Category Archives: Meet the Seller

‘Meet the Seller': Amalia from Linescapes

If you are looking for a gift for an architecture loving person, then stop your search right this second and make sure you are at the Christmas Brighton Craftaganza craft market on Sunday 30th November.  The detailed, high quality illustrative work by Linescapes will fill that Christmas stocking perfectly! 

Amalia CV

Please introduce yourself….

Hi, I’m Amalia, a free-lance designer with over 20 year experience in Spain, the UK and USA and the creative brain behind Linescapes. After training in Architecture and obtaining a Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art, I recently gave up my free-lance job in architecture in order to dedicate my full attention to developing Linescapes into a successful brand.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

With the CAD software I used in my professional life, I create colourful illustrations of objects I find interesting like vintage cameras. I also enjoy creating abstract patterns inspired by architecture and detailed drawings of well-known buildings. The latter is my current focus and I intend to continue developing collections of buildings around the UK and further afield as well as taking commissions like a recent house portrait and a drawing of Sydney Opera House.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

After moving to Brighton ten months ago, I refurbished my flat extensively in order to create a larger spare room that I could use as my studio. Originally my husband and I used to work together but as I started expanding the brand, he’s been forced to work in the main bedroom so I can make room for my paper trimmer, computer, materials, etc. (bless his heart…)

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I started painting furniture and boxes 25 years ago in Spain but got side tracked by my studies and my job. It was only three years ago that my husband encouraged me to start painting again which I did with a vengeance! In the meantime, I started creating the vintage camera collection which sold very well and since then the illustrations and stationery work has taken over the paintings as my main activity.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I have wanted to move to Brighton for years now but it was only when I was made redundant last year and went free-lance that we decided to take the plunge and move. I love the architecture, the friendly people, creative atmosphere and general laid back attitude. I can’t imagine living anywhere else anymore!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

My hand painted products are still in the background but lately I have been too busy with my illustrations to dedicate to it the time I’d like to. I also make notebooks with beautiful materials for covers. All my work can bee seen on my website, www.linescapes.co.uk.

I’m planning to showcase all of my work when I open my flat during the Open House in December with 4 four other artists which is very exciting! Keep an eye on the Artists Open House website for details (www.aoh.org.uk)

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What inspires the things you make?

My eclectic style is inspired mainly by the aesthetics of the Mid Century and Bauhaus movements, beautiful product design, and an obsession with stationery (and Pinterest!). This, and my experience as an architect, has resulted in the strong sense of colour, shapes and graphics evident in my products.

Personal motto?

Follow your dream. Simple…. :o)

‘Meet the Seller': Jake McCombe Jewellery

If you’re looking for The Special Gift this Christmas, or even fancy treating yourself to something amazing, I think I know just the jeweller for you! Jake will he selling his amazing contemporary jewellery on both days (29th & 30th November) at the Christmas Brighton Craftaganza at Fabrica. 

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Please introduce yourself….

My name is Jake McCombe. I am a jewellery designer / maker base in Brighton. I set up Jake McCombe Jewellery a year ago.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I design and make gold plated jewellery that is both classic looking and minimal in design. I also have a range of acrylic, wood and silver jewellery that takes inspiration from Japaneses traditional patterns. For Craftaganze November 2014 I will be selling a mixture of both ranges with some new piece made especially for the event.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

I have ideas for jewellery designs at different times and places, I have a note book that I carry with me so I can write and sketch them down at any time, then enhance the ideas when I’m ready. I have a bench at home so most of my work is done there, very handy.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I studied jewellery design at Middlesex University then worked for established jewellery designers in London for a few years. I started to make my own jewellery to sell about three years ago, and I’ve had my own brand for just over a year.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I’d always wanted to live in Brighton and finally the opportunity presented itself, since then I’ve made it my home. I love living by the see and find its a great creative hub.

What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I also run projects under the name SuperAwesomeProductions, we design and make art installations for festivals and event. The last pieces was a swing that had a glitter shower, lights and flowers attached that was hung from a tree near the main stage at ‘Secret Garden Party’ music festival.

Jake McCombe Rhombus Pendant Gold plated

What inspires the things you make?

My work is inspired by many different things, recently I have been looking at technical diagrams from the 1950s of mathematical shapes and symbols, beautifully hand drawn and ordered.

Personal motto?

Push your ideas, strive for the best, go for it!

