Julie Hollis from Made on Cloud 9

Midday Makers

Cloud 9 is the name of Julie’s gallery in Dumfries and is the place that has inspired her beautiful jewellery collection.

Julie says: “As an artist I create a surprising amount of waste. And it’s often beautiful waste, far too lovely to throw away! I’m using the unique by-products of my work to create some unusual jewellery, as well as sell the artwork I create on mugs, coasters, cushions and so on.”

Watch Julie’s #MiddayMakers interview with MMFH Ambassador Alice on our IGTV channel.

Visit julie on Instagram @madeoncloud9

Illustrator Ellie Good

Midday Makers

Illustrator Ellie Good uses her colourful, hand-drawn, painted and geometric illustrations to make sustainable homewares and paper goods, with the aim of bringing smiles to people’s faces and keeping the planet happy.

With EVERY item sold 5p is donated to environmental charities and projects, including City to Sea and Just One Tree.

At the age of 7, Ellie pestered her local MP for glass bottle recycling. It worked! And from then on, campaigning for a fair respect for nature has been an integral part of her life.

Ellie set up her own brand in 2017, selling sustainably made, 100% recycled cards with no plastic wrap. It proved popular, so the range has expanded to include a selection of useful and made-to-last wares, tote bags and paper goods.

In 2019 Ellie also set up The Shift, which offers bite-sized tips for greener living. Check it out if you’re after some easy to manage changes you can make to contribute to a more stable climate.

Watch our LIVE chat with Ellie on our IGTV channel.

Check out Ellie’s instagram account @elliegood_illo 

Penny from Penny Varley Ceramics

Midday Makers

Back in the 1980’s I threw my first pot on a manual potters wheel, it was one of the most difficult things I had ever tried to do..  keeping clay on the wheel, standing up pushing the kick bar backwards and forwards to make the wheel go round and have some idea about what you are trying to achieve….Then in the late 1990’s I signed up for a pottery evening class at my local college, was I mad or did I just like getting messy? Obviously there was still a spark somewhere.  I attended three times a week and was totally hooked.  I loved throwing once I got the knack and creating slab and coil pots.  Our house was quickly filling up with my work and friends and family knew what they would be getting for birthdays and Christmas.One day my husband asked ‘ what are you going to do with all these pots?’. My reply ‘ I have no idea, but I have lots more ideas and I want to continue. At the time we were living in a small house with a long garden.  We sold and moved to our current home in the village of Tysoe in Warwickshire which had the perfect place for a studio and within 6 months the studio was built.

I started selling my work through the local tourist information centre and some craft fairs and in 2005 gave up the day job as a manager in the Civil Service to follow my dream and I launched Penny Varley Ceramics.It was scary with no money coming in but I stuck to my guns and introduced teaching pottery into my repertoire. As well as speaker events, both things I had been involved with in my previous life.I have a staple range of domestic ware bowls, jugs, coasters and tea towels and then I have my unique pieces.  These are all one off’s and will often be inspired by the view I have from my studio up to the Edge Hill escarpment.  I love to experiment with texture and colour and as a keen dog walker I observe and collect items on my walks to inspire new work. I am passionate about my garden and a few years ago decide to work with a clay that would be frostproof.  New clay, new firing temperatures  and new glazes have all taken my work on a different path.My purpose build garden studio is my area of calm and sanctuary.  My commute to work is less than a minute (usually with a golden retriever and a cup of tea).  The radio switches from radio 4 to radio 2 depending on my mood, but there is no phone or internet.’ organised chaos’ is how I would describe my studio as I often have more than one project on the go at a time.  ‘ there is order but only I know what that order is’.

At the start of March my diary was full of commitments for shows, teaching and talks.  As we know that all changes and I discovered Makers Market From Home.  I decided to embrace social media and technology.  I bought a new phone got posting and signed up for the makers market.  July was my initiation.  I loved setting up my stand and having something to work towards.  I have missed my shows and fellow artists and the banter and the MMFH has filled that  void for me.  It was lovely to do the interview with Andy and the idea of ambassador  is pure genius.  As a designer maker of 3d object s it is difficult sometimes for customers to understand the processAnd to get the overall view of the work, any platform that enables that is a winner in my book.  Thank you MMFH for having the vision and seeing it through.

