Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting

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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part two

IMG_1900If you haven’t caught up with yesterday’s Made by Hand post, please click here.

As I mentioned yesterday, there were some great designers and products at the Made by Hand craft fair. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided that the fair warrants two posts.

I’m often drawn to colours and quirky designs, so I was glad to see plenty of products that fitted the bill at the fair. This time I’ve featured my favourite jewellery, ceramics, prints and embroidery. Have a read about each artist and click onto their sites if you’d like to know more.


Ellymental lives and works in Cardiff where she sells jewellery pieces inspired by animals and collage. Her work is stocked in shops and galleries across the UK and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is lovingly made and whimsical. You can buy her work on her website or her Folksy shop and you can follow her on Twitter here.


Bryony Stanford is based in Shropshire and graduated from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Her work, such as the animal pins featured above, often features the relationship between construction and deconstruction and she uses different textures and finishes to make each piece unique. You can find her on Twitter or Facebook and she also sells on Not on the High Street.IMG_1865

What I particularly loved about Esther Connon’s work is that she creates children’s books from her beautiful drawings. Esther works from a studio on the north coast of Cornwall which actually happens to be her old grammar school. She has always had a passion for storytelling but uses minimal or no text, instead using her drawings to tell the story. You can find out more here.


I’ve encountered Alice Shields’s work before, last year. The ceramicist’s products are inspired by the outside as well as the eccentricities of British style and she creates beautiful pieces for the house, the garden or for adorning clothes. Each piece is handmade and you can follow her adventures here or here.


Becky Crow’s wonderful silver jewellery is definitely something to put on the Christmas wishlist. Becky uses sheet silver and copper to create her unique pieces and works from a studio in Brighton. Her work features images of nature and people and you can find out more about the pieces on her website.


I just loved the colours of Megan Alice England’s hand printed textiles. Megan creates each piece from scratch, designing, printing and sewing from her studio in Cheltenham. You can buy her work on Etsy and Not on the High Street and follow her on Twitter here.


Creator of Boop Design, Laura Pearcey, uses stories from her childhood to inspire her ceramics and jewellery. I particularly loved Laura’s bottles, like the ones shown in the above photo, for their individuality and sweet floral and button designs. You can find more of Laura’s work via her Facebook or Twitter.


And finally, I somehow managed to miss By Kirsty on my first trip around, but I’m so glad I went back for a second look as I ended up buying one of the wooden alphabet brooches from here. Designer Kirsty Patrick specialises in wood and acrylic and also has a shop based in the Cardiff arcades (one of my favourite places) selling homeware by British designers. You can find out more here or here.

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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part one

IMG_1852Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Made by Hand craft fair in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, held in Cardiff’s City Hall. With 140 stalls on two levels and work from ceramicists and jewellery makers to printers and stationery designers, the fair was well-worth a visit. The work featured at Made by Hand was well-made, exquisite and unique and I went away wanting far more than I’d actually bought.

The fair was held on the 31st October until the 2nd November and, as well as the stalls, there were plenty of expert talks and workshops for participants to try too. Workshops included making miniature story books, mosaics and embroidery with Craftivist Collective founder, Sarah Corbett.

Although some crafters had come from further away, there were quite a few local and Wales-based designers, which I was particularly happy to see, and overall the standard of stalls was brilliant.

There really was a lot to see and the event is annual, so I’ll definitely be going again next year.

But for now, here is a selection of some of my favourite exhibitors. As there were too many for one post, part two will follow tomorrow.


Virginia Graham creates her range of colourful ceramics from a studio in Cardiff. Her work includes mismatched teapots and mugs, floral coasters and even ceramic brooches. Her work is sold throughout the UK and a list of stockists appears on her website. You can keep up to date with her news via her Facebook page here.


Helaina Sharpley is a wirework artist based in West Yorkshire, who specialises in detailed and beautiful wall art. Her work ranges from postcard sculptures to more intricate posters, like the above. Helaina says it takes her many hours to make each piece of work. You can follow her on Twitter here.


I really loved Ruth Green’s screenprinted notebooks and cards. The artist sells on Not on the High Street and works from her studio in Birmingham to create prints inspired by the flora and fauna of the British countryside. You can see more of her work here or here.


All of the items sold by Grace & Favour Home are handmade in Devon. Creator Rachael Rowe works from her studio on the edge of Dartmoor to make unique products, including bunting, cushions and stationery. You can follow her work on Facebook or Twitter.