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‘Meet the Seller': Claire from Yellow Bear Wares

The last ‘Meet the Seller’ before the event itself! Let’s meet Claire who creates fun and playful jewellery and accessories made from vintage knitting needles. A niche product you may argue, but undeniable lovely.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hi, I’m Claire, I design and make jewellery for my Etsy store Yellow Bear Wares. I am new to this world of crafting to sell and so far am really enjoying myself, I’m very excited to be a part of Craftaganza on June 15th amongst such talented designers and makers.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I use the medium of vintage plastic knitting needles to create items of jewellery; I make rings, bracelets and have just launched a new necklace design.
They are the perfect gift to buy for a knitter or crafter or just someone that appreciates the upcycled and quirky aspect of jewellery made from knitting needles!

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

Often inspiration for my designs will come to me at the most inconvenient times such as whilst I am in the shower, riding my bike or at work (I am a facilitator of sessions for adults who have learning disabilities). So I keep a notebook close by at all times, then I can jot down ideas when I have them. I’m pretty sure my best design ideas so far have come to me in the shower; maybe I need to invest in some waterproof pens and paper!

As for making I work mainly in my kitchen and on my couch, currently this is a very part-time venture so I’m not able to have a studio yet, but I might try to take that step at some point. I’ve worked hard recently to make sure that I have specific areas in my home to keep things because at the beginning everything was scattered throughout my home in a very disorganised manner and taking over in a bigger way than intended!

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I am still relatively new to selling my wares. I started off by making bracelets for myself and as gifts for friends and then last year I made some for my parents stall ‘One Bright Spark’ that they take to markets in the South West of England. Through the process of this I started to realise how much I had missed the ‘hands on’ making part of my life. I began to really enjoy the whole method, from rummaging through boot sales and charity shops to find my needles, the challenge of experimenting and designing my items through to having the final pieces ready to photograph and sell (or to add to my own jewellery box!). My Etsy shop has been open since February this year and this June Craftaganza is my first foray into selling my wares at craft markets.

What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

As a teenager I used to come down here with my friends on holiday, my best friend’s dad lived in Brighton and we would come visit, spending all of our days looking for the ‘alternative’ items we could never find in our home town of Bath. Since then I’ve always wanted to live here and in the second year of my photography degree in London (2004) I realised I wasn’t enjoying living in London and could commute easily from Brighton, so I made that move and I’m still here!

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Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I am a filmmaker and as mentioned have studied photography and enjoyed the analogue processes of both those mediums. I have always been a ‘hands on’ type of person; I like to have something tangible and ‘real’ to experiment with. Perhaps I should try to create a cross over between the crafts and image-based elements of my life, knitting with light or something like that!

Otherwise I do experiment with a variety of materials: I love to use felt, I knit at a very basic level, do a bit of sewing, and I have recently taught myself how to crochet a granny square so who knows where that might take me.

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What inspires the things you make?

I simply adore things made from other things. My parents have always been very conscious about re-using, up-cycling and recycling especially when it came to gardening. In fact from a young age I have always had random things around me used for other purposes: for instance once my shoes were too small or had become worn out they would become plant pots in the garden; my mums worn out tights would become supports for plants to grow up; old pipes my dad came across would become structures for his beloved tomatoes to thrive in, complete with unusable taps attached.

This ethos of trying to get the most use out of something and not wasting the unwanted has stayed with me and I very much appreciate the absurd and unexpected juxtapositions that are created when you take an item out of it’s context and use it for something completely different.

‘Meet the Seller': Hannah from Speckled Fawn Soaps

I’m so pleased to have today’s seller with us this Saturday at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market. New on to the craft scene, Hannah from Speckled Fawn Soaps creates awesome handmade soaps, taking traditional methods to produce items that should appeal to all age groups.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hi, I’m Hannah and I run Speckled Fawn Soaps. I am a fairly new soap maker based in central Brighton and am constantly working on new and exciting soapy ideas!

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I make traditional cold process soaps – that means I mix lovely and moisturising oils with an alkali, to form a chemical reaction which forms soap, adding essential oils, fragrances and botanicals along the way, to make really natural, moisturising and pretty bars of soap.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

All the magic happens in my little flat. I have dedicated areas and equipment for my soap making, so I know exactly what is going into every soap I make. At home, I research every ingredient I put in, and experiment with all kinds of different combinations and I don’t put a batch of soap up for sale until I’m really happy with it!

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

About a year and a half ago I decided I would quite like to try out soap making. Shortly after, I went on a mini soap making workshop, but came out feeling a little let down as we learnt about making soaps look pretty, but not about the actual chemistry involved in making soap – the important stuff. So I sat at home night after night, and made it my mission to teach myself everything. A couple of months after that, I tried out my first batch, and it worked! I have tweaked my recipes lots since, and I’m really happy with how my soap making has
progressed. About 6 months ago I became EU certified to legally sell my soaps, and although it’s still quite new for me, I’m trying to do more and more craft fairs!

