Meet the Maker - Laurie Stansfield

Friday, March 27, 2015
Hello Everyone, we've had the pleasure of working with Laurie Stansfield from Drawn in Bristol on a series of new prints celebrating some of the unique plants found in Bristol's Avon Gorge. The Gorge is home to over 30 different kinds of rare plant – making it one of the most important botanical sites in the UK. Some species of tree, such as the Bristol Whitebeam, with its green and white leaves and clusters of orange berries, are found nowhere else in the world.

Laurie's new Bristol Botanical Safari prints aim to introduce four of these rare plants to a younger audience by creating a playful safari animal/plant hybrid. We are hoping to demonstrate that all plants and animals are important to our environment from the biggest animal to the tiniest plant and lots of species need our help to survive. No matter how small a plant or big an animal they exist in a delicate ecosystem that needs to be kept in balance for other species to flourish.

Our Bristol Whitebeam Elephant has magnificent ears inspired the Bristol whitebeam. This special tree is unique to the gorge and in early summer it produces clusters of creamy white, sweet scented flowers that are loved by bees. These are followed by speckled orange berries in the autumn that are soon devoured by birds.

Our Dwarf Sedge Monkey has a very rare tail and tufted hair do. The dwarf sedge is a rare- plant with tiny flowering spikes found on the impressive limestone cliffs of Bristol’s Avon Gorge. Larger trees and shrubs shade out and threaten smaller plants, like the dwarf sedge, growing beneath them so like the honewort they rely on the six Kashmir goats that have been introduced to act as a natural and sustainable means of controlling the growth of bramble and shrubs. So, just like a monkeys, the dwarf sedge gets a good groom to keep it healthy!
Our Honewort Giraffe spots a beautiful flowery coat made up of the delicate honewort blossom. The rare honewort plant is found growing amongst the rocks of the Avon Gorge and like carrots, parsley and celery it belongs to the umbellifer family as its flowers look like umbrellas. In the past it has suffered particularly badly from habitat loss due to larger scrub stealing the light and limited soil available but in the Avon Gorge a team of brave billy goats scramble up the steep sloped sides of the gorge eating the invasive shrubs that get too close to the honewort.

Finally making up our safari crew our Bristol Onion Lion has a magnificent purple Bristol onion mane. This lollipop-shaped flower is very special because it grows in the Avon Gorge and nowhere else in the UK. The Bristol onion is also called the rounded -headed leek and the gorge provides a sheltered microclimate of sun-baked nooks and crannies perfect for this happy plant. Its pinky purple flowers are smaller than a fifty pence piece and, just like a lion, it loves to sun itself on a sunny ledge but, just like the big cat, unfortunately there is a serious threat to its survival from bigger trees and shrubs. Help is at hand though - brave conservation workers (human and goat) scale the gorge’s cliffs to keep the invading plants in check.

We caught up with Laurie to find out more about her & how she likes to work....

