Handmade at Kew

Craft Editions visited Handmade at Kew on 7th Oct 2016. Handmade at Kew is an exhibition of over 200 UK and international makers in the stunning setting of the famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Craft Editions spoke to many of the makers at this year’s event and here are 5 that stood out to us for their craftsmanship and design.

Arra Textiles – Arra Textiles was founded by Lucy MacDonald, who handweaves on a Dobby loom in her small garden studio in the North East of Scotland. The inspiration for her latest range, ‘The Tide Collection’, comes from the seascapes of the Brough of Birsay, off Orkney’s West Mainland. This is the birthplace of Arra MacDonald, hand-spinner, weaver and grandmother of Lucy, after whom the company is named. Find out more about Arra Textiles here.

Norman Yap Ceramics – Norman Yap is a British potter based in London who specialises in stoneware and porcelain. His striking stoneware pieces are often layered in matte feldspathic glazes, while the porcelain bowls are glazed only on the inside leaving the outer surface to be scored, carved or left smooth. Norman is also editor of the London Potters News. Find out more about Norman Yap here.

Peaceable Kingdom Cushions – Peaceable Kingdom Cushions really caught our eye at Handmade at Kew. They are inspired by the pastoral creatures of the English countryside and named after the work of American folk painter Edward Hicks. The work is designed by Hugh Dunford Wood and printed by hand on organic Scottish linen from original lino blocks in Branscombe, East Devon. Craft Editions spoke to Emily Gladstone, who works with Hugh and is clearly passionate about and expert at block printing. Find out more about Peaceable Kingdom Cushions here.

Fiona Daly – Fiona creates bespoke handwoven textiles using natural, undyed wool. Her beautiful range of homewares includes cushions, blankets and throws. She specialises in shaft weaving on a manual Dobby loom and her work is strongly influenced by her time in the Shetland Islands, from where she continues to source natural Shetland wool. Fiona’s latest collection ‘Nordic Lumber’ is inspired by the patterns found in traditional Nordic lumbercoats. Find out more about Fiona Daly here.

Janie Knitted Textiles - Jane Withers set up Janie Knitted Textiles with her partner Michael Hanmer in 2005. Together they focus on producing a striking and sumptuous range of homeware products on their hand flat knitting machines. They use only natural fibres such as Merino wool, linen and cotton and they currently source only from UK suppliers.  Find out more about Janie Knitted Textiles here.

At Handmade at Kew a number of brands and makers previously featured on Craft Editions were also present; including Sally McGill and Linda Bloomfield.

Find out more about the Handmade at Kew here.

All images by Craft Editions.

NorthBrian Waring