I love how attending a new event is always such a great opportunity to stumble upon some brilliant makers whose work you were unfamiliar with (and of course catch up with those who you know).
Outlaw Artisan Craft Show originated in Falmouth and for their latest event migrated north to Brunel’s Passenger Shed in Bristol. An impressive selection of 80 independent makers showcased their work alongside a schedule of taster workshops, ‘Make and Take’ and Demo Theatres, kids activity area and live music throughout the weekend.
Coming to an event like this as a customer is always a dangerous game for me…I want to buy everything, and without the responsibility of manning my own stall there is little to keep me in check… To compound this problem, my mum was accompanying me – we need very little encouragement to persuade each-other into those ‘necessary purchases’.
Here are a few of my favourite makers from the day – although it was a difficult pick!
Upscutlery reuse items of cutlery and pieces of sea-smooth driftwood to create individual hooks, candle holders and clever bottle openers. I love to see love-lost items being remade into something beautiful – when I have a house to fill these will definitely be on my list…
The quirky characters of the Itinerant Bizzarium caught my eye – I was drawn in by their tiny clothes and delicately painted faces. Each of them seemed to be watching me, watching them with a quiet bemused interest…
Being a lover of all kinds of books, I could not resist the inviting display of Camel Winter Handbound Books. I have so many notebooks at home, unfortunately on this occasion I had to resist adding to my collection. My personal favourite was the squid, which Tim admitted had become a ‘bit of an obsession’ for a while – can’t say I blame him.
My mum is the very proud owner of 2 llamas. It was therefore a given that we should fall in love with Little Birdy‘s collection. Mum came away with a great ‘push pull’ llama print for her newly decorated office, and my personal favourite? her ceramic narwhals.
I loved the playful humour of Baku Forest Studios‘ jewellery pieces, from her ‘Swallows are so Cliche’ pterodactyl, dodo and flamingo necklaces to her perspex goldfish in bags. I bought one of her pieces as a present for a friend.
Elisabeth Barry‘s elegant display of ceramics quietly beckoned me over. The contrast between their interior and exterior surfaces was so tactile – they were clearly made to belong in a hand.
Bethan Buss of Boodle Boutique (love a bit of alliteration) had a great collection of illustrated products on display, my favourite design being the campfire foxes. It’s pictured here in print but it was also available on a hand-screen printed t-shirt (as were many of her lovely designs). You can snap up one for yourself on her website.
Another of the gifts we selflessly bought ourselves (!) were 2 brooches from Alice Shields. Mum chose a honey bee (another soon-to-be addition to her smallholding empire) whilst mine had to be a bright red bike proclaiming ‘I like cycling’. Which indeed I do!
Richard Buckingham was one another such exhibitor. Alongside his workbench was a collection of his beautiful furniture – I was particularly taken with his unusual mirrors. The one pictured incorporated copper, adding the beautiful shade of green in the recesses. The trinket box below it was made by one of Richard’s students, Andy Lugg.
Esther Connon‘s delicate, evocative drawings drew us back to her stall again and again (and again) throughout the afternoon. I loved the innocent, dreamlike quality of her illustrations and the balance of space created by their thoughtful placement on each page. The playful creation of imaginary creatures rooted in the truth of their names (I would very much like to own a real life Tiger Moth, please) were both clever and beautifully depicted. Mum bought a copy of Esther’s Florence Flies Away claiming it would be the perfect present for our friend’s newborn baby. I have no doubt that in fact it will be added to her own bookshelf…
My fellow Printhaus member Helen of Nelly’s Treasures also had her lovely collection of screen-printed wares on display – as always a welcoming burst of colour!
Other familiar faces included Stephanie Duckett Ceramics‘ with her statement porcelain jewellery and stylish succulent planters, and Ellymental‘s striking multi-layered paper jewellery. Seems I was too busy chatting to take any pictures, but you can treat yourself to their work online.
After a busy afternoon browsing and buying the onsite coffee and cake was definitely welcome! I look forward to seeing the next edition of Outlaw Bristol in the near future…