So first up - Hello!
I've set myself the challenge to blog once a week and here you are!
My blogs are going to be a mix of things, a monthly 'top 5' of my favourite products in the shop. Reviews about up coming fairs that we're off to, shop events we're holding, maker interviews, product launches and a fair few recipes for good measure!
I've decided to start with the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey (June 8th-10th) which is currently consuming most of our life!
I first visited Bovey fair straight out of university, having seen it advertised in Embroidery magazine. My mum and I drove down, it took what felt like forever to get there! We stayed in Torquay, in glorious sunshine and ate chips on the harbour front- Bliss!
(me basking in the sunshine in 2008... Look how young and wrinkle free I was!!... Oh to be 20 again!)
The following day we arrived at the fair that changed my life. As soon as I'd stepped into that first marquee I knew this was the life I wanted to lead. These where the makers I wanted to mix with, work along side... I had to do something that meant I could be here, visit every year.
( I suspect Sarah, the fabulous organiser, may now think I'm bonkers if she reads this!)
Little did I know that exactly 10 years later, on what will be my 10th visit to Bovey, that a potter and I would be working so hard for our first time exhibiting.
For those who haven't been, Bovey is fair, a series of marquees that pop up in a small Devon town once a year. Jam packed with the very best of British Craft.
(the queue to get into the fair!)
It is a selection only fair. To take part you need to apply months in advance. I've applied on our behalf more that once.. this year is the first time we've been accepted. But if I'm honest the work now is suitable and before there was no way we'd have been able to cope...
Alongside the exhibiting makers there are bookable workshops. Chances to take a couple of hours out and try your hand at something new. This year I've actually booked myself on a stone carving workshop! A couple of cheeky hours away from our stall, I'll have the chance to carve a letter in stone, something I've never tried before.
(Some of the workshops under way)
There are also plenty of demos and talks around. The 'Great Pottery Showdown' of course! Stars from the popular show challenge the public as well as potters to have a go throwing on wheels provided by our friends at Potclays, Stoke-on-Trent.
(Major Tom for The Great Pottery Showdown, we actually have some of his ceramics and he has some our too :) )
I must confess I have visited every year since that first time at the fair. There have been years when we've traveled down the night before after finishing work... visited early in the day and shot back home to be back at work, 24 hours of madness!
Bovey became my haven when we opened Glosters. Like a child in a sweet shop I had a space with the pick of the crop to chose from. Many of those makers have become friends aswell as stockists here at Glosters. Lucy from 'The Cat In The Shoe' and I have already planned our mid afternoon gins!
(Swan by The Cat In Shoe)
Over the next few days we'll be planning and adapting our stall design to fit our space in Bovey. Our main stand is built, having exhibited in Cheltenham earlier this year, but we have a few tweaks to make, a new side piece to build. Having van now makes transporting these things so much easier!
(Our stall at Made By Hand at Cheltenham)
So despite all the stresses, pressures and panics... I'm absolute beside myself with excitement to be exhibiting at Bovey for the first time, it's a magical fair full of like minded people and wether you're a maker, a collector or a true believer in the beautiful handmade, Bovey is for you!
Hope to see you there,