Out & About: Cambridge Open Studios

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Eclectic Mix Team have been busy visiting Cambridge Open Studios this month. We saw Clare Maria Wood, who does amazing abstract landscapes of the Cornish landscape, Sasha Garrett showcasing her fascinating, quirky ‘fordite’ jewellery and Andy Mckenzie at Burwash Artist’s Marquee who was showcasing some new lines of coasters, mugs and prints. Also we met some other lovely artists including Emma Malfoy and Laura Chaplin at the Marquee, producing very professional and attractive work.

We are always on the lookout for makers using unusual materials, and it was at All Saints Craft Market where we came across a lovely jewellery company, ‘Little Troubles’ who make sustainable striking jewellery from coffee pod foil tops. How cool is that!

We were so pleased to be invited to the launch of Pam Wessen’s new ‘pop up’ shop on Mill Road, called Fantasia. Chock full of all things retro and vintage; if you are fan then get along to her outlet to have a good rummage. You may come away with something ‘old but new.’

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Diary of an event – 3. The big day

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Summer pop-up Eclectic Mix Cambridge

Well, that all went rather well!

Saturday saw the doors being flung open for our one day Summer Pop-Up event at St Andrews Street Baptist Church. From a trickle of visitors to an absolute swarm, we so enjoyed welcoming everyone in.

We had two lovely bubbly helpers on the day, greeting everyone in with a friendly smile and offer of raffle tickets. Thanks so much to Rachel and Fran for being the fabulous first impression of our event. Our stall holders did us proud with beautiful displays of their handmade wares. Special mention goes to Sasha Garrett’s husband Richard who crafted a placard to signpost our event. He was our man on the street, herding visitors our way. What a guy!

One tries to imagine what the stall layout and look will be before an event, but we were overwhelmed with the quality of work and the effort everyone put in. We are so lucky to have such a brilliant group of makers.

 

Elsie m. jewellery
Elsie m. jewellery

To keep everyone refreshed and fuelled, our volunteers Iona and Rikki worked tirelessly serving delicious confections from Tom’s Cakes, with cool drinks to keep us hydrated. We picked a warm day for our event, and we were most comfortable in the cool of the church! Little did we know, we would provide a cool respite for visitors from the blazing sun of the Town & Country Show on Parker’s Piece.

Another star of our day was Steve the caretaker of St Andrews Street Baptist Church. That lovely man accommodated our every need and nothing was too much trouble. He and Eileen Hori who booked us in and advised us, were an absolute joy.

As a result of our event, enquiries and sales were made, and so were friends. Many of the sellers hadn’t met before, and new alliances and friendships have been forged. I’d say that was a pretty successful day.

Detola's lampshades
Detola’s lampshades

 

 

We are planning more events for autumn and before the festive period, so look out for more details in the coming weeks.

Diary of an event – 2. Getting ready for the day

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Getting ready and decorating

As I write, our Summer Pop-Up Event is just a few days away. All very exciting, and an extremely busy time for Team Eclectic Mix!

We are super organised and have made lists. Lots and lots of lists.

Also, we have been making decorations for the venue, St Andrews St Baptist Church, which has involved tea. Lots and lots of tea.

Lorraine Hitt, Eva Eland and Cecelia Wood and me, Mandy, got around the table at Eclectic Mix HQ armed with tissue paper and wire, and we all thoroughly enjoyed making playful colourful decorations. Eileen Hori at the Baptist Church has been the most helpful host, and we really hope she likes the final look!

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For more formal meetings, the fabulous Cambridge Space has been a great venue for gathering our stallholders, making plans for how we see the event looking and feeling, and how we plan to get the word out. To have everyone sitting around the table sharing ideas about previous exhibitions has been super useful, as we all have hints and tips to share. There has been an overwhelming feeling of team spirit at these get togethers.

