Meet the Maker - Harriet Addyman

Friday, October 24, 2014
Nature has always been a source of inspiration for artists and crafts people for centuries, none more than jewellery designer Harriet Addyman (aka The Metal Press). We recently chatted with Harriet to discover the many processes behind each piece...
Please can you introduce yourself, and tell us a little about what you do?
The metal Press started in 2010, I had moved my business back to Wales to look after my father and found myself living near the sea. I am a lucky girl having lots of equipment to make things having worked in model making for many years but it was not until living in Pembrokeshire that I one day experimented with a sea shell, one my good old dog Oska picked up for me. I couldn't believe it worked! 
Can you talk us through the processes in making your jewellery?
I have a thing called a 'vulcanising press', which makes a rubber sandwich. I put things inside and then cook the sandwich under 2000 lbs of pressure for about 2 hours. Its not designed to be used with shells, it's usually brass masters that are made, so it was a real surprise that my first mussel shell came out - it took some doing, picking off stuck shell and scrubbing at the mould until clean - but it came out & had cast beautifully.

examples of Harriet's moulds
For casting the pewter I use a simple centrifugal casting machine. The rubber mould is placed inside and air pressure holds the mould tightly together. A ladle full of molten metal is poured through a hole in the lid as the machine is spinning helping the metal find its way to all the little bits of detail in the mould. Since casting the first mussel shell friends asked me if I could cast them one too, so of course I did. The metal pieces have to be cut off the central sprue before being filed and polished with a barrel polisher and then electroplated using brass racks that are dipped in the electroplating baths. 
Harriet's studio
The electroplating kit is all amps and volts and needle gauges, a definite alchemy. I had used electroplating with my model making , so it was an easy thing for me (lucky girl!)

Where does your inspiration come from? 
Being out in the landscape here in Pembrokeshire you cant help being awed sometimes by the ethereal beauty of the coast. At times it is truly magical and the things you find have that quality too. The collection has really grown now and includes plants and berries and baby crabs which of course can not directly go into the press for mould making so I pre-cast them in silicone rubber and then cast into high temperature resin before they go in the vulcanising press.

The Metal Press has now taken me to some lovely places with markets and venues for sharing what I do that people have begun to send me things from all over the world - sea urchins from Turkey, a starfish from Florida, a collection of beetles! I am really enjoying treasure hunting for myself and celebrating the treasure found by others. Places have such memories and the things found such significance, to be simply casting is such a pleasure. 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My partner bought himself a laser cutter which has given me much more to think about translation of ideas. It has made me think about design and of course it all goes back to drawing which I have not really done for years!  All work has endless possibilities and I am still really excited by creating new things, although there never seems enough hours in the day!

Thank you Harriet, such a brilliant insight to your work.  You can find Harriet's pieces of jewellery in our Made in Britain shop.
Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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Made in Bristol Gift Fair > New date added!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Exciting news! Due to popular demand we have just added a third Gift Fair date to this years festive offerings. Bristol will be treated to our joyous celebration of local creativity on Saturday 13th December in addition to our Saturday 29th November & Sunday 7th December dates.

Our Gift Fair will now feature up to 150 local designers over our three dates, transforming the majestic foyer at Colston Hall into a vast emporium of unique handmade gifts.  With artists and designers showcasing jewellery, toys, ceramics, art and home accessories, the Made in Bristol Gift Fair is the perfect place to find innovative locally-made products that bring the personal touch to Christmas gift giving.

Would you like to take part?
If you are based within 50 miles of Bristol and create wonderful gifts, make tasty treats or design seasonal floral arrangements then this is the event for you. Our footfall and public awareness has continued to grow strongly year on year and we pride ourselves in running an organised event that is a pleasure to attend, whether you are taking part or as a visiting shopper. 
Colston Hall is a well known venue with great access to all levels and great transport connections (including an affordable car park next door) - Which other Gift Fair can claim a golden building?
We would be more than happy to share the results of the participants survey we carried out after last years event with you but here are a few of the anonymous testimonials we gathered to whet your appetite:
"This is without a doubt my favourite event to do in Bristol."
"The Gift Fair is a well known destination for shoppers now, where people know they will find the quality, variety and creativity of local makers."

