It makes me a little sad that Craftacular hasn’t been added to the dictionary because it is most definitely a thing. BUST is an American lifestyle magazine for bright young women that covers a full range of topics and is a trusted authority on trends and everything culture aware. They sponsor this coming together of crafty super stars showcasing the talent of the world’s savviest makers, crafters, inventors & artisans and bring it all to a city near you. With both a Christmas & Summer instalment you have two chances a year to get your buts to York Hall, Bethnal Green for the intimate gathering. With lots more than just 70 stalls, with alcoholic beverages, cake & raffles; then several well run & thoughtfully workshops.
So here is a little insight in to this years Christmas Craftacular with some up & coming designer makers to look out for as well as my best gift choices from the day.
Su is a wonderfully bold surface pattern designer who lives in Norwich, drawing from life to create her colourful patterns and then works her designs through to final products. I haven’t see to many modern silk work and I have no idea why its a lovely material and Su takes pride in using it. Take a look through her Etsy store there is plenty of cute things to choose from this Christmas. I have an Aunt who would love one of her purses so that ticks her off the christmas list.
An knitwear label created by Alice, a British actress living in Amsterdam hand seamed and finished by the lady herself, combining traditional craftsmanship on a hand-machine with contemporary ascetics. A bow tie for everyone in the family on both two legs & four who wouldn’t look spiffy in a Wool & Water tie. The pet products are really well thought out with a collar attachment which means they don’t irritate and sit just under the chin. Obviously a lot of love goes in to the craft with some nice little details in the packaging to boot.
What a lovely lady! I was lucky enough to be Bec’s first customer of the day, she creates head-turning colours & pattern combos, bold designs with lots of layers and embellishments. Inspired by jewels and a ton of neon her bags come in all sort of materials and sizes and if they aren’t what you are after one of her cheeky badges would make a great secret santa. For all her accessories sustainability is all-important so her clothing items are either upcycled or repurposed from ethical brands. Being handmade and customisable dakota rae dust is completely unique.
Now this is a girl who knows her medium and has learnt it inside and out, mastering the handmade approach to her products allowing Lucie’s pieces to have wonderfully finished edges, crisp colour panels and funky patterns. Quality item well priced, what more could you want from a great gift, my top choice is the design your own bunting necklace, pick your colours hand over the cash and your away.
Hand dyed, hand stitched and hand printed accessories for you, your pet and your home all happily made by the lovely Hannah in her small London studio with help of her dog Indy. I caught her on her stall organising her glittery bum bags, because they need that.
I am really having fun finding new acrylic jewellery designers at the moment as they are trendy at the moment with more makers being drawn to the medium. Rosa’s pieces really blew me away when I saw her stall, I not sure if it was the impactful jewel tones or the shiny factor but they really were eye catching. Her stall was chocked full of glamorous pieces from smaller pendants to fill collars of colour. What really set her pieces apart from others I have seen where the resin inlays with floating pieces of gold & silver leaf or Holi dye; her original crafting interest, coupled with smooth acrylic edges makes stunning pieces of jewellery.
The Aviary is an independent design house with plenty of hand illustrated designs and lots of whimsical ideas for ‘the urban nature girl’ in all of us. Their brass jewellery all have a nice geometric diamond charm next to the back clasp, that extra detail just makes them a nice edition to your jewellery box. ‘Drawing’ on skin is a favourite pastime of theirs so be sure to see their ever-growing range of truly unique temporary tattoos as well.
Everyone needs a cute squishy friend, whether it be for the kids or those who need to be more child like and what a great selection you can find from Made By Swimmer. Not so much the regular teddy or elephant toy; a happy whales, content foxes and even a cricket or two; their eccentric range of toys and cushions are handmade from vintage or re-cycled materials with plenty of character.
Felt is such a lovely material to work with, this lovely mummy from Yorkshire dropped down to the Craftacular in the big smoke to bring her adorable hand stitched creations. I fell in love with her finger puppets so quickly they are so quirky and would make a wonderful .
So here are just a few more stalls I loved, products I couldn’t help buying and familiar faces I couldn’t help but smile back at.
- This Way to the Circus – Succulents always deserve my attention, add in some cactus, potty pottery and fun geometric patterns and I’m truly a happy bunny.
- Jonna Saarinen – Loved seeing Jonna again after so long, seems like years since 100% Design and my two lovely pot stands still have pride of place in my kitchen.
- A Common Thread – This craft coalition is a nice little group of crafters, that have an ethical shop and great teaching space & workshops available.
- Glazed & Confused – Both Tana’s parents worked in a zoo while she was growing up, leaving her with a love for the natural world that comes around in the inspiration of her ceramics.
- Oh No Rachio – Had a wonderful stall display, nice copper stands & fairy lights. Love her mini moon pin cushions & her photography is lovely to look through.
- Mister Pebbles – Lovely illustrated creatures on my gift tags this year, also a lovely stall display.
- Mabel and Bird – Screen Printed Textiles, lovely cushions but what I got was some cute mini felt bunting.
- A marble finished waxed canvas Cire bag, the wash bags make great gifts for men alike.
- My most unique brand name of the day, Peas & Needles called so after a crafty Lucy who doesn’t like peas go-figure.
- My final purchase of the day from Glasshouse, a stained glass arrow head necklace made by Fiona in her Hove studio does some great glass pieces including her jewellery. This pink piece is a gift and I think will be well loved.
I hope you are thoroughly envious and wish you’d been there because it gave me tones of ideas and solved a few of my tricky Christmas list entries this year. Keep an eye out for my designer maker gift guide this year as they’ll be a few entries from Bust Craftacular, a well spent Sunday for sure.