Local businesses and collaborations

A huge part of our show has been putting together all the marketing and promotional material, and we cannot thank Dario Fisher of Minuteman Press enough, for his unfailing professionalism, patience and advice. Thanks Dario, you really have been a star! We all agreed that the process is much better when you can visit your printer and speak directly with them, face to face.

Delia had a lovely guest spot on the radio last week, and she sounded great. A real natural. Leigh Chambers at Cambridge 105fm let us tell their listeners all about our event (you can listen here).  Plus we have been putting the word out on Local Secrets, Whats On, Mumsnet etc, so we hope lots of visitors will come! We think we might have picked a good date, as our event is on at the same time as The Town & Country Fair on Parker’s Piece.

To tempt people in, our loyal makers have offered raffle prizes, plus local businesses have given us goods and vouchers too. Proceeds from the raffle will go to two charities, Lifecraft and Azalea.

To date, we have received prizes/vouchers from the following businesses, and we are so grateful for their generosity.

Ark

Arts Picturehouse

Bridges Cafe

Callyco

Elem hair

Finn Jordan

Jacks

Navy Daisy

Michaelhouse Cafe

Salon 246

 

So even more reason to come on Saturday, to enjoy meeting our local artists and designers, get involved with the raffle, and if that wasn’t enough, there will be cake too!

For more updates on our event, do follow our social media platforms.

Also, we have been blogging about our lovely makers, so scroll down for some insight as to what you may find at our pop-up event, Saturday 10th June, 11-5pm, St Andrews Street Baptist Church, St Andrews Street, Cambridge.

Artist in the Spotlight: Art Students

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With the pop-up event this Saturday fast approaching, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our art student sellers: Yulei Zhang, Kezia Hulse and Joana Pinto, all students at the Cambridge School of Art. They will be showcasing and selling their work at the pop-up, and here they will share a little bit about themselves and their work.

Where are you from?

Yulei: Wuhan, China

Kez: York, North Yorkshire

Joana: Porto, Portgual

What course are you studying?

Yulei: MA Children’s Book Illustration

Kez: BA Illustration

Joana: BA Illustration and Animation

How would you describe your work in a few words?

Yulei: Dreamlike, secret world, solitude

Yulei Zhang's image from The Attic story
Yulei Zhang’s image from The Attic story

Kez: Lively, Fresh, Humorous

Kez Hulse's Adventures of the Escaping Beard
Kez Hulse’s Adventures of the Escaping Beard

Joana: Playful and expressive

Joana Pinto's Cityscape of Porto City
Joana Pinto’s Cityscape of Porto City

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Yulei: I will bring some postcards and a tiny concertina booklet, the images are selected from two of my recent picturebook projects, The Attic and The night story. The Attic tells a story about a girl who has an adventure in her dream. The Night Story comes from my experience of sketching in the pubs of Cambridge, the story deals with the subject of loneliness.

Yulei's products for the pop-up event
Yulei’s products for the pop-up event

Kez: I will be selling some limited edition screen prints which I printed for a final project; to illustrate T.S Eliot;s poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I will also be selling postcards which are a mixture of recent drawings and designs.

Kez Hulse's limited edition screen prints
Kez Hulse’s limited edition screen prints

Joana: I’ll be selling a collection of postcards inspired by Portuguese flora and caprine breeds, three prints and a collection of stickers. They all depict different animals, either explored in an aesthetically pleasing sense, particularly in the case of the prints, or simply created to display playful characters, especially with the stickers.

Joana Pinto' stickers on sale at the pop-up event
Joana Pinto’ stickers on sale at the pop-up event

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Yulei: For me the most interesting part is to try different kind of techniques and mediums, to find the best way to telling the story. During this process I usually get a better understanding of what really interests me most. The worst part is having limited time.

Kez: The best part is drawing and scribbling ideas down and being able to create images that put forward ideas or messages. The worst part is when you want to draw but you don’t have any ideas!

