As the organiser of Brighton Craftaganza, and as a fan of handmade in general, I LOVE checking out other craft/handmade markets and fairs. And this weekend saw one of the best: Renegade Craft Fair at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London. Renegade have been running large-scale handmade/indie-artist markets in major cities across the US for yonks, and 2012 saw the second to be held in London. Their emphasis on contemporary work and inspirational sellers reflects my own aims for Brighton Craftaganza, so it was great to see how the big boys do it!
The Truman Brewery is an ENORMOUS, light-filled space. With over 70 vendors, it is twice the size of our own Brighton-based market, and they could easily have fitted lots more stalls in if they wished. I spent the day with Sarah (of Rock Cakes jewellery) and Kirstin (of Kirstin Stride jewellery), pictured below, checking out the wealth of handmade talent on offer.
My goodness there was a lot of it! It was wonderful to see previous Brighton Craftaganza sellers represented at Renegade. The designosaur pair were selling their awesome range of vibrant lazer-cut quirkiness; Deborah’s Pink Minx retro-cheek cushions was going down a storm; and Ladybird Likes’s brooches were filling the bags of the Renegade visitors when we saw her. Sarah, Kirstin and I all feel in love with many of the sellers and their ranges, in particular the lovely pair who create by hand the ‘i am acrylic‘ range (pictured below).
We collected heaps of business cards from talented UK designer-makers. Although Brighton Craftaganza is and always will be a local makers-based market, at each event I’d like to invite two sellers from other parts of the UK to have a stall to keep things fresh. Fingers crossed will see two of the sellers from this weekend’s Renegade craft fair selling at our own Christmas Brighton Craftaganza craft and handmade market this December!
And of course, no amount of craft hunting should occur without a couple of celebratory cocktails!