Made by Hand is an event held in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracy designed to showcase makers along with workshops, demonstrations and talks to attend. There were 140 stands at City Hall where visitors could buy directly from the makers themselves and handle the pieces. Buying from the makers directly means that you can find out a lot more about their craft and about the objects themselves. There was a huge array of different handmade items available including jewellery, wire work, textiles, glassware and ceramics. There were so many tea related items on display that I didn’t know where to look first!
Eluned Glyn- Ceramic Designer
Eluned Glyn is a ceramic designer based in Cardiff and hers was the first stand I came across. Her ceramics are stunning and very unique. Eluned told me how she uses broken crockery from charity shops as the base for new items. The broken pieces are joined together and a mould is taken for the new ceramic to be made from. Eluned likes to use textured crockery, such as Wedgwood Jasperware, as it gives the pieces character. I really love the idea of using unloved crockery to create something new.
Joanna Howells- Studio Potter
Joanna Howells is an internationally recognised studio potter based in the Welsh village of Tythegston where she has set up her own pottery. I adored the colours, shapes and textures of Joanna’s work and bought two of her stoneware bowls (for £15 each) which I am using as chawans (tea bowls) for matcha. They are the perfect shape to whisk the matcha and are really nice to drink from.
Julie Turner- Ceramic Designer
Julie Turner hand crafts ceramics from finest porcelain and is based in Monmouthshire. The idea behind Julie’s ceramics is to preserve the ceremonial aspect of drinking good quality tea and coffee. I like drinking my tea in a ceremonial way and the thought behind Julie’s ceramics reflects the traditional Eastern way of drinking tea that I like. I can see how drinking from the delicate porcelain would make the experience of drinking tea special. To me this would also make the tea all the more enjoyable. I bought two mini bowls (at £8 each) to use as chawans for oolong tea. The bowls were all different so I looked for two of a similar size. I like the fact that they are slightly different as it makes them unique and this is what is so special about buying handmade teaware. I picked bowls with a slight lip as they will suit the fragrant nature of oolong.
Virginia Graham- Ceramic Designer
Virginia Graham is a ceramicist based in Cardiff. Her teaware really caught my eye as it’s very fun whilst incorporating inspiration from traditional Cornish ware, Victorian fabric and plumbing. My favourite items had to be the teapots with the tap handles on the lids. I also really liked how the jugs are constructed with the white spouts.
Katie Almond- Ceramic Designer
Katie Almond is a ceramicist based in Rutland who makes porcelain jugs, cups, cake stands and brooches amongst other things. Each item is hand decorated, almost like a ceramic collage, with both found items and items designed by Katie. Katie’s stand was one of the most eye catching with so many different tea related items to look at.
Boop Design- Ceramics and Jewellery
Boop Design is the handiwork of Laura Pearcey who makes contemporary ceramics and jewellery in Somerset. Laura slipcasts glass bottles from her own collection to produce her ceramic bottle vases, with the designs on the vases being her own hand drawn illustrations. She also slipcasts her large charm jewellery but some of smaller pieces are press moulded, such as the button necklaces. Laura doesn’t make teaware but there is a lot of tea related influence in her work. I was so tempted by the stunning charm bracelet, as the little cup charm is so cute, but I think I’m a bit too clumsy for a ceramic charm bracelet!
Kate Glanville- Ceramic Designer
Kate Glanville creates one off hand painted ceramics and is based in Carmarthenshire. Her work has been on sale in places such as Fortnum and Mason, Liberty and Macy’s and her mugs were on The Great British Bake Off. I really loved Kate’s designs and how customisable they are. I’ve bookmarked Kate’s website as there are some special occasions coming up in my family and I think a customised mug or teapot would be perfect. I didn’t buy anything tea related from her at the event but I couldn’t resist buying a gorgeous ceramic Christmas tree decoration.
Sarah Heaton- Ceramic Designer
Sarah Heaton is a ceramic tableware designer based in the Peak District. Her designs are made from earthenware so they are durable enough to be dishwasher and microwave safe. This is because Sarah has designed her pottery to be used on a day to day basis. I really liked the contemporary shapes of her work with the toad stall design mug being my favourite.
Linda Bloomfield- Ceramic Designer
Linda Bloomfield is a ceramic tableware designer based in West London. I was really excited when I saw that Linda was going to be at Made by Hand as I already own two pieces of her teaware which I adore. Linda’s work is very contemporary and I love the idea of the lines and dimples in her work as it shows that they are hand thrown. The outside of her work has a satin matt glaze and I really wish I could get across how lovely it looks in my photos. Linda also uses translucent coloured glazes inside her pieces which she makes herself and has written several books about. I bought a pouring bowl with a blue glaze inside (for £24) to go with my other Linda Bloomfield pieces. I will be writing another post about my teaware from Linda and why the pouring bowl is such a great thing to use when preparing tea. Linda also gave a talk about making porcelain ceramics for collecting and using but sadly it wasn’t on the day I had tickets for.
Lucy Anne Harding- Textile Illustrator
Lucy Anne Harding is a milk girl based in Stoke-on-Trent and she gets inspiration for her work from her milk round. She mainly creates amazing textile illustrations but she also has a mug range and tea towels. 10% of the profits from the sale of the tea towels goes to the RABI (a charity which supports British Farmers going through hard times).
Other bits that caught my eye…
These needle felt animals from Annie Hutchinson of The Little Wren House Factory)…
This wire work from Helaina Sharpley who is based in Yorkshire and tea is a big influence in her work…
[I was kindly given two complementary tickets to attend Made by Hand on the Saturday]