A Very Crafty Community

Hello, well as promised, my latest blog is about the craft village where I have a snug little studio.  We are based at Quex Park in Birchington,  Kent – the garden of England on the ‘dog’s nose’ 🙂  The last blog of 2012 – I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

What a diverse and interesting little community we have in the craft village – there is a Florist, a Silversmith, a Wood-turner, an Upholsterer, a beader, a picture framer, a potter, a Ukulele maker, a knitting – crochet shop and a glass artist (that’s me that is).

So, let’s start with Ian.  Ian specialises in Ukuleles but also builds guitars, Cuatros and other instruments from timbers sourced from the grounds of Quex Park itself.  He stocks strings and accessories and also produce a range of Jewellery Boxes and other artefacts built from these unique timbers.

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As you can see, Ian has a busy workshop and there is always someone visiting for a chat or to play – you can often here music coming from Ian’s studio!  His website is Ukulian pop over for a colloquial meander through his life to how he got here!  Ian runs a Ukulele club too and I’m sure he would love to hear from you if you are interested in musical instruments!

Next up is Maureen.  Maureen is our very own talented florist.  She supplies the local area with creative wonders and they come back to her year after year!

2012-11-22 12.27.15Maureen

I know nothing about flower arrangement, so am always fascinated to see the inventive ways Maureen puts her arrangements together!  She also keeps a variety of other handmade goods in her studio, such as Hand made soap…mmmm!  You can find out more about our Maureen at Bay Blooms

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Kerry is our Mad Potter.  The Mad Potter is a ‘paint your own pottery studio’ for all ages and abilities.  Kerry offers various classes that you can join – there are baby feet and hand prints (aaawww!), pets paws and parties!  You can have a go at painting your own ceramic item – everthing is supplied by Kerry!  She has a lovely vase put by for me which I am looking forward to painting in 2013! 🙂

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Next we have Martin.  Martin is a Master Upholsterer – I asked him for a piece about what he does and he said, ‘If it can be upholstered, I can upholster it, everything from chairs to car interiors, boats to mobile homes’.  Take a look at Martin’s Upholstery website.  His work is luscious! He can even make furniture from scratch!

Chair car SAMSUNG chaise

Now we move on to Robert, our resident silversmith.  Artisan is Robert Hull, he was born in 1967 and has worked within the Industry since Graduating from the Kent Institute of Art & Design, Rochester in 1988. Robert started his glittering career in one of the leading British firms in London but has been working on a self-employed basis as a Designer and Silversmith since 1990 when he set up in business with a fellow student and friend. After 16 successful years together and going on to win “Young Designers” in 1994 at the UK Jewellery Awards, their ambitions took them in separate directions and Artisan was born in April 2006.

ring bangleearrings

Next meet a lovely lady and friend of mine, Sara from Knit & Natter!  She runs knitting and crochet classes and sells all the supplies to do it all!  I have found some lovely yarn in there 🙂

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If you ever fancied learning to knit of crochet, or would like to join a friendly, like-minded group, then give Sara a look 🙂

We have our own resident woodturner too!  His name is John Wright and he is a traditional wood artisan and makes all manner of turned pieces!

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You have all met Pat in a previous post.  Pat runs Thanet Beads.  She runs many classes a week and sells all types of beading supplies 🙂

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She also serves up tea, biscuits and a special brand of humour! 🙂

Last on my list, but certainly not least, is Pete.  Pete is an artisan full of character, who is notorious for feeding copious amounts of sweeties to the visiting children!  They all run to Pete before they go anywhere else!

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Pet makes beautiful treasures from eggs!  Yup, that’s right, eggs 🙂  This is a Faberge inspired art – fascinating, delicate and very detailed!

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There is a picture framer and the new Falconry Centre will be opening shortly – no doubt I will find time to blog about that!  I love Raptors – having hand-reared 61 Falco spaverius for my final year undergraduate project in Canada!

Well, that’s us!  A motley crew but all passionate and dedicated to our work.

For me, 2012 has been a life changing year.  I am more passionate than ever about creating from glass and very excited about the future!  Opening my studio has been a huge thrill – I love being at Quex and am really looking forward to the new directions I will be taking in the year to come!  To go with my new studio, I have a new website.  The site brings everything together under one umbrella, so from there you can reach my shop, my Facebook page and here too!

I hope this past year has been everything you hoped it would be and the next is wonderful – I love that feeling of anticipation as the future unfolds 🙂

Take care of yourselves.  Take care of each other and don’t sweat the small stuff – until next year lovely people… Mwah!  Big hug, live long and prosper 😉


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