"This Fair gave me a great opportunity to meet customers in a fantastic setting. It was my best days trading of 2013 and will give me the cash flow to develop my business in 2014. The event really showcased the talent that is in and around Bristol and was a cut above the usual fairs in quality of stalls, organisation and venue. A number of my customers commented that they always attend because they know they will be able to source high quality gifts from local makers at good prices."

"Footfall seems to be increasing each year as people get to know the event and see it as a really good oopportunity to buy interesting gifts all in one place. The quality of the items on sale is consistently high and visitors always seem very impressed."
You can now apply to take part in our Gift Fair by emailing us.
We look forward to hearing from you!


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Meet the Maker - Kerry Day

Friday, October 17, 2014
We are delighted to share with you today a super cool Meet the Maker interview, by the very lovely and talented Kerry Day. Kerry has been part of the Made in Bristol team for many years, her work is beautiful and varied to say the least! We love it all!  Over to Kerry to tell us more...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
My name is Kerry Day and I’m a mixed media artist. I paint in oils and acrylics: draw and print using screen printing and the reduction linocut method. My figurative works celebrate the human form, the line and shape of a limb, the curve of the back, and in particular the interplay of light and shade. 

Recently I find myself moving on from people to plants. Inspiration has come from the many cacti and plants I share my home and studio with – the strong profiles of my spiky friends and the marvellously named Elephant Ear plant. Like many artists before me, I am fascinated by the shapes and contours of leaves, and the joy of discovering new patterns within the vibrant green foliage. 

In 2011 I had just finished my MA in Printmaking (UWE) and I just needed to take a break from any art for a while. So I began knitting, starting with a few items for myself, I find it a very relaxing thing to do. This led to seeing if anyone would buy my creations and found they did and Pollyarts was born. I now create a range of textile gifts from knitted pin cushions to screen printed bags. 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I guess I’ve always been creative. I remember from an early age always drawing, designing lots of outfits for my dolls as they were in a band and needed lots of clothes, so I was their fashion designer :-) Throughout school, art was the only subject that interested me the most so I guess it was natural for me to continue with it as a career. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
Unlike many other creatives I work with a variety of mediums, so I never get bored. And my time is very flexible; I can work when I feel like it and not to a rigid 9 to 5 type of set up. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
My work is very botanical at the moment. I have many plants which I find inspirational. I also like visiting the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens too, would love to have a garden like theirs. 

Describe your studio or workspace? 
I have my main studio in Hamilton House in Stokes Croft where I paint and do most of my prep work for screen prints and lino cuts. It’s a shared space, fairly small but cosy. I like to call it an organised mess. I do all my printmaking at Spike Print Studio. It’s a great space, nice and airy with great facilities. 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
It has to be a small figurative sculpture by Carol Peace. I absolutely love her work. I love the texture and the compositions she creates. 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
I’m hoping to be able to still do what I love, creating on a full time basis. I do have other plans but not going to jinx them by telling :-)

Thank you Kerry!  We adore your plant prints, our two favourite things combined - Plants & Art! You can find Kerry's gorgeous work in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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Meet the Maker - Laura Mirjami

