The Contemporary Craft Fair

15 Jun

Last Friday I spent the afternoon at the Contemporary Craft Fair as a volunteer, I spent 4 hours at the entrance selling tickets.  It was good fun, very busy, time flew by and it rained but we were undercover in a marque so it wasn’t too bad just a little chilly!  The fair was closing at 17:00 so by 16:15 there weren’t many new visitors so I had the chance to go for a quick look around before it was time to go home.  There was so much to look at it was hard to know where to start, but I went in to one of the marques where designer/makers were exhibiting their wares.  There was some really fantastic items on display and for sale.  I had a chat with Poppy Treffry creator of textiles and ceramics, I’m a fan of her applique style as you may well know so it was great to see her work ‘in the flesh’ and talk about a few of the technical things that bug me about applique.

Part of my quick flit round was to try and decide whether or not it would be completely crazy or not to go back the next day as a family.  I decided we could do it, mainly swung by the fact that there was a large Children’s Craft tent and a playground in the park where the fair was situated.

So, bright and early Saturday morning we were up – in fact 2 children were awake at what I call stupid o’clock, 5:45 I think!  The journey is less than 20 miles but Leah is well known for her travel sickness and despite taking medication for it she was sick on the way but we go prepared!  It does mean that she’s hungry way before lunchtime.  We did however manage to distract her from thoughts of food for a while, in fact we were up so early that we were in Bovey Tracey before the fair opened so we had a browse around the little town centre, oh and look some charity shops!  I bought a embroidery hoop and Bethan convinced me to spend 15p on a ladybird book on ecology for her (she’s been reading it and asking about pollution).

There was quite a big queue at 10:00 when the fair opened but as I was a volunteer on the Friday I had a pass for the weekend and could use the fast track entry to go straight in to the fair without queueing which is always a bonus when there are small children involved.  Where to start?  The first thing I remember the children spotting was the Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse and there was no stopping them:



They had a lovely time playing inside them and at that point the sun was shining so we were happy to watch them explore.  Judith Needham is the creator of these beautiful playhouses and was demonstrating how she makes them, she is a very lovely lady and encouraged Bethan to give her a hand:



I’m not sure Bethans hands are quite strong enough yet to make a full size one, but she had fun helping!


The Children’s Craft tent was amazing, there was so much to do, we could probably have spent the whole day in there!  There were real live insects, Tobi held a large stick insect, they looked at a tarantula and various other creatures.  Then there were the crafts, the usual colouring and sticking but also silk screen printing, candle dipping (I think that’s right we didn’t have a go at that but they had ready made candles and were dipping them into pots of colour?!), potato printing insects on to bunting – it was fantastic.  (I’ll take some photo’s of the bags they printed and show you soon).  Oh and a Punch and Judy show which as ever was fairly surreal…

But we did spend time in the main marques looking around at lots of beautiful and amazing creations, I still have lots of images of them spinning around in my head but no photographs – sorry!

All in all a great day out, lots of inspiration for buying UK handmade, not sure I can do anymore shopping on the high street when there is so much unique talent out there!

I mentioned in my last post that the pattern I used for the notebook covers is from Gingercake, I forgot to mention that I won another pattern on her blog!  Virginia has designed a new lunch bag called Hobo Style Lunch Sak, I recently made a lunch bag for Bethan from her Love Your Lunch Bag pattern and it’s great so I’m looking forward to trying out this pattern too.  I think it will be more suited to adults and the workplace rather than for school as without a flap/lid/closure on it lunch could get lost – Leah loves to swing her lunch bag around on the way to preschool!

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