Friday, 17 April 2015

Made in Clerkenwell Summer 2015: Fashion & Accessories highlights

Our bi-annual Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios will be taking place next month. Avoid the high street and opt for handmade!

From 7-10 May, we will open our doors for you to explore our 2 fascinating Victorian studio buildings in the heart of London’s historic Clerkenwell. Both venues are located within convenient strolling distance - start your visit in Clerkenwell Green and find St John’s Square just 2 minutes away.

In this series of blogposts, we are very excited to profile some of the charming and covetable designs available. In this post, it is the fashion and accessories preview, showcasing a range of hats, scarves, bags and other accessories.


Milliner to the stars, Katherine Elizabeth’s achievements include the Walpole awards, Lff Profile Awards and Dzina Fashion Awards. In 2012 Katherine won the London Lifestyle Award for Best Fashion Retailer, being voted the winner out of over a thousand retailers! The hats are made from a selection of fine French lace and Italian silks with beautiful hand embellished appliqué and beadwork. 

Uglylovely is the brainchild of Sahar Freemantle who discovered a love for beauty in the unconventional, following her degree in Costume Design at Edinburgh College of Art. Sahar explores the eccentric and whimsical, such as insects, rusted objects and old lace in her work. 

Parisian Myriam Lengliné is the London-based milliner behind 'La dame au béret'. Myriam specialises in couture millinery, vintage-inspired high-fashion showpieces and dramatic bridal headdresses. Her unique handmade/handstitched hats and headpieces are made following traditional millinery techniques and primarily use antique and vintage materials. Her inspirations range from the highly decorative and ornamental styles of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the glitzy Roaring 20s, the lean and sleek elegance of the 30s to the film noir glamour of the 40s and 50s femmes fatales, from traditional folk costumes to alternative subcultures of the 70s and 80s.


Kuku Big Bag is a brand of handcrafted, functionally designed leather accessories. They are a modern take on traditional leather work and the belief in maintaining this art is upheld by the individual craftsman who hand make each bag. With leather sourced from selected European tanneries and traditional leather working tools, Kuku Big Bag is a mark of quality and professionalism, designed for those who appreciates its aesthetic statement of bold, contrasting colours and its juxtaposition of shapes. Kuku Big Bag is inspired by contemporary lifestyle, creative culture, functional designs and most important of all, objects that are designed around our ever increasing mobile culture.

Driven by a love of traditional crafts, Lydia has created a beautiful range of small leather accessories using the skills of years gone by.  With an understated aesthetic the focus is on a high level of craftsmanship to ensure the pieces last a long time and will ultimately take on their own character and age. Lydia has created a functional and timeless range of bags, belts, card holders, cases and wallets.


Sarah Eyton is a London based designer, creating jewellery and fashion accessories for men and women that make a statement. Beautiful and elegant, Sarah’s work is attention seeking and bold yet subtle at the same time. We love her selection of stylish and sophisticated bags and clutches, all made from compacted 100% wool felt. Soft and flexible with just the right amount of rigidity.


Hand crafted luxury silk scarves and stoles will be available from Kope London. Each piece by Kope is from a larger material that passes through the lives and hands of many craftspeople and makers who have given their time and skills to make these magnificent pieces that we can love and care for. Kope connects their stories creating the emotional value that infuses each piece. We unleash talent and endorse sustainable fashion with ethical sourcing. Kopḗ marries traditional craft techniques with global fashion as the finest products are crafted by quality into luxury. Kope are not defined by an age group but by joy, confidence, style, elegance and our love for colour.


Textile designer, Beatrice Mayfield, will be showing her intricate hand stitched and embroidered brooch accessory range. Beatrice specialises in hand constructed, embellished and embroidered textiles. Using a range of traditional techniques, stitches and processes, the pieces incorporate a high level of craftsmanship with contemporary design.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Craft Central Members Make It To KickStarter 2015!

Craft Central are proud to announce that a staggering six of its Network members have been chosen as part of the 2015 Kickstarter ten person line up.

