Friday, 21 November 2008

MADE08 Launch

We managed to build and launch MADE08 without incident and we're relieved and pleased that the response from the public has been incredible. Buyers say that this show is the best they've seen in Brighton and gives top London shows a run for their money! They praised the quality and originality of the exhibitors and the range of work on show.

The show was opened by Clare Gogerty editor of Coast Magazine - she praised the quality of work at the show and stressed the importance of supporting craft and design by individuals buying work.

"Brighton and Hove Collects Award"
The Private View also saw the launch of a new award the "Brighton and Hove Collects Award" which is a partnership between Made and Brighton and Hove Museums to purchase pieces for the museums collections. Polly Harknett the Craft Curator at Hove Museum presented the award to Nick Barberton for a carved wooden platter and Ark Glass for their exuberant blown glass.

The show continues Saturday 10.00 - 6.00 and Sunday 10.00 - 5.00 we really hope you'll get there!

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Christopher Corr at Castor and Pollux

Hot on the heals of a successful exhibition for Angie Lewin, celebrated illustrator Chris Corr is Showing a selection of paintings at Castor and Pollux.
Opening next weekend, we are treated to New York, Marrakech, Chandigarh, Merida and Brighton in Chris's imaginative style.

To see more pictures go to

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MAKER OF THE WEEK - Katherine Bree

Katherine Bree

Semi-Precious Beaded Fashion jewellery. Colour plays a very important role in my work.

The pictures are of my winter garden collection which will be for sale at MADE.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
Standing in the Jewellery room at Liberty' in London, looking at the inspirational designer-maker pieces for sale at that time.

Who would you say buys your work?
Individual and creative women and those who buy for them.

How do you set about starting a new project?
I create mood boards that are a culmination of what has inspired me over the previous few months.

What do you have on your pinboard?
1950's Tikki style images of film posters, postcards of tropical foliage, collections of coloured stones and shell, experimental jewellery pieces,

Where and what is your studio?
My studio is based in an old mews property in north London, which is freezing in the winter and like an oven in the summer. Although the mews is full of rubbish bins belonging to the shops that back onto it, I have a beautiful little roof garden where a trainee horticulturalist friend of mine likes to experiment with new planting ideas. It started as a black garden, all black foliage and flowers and now has bright oranges and purples, cabbages, a grape vine and a weeping willow. I work alone, but listen to BBC London which keeps me sane! Vanessa Feltz, Robert Elms and Danny Baker are my constant companions.

Surprising activity/hobby?
I recently took up tap dancing which is great escapism!

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I rarely switch off. I constantly have design ideas racing around my head, too many to produce.

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
I think art and craft is essential in this world of speed and technology. For makers and appreciators, it is a doorway through to the soul.

Are their other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?
I originally qualified in textile design. Publications such as 'Selvedge magazine' are really inspiring in their portrayal of textile designers and it's giving me a hankering to take up textile design again.

Can anything be 'art'?
If 'Art' stands for ideas then I guess anything may be art. But in this society it appears this only applies if the artist has a qualification.

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Thursday, 20 November 2008



Brighton based AnnaTilson has been making mosaics for more than 9 years.
She uses only carefully selected vintage crockery to bring a new quirky slant to mosaic making. Turning old discarded plates and cups left at the back of the cupboard, into new precious objects.
Anna Tilson’s work is inspired by a combination of a Victorian boudoir and a 1930’s tea room – nostalgic and whimsical.

All her pieces are original one – off designs and the range includes fancy mirrors, eclectic vases, romantic brooches and fancy floral wall plaques.

Where and what is your studio?
I work at Cross Street Studios in Hove. We’re just off the seafront, and there are 12 of us on 3 open plan floors. We are big Radio 4 fans on the top floor where I work.

What do you have on your pin board?
Photos of my children, postcards from exhibitions and a few badges. See photo.

What is your favourite website? Bulk buy reduced priced bus tickets for Brighton’s expensive public transport

One favourite living artist?
Gillian Ayres. She paints large, exuberant and colourful paintings which lift your spirits.

One living craft maker?
Grainne Morton. She makes beautifully made jewellery using obscure and miniature objects.

One favourite historical artist?
Marie Laurencin. Beautiful, simple paintings using delicate and feminine colours.

What was the last craft thing you purchased?
A lovely rose transfer mug by Hanne Rysgaard which I bought at this year’s Origins. I have used it every day since I bought it!