Joana: The best part is definitely sketching, playing with shapes and trying to figure out what kind of character will come out of the end of the pencil. I don’t usually think before I draw so the result always comes with a bit of a surprise that makes drawing all the more fun. As to the worst, well, that’d have to be colouring. Not that I hate it but it’s the longest part of the process and I consider myself a rather eager person when drawing, I just can’t wait to see how an illustration will look once it’s finished!

Where do you see your work taking you in the future?

Yulei: Well, I’d like to try to some more challenging image narratives, like graphic novel.

Yulei's concertina story, on sale at the pop-up event
Yulei’s concertina story, on sale at the pop-up event

Kez: Possibly editorial illustration, creating images for magazine articles, or advertising or book covers. Or maybe designing sets for the theatre as I enjoy thinking about designs and ideas in 3D.

Joana: I definitely want to follow a career in animation, most likely at a small or medium sized British or American company, but I’d also love to create children’s books or even a graphic novel at some point. I’m pretty much open for anything that gives me the opportunity to tell a story.

To see more of their work, find them on social media:

Yulei: https://www.behance.net/mozyl

Kez: Instagram: Kez_Illustration/FB: KeziaHulseIllustration

Joana: fizzledlines.tumblr.com

Come and see their work for yourself this Saturday – find them in the new Eclectic Mix Student Art area!

Artist in the Spotlight: Lorraine Hitt from elsie.m jewellery

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Lorraine Hitt from elsie.m jewellery makes elegant pieces that are timeless. Visiting her stand at the pop up is a must for all jewellery lovers!

How would you describe your work in three words:

Simply, Stylish & Edgy.

Lorraine Hitt from Elsie M. Jewellery

 

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Makes every piece unique & I get so much pleasure handcrafting my own designs.

 

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

My handcrafted silver & brass contemporary jewellery.

 

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Seeing people wearing my designs. Constantly marketing my work.

 

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

Interior architecture, fashion, sculpture, anything with a simple form.

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Terry Chance

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers with a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Terry Chance is the artist in the spotlight for this event. You’ll find Terry’s delightful mosaic birds and garden features at our Pop-Up

How would you describe your work in three words:

Colourful, quirky, handcrafted

 

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Each piece I make has its own process, emotion and personality. I love the imperfection of what I make, the asymmetry and the surprises.

 

 What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?


I will be selling some colourful mosaic birds for the garden along with some other mosaic pieces.

terry chance edited

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?


I love everything about mosaics – colour, texture, creating; mosaics are like puzzles and each takes you through an internal process. Very therapeutic and I even like the messy stage of grouting.

 

 Where do you get your inspiration?


Creating makes you look at things differently so I find inspiration everywhere – textiles, colour, shape, nature, objects.

 

 

 

 

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Birgitte Bruun

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Birgitte Bruun is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Birgitte’s clean, beautifully simple jewellery designs are handcrafted from silver, and will be available to buy at the Pop-Up event – so come and see them for yourself.

Describe your work in three words:

Contemporary, timeless, elegant.

Solid Silver Stubs Birgitte Bruun
Solid Silver Stub Earrings

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Handmade pieces of jewellery have the makers creativity and skills reflected in the final piece.

Birgitte in studio

Birgitte in her studio, creating hand-crafted designs

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

The best part is seeing someone appreciating and wearing something you have made, the worst when ideas don’t translate to a finished piece as you imagined they would.

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Silver jewellery

Silver 'wide hammered' bangle by Birgitte Bruun
Silver hammered Bangle

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m inspired by Scandinavian Design ethos and like to make timeless, simple designs.

Artist in the Spotlight: Aurora Lombardo

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up on the 10th of June, we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. The artist and maker in the spotlight for this post is Aurora Lombardo – her pieces are timeless and elegant and are sure to add an Italian flair to the Pop-Up. This year Aurora was part of the Cambridge Creative Reactions event. This art and science related event has been associated with Pint of Science festival since 2015 . During the build up to Pint of Science, Aurora was one of around 50 local artists who created an artwork related to the scientific talks. She acutally used to be a biologist herself!

