Most of us have ‘dabbled’ with craftwork at some point or another, but in recent years its upsurge in popularity has lifted it from 'geek' territory into mainstream, with specialist websites, YouTube demonstrations and entire TV programmes dedicated to home made handiwork.
So why are we all whittling, knitting, candle making, glass painting and generally getting creative as a nation?
Certainly I think the ongoing love affair with all things vintage has a lot to do with it, shabby chic is a look which means your creations don’t even have to be perfect to be perfect!
Kirsty Allsop. She’s responsible for a lot of it I’m sure! I love Kirsty; she’s the epitome of all things cosy and homely and home made. I will even forgive her the tie dyed knickers she took such a slating for on Gogglebox (Kirsty, you have only yourself to blame, I mean…tie dyed knickers?! Next time stick with a t-shirt).
And we watch Kirsty with all her enthusiasm, discovering new crafts, often working in a big old fashioned kitchen, or in front of a roaring fire, as she conjours up an atmosphere of bygone days where life was so much simpler. Crafting is the perfect antidote to the technology that surrounds us every day; switch off the TV, close the laptop and do some crafting with the wireless on in the background!
Then of course there’s the recession – responsible for an awful lot that is not great in our lives but perhaps opening new doors by necessity. How often have we looked at something small, beautiful but perhaps expensive and thought ‘I could make one of those myself?’ I have done that a LOT! And have then found, in varying degrees, that some things look a lot easier to create than they actually are!
But if we do have a skill, be it sewing, jewellery making, woodwork, pottery or painting, the recession made many people stop and wonder if they could actually generate an extra income from that skill. From using creativity to earn much needed pin money to those people who found themselves out of the job market and needing to earn a living, for many their pastime became a necessity. And let’s face it, although you are unlikely to become very rich, there are worse ways to spend your working life!
It’s not always easy though, to find an outlet for your work. Yes, craft fairs are held up and down the country most weekends, but if you have to travel miles to sell your wares the costs could see you out of pocket.
Which is why the Haverhill Crafters Co-operative’s launch last weekend of their monthly craft fairs in the town was such a rip roaring success!
Founders of the Haverhill Crafters Co-operative, Rose Felloni and Lyn Bacchus were delighted by the large turnout which immediately led to more people wanting to book stalls for future Craft Fairs. And customers expressed delight at being able to find unique, bespoke craft works in the heart of Haverhill.
The craft fairs are held at the Arts Centre and are currently scheduled to take place on the last Saturday of each month, but the Co-operative’s long term mission is to be able to rent town centre premises and have a permanent place to hire a pitch and sell their wares.
Rose and Lyn are passionate about this venture. Rose is known for her craft connections as Whytchrose and is using her skills as a crafter to raise money for the Prada-Willi Syndrome Association charity.
Prader-Willi Syndrome is a medical condition that affects both males and females throughout their lives. Symptoms of PWS may include learning difficulties, restricted growth and muscle tone, behavioural problems and increased appetite, which can lead to excessive eating and life threatening obesity. With only 1 in every 15,000 children born in the UK affected by the syndrome, it does not have the awareness or support that many other charitable organisations receive and the Haverhill Craft Co-operative offer that support by raising awareness at its events.
Lyn owns local business Loves Cards, and specialises in handmade stationary which she sells at Fairs in and around Haverhill, and also through Facebook and her website.
Lyn and Rose are looking to develop the Co-operative further by encouraging more crafters to become members and join others in the running and future development of the organisation. They are committed to giving the people of Haverhill the opportunity to buy from local crafts people on a regular basis as well as providing a platform for local crafters to sell their wares, and have approached the Council for assistance in finding a more permanent Town Centre venue. Their aim is to be able to operate the Craft Fair on a daily basis.
Anybody interested in becoming part of the Co-operative can contact them via their Facebook page.
Alternatively, you can get in touch by phone:
This is the perfect opportunity to unleash the Kirsty in you, so grab hold of it and craft it into something beautiful!
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!