Hi Laurie, please tell us a little bit about yourself....
Hello, Im Laurie Stansfield, a freelance illustrator with a studio space in BV Studios, Bedminster. I came to Bristol in 2006 to study UWEs art & design foundation course & continued onto an Illustration degree & achieved a first. I met Ben Goodman, who’s now a printmaker, in 2006 & we still make a brilliant team, setting goals & critiquing each others work.
Can you talk us through the process of creating a piece of of your work?
When I start a new piece of work I always begin with pencil, paper & a brief. I will have an image or style in mind, however, the final result is completely different. I enjoy the process of taking the project through a journey & developing it’s character. The process usually involves repetitive trial & error, while I translate the images into a necessary style. Then I manipulate what Ive created again for the colour artwork, sometimes using black ink or pencils, acrylic or gouache paints & a scanner, or a mix of everything! The style & materials are selected depending on what the image requires. I think of it like choosing clothes for specific occasions. With time & practice, I find that more & more, Im drawn towards the advantages of working digitally. Id like to say that my process & style are adaptive, it actually feels messy & sporadic! I refer to my work as a schizophrenic chameleon.
Im very visual & wonky minded, as people like to point out. My inspiration comes from visual ideas & metaphors that pop into my head. These ideas are actually less likely to visit when Im in my studio & more likely to say hello when Im going for a jog or working behind a bar. Im addicted to running & particularly like the route under BristolsSuspension Bridge, through the Avon Gorge. Its quiet & beautiful & stenches of fresh seasons. I try very hard to make time for it. I also find that Im happiest behind a bar (either side) for social reasons & to help pay the bills. Bristol has introduced me to so many amazing, talented & inspiring people who add richness to my life & work.
Please describe workspace?
My work space is great & I love it. I rent a space in BV Studios which is close to home. The best thing is the people who I share a room with as they are all phenomenal. We have good chats, share ideas & varied perspectives, we giggle & work hard. The walk down East street neighbourhood is particularly enjoyable, another source of inspiration. If I were to work from home, Id get lost between the boundaries of work & play, which can be hard to separate as it is. Having a studio space is priceless for me. (Although, if I could afford to expand my space, Id be living the dream.)
Which part of Bristol do you call home?
Bristol very quickly became my home. If you dont mind the hills, exploring it by bike is the best. Ive been living south of the river since 2nd year uni for the convenience of being close the Bower Ashton Campus. North street has transformed in this time, the area is very admirable, recognised for its creativity & local shops. The route that I run along has deepened my love for the area. The chocolate path, past Spike Island, past Bunker Bikes, across the iron bridge, past all the cyclists & dog walkers & under the suspension bridge, by the woods… I currently work at the Tobacco Factory cafe/bar with a great team of people, most of whom live locally- or even have spaces in BV Studios as well. It seems that Ive become a prapar' local. I really hope the path I run along doesnt become a bus route! I love the green spaces of Bristol.
The Bristol 2015 tagline is 'initforgood' - we'd like to know, what are you 'initfor'?
I suppose Im in this for life; drawing & making images as its what Im best at. I think its good to do what makes you happy, theres obviously a balance between selfishness & sustainability. My focus is to be a strong & happy person & working freelance provides me with challenges to build myself upon. It can be tough & I’m constantly developing both my business & illustration skills. Ive recently learnt how much other people actually gain insight from looking at my drawings, since doing more work as a live scribe. If I’m in this for life, then Ill aim to play my part & help others to do so too.
Thank you Laurie!

You can find Laurie's gorge-ous Bristol Botanical Safari prints in our new shop, Lab Shop, part of Bristol 2015 Lab. You can find the Lab, opened to celebrate Bristol's year as European Green Capital on Bordeaux Quay on Bristol's historic Harbourside. Enjoy....

Lab Shop
10 - 6 
Everyday in the school holidays 
Fri - Sun in term time

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Meet the Maker - Rebecca Prior

Saturday, February 21, 2015
Wow what a lovely first week we have had at Lab Shop. Thank you everyone! One of our lovely new makers is Rebecca Prior, aka Priormade. Becky upcycles some unusual materials to create two ranges of beautiful jewellery. We asked Becky to tell us more....

