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!

IMG_3640

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: 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: 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.

Diary of an event – 1. The idea and rebranding

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The idea

Sometimes it’s really good to take a break away from what you do every day, to spend quality time with your family and reflect. I’m very lucky to have family living in a very vibrant part of the world, and I’ve just returned from an exciting and restorative trip to South Africa. It’s made me come back lusting for bigger and better things for Eclectic Mix Cambridge.

The Team

First things first, I gathered together my trusty team, all bringing their own skills and ideas for Eclectic Mix (and they really are an eclectic mix!). Eva Eland is our talented Creative Web Editor (and children’s book author and illustrator in her spare time). Mandy Knapp, lover of things to do with networking and engaging, both in person and on social media, plus she’s an avid printmaker. Lorraine Hitt, wonderful jeweller (really edgy designs) with the best visualisation skills in graphic design and interiors.
I know, how lucky am I!

Rebranding

So we got together and threw around some ideas for our branding, what style we wanted to evoke, colours, what font best represented us. I’m no time, Lorraine produced a series of logos, and we quickly fell upon the one we all loved. We hope you love it too!

Choosing the logo

Planning a bigger event

The next thing on the agenda was to plan a pop-up event, which was going to coincide with the Town and Country Fair, 10th June. We were so lucky to find St Andrews Street Baptist Church had availability, and Eileen Hori has bent over backwards to accommodate all our needs there. It’s a beautiful venue close to Parkers Piece, in a cool, calm and beautiful church.
You may have noticed that we’ve been very busy on social media, promoting the wonderful designers and artists who will be selling their wares at our show, plus some pretty flyers and posters dotted around Cambridge.

Working together

I think the success of any event is all down to how well the team work together,  their rapport, communication and the contribution each member makes, including their approach and attitude to tasks delegated. which matters most rather than the task itself. By acknowledging their input and value, a  positive outcome is much more likely and  I can certainly say that our Eclectic Mix team have worked very well together, putting in a lot of time and effort into the planning of this event  – so it’s a big thumbs up from me to our team.
It’s been so exciting to observe the idea for both the branding and event:  from the incubation of the idea to where it is right now in full flight, watching the momentum building. All the prep (including the late nights!) and all the other things one has to do which couldn’t have been done without a great team – so I thank  everyone who’s been involved: from  the Eclectic Mix team of creatives including our two lovely art student volunteers Cecelia and Lauren,  to others more on the periphery,  such as our lovely print man Dario at Minuteman Press on Victoria Road (who has been so patient), the manager Eileen Hori at the venue and my friend Leigh Chambers who has helped with our press releases and radio interviews.
And at the end of the day, it is all about our cohort of great sellers, both those we know and newbies, who have helped to promote the event. So thanks to everyone one of you, without your input we couldn’t put on the show.

 

 

 

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?

‘Handmade’ according to Avalon Jewellery

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Glass Bead Earrings by Honor from Avalon Jewellery

We are very happy to announce that Ronan and Honor from Avalon Jewellery are going to have a stall at our summer pop-up on June 10th. In the running up to the event, we are putting our sellers in the spotlight and asked them a few questions.

Ronan and Honor were one of the first to get on board and we are very excited about their new products. Keep an eye out on this website, as we will be uploading some of them the coming weeks and don’t miss out on a chance to try their jewellery on at our summer pop-up.

Just like the names of their beautiful, handcrafted pieces of jewellery, Honor’s answers to our questions read like poetry.

 

Describe your work in three words

Modern – English – Jewellery

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

‘Handmade’ is important to us because it makes us open up our imagination to the world and then use our creative skills to bring our ideas into being.

‘Handmade’ things need imagination, care, a willingness to experiment and sometimes fail, concentration, skill, stamina, patience, impatience, attention to detail, time and perhaps most importantly, love, but not necessarily in that order.

‘Handmade’, by its definition, means that human hands have been used to make something original and lovely with someone original and lovely in mind and what can be better than that?

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

A range of jewellery made from precious metals and stones including bangles, earrings, pendants, necklaces and rings, some of which includes art glass.

 

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

The best part of making our jewellery is the collaboration between us. We love to marry materials which we like to think brings a unique quality to some of our jewellery, especially our sterling silver and art glass earrings and pendants. Ronan very much enjoys the complexities of working with precious metals and stones whilst I love working with art glass for its extraordinary colours and because the process needs skill but is clean and quick with endless possibilities.
As for the worst part, I can’t speak for Ronan, but for me, using a hot torch to make glass beads in the Summer heat makes life very difficult, and I have been known to sit with my feet in a bowl of iced water before now. Even Murano glassmakers close down in the hottest months. What happened to chilly British weather all year round? Maybe my shed could double up as a sauna (not a good look with protective eyewear) or maybe I just need to head for a landscape where I can watch icebergs float by. On second thoughts, shaping molten glass in the middle of a melting igloo may not be such a good idea. Heading shedwards shortly instead, and loving it.

