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.

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

Artist in the Spotlight: Sasha Garrett

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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 in the spotlight for this post is Sasha Garrett. Sasha is a gifted jeweller who will be selling at our Summer Pop-up. Come along and see Sasha’s wonderfully handcrafted pieces for yourself.

Describe your work using just three words

Colourful, unusual, fun.

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

I’ve always made things by hand, I like the connection it gives me with the materials. Hand-making also allows me to have a relationship with the client and the piece – it can be tailored to what they want whilst still having my character.

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

Sasha Garrett
A selection of Sasha’s work which will be at our Pop Up event – the big green earrings are made with material from an old bowling ball whilst the cuff links are made from fordite, which is layer upon layer of cured car paint!

 

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

Best part
– I get to indulge my love of ‘rocks’ and call it work.
Worst

– have you seen the state of my hands?

Artist in the Spotlight: Veronica Ellis from Nature’s Grace

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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. Veronica Ellis from Nature’s Grace is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Veronica will be at our event so be sure to come down to see her lovely work for yourself!

Describe your work in three words:

designer – prints – gift-ware

A selection of Veronica's work
A selection of Veronica’s work

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

It is important for me to touch and to make the things that have inspired me. There is a step before the making, that moment when an experience, a place, or a thought triggers the imagination. This is the time I pause and feel the experience which then flows through my hands as I make the object, create the image or write the words. When everything comes together, hand making is pure joy, and there is huge satisfaction in seeing a work completed.

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

I will be selling a range of my Nature’s Grace art prints and cards, along with designer gift-ware, including wood art, glass art, cushions, coasters and place mats. The range has been designed to transform homes with affordable stylish art. All the designs are original and created by me.

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

 The best part of making for me is the creative freedom to be inspired by anything and everything. Then there is the pleasure of seeing an image come to life. Often you begin with one thing and end with another. It is the little surprises and happy accidents that often create the best work. The worst thing for me is the freedom to be inspired by anything and everything! Yes, this both a blessing and a burden. So many ideas flow so quickly sometimes that I can’t keep up with the need to curate my work and make my products. So, I have become addicted to list making, and it keeps me on the straight and narrow…most days!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere, but the thing that fires my imagination the most is nature. My two favourite things are trees and the sea, but everything from microscopic details to sweeping landscapes inspire me. The meaning of objects and stories are also important to me. I have a keen interest in art history and have spent years absorbing the works of my creative heroes. I see their influence coming out in my work, not always intentionally, but it is there.