The Made fairs are a series of craft events organised by Tutton & Young, a pair of talented visual arts organisers that bring together some of the best makers inside beautiful venues around the UK. I love experiencing a new event and having visited Made Brighton & Brighton Art Fair I knew I had to go to the London instalment.
One Marylebone formally Holy Trinity Church was the perfect venue, converted for modern use whilst also celebrating its roots with its original architecture and stunning features. Really I couldn’t think of a better back drop for the curated mix of traditional & contemporary craft products. With only a few familiar faces I spent ages talking to new designers admiring new product ranges all ready for (whispers) Christmas.
I started at the top and worked my way down, taking the wonderful spiralling staircase upstairs to the galleries running in to Richard & Arron from R&A Collaborations who were running the cinema. This talented duo create films to promote makers, showing the process and personality behind certain products. We had a quick melding of like minds with a promise to come back and watch the reel of short videos before I finished for the day.
Jewellery seems to always be my first stop, and Jazzy’s sculptural masterpieces were impossible to ignore. Her work is diverse and versatile enough that it ranges from light installations to very wearable jewellery. Working with fragile porcelain and precious materials she takes inspiration from the natural world with delicate fresh water pearls for a classy result.
It’s one of those traditional crafts often forgotten and under appreciated, basket making. The process has changed very little since its conception and effected very little by modern industrially. Jenny practices the traditions to the extreme even growing her own willow for the last 30 years but also adapts designs to appeal for modern uses.
Sitting on that fine line between functionality and decoration Justine’s ceramics are wonderfully graphic with great silhouettes that allow the light to just play across their surface. Vessels that are each unique, with new pieces including the striped vases and scrummy gold leaf lined trinket bowls.
The ceramic standard was high and in plenty! but it was Kirstie’s display that caught my eye first. I love a bit of dove grey and it really set off her tableware perfectly. With a white base inspired by Japanese forms adding just a hint of colour for the finishing touch.
Rachel makes interesting jewellery from decommissioned coins using their natural shape & design for a new purpose. Every piece is really wearable and straddles the boundary between vintage and contemporary at the same time.
It is definitely the season for knitwear and this Dutch knitter with her team have just the think to stave off the cold. Top quality materials all handmade in to humorous animal accessories.
Rosie had a great display full of happy blue patterned textiles, from cushions to pouches it was a gift buying dream land. With lots of Scandinavian influences her designs are playful but simple.
Tamsin Arrowsmith brown
With hints of the tradition blue and white Tamsin’s hand thrown ceramics are an expression of mark making, hand painted and finished with great care. These hanging pots were a particular favourite.
Drawing inspiration from days past this family run operation oozes leathery goodness with plenty of vibrant coloured accessories that make perfect gifts. From little plectrum pouches to cable keepers they have lots of clever ideas that combine traditional process with modern needs.
Mizuyo Yamashita, a Japanese artist working out of London had some of the most interesting stoneware pieces I have seen. From miniature flower pots to a memorable signature treehouse tea light holder I was captured for a while taking in all her important details.
I have seen some of Helaina’s wire work before and continue to find it fascinating. Starting from a sketch she then bends the wire by hand to create these 3-D sculptures that are perfect on a coloured wall. The shadows add to their impact, so light them well.
Sophie Alice Wiltshire
These cute critters are sophie’s illustrative creations, each with their own little personality that comes from the hand finish and attention to character. Both ornamental and functional their appeal is obvious.
Established in 1985 Fiona is a seasoned textile designer, hand dying and silk screen printing her designs on to silk, wool and more. Her scarf patterns are ageless and timeless working for anyone.
There was a further catalogue full of designers and crafts people worth exploring! I had to take a much needed lunch break down in the crypt before continuing with still more to discover. There was a great mix with ceramics, jewellery and textiles all strong contenders for the top spot. I was spoilt for choice. With great facilities as well as choice of purchase it turned in to a full day out.
Great curation Tutton and Young I’ll be interested to see what you do next to keep the craft industry fresh and exciting for the consumer.