Caron from What Caron Made

Midday Makers

Hi, I’m Caron and my little handmade business is What Caron Made.  I make jewellery with beads, the smaller the better!

I was born in South Africa and moved to England in 2008 with my husband and baby.  I grew up in a place called Pietermaritzburg, which was a lot of fun and I enjoyed school and a year of college. After that I came to the UK  for 2 years, which was fantastic.

I then went back to South Africa and met my husband. I had  various jobs in a bank and ended up working as a mortgage consultant for many years until we moved here.

I used to make beaded jewellery and string pearls before I had children, just as a hobby.  However, life with kids was busy and I started up my own ironing business about 9 years ago because it was something I could do from home, it worked really well with young children.

Last year, 2019,  I rediscovered the amazing world of beads. I made some earrings which one of my ironing clients commented on. She loved them and wanted me to make her some and make some for gifts. It was then that the idea was sparked to start up a little creative business and Beadworks was born. The journey only properly began before lockdown and so all of my plans for markets and fairs went out the window. I signed up the MMFH not knowing what to expect and was so blown away by the makers involved. It was so inspiring to see everyones stalls filled with the most beautiful crafts and it made me realise that this could be a my full time business. I loved seeing the MMFH grow and I look forward to watching the midday maker interviews to be even more inspired to make this dream a reality.

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

Visit her Instagram @WhatCaronMade

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

Anna from One Mans Trash

Midday Makers

My name is Anna and I am originally from the Isle of Man. With a travel journalist Mum, I spent a lot of my life travelling the world; not appreciating it at the time but in later life I’ve realised it’s left a huge impression on me. I went to university first in the UK and then the States (undergrad and postgrad), where I studied acting, directing, journalism, and figure skating… 

I then moved to Sweden where I began teaching, but after seven years and at 30, I decided this was not the long game for me. I was always oppressing event management on everyone around me without even knowing it; someone would suggest a cinema trip and I would have organised invitations, costumes, theme, giveaways and catering before they’d even finished the sentence. It was my mother who suggested it might be kind to others to go into events for a living, to spare them, so I returned to the UK and took a diploma in Event Management. 

This diploma sprang me into London’s Event Industry, but I quickly realised that a lot of it is very corporate so I used onemanstrash as a creative escape from that – I am a Theatre major after all… I felt very lucky to have it at this time. Only a few weeks before my internship started, I had been sent to a leather house in London’s Whitechapel to collect some fabric for a London Fashion Week designer who I was ‘running’ for. As I waited for the chap to get the order from the back, I spied the most amazing pile of stunning leathers, only to be asked by said chap upon his return why was I riffling through the bin… I took the scrap home, not really knowing what to do with it at the time. I’d always loved big earrings but the old lugs had starting to take a bit of a hit. The fashion students I lived with helped me put two and two together and onemanstrash was born. 

That was 2014. It was only in March of this year that I realised I needed onemanstrash more than ever. The events industry pretty much died overnight, and onemanstrash was to be my financial and mental health saviour. I began to develop ‘collections’ not just sporadic pairs, which seemed to make it easy for people to appreciate and subsequently follow my page. I had 199 followers at the beginning of March. I began to spend more and more time investigating markets on Instagram, and more and more of them arose due to real markets dwindling. Throughout March and April my followers and sales began to rise slowly but surely. 

Then my first Makers Market From Home in May was when my follower count really started to skyrocket. It felt like a real turning point. What I loved about MMFH was that Andy was a face, a real person, very present and there with us. He had time for stupid questions, was happy to repeat himself, and kept emphasising the importance of fun. That’s really what I needed at the time. By then I hadn’t worked for three months and he really helped remind me that I should be enjoying it. He encouraged us to encourage each other, and people who I originally saw as competition, are now dear Insta pals, and we shout out each others pages often, which feels so good to do. Overall, I’m absolutely stoked I found MMFH, and am really grateful to Andy, Mrs G, Lydia and all the others involved!

You can enjoy our Midday Makers chat with Anna on our MMFH IGTV channel.

Check out Anna’s Instagram account @onemanstrashuk

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

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 and her new flower school

Follow Brigitte on Instagram @mossandstonefloraldesign

Image credit @hannahduffyphotography

Small business advice from designer Wayne Hemingway

Inspiring Interviews

When we spoke to designer Wayne Hemingway the conversation covered advice for makers and creatives, along with Wayne’s journey from market stallholder to iconic designer.

Watch the full interview on MakersMarketFromHome IGTV here.

For more information about the projects and products Wayne Hemingway is currently working on check out his website at