 

You can find out more about Avalon Jewellery on their artist’s bio page, or have a look at Honor‘s and Ronan’s shop on our website. Don’t miss out on meeting them at the summer pop-up. They are a very inspiring and warmhearted couple and we feel blessed to have them in our team of sellers.

Mandy Knapp at Creative Reactions

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Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp was thrilled to be partnered with Dr Sander van der Linden for the Creative Reactions aspect of this years Pint of Science festival.

Every May, scientists and researchers are invited to deliver their talks at local pubs, which makes a lovely change from them just sharing the information with their colleagues in the lab or college. What an opportunity to tell the general public all about their research and passion!

Three years ago, Mandy Knapp and Karen Jinks set up the pilot for Creative Reactions, where artists were paired up with each of the speakers, and each artist made some work in response to their talk. It’s a fantastic opportunity for creatives to access science directly, and exciting for the scientists to collaborate and see how their work can be interpreted.

So this year Mandy has got the subject of Fake News to grapple with. Dr Sander will be using lots of medical metaphors in his talk, and Mandy has taken this on board with the work she has made. He talks about vaccinating the herd against Fake News, and Mandy has enjoyed exploring this concept, referencing Rene Magritte’s Treachery of Images. The resulting potent image features a pipette, which is a play on words, connecting to Magritte’s ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe.’ Her work called ‘The Treachery of Fake News’ will be for sale, along with some single dose vaccine cards.

You can book your free ticket here.

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

Summer pop-up event 10th June in Cambridge

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Summer pop-up in Cambridge

Our Summer Pop-Up Arts & Crafts Event, 11-5pm.

We have a lovely venue for our event, the beautiful St. Andrew’s St. Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Street, Cambridge.

A real celebration of Cambridge and East Anglian designers, working with textiles, jewellery, printmaking and more.

Our speciality is sourcing talented artisans and makers, working to the best standards, and we can’t wait to showcase their wares.

Alongside established makers we will be introducing a student area, run by Cecelia Wood and Lauren Wilson, students from the Cambridge School of Art.

We are also running some drop in workshops so you and your family can partake in some hands on making too!

 

Just a short walk from Cambridge train station, and on lots of bus routes, with the Town & Country Fair on at the same time, there’ll be plenty to see and do.

Some light refreshments will be available, plus the venue hosts the Livingstone Cafe, where they serve a variety of light bites and drinks, all reasonably priced.

So come and spend a few happy hours browsing our stalls, learning new skills and immersing yourself in Eclectic Mix creativity!

You can sign up for the event on Eventbrite page, or stay posted through Facebook.

 

Are you an artist or maker and are you interested in selling at our event? We have a few tables left. Contact us at info@eclecticmixcambridge.com or fill in the form below if you want more information.

 

Pop-up at St Andrews Baptist Church, Cambridge

 

 

What does ‘handmade’ mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

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What does 'handmade' mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

Mandy Knapp is an artist from South Cambs, and we have been asking her what ‘handmade’ means to her.

My own space

“I am very lucky to have a small print studio in my garden, so I can take myself off to my own space and make, without having the distraction of computers or mounting housework.

Cup of fruit tea in hand, and with music from my phone, I can shut myself off and get printing. I never seem to suffer from creative blocks. Because my time in the studio is often snatched and precious, I always use it constructively. As with many people, I have work and family commitments to juggle, which makes studio time very special.

 

 

Happy accidents

For me, the ‘hands on’ inky nature of printmaking is just delicious. When you are manipulating freshly made pigments, where the viscosity is never constant, using found textures to ink up and run through the press, you are never absolutely sure of how the print will turn out. With experience, you have of course a rough idea, but I really enjoy the happy accidents that occur along the way. The resulting work has a very much handmade, individual look that I want to convey. I’m not interested in producing multiples of a ‘perfect’ image. I like making bodies of work, but each piece is unique. I hope people like that, and feel they are taking away something individual that cannot be copied exactly.

Artists invest a lot of themselves in their handmade pieces. What a wonderful thing to own a representation of a particular artist/maker. Its such a personal thing, and we should not lose sight of this. Who wants ‘massed produced’ when you can spend the same amount of money on something with individual beauty?”

Mandy is helping us with social media and we feel very lucky to have her on board with Eclectic Mix Cambridge. She is always smiling and full of ideas. She will also sell some of work at our next pop-up event on June 10th.