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hi! I’m Becky Prior and I have been making reclaimed jewellery for three years now under the name Priormade. People seem to like what I make and I feel like I am starting to have a presence in Bristol’s Jewellery scene. It’s all a bit surreal! I have been in Bristol for 11 years, never left after an Art Degree and am more than happy to still be here.
I make two ranges of Jewellery; for one range I make colourful and feather like earrings from used bicycle inner tubes and the other, geometric earrings and necklaces from reclaimed wooden pieces. I only use stamped 925 Sterling Silver as the findings as it contrasts the inner tube/wood that would’ve been thrown away, making something that is essentially rubbish become something really precious! I like the story of the reclaimed materials so I include their story on the back. For example 'Viv – tube popped on unknown sharp object on route home from work. Somewhere between the Watershed and Easton, Bristol' and 'Teak – reclaimed from Weston Super Mare’s Grand pier, after the fire.'
Can you talk us through the process of creating a piece of your work?
To start with I cut open the tubes and give them a wash in soapy water. I then cut them to various lengths and shapes using the seam part for feathers and the left overs for the coloured parts. I then cut really fast along the edge, trying to get the lines as close together as possible. I then snip back into it removing parts to give the appearance of a real feather. I add the colour using paint pens and theatre scenic paint. I attach the silver findings, write the story of the tube on the back of the card and then store them in their individual bags. The wooden range is a far longer process as it involves sourcing the interesting wood from reclamation yards and carpenters, not to mention lots of sanding. They start off as larger pieces that I then cut into small thin sheets using a bandsaw. I then sand and saw them into shape and drill holes for the silver. They then go through the same final process as the tubes: colour, silver, packaging and then stored.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
A lot of recycled and reclaimed products look recycled and reclaimed! Although I am using recycled materials, I try to avoid this and aim for an aesthetic that is always really crisp, clean and fresh. I love screen-printing as the angles and definition is so perfect; I think I’m trying to recreate that.
What do you do when you are stuck in a creative rut?
I have the biggest 'to make' list you’ve ever seen. There are so many things I’d love to build, create and learn about. When I’m online, in shops and even sleeping – I think about designs and have endless ideas to make exciting things. I would love a pit stop in a little creative rut every now and then….
Apart from being a creative whizz what do you do?
I also design and fabricate artwork on commission; this can range from 3D signs, wall murals, props and puppets. I’m really in to processes and materials so I am always taking on random projects just to learn how to do it!! I also run workshops for adults and young people as I find it really fulfilling to share creative skills. I’ve worked for a variety of fantastic arts organisations in Bristol and I’m currently working at Young Bristol in their community clubs, helping to establish a new Creative Programme. It’s a fantastic charity to work for.
What graces the walls of your workspace?
Too much to list! Mainly loads of inner tubes, 'to make' lists, tools, sketches of designs plus marks where I’ve used the wall to wipe paint and glue off my hands! 
If your workspace walls could talk, what would they say?
Please tidy me!
Which Bristol neighbourhood do you call home?
My boyfriend and I have just bought a house in Redfield. It’s very exciting! The new processes and materials I’m learning about while doing it up is blowing my mind (and taking over my brain!). My heart is in Easton so we got the closest we could get!
If you could change one thing for the better in the city what would it be?
It’s a common thing to declare but I do LOVE Bristol. Bristol has so many great independent organisations but there will always be room for more, so it’s a shame to see so many new flats, supermarkets & large chain shops taking over historic and interesting locations! I also wish there was more patience between people especially cyclists, drivers and pedestrians! However, with my job(s) I get to work with lots of great people, be involved in some fantastic events and really appreciate everything we all do to make our city brilliant! I’m proud that Bristol people see the importance of art & culture.
How do you try to make greener choices in your work?
I’m always left with left over materials from projects. I started using my wooden off cuts to make jewellery and then experimented with inner tubes. I wasn’t really trying to make something that I could tag ‘green’; I just don’t like things being wasted. Did you know that inner tubes can’t be recycled and they end up on landfill? I’m chuffed that artists are finding new uses for them. When it came to buying packaging and business cards I make sure everything is recycled and always use local, independent printers. I’ve just discovered these cool biodegradable plastic bags to store them in too -  the only thing that isn’t recycled is the silver!

Thank you Becky, it's great to discover the story behind the materials you magically transform into your unique jewellery range. Reusing unrecyclable bike inner tubes = genius!

You can find Becky's work in our new shop, Lab Shop, part of the Bristol 2015 Lab until March 22nd when our transport chapter comes to an end. You can find the European Green Capital Lab on Bordeaux Quay on Bristol's historic harbourside. Enjoy....

Lab Shop
10 - 6 
Friday - Sunday*

* we are open everyday in the school holidays

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Lab Shop - Opens 14th February

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Hello Campers! We are back & our new shop opens on Saturday 14 February.
Glorious Bristol has been crowned European Green Capital for 2015 and our new shop, Lab Shop, is part of an exciting new space on the harbourside called Bristol 2015 Lab. It will feature our innovative product range inspired by Bristol's history, people and places plus a selection of artwork that will change throughout the year to reflect the five Green Capital themes.
Vintage Racer print by Rebekah Marshall

Our first shop theme is transport so expect plenty of prints & gifts featuring balloon filled skies, fleets of ferries and beautiful bicycles, plus one pair of trusty trainers. We will also be the exclusive retailer for official ‘In it for Good’ sustainably produced merchandise.
The Greta in Winter screen print by Simon Tozer
Our shop will be run by a lovely bunch of local artists. Our talented transport team is made up of map whizz Anna Francis, colour crazed designer Hannah Broadway, collage illustrator Fiona Clabon, Jude from ethical t-shirt company Mild West Heroes & hammertastic leather jeweller Kay Morgan
Rush Hour print by Dawn Cooper
The Bristol 2015 Lab opens to the public on Saturday 14 February & throughout half-term you can pop-in and discover a programme packed with family friendly events designed to introduce the year’s green themes: nature, transport, food, resources and energy. 

