Wow! What a weekend it was at The Hepworth Summer Fair 2018. It was of course the first time I traded in person as Today rather than under my own name which was all very exciting I have to admit (find out more about the change here), and in true craft fair fashion between chin wagging with fellow traders, and getting to know the punters, I talked myself hoarse!
If you made it to the fair I’m sure you’ll agree that the quality and variety of traders and their wares (as always with The Hepworth Fairs) was astounding, and as a trader it’s a surreal experience being surrounded by so many amazing makers.
If you didn’t make it down, I’ve handpicked my 5 favourites from the weekend, some of them people I already loved, and some who were brand new to me! So if you’ve got 5 minutes to spare (go on, give yourself 5 with a cuppa!) have a read through.
A fellow Leeds College of Art graduate (or Leeds Arts University as it’s now called), I first came across the work of Abbey Withington after my eyes were drawn across a room by a glimpse of a perfect colour pallet beckoning me from the the far side of the bustling cafe in Sheaf Street Cafeteria (Leeds) to peruse an offering of the most perfect greetings cards I had ever set eyes on.
Playful phrases, in hand drawn typography with mid century inspired pallets, they were all perfect and ridiculously pleasing to me.
A quick follow on Instagram and I became an avid fan, actually looking forward to seeing what she shared next in her distinct curious and playful style that could only be her. So imagine my excitement when we were neighbours at the Summer Fair for both days!
Faye Hall Design
From fair neighbours to in real life neighbours (well almost), I only very recently stumbled upon the bold designs of Faye Hall when she was trading at a country show (that’s how us girls roll) and we later went on to discover we actually just live either side of a valley. Close, but also not so close neighbours.
In the tent of craft stalls at the country show I mentioned (Bingley Show if you must know), her bold statement jewellery reached out to me across the room (much like Abbeys did) first for the vibrant colour and striking shapes, and then on closer inspection I got to really appreciate the beautiful tactile quality of her embroidered leather goods.
The Smallish House
This fair was the first time I had ever set eyes on the ridiculously cute and playful products of The Smallish House, a Northhamptonshire based duo who know a thing or two about creating the cutest darn kids accessories I have ever seen! If only I was a few years younger (OK a LOT of years younger) so I could fit into their adorable explorer backpacks!
As well as super sweet handmade kids clothes and accessories, they also have a range of textile homewares in their distinctive hand drawn illustrations. So I might be a little (a lot) too big for the backpacks, but I can never have too many plant holders.
Sunken Studio’s display at markets and fairs is really one that I DARE you to try pass without stopping. The playful use of pattern and stripped back colour range really makes the products pop. Once you’re in (because like I said, I don’t know how you couldn’t stop for a proper snoop), it’s obvious these wares are the making of a master. The quality of work(wo)manship and obviously extremely considered, yet seemingly simple design is what really draws me to Sunken Studio products.
As well as beautiful handmade homewares and accessories, Sunken Studio run a dizzying amount of workshops, classes and events for both young and not so young people of any ability, so you too can have a go at your own ceramic creations!
Do you ever dream of one day having a home full of one particular designers work because you love them so? Ding Ding is that exact thing for me.
As a designer I’m obsessed with simplicity and fascinated by process, so I love that Ding Ding invites us to follow a designs development from conception to completion.
I have come to love watching a new collage pop up on Ding Ding’s Instagram, and watch it become refined, simplified, repeated and eventually printed into glorious mid century inspired single colour printed homewares that are the definition of timeless.
I can’t wait to get back out trading in person, which is a good job because I’ve got plenty of markets and fairs lined up in Autumn in the run up to the ‘C’ word (I’m not going there just yet).
Check out my events page to see all my upcoming markets and fairs, or if you want to make sure you don’t ever miss out on the latest news, you can sign up to my mailing list to be first in line for exclusive updates.