The hotly contended contest, now in its seventh year, supports the best of design by offering ten outstanding designers a place on this unique mentoring initiative. Winners benefit from exhibiting on a group stand at this year’s IJL Diamond Jubilee show and receiving valuable marketing and industry support from both IJL and the British Jewellers Association. IJL's Trend partner, the leading jewellery forecaster, Adorn Insight, will once again give the Adorn Insight Award to one outstanding KickStarter, which includes a year's subscription to their jewellery market intelligence resource and bespoke mentoring. 

IJL 2015 will run from 6 to 8 September 2015 at Olympia GRAND, London.

The industry will be invited to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ – the KickStarter who they feel is the one to watch.  All potential KickStarters also will be encouraged to campaign for votes. The prize is a free stand in the Design Gallery at IJL 2016.  

You can vote for your favourite KickStarter here

Flora creates dramatic fine jewellery with a couture edge. Inspired by her family’s links with India since the 18th Century, Flora draws on Asian influences and an interest in patterns to create her bold designs. Mixing historic artefacts, family history, Islamic and Hindu art, Flora is “devoted to telling a story not in words or paint on canvas, but in gold and precious stones” (Maria Doulton, Telegraph Luxury).  Flora combines CAD technology and rapid prototyping with traditional drawing, hand wax carving and fine jewellery skills. She mixes new technology with ancient traditions to create timeless pieces. Specialising in using vibrant gems and rich colour combinations, Flora’s work is unashamedly opulent and seductive.

Mirka is a Czech jeweller, living and working in London. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2013, and then continued her practice as Jewellery Artist-in-Residence before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art. Mirka's ‘White Collection’ is inspired by the colour white, surrealism and the deep sea. This collection has won several awards in the UK and internationally. She only works with ‘white’ materials, such as porcelain and silver, to create these playful, poetic pieces. Her jewellery is designed as a container for the wearer’s emotions, memories and hopes. Each piece explores the relationship between people and their subconscious mind. She is currently developing an innovative way of applying traditional metal-smithing techniques onto porcelain. Her forthcoming wedding collection ‘Pearls and Porcelain’ will be shown at IJL.

You will also be able to meet Mirka and see her work at our Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios in May. 

Francesca creates unusual pieces of jewellery, mixing different techniques, in her drive to deliver organic and tactile results. She recently started to make pieces in oxidized silver trying to find the same black-blueish colour of the raven’s plumage. Inspired by granulation, a traditional technique from her home country - Italy- and the opalescent glass often found in Art Deco, she has developed a technique of using crystals as granulation on her pieces which gives a sparkling effect and tactile texture. All her pieces are inspired by fairy tales and nature: through every piece she narrates the story and gives it meaning.

Rosalie makes unique, handmade, contemporary jewellery from unusual re-imagined materials. Her recent collection combines recycled sterling silver and gold with a beautiful material derived from coffee grounds. Her jewellery is striking, asymmetric and angular, inspired by the properties and form of the materials she works with. Through reinventing materials into covetable pieces with depth and originality, Rosalie hopes to inspire our own sense of creativity and potential. Rosalie supports the communities of people growing coffee through donating ten percent of her profits to her chosen charity, Coffee Kids.

Rosalie is one of our new members, and we are excited to see her exhibit for the first time at our Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios in May. 

Laura combines traditional jewellery techniques with contemporary silver-smithing, as well as drawing on her background in fine art and restoration. In her collection “Enlace”, each piece is handmade and designed to show a relationship or connection between the stone and the metal. The pieces are built with overlapping drops of metal, an unusual technique that creates an organic, soft shape containing intrinsic textures. The collection “Rocks” uses different gemstones and every piece is unique and influenced by the gemstones, often set with sapphires and diamonds to compliment them.

Meet Laura and see her work at our Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios in May.