Monday, October 13, 2014
Since the opening of Made in Britain shop last year, we have stocked Laura's beautiful menagerie of woodland creatures.  We have all fallen in love with her little mice and owls and it seems that you have too!  Recently we caught up with the very busy Laura, whilst she took a well earned breather from making, to answer a few questions on her work, inspiration and little friends...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hi, my name is Laura Mirjami. I create mainly little animal soft sculpture characters (also could be used as paperweights) that live in a magical world called Bilberry Woods. 
Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
I love watching films, reading, cooking a Sunday roast and taking our Jack Russell for long walks. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I’ve always been making and creating. When I was a child I learned to make toys and to be creative and use my imagination to bring simple objects to life around me. Creating and making became a need and a lifestyle more than a choice. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
It love to tell a story of the animal, give it it's character and see how it comes to life. I know that my job is well done when customers see the animals as little, individual characters that 'speak' to them. But the best part of my work is to see how the characters make people smile and I feel truly privileged to be able to make that little bit of difference in life through my work. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
I draw a lot of inspiration from Finland where I grew up as a child. My best care free summer holidays were spent by the lakes of clear water and small coves of sandy beaches. Those lakes were surrounded by dark pine forest with bears, owls, foxes and other magical creatures. Amongst the trees were small wild flower meadows bursting with mushrooms and berries and not too far there is always a river running through. The Winter’s days were full of snow filled streets and the warm glow of lights in the windows. Skiing, ice-skating, building snowmen and ice lanterns were a must and when the sun had set I learned to knit, crochet and sew with a cup of ‘silver tea’ (my Grandma’s speciality of heated milk served from your best china). 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
I am lucky enough to be one of the resident makers at the New Brewery Arts centre in the heart of Cirencester. And I love my studio! I have a little office section with a light box where I do all the computer work, but mainly write the stories and then I have a large cutting table where all the making happens. I have neat piles of fabrics on the shelves, buttons and ribbons on the jars and then all the tools that I need, scissors, thread, needles etc. are all in tins or pots on the table in front of me ready to be used. It can all get a bit messy, but for me it is an organized chaos! 
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman who would it be? 
Beatrix Potter for sure! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
I’m not very good at getting my ideas down before I jump ahead and start making. It’s really not a very clever way of creating, because you end up taking so incredibly long to get anything done! Having said that, I often come up with other ideas, most likely better than the original one, whilst making! I must say I am a bit better now and I love drawing very simple designs on paper before starting. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
Crocheted blankets my Mum made or handmade curtains (more like a couple of strips of natural linen) that have beautiful hand embroidered swans that my Great Grandmother did over hundred years ago. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
The best thing for me is to walk away from it all for a bit. Have a day in Bristol and enjoy the buzz of the city or go for a long walk to the hills of Wiltshire. 
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I’d love to see my characters and stories in a book or two :) 

Thank you Laura.  So lovely to hear about your childhood in Finland, it sounds magical. You can find Laura's woodland creatures and the odd Polar Bear or two having fun in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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Made by Hand - The Contemporary Craft Fair

Friday, October 10, 2014
The wonderful team behind The Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey are back, this time joining forces with Cardiff City Council to bring the first ever Made by Hand - Wales fair.
Boop Designs charm bracelet
The event will showcase the very best of Welsh craft and makers from around the Country all under the one roof at City Hall, Cardiff.  Funded by the Welsh Government this the first of it's kind in supporting small creative business across Wales.  
Blue tit necklace by Sally Haysom (Mybearhands)
Set over three days, the fair already has full programme of events, workshops, talks and demonstrations. From learning to mosaic to watching live demo's on screen-printing, felt making & weaving.
Janine Partington's contemporary enamel designs
Over 135 makers from Wales and beyond will also be exhibiting.  As you wander round you may spot some Made in Bristol regulars such as Alice Shields, my Bear Hands, Boop Designs and Janine Partington.

The event will take place on 31st October 2014 - 2nd November 2014.  You can purchase your tickets over here. For more information please visit the Made by Hand website. Such a brilliant event - we urge you to go!


The countdown until our 6th Made in Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall in Bristol has begun in earnest too. Please put Saturday 29 November & Sunday 7 December in your diaries for our Christmas shopping extravaganza and watch this space for teasers from some of the talented artists & designers taking part.
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Meet the Maker - Charlotte & David Pidgeon

Saturday, October 04, 2014
Hello!  Today's Meet the Maker interview comes from the talented husband & wife team Charlotte & David Pidgeon.  Together they create beautiful pieces of bespoke furniture from their Somerset workshop. We recently caught up with them to find out more.

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello, I am Charlotte Pidgeon and I started Work // Shop with my husband David in 2013. We design and make furniture and products in our studio just outside Radstock. Everything is lovingly handcrafted and finished by us so each piece is unique. 
Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
We love to go walking and exploring the countryside around Bristol and Bath, we moved from London so really enjoy the beautiful views and wide open spaces. We also enjoy going to local markets and car boot sales to hunt for inspiration and unique items. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I always dreamt of being an Architect and studied Architecture at University before going on to work as an Interior Designer for a firm in London. David has also always been creative and loved to make things He studied 3D Design after leaving school and worked as a picture framer, site carpenter and joiner before focusing on furniture. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
We get to work on lots of different commissions and so it can be really varied. It is also very satisfying to complete a product and to see people using and enjoying it. We hope that people will love and cherish their furniture for years to come. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
We are very inspired by the materials we work with, wood is such a beautiful, natural and sustainable product that it is easy to feel inspired by it. We are also inspired by vintage Scandinavian furniture, which led us to choose to use birch plywood in our designs. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
We are very lucky to have a beautiful workshop and studio in a converted barn on a farm near Radstock. We are still in the process of creating a studio in the loft space at the moment so I am working from a desk in our finishing room. Once the mezzanine studio space is finished we will have beautiful views over open countryside and a great space to display our furniture and showcase our work. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
I would have loved to visit the design studio of Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino, Alvar was a great Architect but together they also designed iconic furniture, glassware, lighting and even textiles which are still in production today. 