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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

MADE08 - scotching rumours

I got a news of a disturbing rumour today going round that MADE08 had been cancelled -it hasn't, it starts on Thursday and it's looking fantastic!

I have tracked down the source of the rumour though - another event called "Brighton Loves Handmade" which was to have taken place at Fabrica in December has been cancelled, although their website doesn't yet mention that fact.

So please all come to MADE08- Brighton's design and Craft Fair this weekend and bring your chequebooks!

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MAKER OF THE WEEK - Natsu Nishimoto

Natsu Nishimoto

One favourite historical artist?
Gaudi - Because of his strikingly original works, that always inspire me and give me ideas.

What place in the world has inspired you?
Everywhere where there is wilderness, - that is my source of organic images.

At age 15 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
My father

Last best read?
The Golden Compass by Philip Pulman

What do you have on your pinboard?
Images that give me ideas. Photo of my family.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Not really...

Are you able to switch off from art work?
No, I can not stop thinking.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Would you rather be doing something else?

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?

Can anything be 'art'?

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Sunday, 16 November 2008

MAKER OF THE WEEK - Amanda Glanville, The Earring Cafe

Amanda Glanville, The Earring Café

I’m a Glass Beadmaker. I like to think my beads are funky, theatrical, with a great sense of colour. They are collected in their own right as ‘objects’, used by other makers in their own work or combined by me into simple jewellery with contemporary clean lines.

One favourite living craft maker?
I can’t chose between jewellers Peter Chang and Wendy Ramshaw
Chang for his fearless use of colour and form, innovation in a material seen as throwaway (he works in plastic I work in glass – and heaven help us, glass BEADS!) and the way his jewellery leaps out of photographs with a sense of how tactile it is.
Ramshaw mainly for her stacking ring sets. They blow me away with their sense of theatre and fearless futuristic forms. They are definitely are my Desert Island Discs ‘object’ (see below!)

What one product/item do you really covet?
I would absolute love to own a Wendy Ramshaw stacking ring set for the sheer cleverness and finished-ness of having something that looks as fantastic worn as not worn. Although (and you can tell I’ve really thought about this) I would like the delayed gratification of having a section of the piece posted to me once a month for however long it takes – hopefully an endless process.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
Working in glass I am subject to the awful temptation that the glass manufactures put in my way – new colours. As an avid reader of Vogue and Harpers I’m also swayed by the changing world of fashion so I’d say that I definitely watch both these areas and bend my work to suit the current colours. For instance I’ve got a collection of tartan and paisley beads (both catwalk themes for Autumn 2008) which both use new colours of glass – so everyone’s happy!
Generally I’m realistic enough to want my work to be affordable but unique – it’s to be worn and cherished so shouldn’t have a shelf life, but should always have that Wow factor that makes someone stop and stare at it.

How do you set about starting a new project?
I’ve got to go through a bit of agony of self doubt. I’m absolutely rubbish at bigging myself up and definitely need pressure to really condense my thoughts. I usually spend ages mulling something over with weeks to go, ignore it for a bit then rush at it when all my best ideas come tumbling out. Thanks to a philosophy course I’m doing I’m started to watch the way I work which is really interesting and not very easy! It does help to slow down and try and get in the ‘zone’, and allow the skills to almost do the work naturally, but it’s not always easy to drop the manic-Amanda-creative-rush mode!

What do you have on your pinboard?
Scraps of colour inspiration from magazine, postcards etc
Pictures drawn for me by the young daughter of a friend who lives in deepest Aberdeenshire
A cartoon from a fellow beadmaker joking about why you should never take on teenage work experience students.
Copies of invoices
List of stuff I’m running out of.
Copy of my weekly checklist – Monday morning job: make large pot of coffee and go through the different areas of work.
A brilliant card sent to me by a friend featuring the ‘self employed office party’ – worker and cat both wearing party hats and trying to photograph themselves!

What is your favourite website?
My favourite website is Fed by Birds a completely eclectic web feed which is endlessly inspiring. I think it’s maintained by a writer who has got a fantastic eye for all things magpie-ish and eccentric (reminds me of my Dad who taught me to really look for the unusual in things). I love the fact that you can visit it and discover 1920s shop window displays, surreal children’s book covers or sounds recorded on location in Brighton!

