Traditional Craft Fair 2013

Butterflies by Brenda Graham9 November 2013

  • 11am-4pm
  • Drop-in
  • £1 per adult, children free

This is your chance to pick up beautiful and unusual gifts made by some of our most skilled local craftspeople. In the unique setting of the Museum's galleries, the MERL Craft Fair provides a wonderful opportunity to combine shopping for beautiful, handmade crafts with the chance to learn about their history. You can talk to our makers and find out how traditional craft has an important role in our modern lives. Many of the stallholders will be demonstrating their craft as well as offering opportunities to have a go yourself.

Free family craft workshop Drop in and make embossed paper Christmas decorations.

Refreshments As usual our popular teas will be available, including cakes and a light lunch (sausage rolls / vegetarian quiche) 


Stallholders this year

Craft Fair 2012 wooden spoonsMartin Damen,

Hand-carved wooden spoons and bowls

Martin will be demonstrating traditional woodworking at this year's craft fair. He has been practicing for more than ten years, and specialises in hand-carving bowls and spoons. He uses wood that has been locally sourced, and combines traditional tools and skills with an appreciation of the material being worked. Each unique item remains functional while also being a pleasure to look at, handle and use every day.

For further details, visit Martin Damen hand carving


David Glover,

Handmade wooden bowls and furniture

David works with local hardwoods to produce a variety of wooden bowls, bookrests, tables, stools, framed mirrors and plant stands. He is a volunteer at Museum of English Rural Life and has been selling his bowls in our shop for a number of years. We're delighted to be able to see more of his work.


Brenda_Graham_GlassBirdBrenda Graham,

Stained glass and jewellery

Brenda makes eye-catching pieces of stained glass that can be hung in windows or a place of your choice. Her subject matter includes an array of animals, birds, landscapes and abstract forms. She also makes a range of jewellery that incorporates photography and images. Brenda will be explaining her techniques with examples of work in progress.

For further details, visit Brenda's website at Brenda Graham stained glass


Matthew HitchMatthew Hitch

handmade soaps and creams and designer silver jewellery

Midori House by Matthew Hitch uses only traditional cold press methods to create handmade natural soaps and creams. This allows the soap's rich, locally sourced ingredients to stay in the final product, without any loss through the processes. Matthew, also a silversmith, uses traditional methods to produce handmade silver jewellery from scratch in either modern or classic designs.   

For further details, visit Midori House by Matthew Hitch or Matthew Hitch jewellery


Nicola Stained GlassNicola Kantorowicz

Stained glass 

Nicola designs and makes windows to commission for churches, public buildings and private residences. Her work is abstract and incorporates glass painting, acid etching and sandblasting to create stunning decorative effects. She also makes free standing panels framed in ironwork and a selection of smaller decorative fused glass ornaments for the home and garden. She is an elected Fellow of British Society of Master Glass Painters.

For examples of her work, visit Nicola Kantorowicz stained glass


cmarriott_ragruggingCaroline Marriott

Textiles (rag rugging and weaving)

Caroline makes a variety of items using rag rugging, such as hats, mats and jewellery. This year visitors will be able to have a go at rag rugging to make a Christmas wreath with Caroline. She also weaves on sticks to create bags, cushions, flowers and dollies.

For further details, visit Caroline Marriott textiles


Miller CeramicsPhilip Miller


Philip's work draws on the simplistic style and elegance of twentieth century ceramicists from both Europe and Japan. All his work is wheel thrown and covers a range of styles from functional, through aesthetic to abstract sculpture. He is able to produce such varied styles by using both porcelain and stoneware clay bodies, and a limited range of glazes and oxide finishes. Philip will be demonstrating his techniques, with a potter's wheel on the day.

For examples of his work, visit Philip Miller ceramics


Cathy Newell Price jewelleryCathy Newell Price

Contemporary jewellery 

Cathy uses traditional silversmithing techniques to design contemporary jewellery inspired by flowers, animals, textile motifs and architecture. Her work is handmade, decorative in nature with surface texture, tiny details, semi-precious stones, gold and enamel. She is happy to explain how she creates such detailed pieces and what tools she uses.

For further details and examples, visit Cathy Newell Price Jewellery



Jo Nickless skep candlesR&J Nickless Apiaries

local honey and beeswax products

Our friends Rob and Jo Nickless return with their popular stall with local honey and a wide range of honey and beeswax products, including polishes, beeswax cosmetics, candles and honey fudge. Visitors will be able to try candle-rolling, producing a bee-skep shaped candle to take home (cost £1 per candle.)

A selection of their products are available at R&J Nickless Apiaries



Cathy PaulCathy Seal, 'Raspberry Tart'

Knitted and felted accessories 

Cathy's work is predominantly knitted and felted, and combines different materials. Her work ranges from scarves, wraps and shrugs to gloves, bags and brooches. She makes her own pine knitting needles, as well as hair pins and bangles. Visitors will be able to have a go at knitting...with five yarns or more at once, using Cathy's oversized knitting needles!

To see more examples of her work, visit Cathy Paul on Pinterest


Kate and Anna decorationsKate Powell & Anna Williams, 'kate&anna'

furniture, upholstery and homewares

Kate & Anna design and make a variety of furniture and homewares as well as offering a bespoke reupholstery service. Their work is constantly evolving, bringing together the past and present, in both design and techniques. Everything they sell is handmade and finished to the highest quality. They will be demonstrating upholstering on the day.   

For further details, visit Kate and Anna furniture and homewares



katie smithKatie Smith

Ceramics and illustration 

This year Katie will be demonstrating how she uses carving, moulding and hand building to create her landscape inspired ceramic sculpture and wall pieces, which evoke a sense of depth and atmosphere using varied textures, darkening oxides and wonderful glazes. The illustrations that influence her work have a laid back and lively appeal which lends itself beautifully to Katie's range of homewares.   

Visit Katie's website at Katie Smith Ceramics


the outsideRomilly Swann, 'The Outside Dyers'

Naturally died and handspun yarns and cloths

The Outside produce naturally dyed hand crafted products. With examples of wools and silks from the Iron Age, through the Dark Ages to the Medieval and Tudor era, visitors will be able to step back in time and try their hand at drop spinning and finger braiding. The Outside Dyers will be demonstrating ancient braiding and weaving with their Iron Age loom and drop spindles.  

For further details, visit website at The Outside    



Ursula Waechter dishUrsula Waechter


Ursula uses both wheel thrown and press moulded techniques to create her tin-glazed earthenware. Her elegant decoration is applied by brush, using a mixture of metal oxides, mostly blues and greens, which are combined with touches of brighter colours like reds, pinks, oranges and yellows.  

To find out more about Ursula and her work, visit Ursula Waechter pottery


Fong WongFong Wong

Handmade accessories, cards and craft kits 

With a background in fashion and textiles, working in industry and teaching for over twenty years, Fong designs and creates all her work by hand, fusing new and vintage fabrics, paper-based products and craft kits. Her products range from tote bags, fabric flower brooches and fabric brooch 'Make-it-yourself' kits, through to paper cut cards for all occasions and handmade paper packaging. Fong hopes to inspire others to be creative, so will be giving demonstrations, and visitors have the opportunity to make their own origami folding box or hat (cost £1-£2).      





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