How would you describe your creative process? 
We like to try to find solutions to problems, our GO range of tables was a response to the lack of affordable handmade furniture. When we moved into our first flat we struggled to find furniture that wasn’t mass produced. It’s great to scour markets for second hand finds but not everyone has the time to do that. We wanted to create furniture that was sustainable, well designed and built to last but without breaking the bank! Once we have an idea we will spend a long time sketching and then make a prototype. We might end up with 2 or 3 prototypes or models before we have ironed out any flaws. David is in charge of producing the furniture and I then take over to finish them in a range of natural oils. 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
My engagement ring and wedding ring were both handmade; we visited the designer’s studio together to discuss the designs and to handpick the gemstones. It was a great experience and so exciting to get the finished products. It makes them even more special knowing that they were handmade and totally unique. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
It’s important to take a break, it’s especially difficult for us as a couple working together; we never stop talking shop! We like to try and get away for a weekend or even just a day, we’ll head out in the car to go for a walk or visit the coast and try to be without our mobile phones and emails. It’s a great way to clear your head and then you are ready to look take a fresh look at things. 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
Still able to do what we love and to have achieved that perfect work/life balance!

Thank you guys.  Your workshop is incredible, and your pieces of furniture just as awesome.  You can find Charlotte and David's beautiful furniture in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.

Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars 
Cabot Circus 
Bristol 

Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm 
Sun: 11am - 5pm


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Shopping guide: Jewellery

Saturday, September 27, 2014

There is something so special about a new piece of jewellery, whether it was bought by a loved one, a dear friend or as treat for yourself.

It needn't be expensive (although you do totally deserve it!) It can lift your mood and refresh an outfit (therefore saving you buying a new one) too!

Earrings by Corrine Evans
In our two shops (Paper Scissors Stone & Made in Britain) you will find a juicy array of jewellery for  all types, styles and occasions.  From fine silver & precious stones to acrylic & plywood. Necklaces, rings, earrings and brooches too.

Laura Rowden making her intricate jewellery in her workshop
Each piece of jewellery has been lovingly made by a talented craftsperson.  Each using different styles and techniques to make their pieces.

Ali Corder's penny brooches
Nature inspired necklaces by Justine Nettleton

Amy Hall typewriter necklace
Now that the seasons are changing, why not add a new piece to your Autumn wardrobe. Try a statement necklace over a cosy sweater or a pretty brooch to the lapel of your jacket.

Pop into our shops for more inspiration.

Paper Scissors Stone & Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
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Meet the Maker - Grace Gatley

