The idea of a craft fair may conjure up childhood memories of being dragged around musty church halls commandeered by older generations’ knitting collections. While these village pop-ups still happen, the recession has left us with an appreciation of the artistry of homemade handcrafted goods. Contemporary craft fairs house locals’ labours of love that you would genuinely want to own and would happily display in your home.
Made by Hand Wales is the first of a number of creative events and opportunities sponsored by the Welsh Government. The government scheme supports small creative businesses across Wales, like the SME crafters at this event. Made by Hand Wales also gave attendees the chance to get closer to crafting through public workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations. Here, we round up five of the most eye-catching craft stalls of the fair.
Treefall Design, the creations of Manda McGrory, sells clothing, accessories and cuddly toys for little ones. With one of the best dressed stalls at the fair, their bold and unconventional wares were impossible to ignore.
Cardiff-based EllyMental Jewellery caught my eye with beautifully displayed pug and bear necklaces (oh, Santa…). Elly layers her illustrations (drawn on paper) onto shaped metal, then finishes them with resin to form brooches, pendants and other delicate jewellery.
Megan Alice England
Cheltenham-based textile and screenprint wizard Megan Alice England makes cute, witty gifts and accessories. Her simplistic designs make an impact on the natural materials they are printed onto.
These prints by Iain Perry – a.k.a. Print Garage – are made by hand in Iain’s Stafford garage (hence the name). The pastel colours contrast with injections of neon, while the pop culture references push you to notice their understated appeal.
Samantha Bryan crafts 3D mixed media fairies going about their everyday lives, each with their own back story.
The artists featured here are just five of the 130 companies that attended the Made by Hand Wales fair. It’s really promising to see such a wealth of talent coming from the UK, and even better to see hoards of visitors enthusiastically supporting the exhibitors. To find out more, visit the Made By Hand website.
Next time you see a pop up craft fair or stall, pop in and have a browse. You never know what you may find!