This week we are all so happy and excited to see our craft shops and galleries opening again, we have missed them!
As a small scale, slow craft business, much of my time is spent working on commissions and teaching. I have just three stockists for my hand bound sketchbooks and notebooks, and each one means so much more to me than simply a way to sell my work.
I have been a proud selected member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey for 25 years, and feel lucky to be part of such a creative community of talented makers. The Guild is a leading charity for craft education as well as an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft, and I love giving craft demonstrations and running workshops there, as well as taking part in exhibitions and selling my work in the shop. And it's a beautiful, riverside mill building on the edge of Dartmoor, with a fantastic café!
Photo credit: Burton Art Gallery
Like the Devon Guild, I have a long association with the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford, exhibiting in the Craft Gallery and running workshops. It's a brilliant gallery and museum in this small town on the north coast of Devon. The Craft Gallery showcases the best of contemporary craft, including potters Clive Bowen and Svend Bayer, and the museum houses a unique ceramic collection, celebrating the local heritage. It also has a wonderful French café, (I know, there's a theme developing here) and there will probably be a Hockings ice cream van nearby, which is the best ice cream in the world.
My final shout-out is not a physical shop at all, but a website, and is a new outlet for me as I joined this community of makers less than a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic. I am so grateful to Made By Hand Online for being always open over this past year, supporting makers like me in so many ways, and enabling us to continue selling our work. The website offers a unique selection of beautiful handmade craft to buy from some of Britain and Ireland's most exciting contemporary designer makers, and I am proud to be in such good company.
There does seem to be a new appreciation of the handmade, the unique and the meaningful, as we start to think more carefully about what we buy and where it has come from. So thank you for every purchase you make, however small, it really does make a difference!