Thursday, 25 April 2013

Meet our own South West Material Girl

Meet our own South West Material Girl

Emma Purdie is one of our official demonstrators. From Plymouth, Emma specialises in screen printed interior textiles. 

For the past 10 years I have watched the wonderful Contemporary Craft Festival grow and develop.  I have exhibited at the festival every year apart from one when the thought of screen printing was hard to contemplate with a new born! 

For me, each year is full of excitement, amazement at the fabulous makers on show, a little bit of stress all topped off with pure delight when people buy my work. 

This year as well as selling I will be demonstrating, giving an insight into how I work and the techniques I use will be really exciting. I have some new work to show too which explores new materials, processes and technologies

This year’s festival will be fabulous as usual, I will be enjoying a little retail therapy, looking forward to seeing Jane Blease’s wonderful lampshades

 Helaina Sharpley wirework wall pieces

and beautiful jewellery by Helen Noakes

Emma Purdie
Material Girl 

Meet Emma Purdie, Jane Blease, Helaina Sharpley , Helen Noakes and 200 other makers of extraordinary objects from across the UK and Ireland. The Contemporary Craft Festival, June 7-9, Bovey Tracey, Devon, UK 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Don't Sell Gold for Silver Prices

Sell Gold for Gold Prices

Weekends away to London have changed for me over the recent years. Gone has the want or time to go shopping. The trips are short, sharp shocks of culture, washed down with far-too-short catchings up with good friends. The trip was planned to maximise the incredible amount of high intensity craft based activities going on over the weekend.


Chugging quietly into Waterloo, we marched over the bridge and straight to Wool House at Somerset House. An incredible display championed by the Campaign for Wool with room upon room decked out in layers of gorgeous wool fabrics expertly displayed in different styles to highlight the incredible versatility of the material.

Onwards, onto Chelsea Town Hall to the Selvedge Spring Fair which was packed with makers, not just of textiles but potters and paper sculptors. Spotted a few Festival exhibitors too including Sam Pickard, Linda Bloomfield and Treefall Design. A red hot Thai curry and white wine followed and a short journey back to the hotel in Kensington.

Next day, we trooped over to the V&A. Love the V&A. Jostled with the thousands of Bowie fans and headed up the Ceramic Staircase, through the Silver gallery to the Lecture Theatre for the Heritage Craft Association Spring Conference. Having got over the shock that there wasn’t any coffee on offer, I sat back and listed to the reason I went, to hear David Hieatt speak.He is the author of this blog's title. Sell gold for gold prices. If you don't know who David Hieatt is, look him up. I defy you not to be impressed and moved about what he has achieved, achieving and dreaming about. David and his company Hiut Denim makes jeans, really good jeans, in Wales. He sells the jeans for gold prices, because they are worth it.  He also changes the way you look at the world. Look up the Do Lectures. A really clever brand or pure integrity? I think both. V rare. He played this film, by Mickey Smith, not about jeans but about doing something you love.  Your life has started, you've chosen it and we need to get on with it, right now. The Talk Tipi at the Festival is entirely inspired by the Do Lectures, founded by David Hieatt and I hope that in a some way, we can change the way people think about craft at the Festival #dosomethingyoulove.

Our inspirational speakers  at the Talk Tipi include: silver smith David Clarke
David Clarke, Silver 

 ceramics & textile artist Zoe Hillyard,

potter Katrin Moye,
metal worker John Grayson,

craft and technology researcher Emilie Grenier and the story of Fine Cell Work,  #imapiece and Plymouth School of Creative Arts