I’ve come across the work of Mid Wales based company Llynfi Textiles on many an occasion before and their work is always lovely. Specialising in woollen garments, the brand is run by Sue and Emily James, a mother and daughter team. Llynfi Textiles also has a Twitter, Facebook and a blog, so follow away.


I just loved the ice lolly necklaces that My Bear Hands was selling. Jewellery designer Sally Haysom’s pieces begin life as a watercolour painting or a sketch with digital colour and she then turns them into wearable jewellery using digital or hand applied techniques. You can follow her adventures on her website, Facebook, Twitter or blog.

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The work of Plymouth College of Art students Luke Axworthy and Nieve Perry really impressed me. Luke’s jewellery pieces were very innovative and I loved Nieve’s ceramic milk bottles.


I absolutely love screenprinted posters like the ones on sale by Print Garage. Each design was different and I particularly loved the colours of the prints. Creator of Print Garage, Iain Perry, also runs a selection of workshops for anyone interested in learning the craft which you can find out more about here. The Print Garage Facebook page can be found here and its Twitter is here.


I can imagine having a lot of Katie Almond‘s ceramics in my home as they’re incredibly lovely. Inspired by vintage textiles, Katie creates jugs, cups, plates, teapots and cake stands full of colour and with quirky designs. Plus she also does commissions! Keep up with Katie’s work through her Facebook page, Twitter or blog.

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Craft talk: Gemmipop Designs


For a while now I’ve been wanting to expand the blog to feature interviews with crafters among other things. I’ll hopefully be making this a regular series and want to feature all types of crafty people. Today it’s the turn of Gemma from Gemmipop Designs, who talks about her foray into crafting and her work in general.

Gemma runs a jewellery shop on Etsy, a blog and has a very aesthetically pleasing Pinterest page. Her work mostly consists of laser cut jewellery and features plastic deer necklaces, hedgehog earrings and floral framed brooches. All her work is made in her workshop in Shropshire. Follow Gemma on Twitter for more information.


Gemma’s work is inspired by colour and she chooses her textiles accordingly

When and how did you first get into crafting?

I always enjoyed crafting. My gran taught me to knit when I was seven, but even before that my perfect day was spent cutting up crepe paper and cardboard! I started sewing when I was around eighteen, and picked up the knitting needles again around the same time, but I didn’t start crafting seriously until my early twenties when I started my degree in applied arts. I specialised in Jewellery and Metalwork and, although I work mostly in laser cut acrylic now, my love of textiles still features strongly in my work.

How would you describe your work?

I think of myself predominantly as a jeweller, so my work is mostly wearable, but generally the material I’m using dictates the outcome. I like the design opportunities you get with laser cut acrylic, and the tactile qualities of textiles, so I’m very much led by the materials at hand.

What is your favourite piece?

I think I’ve been most pleased with my range of frame brooches, which incorporates acrylic and fabric. It was an idea I worked on in metal at university, but it never quite worked until I tried it with acrylic. I have used vintage and retro print fabric, and well as vintage embroidered linens and I’ve always loved the outcome!


A selection of Gemma’s framed brooches, available on her Etsy shop

Who or what inspires your work?

I find inspiration in all sort of places – I love colour most of all, so I’m always led by that when I choose materials. I make an effort to visit as many art galleries and museums as I can, as I think it helps me to think outside of the purely crafty box!

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working hard re-stocking my shop after a very busy festive season, but I’m working on some exciting new designs in my sketchbook too.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to sell their work?

Starting my business was the best thing I’ve ever done, but it is unbelievably hard work. I am fortunate because I have my shop to keep me motivated, but I think it’s very hard if you’re trying to do it alone. I would say find some other local crafters and try to keep bouncing ideas around.

Thanks Gemma! If there’s a particular craft you’d like to know more about, or if you’d like to feature on the blog, then please get in touch.

All photos courtesy of Gemma Manning-Bentley

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Craft in the bay

Craft in the Bay is a local exhibition space in Cardiff, which highlights local designers and their work. Incorporating the work of many artists and creators across a medium of textiles, they also sell many beautiful things in their shop. I’ve only been once, but it was a place which stood out to me at the time and one that I’m longing to go back to. Currently showing the Cwtch exhibition, this is one that offers “warm colours, cosy textiles, finely crafted designs – made to the highest quality”, according to their website. Yes, you may think that this is more arty crafts than wearable crafts, but they do indeed offer a selection of jewellery and workshops for children on how to tie-dye a t-shirt.

So,what are you waiting for?  Get crafting!