Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Meet the Maker - Elsker

My name is Sian and I am Elsker Creations. Elsker Creations was created from my desire to transform what was my hobby and love (elsker) of traditional crafts into my full time job. This journey began almost two years ago when I started taking this passion for traditional crafts such as; gilding, calligraphy, letterpress printing and bookbinding and applying a contemporary twist through my handmade products and designs. I now also run gilding workshops for adults and a programme of arts and crafts workshops for babies, toddlers and children.

My favourite products are my glass gilded pressed flower frames. I love the process of glass gilding and these works have evolved the most. I feel like I am capturing a season or a moment in time. These works are one of a kind. I love the way I manage to capture the vibrancy of the flowers.
My allotment is my number one place to find inspiration. I love doing things with my hands, I find it very therapeutic and that extends to gardening. The wildness of my allotment is a great inspiration, I feel I am out of London and can think clearly. I have also developed a wild flower meadow and use many of the flowers in my works. 

Queen's Park based Sian will bring her Elsker creations to Homeworks on 8th December. 

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Meet the Maker - Rebecca Denton

Meet the maker - Rebecca Denton

I make original fine art prints. By combining ancient printmaking techniques, such as etching with stories in my head, I try to create work that is contemporary and unique. From the idea to the sketch to the preparing and inking of the plate, I love every step of the process! Works are often narrative with imaginary characters in imagined landscapes; playful or serious, but always hopeful and life-affirming.
Etching editions are limited to 40 prints whilst the atmospheric monotypes, ‘printed paintings’, are one-offs. To find out more about me and the process visit www.rebeccadenton.com, or Instagram: @rebeccadentonart

My most recent drypoint etching ‘Evening Flight’ is my new favourite. I’m very happy with the way it turned out as etching can be unpredictable... You never know exactly how it will look until the first print is pulled! I’ve tried to bring together both the drama and calm that the sea and birds in flight evoke.

My favourite place to find inspiration is my imagination, childhood memories and road trips.

 Rebecca will be at Homeworks on 1st and 8th December.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Meet the maker - Sophia Langmead

I hand make individual lyrical glitter word pictures on beautiful decorative papers which come from all over the world . Sometimes I make the pictures with slightly saucy women made with a touch of humour.  I use vintage and new frames.

My favourite product in the new font I am using.  Very time consuming as each letter has to be cut out with a scalpel two or three times because of the shadow and colours before being put together.  But I am very pleased with the finished look. I’ve used it for ‘Oh what a circus’, ‘wow’, ‘yay’ and ‘star’.

I get a lot of my inspiration for the pictures from simply listening to music as I walk back and forwards from my studio in Primrose Hill to Queens Park.  I hear a line that I love and think will work and quickly text it to myself otherwise I might forget.

Sophia will be at Homeworks on 1st December. You can see her work at www.sophialangmead.com

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 www.wyckoffsmith.com / www.instagram.com/wyckoffsmith