The British Craft Trade Fair Harrogate 2017
I’ve just got back from the prestigious BCTF in Harrogate after a whirlwind three days of showcasing my Thrift Designs. Not only is it a fabulous opportunity to talk to existing customers and potential new buyers but it’s also an amazing opportunity to network with other makers.
I’m a relative newbie to the BCTF having only exhibited there once before as a ‘New Comer’. So leaving my stand to go and look at the other exhibitors was nerve-racking to say the least – you always think that as soon as you leave your stand, hundreds of buyers will descend wanting to place orders (which typically seems to happen). This year I was lucky enough to have a helper doing work experience with me for her BA degree at Uclan. So I was afforded the opportunity to go and investigate. Check out @missjonestextiles she’ll be hot stuff on the circuit in the next few years
There was an amazing array of talent to be seen and a lot of good advice to be taken from some of the show regulars. Everyone was so forthcoming with help and advice. It was one of the best networking experiences I’ve had with such a supportive community of British Makers.
A massive thank you and much appreciation to fellow stand holders;
Maxine from – Big Black House Design Co, www.bigblackhousedesign.co.uk
Tracy from – Ruby Spirit Designs, www.rubyspiritdesigns.co.uk
Andrew from – Gobannos, www.gobannos.co.uk
And Edwin from – SpiritLight gallery, www.spiritlightgallery.co.uk
For your kind help and support, suggesting leads to follow up and even sending their buyers over to look at my stand!
Todays Salvage Search has me headed back to see a good friend and fellow upcycler; Chiltern’s Church Antiques. It’s an amazing wood workshop, which salvages the wood from decommissioned churches and makes new pieces of furniture for retail and domestic customers. I love exploring the nooks and crannies of the wood store – some of the wood carvings are amazing. I’m often tempted by the elaborate chairs and tables they restore, but I need to keep focused – I’m here for the carpentry offcuts loitering around the feet of the wood working machinery. A fresh new batch of Victorian wooden Owls are waiting to be created.
Discontinued Wallpaper and fabric sample books are a wonderful resource and provide me with a seemingly endless assortment of colours and textures to work with. I love sorting through newly salvaged books, discovering what new treasures await.
On todays Salvage Search I headed to a local interior design outlet JF Interiors to see what I could save from the seasonal cast offs.These items might be end of season but they are by no means end of life.
With my car full of last season’s fabric and wallpaper samples, I head back to the studio to explore what I had salvaged. I love looking through the newly acquired sample books because you just never know what you’ll get. This month’s haul is full of colourful silks and velvets.
Pantone (my favourite) have announced that the colour of the year 2017 is green – ‘Greenery, to be exact.
“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower, Drives my green age,” Dylan Thomas
Green is a wonderfully versatile colour which goes with just about every other colour. There is seemingly no end of colour combinations one can pair it with.
I like the sentiment in the choice of green, as colour of the year promotes, one of reconnecting with nature and our surroundings.
“Greenery bursts fourth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute.
Lets have a Great Green new year.
“I’ve found a great source of Harris Tweed offcuts and I’m enjoying developing a brightly coloured range of Up-cycled owls”
Made using re-claimed wood from ancient church pews, these cute owls are very popular. Decorated with upcycled items and found objects.
My latest range incorporates Harris tweed and other Tweed off cuts.
Upcyled Plastic Arts & Craft
These beautiful pieces are made from recycled plastic carrier bags & plastic waste. Combining ribbon, fabric offcuts and salvaged materials to create a variety of beautiful upcycled creations.