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I moved down to Brighton from Manchester two years ago, and to be honest, I don’t know why it took me so long. Nowhere in the UK is like Brighton really. It’s such an inspiring city, everything is so colourful and I constantly feel surrounded by creative people here. It’s just great!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I love to try everything really. I do a little bit of drawing, and some screenprinting sometimes, but unfortunately I feel like there’s never enough space in my head to
learn to do all the crafty things I’d like!

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What inspires the things you make?

I work in a local health food shop so I’m always quite conscious about what’s good for me and good for my health, which I think is partly why I enjoy making soap so much – I feel much more comfortable using something on my skin if I know there are no nasties in there. I am also a terrible hoarder of pretty things, and it gives me great satisfaction to make something that can be really pretty yet still functional!

Personal motto?

Always make time to do things you love – it’ll make you much happier with the person you are.

‘Meet the Seller': Katie from Oh Squirrel

Another new-to-Craftaganza designer-maker to meet today! It’s the lovely Katie from Oh Squirrel, maker of super-cute. funny and special stationery and gifts. I, for one, can’t wait to stock up on her greetings cards.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hello! I’m Katie and I sell vintage inspired stationery and textile pieces under brand name Oh Squirrel.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

Oh Squirrel is all about reusing old finds, whether they be vintage fabrics or old photographs. I mix these with newer materials and create stationery pieces which evoke memories and make folk smile. A sense of humour is at the heart of the brand, teamed with a love of British nostalgia.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

It’s been a very exciting few months as I’ve just left my previous career in fashion buying to fully launch Oh Squirrel. Currently I work from my home in North London, however the pleasure of working with small products is that I can be very portable – as the sunshine is out I’m spending more and more time cutting and sticking in the park!

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

In 2012 one of my New Year’s resolutions was to have a go at making to sell, after a lifetime of making for gifting, or making for me. Confidence and time were what held be back, however I worked hard to find both. At the first market I did, upon selling my first card I was filled with the ridiculous excitement, and from there it just grew!

I’ve been sewing since I was a child, so the process of making feels so natural to me. Selling has taken more time to adjust to, however at markets I’m always myself and chatter away instead of selling as such!

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So far, I’ve focused my energy and time on developing the products and selling face to face at markets rather than growing an online presence, however this is one of the many things I’m currently working on. I have a website which is www.ohsquirrel.co.uk and post lots of blogs about the events that I’m doing and new products in work

In hindsight, it was a pretty successful new years resolution!

Please describe your relationship to Brighton

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside! Genuinely, I do. I even managed to find a way to write my Dissertation about the British Seaside, even though my degree was in Fashion Design!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

The lovely thing about Oh Squirrel is that I get to use many disciplines in my work. I’m working on making my own stamps so currently I’m very much into lino carving. I’d love to have a go at furniture restoration too, and when time is on my side I plan to take a course.

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What inspires the things you make?

Oh it’s so corny but it really is making people smile. When customers tell me how much the card they bought was loved it is the most incredible feeling.

To get inspiration I’m a big fan of flea markets, burrowing through the remnants sections of upholstery stores, looking through photo albums and just listening to conversations of people on the bus. Animals and nature are a big source of inspiration too, so if in doubt I love to get a bit of Attenborough on in the background whilst I work!

Personal motto?

Life is what you make of it.

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‘Meet the Seller': Victoria from Victoria Hutchinson Ceramics

This Summer’s event will see more ceramists than any of our previous events. All three create subtly interesting and beautiful pieces, and Victoria Hutchinson is one of that triumvirate making super-desirable items….

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Please introduce yourself…

Hello, I am Victoria, designer and maker of victoriahutchinsonceramics.com, specialising in handmade porcelain ceramics.

Describe the products you currently make

Using a slip casting method I design and make a model from clay, cast a plaster mould from this in which I pour porcelain layers of white and coloured porcelain slip, once cast the pieces are individually ‘scraped away’ to reveal a band of colour. Each piece is then polished to a smooth elegant tactile finish. I also source vintage lace which I use to embellish into my gift tags and bell decorations. All are created to compliment one another, with the attractive feature that no two pieces are exactly alike. All my work is un-glazed so as to show the translucent nature and simple whiteness of porcelain, giving the pieces a sense of purity.

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When and where do you design and make your products?

