Misha and I spent Sunday walk­ing around the Art Materials Live / Christmas Crafts at the Birmingham NEC. We had a great time, though we were exhausted by the end of it.

Anyhow, we thought we’d use this edi­tion of Beady Eyed Craftster to show you some of the neat stuff we saw.




Firstly, from the Craft Fair side of things:

• We loved these wooden bowls from Do Well Design – called ‘Knot Forgotten’ they use offcut wood from the fur­niture industry, pro­du­cing some very well done designs.

• We also loved these oak swill bas­kets from Owen Jones. Oak swill bas­kets are made from oak and hazel to a tra­di­tion­al design: they’re really cool, and it’s great to see tra­di­tion­al crafts still going.

• We were very impressed by the work at Judith Swanell Ceramics, and we brought a lovely blue bowl – she doesn’t seem to have much of a web pres­ence, but there are some con­tact details at the link. You can see a big­ger pic­ture of the bowl here.

And from the Materials side:

• There were lots of stalls selling beads, of course, but the one Misha found had the best range was Cookson Beads; she brought some stun­ning strands of wooden and semi-pre­cious beads.

• I always need new paint­brushes and Rosemary and Co had the best selec­tion at prices that were very reas­on­able, espe­cially con­sid­er­ing that they’re hand­made. Much bet­ter than the cheapo ones I usu­ally use!

• I’ve been inter­ested in leath­er-work­ing for a while now, and so we picked up a begin­ners kit at the Tandy Leather stall – anoth­er new hobby to add to the list. The guys run­ning the stall were very help­ful and enthu­si­ast­ic – in an after­noon of sales pitches, they were one of the few that seemed genu­inely inter­ested in bring­ing new people to their craft, not just ‘shift­ing units’.

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