Watch Penny’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @pennyvarleycermics

Beverley from BevArt Designs

Midday Makers

My passion is most definitely to make, create and inspire. I absolutely love colour, I love paint and I love wood! Combine all three and you have ‘Bevart designs’ wearable art.

I use paint to create colourways that blend and work together or in contrast, I use resin to seal, protect and illuminate the colours, the jewellery pieces are then cut and polished and made into pieces to wear. There is nothing more than wonderful than seeing someone wearing your jewellery, some of my pieces are vibrant and will definitely brighten up your day, and your wardrobe. Some are more tonal and subtle if you prefer.

Originally a hairdresser, I owned my own salon in Blackburn for over 10 years, I met my husband there… he was a client!!

I needed the challenge of something new to learn, so enrolled at night school on the art course, wow this was it! I fell in love with art all over again, from being very young I was inspired to paint by watching Nancy Kaminsky on tv.

After much consideration and dreaming I signed up for the Fine Art degree course at Blackburn! I’ve never looked back! The best three years of my life, apart from getting married and having children of course.

Fast forward …… I am now proud owner of Atelier Arts; this is an art collective in the beautiful market town of Clitheroe with small gallery and teaching space. We teach weekly art classes, landscape painting and life drawing full day workshops.

I also teach Art in Spain, I have partners in Spain, we deliver an all-inclusive art retreat, and it is amazing!

I sell my jewellery at ‘The British Craft House’ an online shop, the home of artisan gifts. I was delighted when I was accepted as a seller.

I took part in ‘Makers Market From Home’ on Instagram and I was interviewed by Andy about my work.

What an amazing day I had, who ever thought you could have so much fun having a stall in your dinning room, there was lots going on during the day with live interviews to watch, makers doing demonstrations and not forgetting the interactions on the day with other makers, what a fabulous idea , long may it continue.

Watch Beverley’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @bevart_designs

Becci Davies from Shore Fired Pottery

Midday Makers

My journey into clay isn’t really the normal story that you would expect. I never had the chance to do pottery in school and didn’t study art either. I have always had creativity in my bones and suppose I get it from my family, my mum and sister draw and my dad is creative with music.

During university, my career took a rebellious change of direction into hospitality, I loved being around people and running around like a maniac! My career went from strength to strength and I was managing restaurants and bars at a young age. My husband was in this industry too and we thrived at it, getting a couple of bars in Exeter, one of which I ran with my sister for 5 years, a proper community hub of quirky artistical décor, good people, good music, good times!

My husband and I had a real yearning to get out of the city and sold the pubs and our house and moved near Bude, Cornwall. There was a potter who lived locally and I had one lesson and fell in love! I remember coming straight home and saying ‘I want to be a potter!’ and I bought my wheel straight away and got practicing.

At that time (3 years ago) I was managing a hotel in Bude and on one particular day when my boss was being a vile human being, I handed in my notice. I worked my notice period feeling liberated but also thought ‘bugger, what am I going to do’. I then signed up to my local farmers market and I haven’t really looked back. I practiced even harder to not make wonky pots and Shore Fired was born. My pieces are inspired by the Cornish coast and I love to use blue glazes on most of my pieces. I am still experimenting and trying to find my way.   

I have met so many like-minded makers on my journey so far, many that have provided tips and tricks and many are now firm friends. I believe that we are so much stronger together as a community and not against each other as competition. That’s why I love what you have created, it’s put me in contact with a wider audience and I can honestly say that I have made friends as a result.

I am in contact frequently with makers that I met at MMFH markets and it’s given me confidence again to keep shouting out about my brand (however uncomfortable it may feel sometimes). My journey so far is a result of my relationships with customers and makers and you have to embrace the community if the community is to embrace you. It’s a pretty special community and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. I probably need to thank my old boss for being an arse next time I see him!

Watch Bec’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her website shorefired.co.uk

Instagram @shorefiredpottery

Designer Brigitte Girling from Moss & Stone

Inspiring Interviews

It was wonderful to speak to designer Brigitte from Moss & Stone to find out more about her creative life and get advice for budding (excuse the pun!) floral designers…

Hello I’m Brigitte and I just simply love flowers!  