How would you describe your work in three words:

Colourful, vibrant, unique.

Aurora Lombardo Creative Reactions
“Inner Landscapes” necklace inspired by the way DNA is organised within the nucleus of the cells

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

I make, buy and love handmade! Handmade products for me are more than just an object: it’s the time, the attention, the effort, the love that goes into making each piece of work that makes them so special. Making things by hand is such a basic human fulfilment! When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it; similarly, when you buy something handmade, not only are you going home with an unique object, but also with a piece of personal history.

As a mum, I also believe that teaching children the importance of making things by hand and exposing them to a wide variety of arts and crafts activities is very important to stimulate their creativity and imagination. And this is in fact the ethos behind the work I do through The Jazzy Jewelz Studio.

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

A range of sterling silver, dichroic glass & ceramic jewellery and accessories. I will also have a table all set up for drop-in jewellery making sessions.  There will be a  full menu of beaded items to make, from bracelets & necklaces to bag charms and colourful beaded suncatchers.  I’ll explain the method, provide the tools and be on hand should anyone require any help. The projects are suitable for children aged five and up, and grownups can join in too!

Aurora Lombardo earrings

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Dichroic glass is a fantastic medium to work with: there’s always something new to learn: this type of glass can be very temperamental, but persistence brings great rewards!

I also love experimenting with new materials and techniques, pushing them to the limit to see whether something new can be achieved. Although experiments aren’t always going to yield amazing results, for me this remains the most exciting part of my work as a jewellery maker!

The worst part is using a polishing motor to give a high shine finish to my silver pieces: I hate that machine with a passion: it is scary, messy and I end up looking like a chimney sweep after using it!

 Where do you get your inspiration?

Most of my creations stem from workshop experimentation rather than from detailed planned drawings. Inspiration seems to strike from all sorts of places: an architectural feature, the textures and colours of the natural world, a landscape element, but a couple of emerging themes for me at the moment are science and biology.

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Sue Smith

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Sue Smith is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Sue creates beautiful watercolor sketches of Cambridge and the surrounding areas – come to our event and see how many you recognise!

Describe your work in three words:

Cambridge, watercolour, sketches

sue smith

 

 

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Handmade means exactly that – made by hand with love care and attention. Something handmade is unique and contains something of the artist who created it.

 

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Original artworks, prints, cards and postcards.

 

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Finishing something! And letting it go to someone who loves it too – this can also be the worst part!

Doing what you love, what could be better than that? There really isn’t a worst part unless you count paperwork!

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

From what I see on my travels. I always carry a sketchbook.

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Charlotte Cotterill

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up on the 10th of June, we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Charlotte Cotterill is an illustrator who recently graduated from the MA Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.  She will be selling her fun and quirky illustrations and prints at our pop-up, and we decided to put her in the spotlight for this post.

How would you describe your work in three words:

Illustrated, quirky, humorous

Charlotte Cotterill Illustrated Map of Cambridge
Illustrated Map of Cambridge by Charlotte Cotterill

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you? 

Because handmade products are unique and I enjoy the process of creating things of my own design that people will enjoy looking at and having in their homes.

Charlotte Cotterill Lino cutting
Cutting the lino blocks to create original prints

 

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Linocut prints (all printed using a traditional press or hand burnished), original watercolour illustrations, concertina books and illustrated maps.

Charlotte Cotterill
Charlotte Cotterill Linocut print

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

My favourite part of the process is when I am developing ideas and working in my sketchbook, whether it’s for a book, a character, or a one off illustration or linocut designs. I feel free in my sketchbook and have a lot of fun exploring all the possibilities.  The worst part of the process for me is formatting a designs to be digitally printed when its something like a greetings card as I much prefer the process of creating an image.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Things and people I see in my everyday life usually inspire me; this is especially true when I am working on a picture book idea but also applies to something like my map of Cambridge.

 Charlotte Cotterill prints on rack