Ilene Steele is a jewellery designer, born and raised in NYC and now working out of her workshop in London’s Hatton Garden. Her bold unconventional style pays homage to both cities.  After training as a photo-journalist and working as a financial systems analyst, Ilene’s response to the increasingly digital world was to retrain as a jeweller and join the 'Hand Made in Britain’ movement. Ilene, never one to be held back by convention, designs and constructs simultaneously. Her debut collection, The Wave, is a clear demonstration of her innovative style. The playful array of cocktail rings, stacking cocktail rings, earrings, bangles, pendants and cufflinks, is inspired by the unpredictable nature of life. Throughout the collection, the boat-like settings of precious metal are loaded with semi-precious marquise gemstones and presented in unexpected sea-faring positions as a metaphor for the erratic and exhilarating experiences of everyday life.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios - next month!

100 Designer-Makers, 2 Buildings, the ultimate shopping treat!

Tired of the high streets? Opt for handmade! Join us as we present our Summer open studios.

Firstly, a big thank you to Turnbull Grey for creating the brand identity for Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios at Craft Central. We are really excited about our lovely new purple posters, flyers and invitations (which went out in the post this week), and the upcoming preparations here at our central hub.

From May 7-10th, you will have the chance to explore our two fascinating Victorian buildings in the heart of creative Clerkenwell and support the vibrant community of the Designer-Makers housed within. Both venues are located within convenient strolling distance, just 2 minutes away from each other.

In addition to showcasing designers who have studios at Craft Central, we cherry-pick members of our national network of makers to pop up in our exhibition spaces. We are proud to showcase over 100 Designer-Makers. It is a great opportunity to mingle with the makers, see inside the workspaces where they work their magic, and buy directly from them. There will be an array of unique handmade fashion, jewellery, accessories, ceramics, printmaking, illustration and interior products all on offer.

This time, in celebration of our involvement with the very first London Craft Week, we will also be featuring a range of fascinating demonstrations and talks, varying from millinery to weaving.

One ticket allows unlimited access over 4 days. Special Launch Night on Thurs 7 May in the evening from 5-8pm (join us for a drink!) / Late Night Shopping on Fri 8 May, 12-8pm / Avoid the High Street crowds on Sat 9 & Sun 10 May, 12-5pm.

So whether you plan to pop in for a quick look around, or opt to make a day of it, don’t forget to add Made In Clerkenwell to your diary now!

Jump the queue and book online here / For more information visit the website here

Friday, 30 January 2015

Spot Craft Central Members in Cambridge!

I have been working at Craft Central for over a year and have become so familiar with spotting our designers work that I see our members work everywhere I go. Even living in Cambridge I can spot our members work in my local galleries and shops. While taking a trip down the Kings Parade this weekend there are four shops where I saw nine Craft Central designers work!

Byard Arts

Directly opposite King’s College Chapel, Byard Arts Gallery has a innovative exhibition programme of solo and mixed shows by contemporary artists and designers and their most recent included three Craft Central Jewellers!

Emma Habbeshon Jewellery is one of my favourite Craft Central designer makers, for her striking use of geometric shapes and patterns to create innovative sculptural pieces. Previous exhibitor at Made in Clerkenwell 2014 and maker of my much-loved pair of earrings!
Daisy Choi Jewellery company DayC explores sculptural forms, reflecting her background in 2D and 3D design. Her studio is based at Craft Central in Clerkenwell and often exhibiting with MIC and fashioned 2014 and  Imprint 2013.
Claire Lowe Jewellery was featured at Byard with a number of pieces from her Tea Collection and Knitted/Woolen Range. Claire’s work continually develops through experimentation with new materials and processes. We love having her distinctive collections of work at our Made in Clerkenwell event.

Primavera Gallery

A wonderful packed gallery and shop with three floors of British arts and crafts to explore and a small sister shop near Kettles Yard. With two long term Craft Central designer makers work included.

Mark Nuell uses his extensive metalworking and gem-setting skills to create a constantly evolving collection of work with beautiful and rare gems. Based in our Clerkenwell Studios Mark’s work has even been on the front of our Made in Clerkenwell branding.

A well established London Jewellery studio since the eighties, her work has been shown internationally and featured in a number of articles and books published worldwide.

Cambridge Contemporary Art

Lovely space just off the Kings Parade specialising in handmade prints, paintings, sculptures and crafts and involved it Own Art Scheme. In their Gallery Space I recognised Kerry Hastings work straight away.

