This is the kind of page where you need time to sit and investigate. I suggest at a moment you find yourself with a spare hour or so make a cup of tea (or coffee if you must) sit in your favourite chair and explore.
There are some fantastic people and places out there and as I discover things I will add links in here. Sharing is one of the beautiful things in life.
www.sewmadeup.co.uk is a blog about making clothes and is a place to get ideas and inspiration as well as information about where to get great patterns for your own projects. Anne is also a photographer so the images are presented beautifully.
www.rachellarkins.com Rachel Larkins makes the most beautiful work. She creates characters and weird and intriguing narratives which become pieces of jewellery, drawings, diorama’s and automata.
www.tonymartinart.com Tony Martin is an artist in Glastonbury who creates exquisite drawings and prints. His work is very much about a sense of place and a study of lines and often is informed by poetry.
cominstea.com Comins Tea Emporium is an utterly delightful Tea shop in Sturminster Newton, Dorset. They also have a shop in Bath. They are purveyors and lovers of the finest single estate teas you can find, a must for all tea lovers.
anjauhren.myportfolio.com Anja is an illustrator. She draws beautifully and prolifically! She offers a range of books available for sale as well as prints and she happily takes commissions. My particular favourites from her are the ‘Visual Thoughts’ series that is in its third volume now. They are packed full of her best sketchbook pages and favourite projects from the previous year. I am proud to have all three and look forward to the next one.
Tobias George is a very talented chap who is good with his hands and creates the most beautiful things from wood. He has a shop on his website, goes out and about to makers markets and is happy to take commissions. His studio is small and perfectly formed on a farm in Gloucestershire.
www.lovefromhettyanddave.co.uk is a place for all things kitsch. You want metallic pink flamingo broaches she has them, you want metallic watermelon slice earrings she has them, an oversized slug with a mustache anyone yes you can have it! Zoe creates a plethora of appliqued items from leather and tweed and embellishes shoes, handbags and clothes with her wonderful designs…something for everyone!
www.chrisbolanddesigns.com Chris makes the most stunning jewellery. It is the delicate and intricate art of construction and almost architectural design, really worth a look and to save your pennies for.
www.emilythatcher.co.uk Emily also makes stunning jewellery and one day I will own one of these rings! I’ll let her describe where her inspiration comes from, “I’m driven by the individuality of nature, gathering natural gem stones and creating unique pieces of jewellery, that in turn express the individualty of the wearer ”
robinmackenzie.co.uk Robin is a printmaker primarily working with woodcuts. He creates intricate designs and beautifully detailed illustrations from his studio at Walford Mill in Dorset and has a fabulous old press that I’m very envious of!
www.colescastings.com Stephen Coles works from his foundry in deepest Dorset. If you need something casting he’s your man. He specialises in fine art casting and has lots of experience working with artists to cast their work. In between commissions he makes his own creations often wry and witty in content. A particularly wonderful piece is the singing bowl (pictured above) which can be tuned, depending on the depth of water in it, to make beautiful sounds when you gently rub the handles. We had a beautiful evening once in the cold depths of January when it was tuned with a harp and the most magical sounds ensued. Stephen has also built a portable furnace so he can travel to festivals and educational establishments to deliver aluminium casting workshops (as demonstrated above).
The Ely Gin Shop is a delightful little shop that stocks nine different flavours of gin (as well as quite a few flavoured vodkas too!). They also have a wide range of tonics and gift sets with their recommended combinations. Great for a gift…especially for me!
Ock Pop Tok (OPT) is a fantastic textile studio set in beautiful grounds on the banks of the Mekong river in Luang Prabang Laos. It is a fascinating place where you can learn about the processes involved in silk dying and weaving from start to finish. The staff are lovely and helpful and provide a range of workshops from half a day to three days and everything in between. If you are just interested in a cool drink or some great tea you can sit by the river and enjoy the view in peace and quiet. They also provide fabulous laotion food if you’re peckish well worth a visit!
COPE is an organisation in Laos dedicated to helping people who have lost limbs from one of the 80 million unexploded bombs left as a legacy from the Vietnam war. They also work with programs of education to prevent deaths and injury from touching or in the case of children playing with these bombs. An incredibly worth while group that deserves our support.
Streets International are a fantastic organisation that take Vietnamese street kids give them board and lodging and teach them english, hospitality and culinary orientation, as well as life skills. So eventually these young people can go and get good jobs in good hotels and build a life for themselves. Really worth supporting even if you never plan to go to Vietnam, but if you do make sure to go and see them the food is awesome!