The internet is an extraordinary thing; I have spent nearly 7 years working with various people on UK Handmade without ever meeting them. We can share work, ideas and information without leaving our computers (or houses, come to that). Every year, we say we will go to this event or that event and it never happens, so Bebe and I decided this time to make the effort, get on the train - travelling to London from opposite directions - and meet in the flesh for the first time since we started working together online all those years ago! It's a strange feeling meeting someone you know so well but really don't know at all, but we arrived at the Country Living Spring Fair with our UK Handmade 'hats' on, our press passes in hand and quickly fell into our familiar roles.
The Country Living Spring Fair is a well-established, well-respected fair, featuring suppliers and makers that echo everything the Country Living Magazine has in it's beautifully designed pages. Bebe and I were obviously interested in finding new makers to feature in our own magazine and we weren't disappointed.
First to catch our eye was the fabulously talented Carey Naughton of Rustique Interiors. She was already surrounded by customers so we didn't get chance to speak to her, but it's easy to see why her work is so popular.
We did however, get to chat to printmaker Amanda Ross who creates delicate botanical prints inspired by the British countryside, using cuttings and printing onto fabric.
Of course, I travel down from Cambridge and meet another Cambridge-based creative, ceramicist Rachel Dormer. We love her simple but elegant wheel-thrown pieces, some decorated with beautiful platinum line drawings.
Both Bebe and I were captured by the charming stand by Eliza Wray, wishing our children were still young enough to appreciate their quirky and fun playsets, and felt animal heads.
With two floors of exhibitors, there was a lot to see and buy, including Su Owen Textiles, Emma Cornes and Helen Brice Designs. However by this time, we were running out of energy and the place was getting too packed to take photos! To find out more about the fair, visit http://www.countrylivingfair.com/spring and watch out for our features on some of the designers in future issues of UK Handmade Magazine.
PS. These two old ladies spent the afternoon ambling round the V&A and vowed to not leave it another 7 years before meeting up again!