Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Meet the maker - Eleanor Khan

I am a former journalist and have lived and worked all over the world. Out of all the places I have lived in the one I really fell in love with was Pakistan, where I spent two years with my husband, who is British-Pakistani. 
The country has one of the richest artisanal histories in the world yet its many traditions are little known to the rest of the world. I was dying for an excuse to go back so last year I made a few buying trips and set up Nimuri, a company selling handmade clothing and homeware from Pakistan.
I sell baskets, ceramics, home and vintage textiles, wooden trays and women and children's clothing. I try to source as ethically as possible & many of my products are made by women's charities or come from small, family-run businesses or start-ups. Unlike in India, artisans have never received much government support or interest from Western designers so I really love the fact that I am starting to get money directly to them.

Favourite place for inspiration:
Of course it has to be Pakistan itself. Waves of immigration and invasion over the centuries means the country's handicrafts show great variety. From tribal embroidery, to kitsch truck art, to the floral images of the Mughal Empire that once ruled India, to the influence of British textiles, there is a huge range of looks, symbols and traditions to choose from in terms of inspiration for new products going forward.

I'm very intrigued by the heavily embroidered quilts they make in Pakistan. They are very mysterious and made by itinerant tribes in the desert. It's been quite hard to find out much about them or the people that make them. Each one is like a work of art but they are so well made that they are actually quite practical and hard-wearing. They can be used on beds or sofas or turned into cushions. 

Eleanor Khan will be at Homeworks on Sunday 1st December

Monday, 11 November 2019

Makers choice - Steph Rubbo saddlery

Steph Rubbo is a qualified Saddler and keen follower of all things equestrian, who loves the look and longevity of leather. A chance encounter reading The Last Horsemen by Charles Bowden ignited her passion for creating high-quality leather goods. Since then, she graduated with a Diploma in Saddle, Harness and Bridle Making from the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and is a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddler. Steph produces beautiful accessories and bridles and leather goods, winning top prizes from the Society of Master Saddlers.

Steph's favourite products are her box bags.  The smallest has interchangeable short and long straps, and is intended for evenings out, or those times when you only have a few small essentials to carry.   The largest she has made takes a large tablet, note pad, wallet, phone, and more.  The lovely soft nappa leather lining always gets a great reaction.  

Steph finds inspiration sitting in a public space people watching, just looking at the bags people carry, how they wear them, and what they use them to carry.

Steph Rubbo will be at Homeworks Christmas Bazaar on Sunday 1 December. 

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Meet the maker - Cecilia Child

Meet the maker - Cecilia Child

By Cecil was launched to create modern woven textiles using traditional techniques and provide an alternative to today's mass-produced and environmentally damaging textiles. The intention behind my brand is to produce future heirloom pieces that people will treasure and pass down to the next generation. I design and sample on a handloom in my North London home with a collection of mill woven blankets and scarves produced in Bristol by a micro mill as limited edition runs. I hand-weave a selection of unique and individual products, including cushions, snoods and eye masks.

I love the merino wool scarves that I produce in conjunction with a micro mill in Bristol. I designed the collection in response to visits to various coastal towns such as Whitstable, St Ives and Dunwich. I am forever collecting pebbles from blustery, windswept beaches and fell in love with the bright colours of the Whitstable beach huts. The scarves themselves are generously sized and are so soft and cosy. 
The colours brighten up a grey day and keep me warm on a winter's day.

I love walking around my city, London, and my new collection of cotton snoods draws inspiration from the buildings and skylines of my surroundings. I love the Barbican and taking a stroll along the Thames finishing in the Tate. An afternoon spent wandering around the V&A always leaves me feeling refreshed and revived.

By Cecil will be at Homeworks on 1st December

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Meet the Maker - Michele Wycoff-Smith

Meet the Maker - Michele Wycoff-Smith

Michele Wyckoff Smith wearing
combined Olga necklace, bracelet and bangle
I'm Michele Wyckoff Smith, a trained jeweller in love with organic shapes and textures inspired by nature. I believe that jewellery should be simple, understated and versatile. Many of my pieces can be worn on their own or combined to create a new piece. For example, my Olga chain can be worn by itself, or combined with an Olga bracelet and Henry Moore inspired bangle to make a stunning focal piece. These are best sellers and I'll be sure to have some with me at Homeworks this year.

Right now, I am in love with my brightly colour gemstone stacking rings. They look great in all kinds of combinations or worn individually. I take great care to develop a soft, but organic texture on the ring shank, so that it feels like it is an object found from a long ago time and place. I am endlessly fascinated by the combinations of colours people put together. 

More than anything, I want my customers to fall in love with my pieces and find that they wear them day in and day out. Beautiful design should be something that can be worn all the time, not just on special occasions.

Born by the seaside, I always head towards the water when I am in search of new ideas. The most inspirational place I've found in the UK is the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. There is an old Victorian tip that has slid onto the beach due to coastal erosion. I have found so many pieces of decaying metal, pottery shards and odd little items that have gone on to inspire me endlessly. (Tip: it is best to hit this beach after a big storm.)

Michele will be at Homeworks on 1st December, and you can see her work at /

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Stall holders announced! 

Look over to the right to see our brilliantly diverse and exciting mixture of designers and makers coming to Homeworks this year, on 1st and 8th December. Time to start dreaming up wish lists and planning gift lists!

Friday, 1 November 2019

One month to go!

Just one month to go till the first of our two Homeworks dates! 

Homeworks fair, with its carefully curated collection of stalls by exciting designers and makers, will be back on 1st and 8th December, at The Salusbury Rooms at The Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market, NW6. So pop the dates in your diary, follow us on the social media links on the right, and keep an eye on the blog to meet some of our talented stallholders. 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Maker’s Choice – Marie-Claire White

My name is Marie-Claire White and I'm a local illustrator and painter. I mainly work on a commission basis and work from my studio near Scrubs Lane.

At the Homeworks Christmas Bazaar I will have framed and unframed prints and originals available. I will also have limited slots for personalised illustrations available in time for Christmas.

I think the opportunity to get a bespoke illustration/gift is my favourite thing I can offer. It’s meaningful and thoughtful, people are really touched when they receive personalised gifts and is often unexpected.

I’m constantly inspired by a Facebook group called The Golden Age of Illustrations. Everyday people post rare and really beautiful illustration from the early 1900’s. In our busy lives it’s a quick and easy way to get a hit of inspiration. I really recommend it to anyone who loves the art of illustration although be prepared to lose hours of your life!
Marie-Claire will be at Homeworks on Sunday 9 December.