Her distinctive ceramics work is unmistakable, CCA exhibits her Lustred Bowls collection which combines a contemporary colour palette with traditional ceramics processes to create beautiful and unique vessels. This collection of work was also featured in our Summer Made in Clerkenwell Branding.

CambridgeContemporary Craft

A gorgeous tiny gallery just off the Kings Parade, they show Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery & Metalwork, Painting, Prints, Textiles and Woodwork. As well as three Craft Central Jewellers!

Lauren Rowden founder of Ellie Air Jewellery, designs minimalist jewellery and made entirely by her in her studio in East London. Ellie Air Jewellery is has been a exhibitor at our Made in Clerkenwell exhibition twice and we love her distinctive minimalist jewellery.
Sarah Hallowes Jewellery designs her work with a love of vintage objects and combining textiles, silver and other elements to create beautiful handmade jewellery. As well as a previous exhibitor with Made in Clerkenwell Sarah Hallowes also exhibited with us on Gets Hitched 2012 and 11. We enjoy her playful work and the mixture of processes and materials she uses to create beautiful unique pieces.
A exciting new member and designer maker to Craft Central Maike Browning creates stunning tactile, delicate jewellery, inspired by natural forms and intricate patterns of Indian textiles.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Shopping Guide!

Avoid the high street and buy #handmade this Christmas!
Here is our guide to where to go Christmas shopping and buy the best handmade gifts and cards in London this month!

London Winter Craft Fairs

Buy direct from the designer! 

East London Design show at The Old Truman Brewery
Dates: 4th-7th December
Opening Times: Thursday 12-6pm, Friday 12-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm.
“A feat of the best modern, original design from UK & International Independent Designers”

Etsy House Christmas Pop-Up Shop near Leicester Square! 
Dates: 5th- 7th December
Opening Times: Friday & Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 7th 12-6pm.
Etsy Christmas Shop will feature live craft demonstrations and workshops and customised gifts!

Barbican Christmas Market
Dates: 12th-21st December
Opening Times: 4-8:30pm Monday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12-8:30pm
The Barbican Hosts a 10 day Christmas market with 35 independent designers and makers! 

At Craft Central this month we have four Christmas Pop-Up Shops!

The Makers' Emporium
Date: 2nd - 7th December              
Opening Times: 10am-9pm (closing on the 7th at 5pm)
Location: The Gallery, Craft Central, EC1M 4DS
The second annual one-week Christmas boutique brought to you by London’s largest affordable artist studio provider Second Floor Studios & Arts (SFSA).
Date: 2nd – 7th December
Opening Times: Tue 9-9, Wed 9-8, Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, Sat& Sun 11-5 
Location: The Showcase, Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS
The Festive Gift Boutique is back this holiday season for all your Christmas needs with 10 award winning designers.
WAFFLE Pop Up Shop
Date: 2nd-7th December
Opening Times: Thursday 4th December 11am– 9pm, Weekdays 11am - 7pm, Weekend 11am - 5pm 
Location: The Corner Shop, Craft Central, EC1R 0DX

WAFFLE Design are here with their amazing throws and cushions, throughout the week with special Christmas promotions.
Creative Clerkenwell’s Christmas Pop-Up Shop
Date: 16th – 23rd December
Opening Times: weekdays 11am-7pm, weekend 11am-5pm, private view Tuesday 16th Dec, 6-8pm 
Location: The Gallery, Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS
Creative Clerkenwell’s Christmas Pop-Up Shop for design enthusiasts returns for 2014!
Featuring great gifts and London Design Souvenirs from UK designers and makers, plus complimentary gift wrapping, including a sticker station!
Christmas Wonderland Pop up
Date: 16th – 21st December 
Opening Times: 12-6:30pm on weekdays and Saturday. Sunday 21st, 12- 4:00pm. 
Location: The Corner Shop, Craft Central, 21 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DX

Enter Arabel Lebrusan’s Christmas wonderland and discover the perfect present for your sister, girlfriend or even hard to please mother.