Today’s post is by our regular contributor Julia Little, who takes a break from digital and does a bit of crafting for us…..
I’m not going to apologise, I love a bit of craft. In the past it has had a reputation for being a bit hippy or homemade and to be honest, some 0f it is awful.
But with people like Heal’s and The New Craftsmen gallery, it is shaking off the old image and moving into a respected art and retail world. Used creatively, felting, weaving, printing and carving produce fabulous products that deserve their place in the modern world. It’s not just a craft, it’s a skill and one that works perfectly as an antidote to our ever increasing technological world. We need both.
So thank goodness Heal’s is here to continue moving things forward, with its Modern Craft Market, showcasing the work of the best contemporary craft makers in the UK today using new materials and processes. The craft team invited me along to try one of their live workshops. I chose screen printing with Gemma Waggett. Gemma explained the rudiments of creating a screen print pattern and then, with specialist ink, we dragged the squeegee with pressure across the screen, to print directly onto paper and a tote bag. Really satisfying! She also showed me some of her work using a digital embroider that she uses to create wonderful textiles for her range of cushions. All available to buy from Heal’s.
Go and be inspired or book one of the demos at Heal’s Modern Craft Market, on all this week until Friday 13th February at Tottenham Court Road Store. With 16 different crafts showcasing instore, there is plenty to choose from (if they’re not already sold out). Choose from porcelain tea light making, chair caning, knitting, lino printing, leather and concrete moulding, embroidery, papercutting, and many more.
And if you would like to further your interest in craft and textiles, may I recommend shopping at Native and Co, Notting Hill or doing a course at West Dean College, Sussex.
Or if you want to try your hand at learning a craft skill, West Dean College has a comprehensive selection of creative courses. I recently spent a productive 4 days with Maxine Sutton, screen printing with machine and hand stitching. It was educational, fun and relaxing and sorted hubby’s Christmas present (below), Jason Jules, inspired by The Rude Boys, Somerset House, 2014.