A subtle detail in an arching stem, an unfurling leaf or a perfect petal all inform and influence my floral art. Expect bashful hellebores in winter, delicate blossom in spring, garden roses in summer and bold dahlias in autumn: delicious, subtle scents, twisty stems searching the light and petals that tremble on the breeze.

My floral art draws on the traditions of rambling, overgrown, English gardens, the ever-changing seasons and the wild beauty of the Suffolk countryside around me. Seasonality and provenance are fundamental. So my own whimsically, wild and untamed garden is my muse and inspiration providing many of the beautiful flowers and trailing ingredients I need to weave together my romantic, undone and nostalgic style.

I love teaching the art of floral design in my unique, ethereal style almost as much as I love the flowers themselves. Having been a teacher in a former life, I think of myself as a guide, a facilitator, encouraging you to re-engage with your creativity, slow down and really study the individual beauty of each element you chose to design with. I want you to find and love your own unique style too.

Watch our inspirational interview with Brigitte from Moss & Stone on our IGTV channel.

Visit Brigitte’s website www.mossandstone.co.uk and her new flower school www.mossandstoneflowerschool.co.uk

Follow Brigitte on Instagram @mossandstonefloraldesign

Image credit @hannahduffyphotography

Sarah from Sarah Trotter Art

Midday Makers

Howdy Doodlies. My name is Sarah and I am a Devon based artist who specializes in creating authentic abstract, fun, colourful and hybrid artworks that range from original paintings and printed cards to painted glassware’s and handmade bespoke bunting.  All works can be personalized & custom made, I openly welcome commissions. Alongside my art biz, I am also an ambassador for the Atlantic Youth Creative Hub, which is a programme that provides individuals with support to develop & sustain a business/business idea.

My inspiration comes from a haphazard and eclectic mix of influences from nature, cultures and society and of those magical realms above us. I am passionate about inspiring an awareness of the natural that world, spotlighting endangered species and nature. I enjoy encouraging creativity through collaboration and inclusivity and I am a soul believer that anyone has the ability to create and each individual deserves to express their own creativity in whatever way they choose to.

From a young age I was always curious about how things are made and was that kid who was interested in every kind of art and craft activity going.

My background is in Surface Pattern design, after graduating I freelanced briefly in fashion and printed textiles design. After a few doses of freelance design mistrust that blew my confidence, I butterflied my way through roles in the UK, Australia, S.E Asia that covered marketing, hospitality, volunteering, design interning, retail management, fashion buying, museum and learning positions and at one point I was a head ice cream scooper.

Last summer, after having a rather hamster wheel lifestyle that was affecting my health &and wellbeing and turning me into someone I disliked, I decided to leave my job and fab social life in London and moved back to my family home in South Devon. I made a pact with myself to focus more of my time and energy on growing my side hustle into more of my life.

I enjoy traveling, being in nature, swimming, Yogalates, cooking and throwing shapes (extra fun with added splashes of paint and ‘Pump Up The Jam’ at high volume), listening to era world music and jazzy beats. I find pure joy in slurping a darn good roasted Coffee/ Gin tipples whilst connecting with others and having a rather wholesome chinwag. 

For me, the Makers Market From Home lifted my spirits and I learnt so much. The community is so welcoming and I loved interacting with an array of different creatives who are all uniting and supporting each other on one virtual and connecting platform showcasing so much talent to the world.

You can watch Lydia’s interview with Sarah Trotter on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit Sarah’s website here: Sarah Trotter Art

Instagram @sarahtrotterart

Facebook @ColourArteralCreations

Hannah from Sandpaper Kisses / Hannah Weeks Illustration

Midday Makers

Hi, I’m Hannah, Suffolk based Illustrator, and the face and (right) hand behind Hannah Weeks Illustration (HWI) and Sandpaper Kisses – the two branches of my business.

The main branch of my business, keeps me busy with wholly bespoke, custom illustration commissions – I draw everything from wedding portraits and stationery to family portraits, pet portraits and illustrations for individual businesses. Sandpaper Kisses is my ready-to-buy print shop where I sell fun alphabet illustrations and quirky animal drawing on Etsy.
I have loved drawing, for as long as I can remember!