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Hello!  Today we meet the talented Grace Gatley.  Grace is a whizz with textiles and creates beautiful wall hangings, art and jewellery.  We naturally wanted to find out more....
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello! My name is Grace Gatley and I make hand embroidered textile art, homewares and accessories. Quirky and cute little illustrations and quotes are recreated in fabric and stitch, and made into little pieces to adorn your favourite cardi, wall, or armchair! 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
I drink lots of tea... and spend as much time as possible with family and friends! My Christian faith is also hugely important part of my life, and I also love hula-hooping, and knitting, which I try to pretend isn’t a creative process, so it doesn’t feel so much like work when I’m doing it! I’m not very good, but I am getting better at following patterns rather than just knitting endless squares and rectangles! 
When did you notice you were an artist/maker? 
I’ve always loved making things. When I was little I spent so much time creating little fairy houses and clothes for the fairies my cousins and I believed, truly believed, lived at the bottom of our Grandma’s garden. Art was the thing I lived for at school, and I knew I wanted to make it my grown- up person job, somehow! It wasn’t really until completing my degree in Textile Design that I thought I actually could go it alone though, and mostly I still just feel like I’m playing! 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
A lot of my work involves hand embellishing. I try to spend mornings getting all my studio-based bits done, like machine stitching/printing, because then I can just take myself off in the afternoon. I can just pack a bag full of pieces to be embroidered, needles, thread and little snippy scissors, and go to a café, the park, even the sofa in my living room if it’s just one of those days, and spend the rest of the day stitching. I love that my work is portable, and that I can set up a little working space wherever the wind takes me. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Our culture of tea and coffee-drinking really fascinates me. That age-old belief that a lovely, hot cuppa can fix.... everything! Tea is such an inherently British thing, and such a personal one too- it’s amazing how just one drink can be made and favoured in so many different ways! Tea powers my days, so I suppose it was inevitable it would make its way into my actual work too! My faith is hugely important and central to my work, and is where a lot of my creativity and direction comes from. The Bible is an endless inspirational source. So many beautiful words and promises. I’m also inspired by lovely things that other people say. It can be anything, a lovely old phrase that I read in a book, things that friends say, or snippets of conversation that you hear when walking by people in the street or sitting at the next table to them in a café. It’ll spark an idea in my head or a little drawing in my sketch book, then I’ll recreate it in fabric and stitch. I try to carry my sketchbook around everywhere with me and I also try to remember to be observant! 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
A beautiful mess! It’s not as messy as it used to be though, I’ve recently moved house and now have a proper room of my own, rather than just a corner of my old living room! Things are much easier to keep track of now I have much more storage, and space to put things in! I try to be disciplined at putting things back in their homes as soon as I’ve used them, but sometimes mid-creative-flow, that just doesn’t happen, and I have to burrow a path to the door at the end of the day! It’s a lovely room though, with a huge window and a beautiful old school desk that holds my two hard-working Bernina sewing machines! Boxes of fabric everywhere... I’d love to work in a studio with other creatives one day though. It gets a bit lonely sometimes and as I live in a flat, I can’t even have a cat! 
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
There’s so many! To name a few; Tilleke Schwarz, Manon Gignoux, Claire Coles, Marna Lunt, Abigail Brown, Alice Kettle... I’d love to just hide in the corner of any of these amazing artist’s studios for a day, and just watch the magic happen! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
It always starts with an idea, which I’ll try and scribble in a sketchbook as soon as possible. Then that evolves a bit, and I’ll start experimenting with fabric and stitch. Lots of tea involved! Sometimes it all flows really well, other times it’s more of a challenge. I’m working on some new textile collages at the minute that involve a really lovely layering process; preparing the fabric, adding machine stitched elements, a bit of printing and applique, then finally hand embellishments. It’s a bit different to the stuff I usually have on my work table, but a really exciting new direction that has refreshed my creative process completely. 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I have a lovely hand knitted cardi that my mum made for me just before I went travelling. It’s been all over the world with me, and whenever I wear it those places always come back and fill my head. 

When do you do when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
Try not to panic! There are two types for me, one where I feel completely uninspired and a bit fed up. To combat that, I’ll just go and do something completely different. Have a wander somewhere, snuggle up and read a book, go to the park and do some hula-hooping (another love of mine!) It doesn’t usually take long to spark something new fizzling in my little creative teapot! The second is almost worse and the one I’ve been battling recently- too many ideas and things I want to make, and not enough hours in the day, resulting in nothing getting made at all! The best thing to do in that case is just start making. It will quickly become clear which ideas are going to work and which aren’t. Even if you lose a day or two in the process, that’s still time better spent than sitting and despairing with your head on the desk! 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
Back in Cornwall where I studied and met my lovely hubby, or New Zealand! With a little family, and still making, but perhaps in a bigger studio somewhere beautiful! It’s never been my intention for this to get too big, but it would be nice to have a slightly more stable income, and maybe a small team! Or at least someone to take charge of all the admin that hurts my head, and someone to make the tea...

Thank you Grace, what a beautiful space you have.  We adore those cups of tea brooches! You can find Grace's creations in our Made in Britain shop.

Made In Britain
Quakers Friars 
Cabot Circus 
Bristol 

Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm 
Sun: 11am - 5pm
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