I’ve realised that one of the things I need, especially in the winter, is regular doses of inspiration. So, after thoroughly enjoying the St Werburghs Arts Trail a few weekends ago, yesterday I enjoyed plenty of inspiration at the Craft4Crafters show.
The drive to Shepton Mallet was incredibly foggy, taking me through misty autumnal landscapes.
I started with a weaving workshop with Caroline from Big Sky Textiles, using a circular cardboard loom to begin a bowl using three different weaving stitches (plain / tabby, pick and pick and soumak). It was very meditative and relaxing and the hour flew past while we were lost in weaving beautiful colours round and round.
Exploring hall 2, I fell in love with the intricate quilts and objects created by Kate Crossley, rich in details from stories, travel and history.
My second workshop was willow weaving with Sarah from Creative Escape, making an open basket. I tried some larger scale willow weaving last summer, so it was nice to work on a different scale.
And then the shopping splurge really began in hall 1. Inspired mainly by autumnal themes, I bought:
- A large wooden needle for weaving from Big Sky Textiles (£7)
- A kit to make a rag rug squirrel from Rag Rug Textiles (£6.50)
- Two balls of Louisa Harding yarn from SwinCraft2 (£7.98)
- Some sheets of decoupage paper from The Studio Partnership (£6)
- Half a meter of fleece to line a crocheted hat / scarf that I began last winter (£3.50?)
- Three fat quarters of turquoise and gold fabric from Bits and Bobs (£13.28)
- A wreath base from Flock2Felts (£1.50)
- A piece of gold / orange shimmery fabric (£2.99?)
- A skien of gold thread (£2.99?)
- Some lovely fabric with a fish pattern that I thought might be good for embroidering over and some blueish fabric that might work as a watery background (£2)
- Some tiny flowerpots that I thought might work for bead flowers and a jointed ‘body’ that looked fun (£3.26)
- A Peruvian purse frame and lace zip from Craft and Cotton (£6)
- A set of fabric transfer paints from Mary Gamester (£10)
- Two storage boxes from Storage4Crafts (£10)
- A pack of postcards of Kate Crossley’s work (£5)
So it turned out to be a more expensive day than I had planned (with entry £7.50 and two workshops £15 total), but worth it for all the inspiration I gained and materials to try some new crafts over the winter.
I also really enjoyed the beautiful live background music of David Jaggs and had to try to stop myself from singing along out loud, especially to the songs from musicals. I bought one of his CDs (£10) so I can sing along in the privacy of my car!
There were lots of inspiring felted projects on display, so I might have to have another go at wet and needle felting over the next few weeks. I particularly loved the seascapes by FeltByFi and Jean Prowse and the gnomes by The Makerss.
Rag Rug Textiles also had some beautiful embroideries with organza backgrounds.
The Embroiderer’s Guild competition entries were all beautiful, and it was hard to vote for just three.
Jayne Butler’s map work inspired me to think again about my woodland mapping project.
If I’d had enough time, I’d also love to have been able to do the Nuno felting workshop with Bicton College, the folk-art embroidery workshop with West Country Embroiderers and a fused glass workshop with The Glass Garden Studio.
The drive home was accompanied by beautiful sunshine and a different route (I think) through more lovely pastoral countryside.