I work from my home in my beautiful Victorian conservatory, it can get a little hot in there during the summer months particularly when I am doing a firing. I surround myself with lots of succulent plants which love the heat and spend hours in there designing and making.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I have been selling my work part time now for almost 10 years. Although I studied printmaking at university I spent most of my time in the ceramics and sculpture workshops. I decided to re-kindle this passion a few years after graduating and I have not looked back since. I am self taught in most of my ceramic techniques.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

The sea brought me to Brighton initially. Being from Stockport, a Northern town south of Manchester, it was my dream to live by the sea. I lived in Brighton for 11 years but moved to Eastbourne a few years ago. I really miss the creative buzz of Brighton but I visit regularly.

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I have just started to make ceramic jewellery and I will be launching a small range at craftaganza. I have decided to use parian clay which has a beautiful translucent whiter finish, lending itself beautifully with sterling silver jewellery. I have always had a passion for jewellery and I am excited about expanding my work into this medium.

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What inspires the things you make?

My main inspiration is through organic forms found in nature – the intricate patterns of coral, the simple form of an unopened flower and the delicate shapes created by the sea. I am also influenced by early 20th century objects, fabrics and designs – handmade lace, reusable glass bottles, delicate tea cups and vintage fabric. I think these objects have their own sense of history and also show the natural ageing effects of time.

Personal motto?

Do what you love and do it often.

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‘Meet the Seller': Rosa Pietsch from KatzeShop

One of the lovliest ladies in craft, in my opinion, Rosa Pietsch is also one of the most talented. Creating truly wonderful yet wearable pieces, if you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, then you need look no further than her stall at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market on Sat 15th June…

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Please introduce yourself….

My name is Rosa Pietsch and I’m a womenswear design assistant living in South London. I also design and make jewellery for my Etsy store, KatzeShop!

Describe the products you currently make to sell

Currently I make most of my jewellery from laser-cut wood and acrylic, but what makes it a bit different is that I combine these materials with hand-cast resin which I mix with metal leaf (gold, silver and copper) and ink pigments. I make pieces that range from huge statement necklaces to little pendants and brooches. Some are entirely one-offs, and the rest are relatively small batches. Although no two pieces can ever be completely identical!

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

At the moment I design, make and photograph everything in my flat, unfortunately for my housemates! I’d love to have a studio, but as I work full time for a womenswear fashion company, I don’t really have the time to use one. So at the moment, all my jewellery is made in my evenings and weekends.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I always used to make bits of costume jewellery for fun as a teenager – I used to make really bright, kitsch things that I sold on ebay! I loved it but for some reason I didn’t consider studying Jewellery Design. Instead I did a BA Hons degree in Fashion Design at Brighton Uni. For my graduate collection I worked on some huge resin neckpieces to go with my clothing designs, my dad taught me about resin casting, and from there I rediscovered my love of designing and making jewellery. I created some catwalk jewellery pieces for a Japanese fashion designer which were shown in Tokyo fashion week and this really encouraged me to continue with jewellery!

I love resin casting, but I wanted to incorporate laser-cutting into my designs as I love drawing out interesting shapes to work with, and laser-cutting offers so many possibilities! So I worked out my own way of combining the two and opened my Etsy store in November last year – so this project is still pretty new to me!

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

Sadly I moved to London from Brighton last year as I work there and the commute was beginning to drive me crazy! I originally came to Brighton to do my degree, and ended up staying for 6 years because I love it so much. I really miss it, there’s always a very welcoming, friendly and creative atmosphere and I loved living there. London is obviously amazing too, but I’ve got a feeling I’ll move back to Brighton one day!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

When I get the time (which isn’t often) I like making one-off, hand-cast and polished resin pieces using proper handmade silicone molds, which is a different process to how I make my ‘KatzeShop’ pieces. I also love drawing and print design. I’ve taken part in a few print design competitions as well as some commissioned print design work. My day job mostly involves working with print and embroidery. I don’t think I could choose just one creative profession so I try out lots of different things…although despite having studied Fashion Design I hardly ever sew!

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What inspires the things you make?

I’m mostly inspired by the actual materials and processes I use, and the possibilities and limitations they have. This is combined with a really wide range of visual inspirations, from art deco to symbols and diagrams, vintage jewellery shapes, graphics, architectural shapes, contrasting textures, patterns, colour, light, street style and of course I always have some kind of cat motif on the go!

Personal motto?

I stress a LOT and can be very self critical, which isn’t often very productive! I’m not sure I have a personal motto, but I do try to remind myself not to stress out unnecessarily, and not to compare myself to other people and their work.

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