What a fantastic few days we had at the Wealden Times Mid-Summer fair. The fair is full of some amazing designer makers, delicious food stalls and lots of things to see. It was great being back in Kent, it was lovely seeing some of our old friends, meeting new customers and getting to know some new stallholders too.
We were lucky enough to be next to the lovely Marie and Ali from Meminio. They have designed a gorgeous range of leather memory boxes to keep all those special keepsakes in. Take a look at their website to see their full range- you can also have them personalised too- we love them! https://meminio.com
Chandrika Thomas has a lovely range of home fragrances and perfumes. They smell absolutely lovely, our marquee smelt delicious! https://www.chandrikathomas.co.uk
Nick Hubbard is a jewellery company run by Nick's family. They have a gorgeous collection of contemporary silver jewellery in figurative designs- definitely take a look on their website http://www.nickhubbardjewellery.co.uk
We had such a wonderful time in Kent- we can't wait to go back at Christmas! If you have never been to the Wealden Times fair, you should definitely try go, it really is fantastic.
We had a great day on Saturday at Norwich Maker's Market. We have never been to the event before, but we were told it was brilliant and full of wonderful designer makers- this was definitely true. Norwich Makers Market houses some absolutely fantastic designer makers from the area. There was such a mixture of different work, we loved it all.
Amber was there with her lovely knitwear, including her brand new knitted necklaces- which we love. Amber's work is absolutely gorgeous, take a look...http://www.ambermayde.com.
Mr.NorrisofNorwich was there with her quirky range of cacti planters and embroidery loops. We are huge cacti fans so we loved their stand.
Fringe and Fray have a lovely range of handmade hanging planters, her stand looked absolutely gorgeous. We absolutely loved the product...we even ended up buying one!
Gemma Rose, has a lovely selection of knitwear, including her lovely range of brightly coloured cropped jumpers- they were gorgeous.
As you can see there was an amazing range of different handmade products all made locally. It was a wonderful event and we hope to be there again. Take a look at their website to see when their next event is- http://norwichmakersmarket.weebly.com. We are off to Kent tomorrow for the Wealden Times Mid-Summer so if you are nearby please pop and see us.
We can't wait to head back to the wonderful Wealden Times Mid Summer fair in a couple of weeks. The Wealden Times summer is between the 8th and 10th of June in the beautiful grounds of Hole Park near Tenderten in Kent. The fair is full of wonderful exhibitors selling homewares, clothing, delicious foods and some gorgeous jewellery. We will be there with our full range including our new range of handmade jewellery. We have handpicked a few of our favourite exhibitors at the fair that we think you should look out for.
Katie Mullally will be there with her absolutely stunning range of vintage inspired jewellery. Katie has a lovely range of collectable charms- we just love her work! https://www.katiemullally.co.uk
TeePea will also be at the fair with their lovely range of play tents all handmade in the UK. Fantastic for your little ones. https://www.facebook.com/pg/myteepea/about/?ref=page_internal
Holly from Duck and Dog will also be at the Wealden Times with her lovely range of luxury homewares and accessories. Make sure to go and take a look at her stand- http://www.duckanddog.co.uk.
We are so looking forward to heading to Kent in a couple of weeks, we hope to see you there if you are nearby. http://wealdentimes.co.uk/events/index.php.
We are really excited to introduce Claire who owns the fabulous Hare and Moon Gallery in Norfolk, which has just started stocking IzziRainey products.
Hi Claire, thank you so much for joining us. Please tell us a bit about The Hare and Moon Gallery...
The Hare and Moon Gallery is at the end of the Lower Courtyard at Alby Crafts & Gardens. I sell my own work and the work of over 30 other East Anglian artists, craftsmen and designer makers.
Where did the idea come from to start the gallery?
I was asked by my friend Nicci who runs the Purple Parrot if I would like to display my paper cutting work in one of the empty units when Alby Crafts & Gardens was having an Open Day in spring 2014. I said ‘Yes’, set my work up and never went home!
Had you always dreamt of opening your own shop?
I grew up in a village shop and post office in Suffolk and I loved the interaction with customers. I have a degree in ceramics and always wanted to have my own pottery and gallery, but that wasn’t economically viable when I was in my 20s. Now, after a 20 year career in commercial print, I’m in a position where I can follow my dreams again.