Surprising activity/hobby?
I’m very torn between the world of theatre and the world of craft, having trained as a drama teacher and being an avid (some would say anoraky) theatre goer. I suppose I’m fairly unusual in that I go to the theatre more than I go to the pub (ie at least once a week) and it’s usually something quirky in a village hall, studio theatre or a draughty weird place up a dark alley.
I sometimes muse on whether I’d choose between beads or theatre if put on the spot but as I’m married to a contemporary dancer, it would be a near impossible choice. Don’t get me started on my greatest hits theatre shows, you’ll be here all night!!

What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
Ooh there’s a very fine line in craft between the kitsch and the bloody awful. It’s all a matter of opinion, and the crafts are undergoing such a resurgence of the DIY movement at the moment we could be at the mercy of the Changing Rooms circa 1990 effect of painting a perfectly good living room purple and sticking a gold throne in there.
I’m also depressed by the ‘Cath Kidson’ school of craft pieces still being churned out. Especially when you see it being done by new graduates. Come on – the 50s housewife look has really had its day!
everything has to be coldly modernist, or stark and unfriendly but you can feel the current-ness of a really good piece of art without it seeming to date.

Most underated artist/maker?
I’ve met some wonderful makers who are quietly doing their thing locally while holding down other jobs / raising a family. There are too many of them to mention but their work jumps out at you as something really special. I’ve got a superb teapot made by someone I met knitting socks on her stall in Suffolk! These makers remind me of the really great actors who make it look effortless and raise the art to an ‘artform’. They’re all just getting on with the job, ignoring the PR and the funding opportunities, just doing what they want to do when they want to do it.

Most overated artist/maker?
Mister Damien Hirst. Too much selfconscious showbiz. Too greedy. Stick him in a garret with a pencil and sheet of paper and let’s find out what he can really do without the crowds of sycophants who surround him!

If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be?
Top floor of the Pompidou Centre, Paris.
I last visited when I was 14 and was blown away by a combination of huge Cubist art and great views of sunsets across the rooftops. How great would a bunch of tiny glass beads be up there? I think the Parisians are cool enough to take it!

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Lina Peterson Jewellery

Swedish born maker Lina Peterson was at Origin this year and I fell in love with her work.

She sees brooches as having a direct relationship with the body, allowing for a conversation to start between the garment and the work. Seeing her work, this claim makes sense. Lina is fascinated with the endless possibilities and configurations of materials - her work includes crocheted silver and gold, embroidered metal, dip-coated plastics, gold plated textiles, even bread buns! This love for combining unlikely materials drives the work itself, whilst also cleverly playing with people's expectations of jewellery.

As someone who loves brooches, it is hard to find big, bold, unfussy pieces that are gorgeous and wearable.
Now, to find an excuse to buy one!

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Saturday, 15 November 2008

Open House - 72 Ashford Road Brighton

It's coming up to Open House season in Brighton and Sarah's really pleased to have been invited to exhibit in one of the first to open. 72 Ashford Road in the Fiveways area. The house itself is beautiful, welcoming and 'gezellig' (cosy). Especially on these dull November days.

The house is the house of Sculptor and sculpture teacher Jo Sweeting who also has a lovely Sculpting studio in the garden. Jo's selling beautifully cut lettering on pebbles and stone, stone carvings, ceramic flowers and blind embossed collagraphs. (see above)

Joy Fox is selling her button jewellery and Betty Bib is selling her fairy brooches etc

Sarah Young is showing various prints and a couple of paintings which seem to suit the 40's feel of the house beautifully. Porcelain lamps above are by Amy Cooper. There are a number of other makers showing too. Idea for a damp sunday - really recommend it and it's the last day tommorrow!!!!!!

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MADE08 Posters and Banners

Finally after some delay due to gales last week - (unsuitable weather for climbing lamposts) the banners have been put up and so the official countdown to the MADE08 - Brighton's Design and Craft fair, begins.

We're getting excited about the show which is definitely shaping up to be the best one yet, in terms of the quality and number of makers showing and because of the interest in the show by potential visitors. Please make sure you come - the show is open to the public from Friday to Sunday and we would all value your support.

The private view on Thursday will see the presentation of a £1000 award - the "Brighton and Hove Museums' collects award" - which will be awarded to a single maker to produce work for the Craft and Design Collection at Brighton and Hove Museums which is one of the most important collections in the country.

