The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House

Here at Handmade in Britain, we are very happy to announce an exciting new event this Christmas, in collaboration with PopUpShopUp and Somerset House.

To mark the close of an iconic year for Britain and London, The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House is a contemporary and very British celebration of Christmas.
This year, visitors to the world famous ‘Skate’ ice rink at Somerset House will be treated to a dazzling showcase of beautiful British craft.  As if ice skating in the middle of London was not exciting enough, Handmade in Britain are about to make things really interesting!

Open to skaters and non–skaters day and night, The Christmas Arcade will feature pop-up shops showcasing specially selected products created and made in Britain, from startup creative enterprises and established British designer makers.  PopUpShopUp is working with Somerset House and Handmade in Britain to launch a highly creative and unique retail experience that promotes creative enterprise and supports the best of British designer makers.

Alongside exciting events and entertainment, expect Christmas gifts and accessories, textiles, decorations and toys, the best of British made foods, spirits and sweets and all manner of magical Christmas experiences. 

It all kicks off on Thursday 15th November and will run until 6th January 2013. Plenty of time to work up an appetite for all the exciting shopping possibilities!   

If you are a designer maker, this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work:  More details on how to apply can be found here!


London: A Celebration: In May 2012 Handmade in Britain embarked on an entirely new project celebrating London. Taking the craft fair to a high footfall area and out of its usual hall setting meant the show could be accessed by people who would not normally visit contemporary craft fairs. And it was a roaring success! (despite the wet may weather)
The fair showcased 36 contemporary designers from disciplines including leather work, silver-smithing, textile design, ceramics, glass and jewellery - offering a rare opportunity to purchase and commission directly from designers at fantastic prices. With many items one one-off or limited edition it was the perfect antidote to the high street.
On the tree lined Riverside walkway, gallery@oxo is an open and airy space with entrances overlooking both the river and the courtyard. South Bank is a beautiful riverside stretch in the heart of London in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, following the Thames from Lambeth to Blackfriars bridges. Located opposite the Houses of Parliament and within walking distance of Covent Garden, it's the perfect destination for a relaxing stroll and to stumble across something new.
Watch this space for a re-appearance next year ......

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London: A Celebration
The contemporary craft and design fair; celebrating London through design

gallery@oxo, Southbank
May 10 -13, 11am - 6pm
Open Daily, Admission Free

With London being voted the number one city to visit, beating New York and Rome for the first time in a long time we are keen to celebrate too. 

Handmade in Britain is pleased to present a unique selling exhibition showcasing some of the best British designer-makers, each celebrating London in their own unique way.

On the tree lined Riverside walkway, gallery@oxo is an open and airy space with entrances overlooking both the river and the courtyard. 
The show celebrates the British creativity so abundant in London. Each designer will commemorate the capital city inspired by its heritage, diversity, colour and creativity through a range of disciplines such as ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles and many more.

You will have the opportunity to purchase and commission pieces made specifically to celebrate London in 2012 by both up & coming and established artists of Britain. The show will allow you to meet with the designers whilst supporting the skill and craftsmanship of Britain.

The show will run from Thurs – Sun 10-13th May 2012

On the tree lined Riverside walkway, gallery@oxo is an open and airy space with entrances overlooking both the river and the courtyard. South Bank is a beautiful riverside stretch in the heart of London in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, following the Thames from Lambeth to Blackfriars bridges. Located opposite the Houses of Parliament and within walking distance of Covent Garden, it's the perfect destination for a relaxing stroll and to stumble across something new.
gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, SE1 9PH

The Theme:

Excited by our home becoming a focus for the world, with the national events of coming year, we were inspired to launch a show that celebrates the British creativity so abundant in London. Intimate and central, the show will allow you to get personal with some of Britain’s many talented designers while overlooking the River Thames. You will have the opportunity to purchase the latest handmade designer crafts from both new and established artists ...and best of all, you can visit us for FREE!

Handmade in Britain has created a show where buyers and exhibitors alike are sure to be inspired by quality, originality and Eco conscious ethos behind the works for sale. Featuring around 40 designers from various disciplines such as textiles, glass, jewellery, metalwork, ceramics and sculpture, these objects are not mass-produced, but personally crafted by the designer him or herself. The products they create are a result of their inspirations, influences and experiences. Each piece is handmade and reflects the interplay between designer and material to create a unique product of the highest quality.

In these days of mass produced objects where people have become strangers to the process of making, it is comforting to know that there are still craftspeople working by hand and creating wonderful, unique products.