Your gallery is part of Alby Crafts & Gardens. Please can you tell us about the site and what else customers can find there.
The tea room and bistro is at the heart of Alby Crafts & Gardens where the businesses are split between the Upper Courtyard and Lower Courtyard. Alby Tea Room offers freshly cooked locally sourced lunches, incredible gluten free cakes by Meg Foster and special events such as pizza and steak evenings. The quirky decor is worth a look too! The Purple Parrot gift shop is always well stocked with affordable attractive gifts and a good range of greetings cards. In the gallery upstairs Hannah Ghoorahoo makes bespoke soft furnishings and Jane Kenning makes wedding dresses, vintage style dresses and professional tutus. At the end of the Upper Courtyard we have SunEssences who produce Bach flower remedies in their science kitchen.
In the Lower Courtyard we have the galleries and studios, so here you will find Tracy Myers our printmaker, Keverne Dewick our wood turner and cabinet maker, Helen Dixon a ceramist and beekeeper, Mitchell House a professional fine art sculptor and myself, Claire Knight, paper cut artist and potter.
There are also over 4 acres of plant lover’s gardens boasting specimen trees, 3 ponds and lots of rare species shrubs and perennials.
It sounds amazing! Can you tell us a bit about your own work?
I have always been drawn to folk art of any type. As a potter I was influenced by English medieval slipware and German salt glaze. When I decided to stop chasing commercial print work and concentrate on building a body of artwork that I could call my own, I turned to paper cutting as it was something I could do at home on the kitchen table without much financial outlay and it was an art form that was beginning to be appreciated again. So I have been developing paper cutting designs and skills now for over 6 years and I think my work is recognisable as ‘a Claire Knight’ rather than the work of anyone else. For over a year now I have also been making ceramics again and I am in the process of building my own wood-fired kiln at the end of my garden. I am very excited to be firmly on the way to producing my own range of ceramics.
As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about? Do you stock a lot of other British designer makers? If it possible to, do you like to stock local artists in your shop?
At The Hare & Moon Gallery I stock almost exclusively East Anglian designer makers. I have one supplier from Cornwall whose lovely work in copper, glass and silver fits my gallery perfectly and I buy in a few bits of vintage glass or jewellery if I see something that I think my customers would like. So yes, I am passionate about supporting local artists and craftspeople and about giving them somewhere affordable to sell their work.
It is lovely that you stock such local artists and makers- Norfolk is full of very talented people! You have lots of wonderful products in store, where do you tend to source your products from?
Because I am a designer maker myself I promote my own work at maybe 6 or 8 local events a year outside Alby Crafts & Gardens. This means I get to spot the best new designer makers in the area and I invite them to sell in The Hare & Moon Gallery. And sometimes my existing makers will recommend my gallery to someone new and they will approach me.
What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
The Black Dandelion print really caught my eye when I saw the IzziRainey range displayed together and I think the pompoms add a great touch to some of the products. The range is fresh and light and fun.
Thank you so much Claire for joining us. Everyone should definitely pop into Claire's lovely gallery and the rest of Alby Crafts in you are ever in the area.
Yesterday we had to take a short break from studio life to help out on the farm. Our lovely vet Dan, was here to TB test our Highland Cattle. The TB test involves all the cattle having two small patches of hair on their neck clipped and this skin is then measured and noted down. Then two reactors, a bovine TB and an avian TB, are injected into each of the patches. The results will then be read when Dan returns on Friday. All our cattle were extremely well behaved and we think Dan was very impressed... No one likes to be shown up by a badly behaved cow!
We are extremely excited to announce our brand new, innovative collaboration with Norfolk jeweller, Emma Mortimer of Beach Hut Charm. Working together with Emma, we have combined the simple silhouettes within our textile prints with Beach Hut Charm’s craftsmanship, to create a contemporary jewellery collection.
We have had a wonderful few days at the East Anglian Game and Country fair, in the beautiful grounds of Euston Estate! The sun was shining and thousands of people turned up to spend the day 'doing all things country'. There was so much to see and do; you could try out fly fishing, watch the horse whisperer, spend your time shopping, eat lots of yummy local food, wander around the beautiful grounds plus much more!
