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.
Read More »
Blogger Tricks

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
Bristol

Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm

Read More »

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
Bristol

Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm

Read More »

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
Bristol

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

Read More »

Meet the Maker - Kirsty Anderson

Monday, December 08, 2014
There is a huge trend at the moment for taxidermy, especially antlers and deer heads.  But not all people are fan's of having real animals in their home. So when we discovered the work of Scottish based textile artist, Kirsty Anderson, aka A Wooden Tree, we instantly knew they would be a winner! We caught up with Kirsty recently to find out more about her and her creations...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hiya, I am Kirsty, based in Edinburgh. I make and create quirky animal inspired textile wall hangings, soft pieces and accessories under the name of 'a wooden tree'. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Rummage charity shops for pretty fabrics. 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I have always known I would make things from a young age I don’t really know what I would be doing if I had not chosen this path, hopefully something creative. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
Almost everything I make has come from something, it’s part of a story it’s evolved, the fabrics evoke memories for people, and then new ones when they have it in their home. Nothing is ever the same, each piece I make has it’s own quirks and the fabric placement is always different so each piece is individual. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Old fabrics, linens, embroideries, taxidermy exhibits, museums, junk markets, the woods and animals and holiday, holiday is the best inspiration. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
We use our living room as the studio, my partner and I share it. He has a corner and I pretty much take up the whole room as I have so much stuff, oops! It’s at the top of a tenement building so the light is great and there is a lovely fireplace. It’s a good room to work in, although as it’s rented I can’t hang all my pictures and notes. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman, who would it be?
I’ve already had a peek in one, I interned for Jessica Ogden, her studio was amazing. Otherwise I would say Clare Rojas, Yoshitomo Nara, David Shrigley, there are too many I could probably write a huge list. 
How would you describe your creative process? 
It’s varied, if I am making a wall piece like a stag I will draw the template using inspiration from reference images, pictures I've taken at a deer park or taxidermy in a museum. I try not to spend too long on the first as I make a maquette out of calico or lining and then change it until I am happy. The pieces I create are always evolving, every year or so I want to change them a bit and then another bit. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
My mothers textile pieces she hand printed at art school, I have an amazing panel of snakes in the grass that she designed. I plan to get it properly framed so I can hang it with pride on my wall.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
Go for a walk or work on something different, the distraction usually makes the other part of my brain start working again. 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
To have a studio that’s all mine and looks out to the woods or the sea. I want to make larger scale pieces of work, then possibly a gallery that wants to show them off so I can earn a living creating and making full-time.

Thank you Kirsty!  We adore your creations and have certainly added Mr Stag to our Christmas list! You can find Kirsty's menagerie in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

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

Read More »

Meet the Maker - Jim Sharples

Friday, December 05, 2014
One of the great things about having the Made in Bristol Gift Fair at the Colston Hall is that we can accommodate larger pieces for sale. Such as large pieces of furniture. Jim Sharples is local furniture maker who creates bespoke pieces from locally felled trees.  We caught up with Jim recently to find out more about his work... 
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I am Jim Sharples, I am a self-employed furniture maker using local sustainable timbers, often milling up trees myself. Creating bespoke pieces from planking the tree to fitting a kitchen in a client’s home. 

How do you prepare in the months running up to the Gift Fair? 
I plan what I will be making and start sourcing timber early. 
Do you have any tips on selling at Christmas markets? 
Have your stock made in advance – giving you time to plan the layout of your stall. 

What special little touch do you offer your customers?
I can make things to order which can be customised, bespoke and totally unique. 
What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
A handmade bike would be amazing. 

What is your favourite part of Christmas? 
One of my sons has his birthday on Christmas day, but the look on both my boys faces on Christmas morning is beautiful. 

Which UK artist/maker’s Twitter feed do you find most inspiring and why? 
Bryce Davis, AKA Peaceful Protest, always good pieces from a buys maker. 
What is your favourite family Christmas tradition? 
Now it’s my youngest boys’ birthday on Christmas day, so we try to keep the morning as a birthday celebration for him. 
Finally, if you could re-design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
The angel from the top of the Christmas tree should always be Elvis.

Thank you Jim!  Elvis would be so cool on top of the tree, especially in his white and gold Vegas suit.  You can find Jim in the Entrance of the Colston Hall foyer on Sunday 7th December.
Made in Bristol Gift Fair
Colston Hall 
Bristol

Saturday 29th November 2014
Sunday 7th December 2014
10am - 4pm

Saturday 13th December 2014 
10am - 3pm
Read More »

Made in Bristol Gift Fair

Thursday, December 04, 2014
Our second Gift Fair outing takes place on Sunday at Colston Hall, Bristol from 10am. Here are a few highlights from last week. All of these artists are taking part once again this weekend alongside a new bunch of talented makers & designers. See you there!
Catkin Boutique
Made in Bristol
Alex Lucas
Betty Butter
Sky Siouki 
Tickety Boo Upholstery 
Barefaced Bee
For more sneaky peaks keep one eye on our Facebook page and the other on Twitter (don't go cross eyed!) More info about our event & more photos can be found here too.... See you Sunday



Made in Bristol Gift Fair
Colston Hall 
Bristol

Sunday 7th December 2014
10am - 4pm
Saturday 13th December 2014 
10am - 3pm
Read More »