NEW Mermaid T-Towel by Chris Dickason for Made in Bristol

The half-term Lab space schedule includes:

Saturday 14th  – Discover how to share the love & make welcoming habitats for the city’s wildlife 
Sunday 15th – Join the buzz and taste the honey with Bristol bee experts
Monday 16th – Pick up tips and tricks for two wheeled trips
Tuesday 17th – Buy your Pancake Day ingredients direct from local food co-ops and city farms
Wednesday 18th – Pop in to find out about Bristol 2015’s volunteering opportunities
Thursday 19th – Share creative ideas for upcycling, reusing and repairing
Friday 20th – Energy saving advice from Warm Up Bristol & Friends of the Earth
Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd – Take an early seaside break in British waters with TV celebrity    Blowfish, the heavy metal marine biologist, and friends
Bristol Blue Taxi Queue screen print by Lucie Sheridan
This initial half term taster week will showcase some of the fantastic projects that are already happening in every corner of Bristol – whether it’s bees, bikes, cladding or crustaceans! So pop in, find out more about our plans for the year and – most importantly – tell us what you think....
Bristol 2015 Lab is located on Bordeaux Quay on St Augustine's Reach, a couple of doors along from Watershed. 

The Lab and Lab Shop will be open 10am to 6pm daily throughout half-term. For more information (including our visiting hours after half-term) visit or follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook.

We can't wait to show you our new home!

*Ferry Boat print by Lucy Davey

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Merry Christmas from Made in Bristol!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Before we get all Christmassy and stuff ourselves silly with turkey and mince pies (when we shut up shop at 4pm today) we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making 2014 a spectacular year for Made in Bristol.

Our two main shops (Paper Scissors Stone & Made in Britain), the special Christmas Design Temporium at the Architecture Centre and of course our glorious Gift Fair at the Colston Hall were all made possible with the help of our brilliant makers, creatives and super small team. Thank you all for producing such wonderful work, for your endless support and of course for helping to make Made in Bristol such a unique and wonderful thing.

Thank you to all our visitors, shoppers, champions, followers and those of you that read this blog. We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a brilliant & bright 2015! We shall be back in the New Year to tell you of our future plans, so watch this space....

Christmas cards by some of our excellent makers: Clockwise L to R:  Stephanie Cole, Alice Rolfe, Nicola Barter, Laura Mirjami, Stephanie Cole, Emily Ketteringham.
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Meet the Maker - Loglike

Thursday, December 18, 2014
One of our favourite things about Made in Bristol, is discovering unique talented makers across the country and bringing their work to Bristol.  In the Christmas Design Temporium at the Architecture Centre this year we are delighted to showcase Welsh company Loglike.  Based in North Wales they produce a range of homewares and their wooden apple had us at love at first sight.  We caught up with owner, Jen, to find out more...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Loglike was started in 2005, in London. It's now run from rural North Wales, and has remained small and very hands-on. It offers a range of giftware with a focus on wood, but done in a distinctive contemporary style. Products include candleholders made with upcycled saucers and our sweet, functional version of a Welsh lovespoon. I like contrasting the natural beauty of wood with painted block colours or reclaimed elements such as old crockery or vintage leather. The packaging is also important. I try and retain consistency across the range by using utilitarian brown cardboard boxes. However, they're made tactile and special with hand-pulled screen printing, gold foil seals & pine wood-wool. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
It's got to be hunting for vintage saucers at car boot sales! I love the challenge of finding treasure that has been overlooked. You also see such interesting objects at car boot sales to use as raw material, make into something new or to just have around as inspiring decorations. This Christmas we're going to dress the tree with plastic body parts from a medical student's broken mannequin, all spray-painted in candy colours. 

What is your favourite family Christmas tradition? 
Making festive vignettes or shrines as table centre pieces, with vintage, kitsch knick-knacks and lots of candles. Candles create such a magical light and special atmosphere. As soon as you've got candles burning (safely!) it sets the scene in a way that a low-energy bulb can only aspire to. 
What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
My mum's Christmas cookies. They're made simply from sugar, butter, flour and vanilla then glazed with glace icing. I had the most fun as a child, decorating them with coloured icing, sprinkles and silver balls. They go hard so you can tie them on the tree with ribbon. 