As I grew up, a mixture of pressure to carve out a “proper” career for myself and being given, perhaps…not the most suitable advice for myself, personally, I went to De Montfort in Leicester to study contour Fashion Design (that’s bra and knicker design). I did well and mostly enjoyed the course, but I now realise that the modules I most relished were the illustration classes. It was during these lessons that I was first introduced to digital illustration – and I loved it!

Upon graduating, in pursuit of my career goal I moved to North Yorkshire, having got a job designing lingerie for Marks and Spencer and Boux Avenue. But, came to learn that the fashion world wasn’t for me, long term. After four years of invaluable experience, I longed to get back to what I loved – all I wanted to do was draw. So, I made the leap to self employment and started over as a Freelance Illustrator. It was a brave decision, and it hasn’t been easy, but I have never looked back. At times, my friends and family may have thought I was mad to leave a secure job, but they can see how happy I am and the pleasure it gives me bringing people’s ideas to life!

I started taking wedding stationery commissions and for nearly eight years, the business has grown and evolved from there. Now I draw anything and everything, but what I most love to draw is people and pets. I get a huge kick out of drawing details that are personal to my clients – and there’s nothing better than receiving positive feedback from my customers when they first see the preview of their portrait or project.

Four years ago I moved back to my homeland, Suffolk and for a couple of years now I have worked a couple of days a week as a Gardener. I enjoy the happy mix developing my green-fingered knowledge alongside my business – it’s a wonderful, complimentary “side hustle” that keeps my mind clear and actually aids in my creativity. I am always thinking about the next idea and can see me merging the two disciplines one day…watch this space…

Makers Market From Home has helped me “meet” lots of other creatives – I feel part of a wonderful community of great folk. It has even seen me beat my fear of speaking online…I can now been found regularly chatting away on IG stories!

Watch Hannah’s interview on our IGTV channel here.

Visit Hannah’s website hannahweeks.co.uk
Her Sandpaper Kisses print shop can be found on Etsy etsy.com/uk/shop/SandpaperKissesShop

Instagram @hannahweeksillustration
Sandpaper Kisses Instagram @sandpaperkissesshop

Hassina Khan from Sea Green Glass Art

Midday Makers

I discovered stained glass almost by accident.

I’ve always been a maker. As a child I’d spend hours on the dollshouse that my Grandfather built me, from decorating the walls with pictures from magazines to making furniture from matchboxes and accessories from toothpaste tube lids. But the opportunities to do any sort of arts subjects at my school were limited and I got pushed into the sciences, which I did very badly in.

Eventually I ended up at university doing English and Drama where I spent time studying in New Jersey and decided I wanted to be a Stage Manager. I trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and worked for 6 years primarily in theatre for young audiences – youth theatre, children’s theatre, theatre in education – which I still love today.

I wasn’t the best Stage Manager in the world! I was really good at the organisational side of the work, and at prop-making, but I’m too much of a panicker to be any good in the rehearsal room or running the show. So I took a sideways step and started running the education and learning departments of various theatres. I channelled my desire to make into various domestic crafts – sewing, knitting, decorating cakes etc. 

20 years and two children later, I decided to treat myself by learning how to make mosaics properly. The course I had found was full so, not wanting to spend another year not doing things for me, I booked onto a stained glass course run by Naomi Brangwyn. I haven’t looked back since.

I find glass a fabulous medium to work with – I love the colours and the textures, and the way it changes with the light. I use the copper foil technique which is very process-heavy, but I make all my own designs and I usually incorporate pieces of seaglass that I pick up on local beaches.

I sell my work online and theough various local makers markets, including Fram Makers Market where I met Andy from Unruly Print, the face behind Makers Market from Home. I love the sense of community that markets bring, as well as the chance to talk to customers directly, and this one is no different. Bonkers, but it works!

Watch Hassina’s Midday Makers interview on MakersMarketFromHome IGTV.

Website www.seagreenglassart.co.uk

Instagram @seagreenglassart

Facebook seagreenglassart

Hassina’s work is also featured on: www.madeinsuffolk.org