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My work is celebratory but only through bringing light to the dark

One favourite living artist?
Gerhard Richter - because he is fearless

One favourite historical artist?
Francis Bacon because of the rules he broke

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
At school

What place in the world has inspired you?
Nicaragua - because of the peoples zest for life and their courage

Last best read?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
I try very hard not to

How do you set about starting a new project?
My attention is caught by an image or the idea of it and if if has an accompanying excited feeling of wanting to paint it - then that becomes the start of that journey.
I, recently, saw Martin Creed's installation at the Tate and something struck me about the incongruity of the athletes and their sprint through the formal space - which I am playing with, presently.

Where and what is your studio?
The 106 Studio, Hove. There are about 15 other art artists - although we never seem to be there at the same time - all working in different disciplines. I appreciate the interaction with the other artists. I prefer to work in silence.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Are their other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into
Because I'm also a professional actress - I would like to understand more thoroughly the connections between my painting and acting.

If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be?
Purdy Hicks

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Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Kate McCulloch - Katie Mac Ceramics

Coastal inpsired ceramics that incorporate scenes from the shore using my own blend of recycled paper and stoneware clay

Money spent on A HEAT GUN is never wasted.
I recently bought one, the best money I've spent in a long time. My studio space is getting colder and colder by the day - it helps relieve the stress of very slow drying clay

Favourite living artist?
Kurt Jackson - I love his coastal work, he's very inspirational to me. I adore how he catches the moods of the sea using mixed media, colour and texture. He seems to easily capture the different moods with plenty of movement.

Favourite historical artist
Ansel Adams - His landscape photography is stunning, he was such a pioneer in his field, developing the zoning system to capture the contrasts to give a well balanced photograph. His compositions and choice of views are wonderful. He's the reason I own camera equipment and take time to capture the beautiful things that surround us.

When/where did you first want to do what you do?
I first got my hands on some clay when I went on a field trip to a local potter's workshop (Sarah Fuller, she just happened to be my best friend's mum!) on my childhood island of Antigua in the Caribbean. I loved the feel and what she could do with it. I didn't really consider it until I went to the University of Plymouth to study 3D Design and by the end of teh 1st year I knew I wanted to join the self employed potter community.

What place in the world has inspired you?
At the moment, Northumberland. I was born in this beautiful county and always find myself heading back there. It's such a wonderful place, such a variety between the different coastal areas, all the history that surrounds it and the fact that you can walk along a large expanse of beach and not see a soul. I feel closer to my absent relatives and feel a sense of peace when I'm there. If I happen to be lacking inspiration or just need some time away I grab some clothes, camera equipment and a sketchbook, get in the car and drive for hours to a family friend's. I spend a couple of days on the coast, visit places I went when I was younger and get myself focused again - it never fails to inspire me. It's amazing the variety of magnificent places we have on our doorsteps (especially the coast) but they are rarely considered for visiting, especially anything 'up North'.

Who would you say buys your work?
I would say those who are looking for handmade work that doesn't look like it's been mass produced or 'clean cut'. Oh, and those who like the colour blue, the sea or anything coastal related.

What's on your pinboard?
To do lists, mix of maker/gallery business cards, photos of friends, postcard from Boston & one of the Angel of the North, a hockey timetable, a invigilation rota for a gallery and a famous quote my Mum gave me.

Where or what is your studio:
I'm part of a studio group called InBristol studios, based in Barton Hill, Bristol. Kerry Russell, Tracey Graham and Sharon Bishop are there too. My studio space walls are covered with photos that involve the sea so far I have shots from Antigua, Northumberland, Westonbirt Arboretum and Wales. I have one blank wall left that is looking very tempting. Sound wise it depends who is in the studio - but I have to have some sort of music on if it's through headphones or on the stereo - but I definetly can't work in silence, reminds me too much of a library

Surprising Activity/Hobby:
Not sure if it's classed as surprising but it's my most enjoyable hobby, Hockey - it's a great way to keep fit and socialise (it gets lonely being all creative) plus you have the satisfaction of hitting a ball very hard, and the risk of getting hit with one (I seem to be getting a bruise every week). A great stress buster. I had a couple of years away from it but I've recently joined a new team so it's great getting to know new faces plus, it breaks up the routine during the week.

One word for feeling of work : engrossing

Would you rather be doing something else?
No. Anything else would feel like I'm wasting the creative talent that was passed on to me. Don't get me wrong, it gets hard, stressful and I wonder why I'm doing it. Then I ask myself one question "would you rather be doing the 9 to 5?" and that get's me back in to the groove

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