Do you have any tips on selling over the Christmas period? 
If you're doing an event, wear an exuberant hat. It puts everyone in a good mood. Works every time. 
If you could choose a fellow artist/maker to collaborate with, who would it be and why? 
The wonderfully named Minnie Lambeth, straw worker extraordinaire. Minnie died in 1984 leaving behind exhaustive documentation on the traditions of British straw weaving. I'm interested in the techniques and sculptural shapes made with straw work and am drawn to it as it's a biodegradable material, like the wood I usually use. 
Which artist do you find inspiring to follow on Facebook or Twitter? 
I like seeing what Donna Wilson is up to. She works with natural woollen fabrics and makes characterful, appealing homeware and accessories. I saw her residency at YSP (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) in 2011 where she exhibited paintings and sketches alongside a big installation of a knitted woodland scene, which was great. It was interesting to see 2D fine art transfer to products and back again to sculpture. 

Finally if you could design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
It would be a decoration based on a sculpture I've been working on, which will be shown at a new exhibition starting on 22nd November at Mission Gallery, Swansea. The piece is large and angular, with a spiralling geometric shape. It was made using reclaimed pitch pine which has a wonderful aromatic smell when cut. It also has dramatic woodgrain stripes which are really beautiful.

Thank you Jen!  We adore your work, so beautiful and unique.  You can find Loglike in our Christmas Design Temporium at The Architecture Centre. 
Christmas Design Temporium
The Architecture Centre
Narrow Quay

Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm

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Meet the Maker - Sparrow + Wolf

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Cherie of Sparrow + Wolf designs geometric inspired homewares.  We knew Cherie's work would be perfect for the Christmas Design Temporium at The Architecture Centre this.  Design led and oh so cool. We caught up with Cherie to find out more...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
My name is Cherie and I run Sparrow + Wolf, a design studio based in Birmingham. I work as an illustrator and my Sparrow + Wolf designs come from my illustrations. I always wanted to expand into product design and the transition has been quite organic. I like to focus on using British manufacturers for things like our fabric printing and stationery printing as this is just a small way of supporting our great industries. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I get to see amazing design and work with the most wonderful shops all around the world. I also am lucky enough to be taking part in amazing pop up shops such as the Temporium that I find really exciting!

What is your favourite family Christmas tradition?
My Mum’s epic Christmas dinners which are the best around. I know everyone says that, but they really are something special!! It’s my favourite time of year. 
What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
I love handmade soaps, or screen printed items such as lovely cushions or tea towels. But items don’t have to be practical for me to fall in love with them, I’m a big fan of quirky ceramic ornaments too. 
Do you have any tips on selling over the Christmas period?
I would just advise to keep your eye on stock levels and build up relationships with your suppliers incase you need to top up your stocks. Keep showcasing your items on your social media and try to get into Craft fairs with designers you think you sit nicely along side. It can be hard to resist spending anything you make at Craft fairs on other lovely items from other sellers but at least at Christmas you have an excuse! I quite often end up trading items which is really nice. 

If you could choose a fellow artist/maker to collaborate with, who would it be and why? 
I’m a big fan of LogLike’s awesome tactile wooden fruits, or Jo Ham’s whimsical rabbit portraits. I don’t know how it would work as they’re both very different to me, but perhaps that could be an interesting challenge! I find them both really talented & fun! 
Which artist do you find inspiring to follow on Facebook or Twitter? 
I love Donna Wilson’s playful products and love seeing all of her new creations come to life in ceramic, wool or wooden form. 
Finally if you could design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
I think I’d design a door wreath full of bright big pom poms from our cushions. That actually sounds amazing and I want to try it out now!! 

Thank you Cherie, we love your idea of a pom pom wreath!  You can find Cherie's beautiful homewares in our Christmas Design Temporium at The Architecture Centre which is open everyday until Dec 23rd.
Christmas Design Temporium
The Architecture Centre
Narrow Quay

Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm

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Meet the Maker - Annah Legg

Monday, December 15, 2014
Nothing pleases Annah Legg more than a pile of vintage maps.  Her obsession runs deep, with her home decorated with them, and her work is made from them.  We caught up with Annah recently to find out more about her love of maps and her inspiration behind her collection...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
I’m Annah from girl&bird! I create accessories using vintage map prints, that can be personalised to any location in the UK, and further afield too. My goal with girl&bird is to bring back the importance of places, and the memories that are attached to them. The idea came when I had moved to uni, and was missing home. I had some vintage maps of Sussex that I’d collected or been given over several years, and put them up on my wall to feel a bit more connected to home. When I left uni, I ended up doing the same with Cornwall, as I missed that just as much! After having the maps on display for a few years, I just felt that they were too beautiful (and represented places that I loved too much) to be kept in a box and never looked at. I experimented with different ways of incorporating the maps into usable products, before deciding that printing was the most sustainable and high-quality option. The girl&bird range includes wash bags, purses, cushion covers, tote bags and ipad cases, all of which feature gorgeous prints of out-of-copyright maps. There are more products on the way, too! 
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I currently work full time at a design consultancy as a textile product developer, working on prototypes of client’s innovative products. It’s a fantastic job, and really varied - but when I’m not working on girl&bird or ‘work’ work, I usually try and unwind with some TV, cooking, or by going for a run. There is such a thing as too much creativity! 

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I’ve always enjoyed creating - and having something that can be held rather than just viewed. During my Art Foundation, I toyed with the idea of Fashion, Photography or Illustration, before settling on Textile Design. The course (down in Falmouth) was fantastic, and I specialised in Woven Textiles which is a very practical discipline. However, I still felt frustrated by not creating products or useable items. So, since leaving, that has been my main focus and has really made me feel like ‘A Maker’! 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
What I’ve loved most about selling at fairs is hearing people’s stories about the places that are special to them. It’s a really lovely feeling - giving people something that reminds them of a happy place. Sewing itself is very therapeutic. If you’re making several of the same item then you can really get into the swing of it, so it’s quite easy to relax into what you’re doing. I’ll always love working with fabric, too – it just feels very natural. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Apart from old maps, I’m so inspired by other people’s homes. I love seeing how people combine mundane, everyday objects with special and extraordinary pieces, especially when there is colour involved. Interiors magazines and books are always an inspiration - I’ve got stacks of Elle Decoration in our living room! Wandering around and people watching is always inspiring, as is connecting with other makers. ‘Handemade’ is very important to me - especially after having designed products for mass-production. Being able to support a local craftsperson is an incredibly powerful thing! 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
My boyfriend and I moved to Bristol in September, so I’ve now got a fantastic second bedroom that is all mine to work in! The window looks out over some gorgeous trees, and I’ve got plenty of storage. I keep my maps out in a vintage wooden box (although they overspill into a slightly less glamorous cardboard number) so they’re easily accessible, and my three special locations are up on my wall, alongside some inspirational images. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman who would it be? 
It would have been incredible to see the inner workings of the Bauhaus. Anni Albers has long been a bit inspiration to me, especially when I was at university. Her woven tapestries are incredible. A current designer who I’d love to get an inside peek at would probably be Orla Kiely - I love her use of colour, and the retro style. I’m always inspired by printers! Other than that, give me a chance to wander around any creative person’s house and I’ll be happy! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
When developing new products, I tend to approach it with a very clear idea in my head of what I want it to look like - zip positions, proportions, and dimensions. I’m not good at getting that down on paper in the form of sketches! It usually takes a couple of samples to get it just as I want it, and then it’s a case of getting the location to fit well on the product. Coastlines can be tricky! When I’m testing out a new idea for prints, I tend to just have a go at them on fabric, as it’s very difficult to get an idea of how something works until you’ve got something to hold. Generally it’s best to go with something that feels right - and is enjoyable! 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I’ve got some prints from friends that are very precious - an engraving by print-maker and designer Abi Burt is up on my wall at home. My boyfriend bought me a concrete necklace by Rhiannon Palmer Jewellery for Christmas, which looks like a galaxy - it’s beautiful! 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I tend to try to step away from my workroom and do something else. When you’re making alongside a full time job, I've often felt ‘stuck’, but usually what I actually need is a walk followed by a cider! Switching off is important. Failing that, going to a gallery or museum, getting some new fabric or making something for myself rather than someone else always feels like a guilty (but necessary!) pleasure. 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
I’d love to be working for myself, developing the product range and designing prints alongside the vintage maps. Although the starting point has been maps, a running idea in my creative work has always been things from a birds-eye view. I’d love to take that further - perhaps with weave, or with print designs. It all comes back to the name - I’d just love to be a bird, really!

Thank you Annah!  We adore your work, and have our eyes on your zipped pouches for Christmas!  You can discover Annah's map creations in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

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

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