It was lovely to speak to so many new customers and see some friends too. We were also lucky enough to be next to two wonderful stall holders; Jessica Lenox Wildlife Art and Becky and Didi from Marshes and Flint, the little lifestyle store. Marshes and Flint have a gorgeous range of children's clothes, toys, and homewares. They have just launched their new company in Norfolk and we love it all. Take a look at their website https://marshesandflint.co.uk to get your hands on some goodies. Jessica Lennox had the most amazing display of wildlife and pet portraits that she draws with pencil. We fell in love with Jessica's work, make sure you have a look at her website to see why- https://www.jessicalennoxart.com.
All in all we had a wonderful weekend. If you have never been to the East Anglian Game Fair, make sure you pencil it in the diary for next year as it really is a fantastic event! Take a look at our events page to see where you can find us next!
We are really looking forward to being at the Game and Country Fair next weekend at their new amazing venue, Euston Estate near Thetford. The East Anglian Game & Country Fair is an annual two day, family event taking place on April 22nd & 23rd 2017, full of lots of activities, attractions and a shopping village! We are really excited to be there and hoping to be able to get around the fair to see all the sights. Some of the main events sound amazing; especially the equestrian assault course!
There is over 350 shopping stands for you to look at- so make sure you get there early. We are looking forward to being next to Becky and Didi from Marshes and Flint. Marshes and Flint is a 'little lifestyle store' selling gorgeous children's clothes, toys and lifestyle pieces from Norfolk and around the world. This is first big fair that they have been a part of so pop by and see them. We will be there with our full range of products, including a very design project that we have been working on that we will be launching at the Game Fair, so please pop and see us. The Game Fair is a fantastic local event celebrating Norfolk, Norfolk business' and the countryside so please do come along and support. Tickets are still available online so book now...http://www.ukgamefair.co.uk/book-tickets-step1
What a wonderful Spring weekend we had at Deepdale's Spring market, full of lots other Norfolk companies. It was fantastic to catch up with other stall holders and meet lots of customers too! Deepdale market always handpicks local companies and designers from Norfolk- it is a fantastic fair for local producers and the support is always great. We had brilliant weather too, much better than the storms we had last year, so all in all it was a wonderful weekend. Our next event is the East Anglian Game and Country at Euston Park on April the 22nd and 23rd, so please pop along to that if you can...we will be launching a very exciting NEW collection- watch this space!
We are really excited to introduce Sheila who owns the gorgeous gift shop The Hairy Coo in Newtonmoore in Scotland, which has just started stocking IzziRainey products.
Please tell us a bit about The Hairy Coo..
The Hairy Coo Shop is a small gift shop based in the Scottish Highlands. Although its small I think its perfectly formed!!! We have a lot of international visitors stopping so I try to have a mix of products to suit everyone - and in a small shop that is quite a challenge!
Where did the idea come from to start The Hairy Coo? As you can tell we love Highland cows, so we just LOVE the name.
I also own a craft company called Hairy Coo which makes a range of keyrings, magnets and brooches which are all hand-wrapped by my “Coo Girls” in specially dyed wool. So when I decided to open a shop as well the name ws obvious!
It is just fantastic! Had you always dreamt of opening your own shop?
No never! and sometimes I wonder why!!!!
You seem to stock a lot of products that have Highland cows on- do you have anything which isn't Highland themed?
Not all my stock is highland cow themed although I seem to have gone a bit crazy this year! I have experimented over the last 5 years in bringing in other animals to the fold but the Highland Cow outsells everything else - even the Stag which I was surprised about. People just love them!
We find our Highland print is so popular so not surprised it sells so well for you! As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about? Do you stock a lot of other British and Scottish designer makers?
I do feel its really important to buy British - and I try as much as possible to buy Scottish as well but that can prove difficult sometimes. Although i do get disheartened when people don’t want to pay a premium for goods make in the UK and compare them to the bulk mass produced in China.
We agree!! If it possible to, do you like to stock local artists in your shop?
I would love to but simply don’t have the room.
You have lots of fantastic products, where do you tend to source the majority of your products from?
I source most of my products from the Scottish Trade Show and from local craft makers etc contacting me direct.
What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
I saw your products at Top Drawer and as you had a Highland Cow in your range it was a no-brainer.
Makes sense really! Thank you so much Sheila for joining us. Everyone take a look at The Hairy Coo's website or pop in if your ever nearby.
Izzi and Lara
IzziRainey is a Norfolk company, based on a farm, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.