qualify it as vegan. Maybe one day … Kearney’s explanation in the introduction on why she decided to make it a vegan cook book is well worth reading. “When we arrived in India at the start of our trip, I was absolutely blown away by what was on offer to my little vegetarian family. Not only were choices not confined to a tiny subsection on the menu, or a substitution afterthought; they were the main act. It was now the meat or fish (and even dairy) that was confined to a subsection. The tables had turned. There is so much about Asian food that is more naturally vegan than Western fare, without compromising on flavour and texture. Western vegetarian food tends to centre around dairy … Over half the planet’s population lives on a vegan diet and it isn’t food to be endured for health reasons. I want to celebrate vegan food in all its health giving glory. Welcome to Vegan Street Food.” 92 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016


Once I began to go through the book, selecting recipes to make for the review, I found myself bookmarking page after page. I usually try to make at least three recipes from each cookery book I review as I feel that gives me a fair sample. Believe me when I say that I had many more than that bookmarked for Vegan Street Food. I’m going to be cooking from this book for a long time to come! The recipes that I tried out were MamaJ’s Stuffed Parathas (Flat Bread Stuffed with Cauliflower and Potato), Roisin’s Easy Makhani Dal (Creamy Black Dal with Tomato) and my favourite Spiced Tofu with Spinach Masala and Pumpkin Rosti. All the recipes were really good and tasted very authentic. My one comment would be that the recipes don’t indicate how long they take in terms of preparation and cooking time; I find it really helpful when recipe books include this information. For example, when I was cooking the tofu dish, it ended up taking me over three hours, even with my husband acting as my sous chef. Dinner was very late that night but thankfully, its deliciousness more than made up for the cooking time. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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I wrongly assumed that a book on ‘street food’ would be more about snack-type dishes, such as bhajis and pakoras. However, as you can see from the selection I’ve mentioned, there are some hearty meals and many versions of curry and noodle dishes are included, enabling you to have a proper dinner as well as snacks. Vegan Street Food is a clever blend of travel journal and recipe book. I think it’s one for the intermediate to serious cook; the recipes are involved and the ingredients lists can be daunting. However, once you’ve bought all the spices for one recipe, you’ll have them for many others, becuase it’s the spices in the recipes which make up a lot of the ingredients. And that’s a good thing, because once you’ve made one recipe, you’ll definitely want to make more! Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney, 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 Clare Winfield ISBN-10: 1849942994 ISBN-13: 978-1849942997 Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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DO: That’s The Way To Do It! As well as working in the environmental field, I am also a Punch and Judy performer called ‘Professor Queen-Bee’ and my show highlights the plight of bees. Envisage the scene. In my show, entitled “It’s Bee-Hind You!”, Judy is a keen beekeeper. The naughty Mr Punch turns his slapstick on one of her bees. He makes the bee into yellow and black sausages, which the crocodile then eats. The Policeman asks, “Does Mr Punch not realise that bees pollinate every third mouthful of food we eat, the fool?” Finally, as the devil takes Mr Punch away for his crimes, she yells, “Without bees, all you ‘orrible human beings would be dead within 20 years and I would not have any more customers down here!” Luckily, Prince Charles is on hand (quite literally) to show audiences how they can do their bit to help bees by planting wildflowers. 96 | ukhandmade | Spring 2016

by Teresa Verney Brookes


Here in the United Kingdom, there are 24 species of bumblebee, alongside over 250 species of solitary bee and one species of honey bee. Sadly, UK beekeepers are reporting huge losses and over the past 80 years, many of our native bumblebee species have dramatically reduced, with two species becoming extinct. According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, reasons for these declines are, “simple and clearly visible: there are now far fewer flowers in the countryside to provide bees with the pollen and nectar that they need to survive”. Organisations such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Plantlife provide lots of information about which nectar and pollen-rich flowers you can plant in and around your local patch. Even if you don’t have a garden, pots or a window box planted with the appropriate flowers can provide bees and other pollinating insects with, what I describe to children as, the equivalent of a “fly-through” fast-food outlet! You may then also wish to advertise your garden as a local ‘Bee & Bee’ ... The Royal Horticultural Society provides top tips on how to make your garden perfect for pollinators by providing nesting sites. The British Beekeepers Association website lists pollen and nectar rich plants, trees and shrubs season by season, as it is also very important to try and provide food for bees and other pollinators for as much of the year as possible. In early spring, for example, queen bumblebees will emerge from hibernation and are desperate to boost their energy levels before they are able to find a suitable nest site to lay eggs. Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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Later in the year, bumblebees will also need to feed themselves up to ensure that they can survive the winter. If you do happen to find a stranded or sleepy bumblebee, you can help boost its energy levels with a simple sugar-water mix. Just mix equal amounts of white sugar and warm water together, and then pour the solution into a small container (e.g. a spoon) or onto a sponge. Place both the bee and the artificial nectar near some flowers, and hopefully the bee will revive. If you are not keen on getting your hands dirty, you can ‘Adopt a Beehive’ via the British Beekeepers Association or you could write to your local council and encourage them to adopt Plantlife’s Road Verge Campaign. This encourages local councils to manage road verges as linear, flower-rich meadows, and is a fantastic way of creating new ‘bee-roads’ and pollinator super-highways throughout the country. So, as spring awakens, ‘bee’ prepared to keep your eyes peeled on sunny days and be ‘bee-witched’ by these wonderful creatures as they search for much needed, early sources of nectar and pollen. And the final pun from Punch and Judy is, “To bee or not to bee, that is the question!” For more advice and information, visit: www.bumblebeeconservation.org www.plantlife.org.uk www.rhs.org.uk www.bbka.org.uk Images courtesy of Teresa Verney Brookes, Pixabay and Simon Bradley Spring 2016 | ukhandmade |

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See you in the SUMMER

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UK Handmade Magazine Spring 2016