Getting here:

Transport links:
By Tube: Embankment, Southwark, Waterloo, Blackfriars
By Bus: 1,4,26,59,68,76,168,171,172,176,188, 243, 341, 501, 521, X68 to Waterloo Bridge
45, 63, 100 to Blackfriars Bridge
381 to Stamford Street
RV1 along the riverside
By Train: Blackfriars, Charing Cross, Waterloo or Waterloo East
By Car: Car parks at Doon Street and Cornwall Road

London: A Celebration will be at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank SE1 9PH from 10-13 May, 11am - 6pm Admission Free - Open Daily.

Follow us @handmadebritain #londonacelebration for updates and live tweets from the show


Exhibitors @ London: A Celebration

Exhibitors @ London: Celebration

With just over a week to go before the show we hope to have shown you a glimpse of the huge range of jewellery, ceramics and textiles that will be available to purchase and commission at gallery@oxo in our previous blogs. Here you can meet some of the talented makers who will bring decorative objects and accessories to the show: 

Chris Edwards - Silverware

London always had a powerful attraction for Chris Edwards, as viewed from Belfast in the 60's it had a special allure, the place to aspire to, where creative energies challenged the classical and traditional.

Early impressions of London were drawn from bookplates and magazine illustrations such as those seen in Dickens's novels or vintage copies of the Illustrated London News. They portrayed a London steeped in history, redolent of the Georgian and Victorian eras illuminated by flickering candles or gas tapers. The illustrations by Hogarth, Gillray, Cruikshank and Phiz evoked scenes of contrasting fortunes: from hardship to excess, decadence to decay.

These contrasts are evident in Chris's recent work where he draws on his experience as a film production designer to create unique pieces that, whilst contemporary, are evocative of times past. His "melting" candle sconces become elements in constructions that incorporate glass, mirror and found objects. They come to life when the candles are lit, their light interacting with and animating the space around them inviting flights of the imagination.

Caroline Lukehurst

Caroline is inspired by the modern cities in which we live. She is intrigued by the way in which we interact with modern urban landscapes and the impact they have on us. She is fascinated by the way in which an everyday scene can be transformed by the seasons, growth and decay, or changing light which can re awaken our senses and elevate an everyday scene into something remarkable.

From her earliest childhood visits Caroline has always been inspired by London and tries to represent her vision of the capital in her work.
By using different colours of glass she accentuates the different moods of the city, the variations in  light from dawn to dusk and the changing seasons. Caroline incorporates her own photographic images within her handmade original pieces. Dishes with linear swathes of colour across a River Thames view. glass panels with autumnal shades of a London park or the milky blues and greys across the River Thames. Her free-standing wall panels capture iconic landmarks with a pencil sketch like quality.

Lucentia Design

Lucentia's sustainable design ethos embraces today's need for eco urban living. London: A Celebration sees the launch of their new collections inspired by the wealth and diversity of London. These beautifully unique interior accessories are designed exclusively for Lucentia from their innovative sheet materials of recycled, sustainable plastics and textiles. Fabric is selected and embedded within recycled plastic in styled colour palettes influenced by the British Art and Craft heritage. Their new collections reflect London's busy, vibrant life balanced with that of the space and calm found in its many greens and parks. All Lucentia products are totally practical for their long designed use; they are durable, heat resistant and easy to clean. Products range from table accessories to lighting; from one-offs to batch produced.

Melissa Simpson

Finding it almost impossible not to be inspired by the Olympics and the atmosphere in the culturally rich capital of London; Melissa has created a collection of bags, belts and purses to reflect the events of the coming year.
The new soft bags, belts and accessories are all trimmed with colourful leathers, taken from flags of different nations coming to the Olympics, with a sublime styled sporty look; they are still suitable for everyday use.

Melissa will also be showing her trademark structured bags edged in colour, which originated from the London underground tube lines.
Melissa's work is very much about the use of colour in leathers and paints on her beautifully crafted bags and leather good, emphasising the strong shapes.

Just Mosaics

Felicity Ball is a mosaic artist working from her studio in Bristol.  Her journey has been about finding her own way and individual style. Her mosaics have unusual depth, texture and colour. They combine the figurative and the abstract to create mosaics unlike any others.

London has inspired her to encapsulate impressions of the city in different and contemporary designs, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of city life.  The unique 3D element of her work brings her mosaics to life and enhances any space.

The versatility of her unique take on mosaics continually drives her to create new images and challenging pieces. The variety of Felicity's work can be seen in her atmospheric scenes and her vibrant designs.  With an ever increasing palette, there is no limit to her portfolio. '

Jacki Sleator

Jacki studied Fashion & Design at Lisburn Institute, then specialised in tailoring. She began felt-making four years ago, creating individual fashion clothing and accessories. She has always been enchanted by the magic and mystery of felt-making and is continuously intrigued how fibres dynamically shape, contort, shrink, and texturise to bring to life a whole new fabric as they interact

Her use of hand-dyeing is simply another extension of this creative process with its unpredictable patterns and designs, exciting colour medleys, soft and subtle nuances or bold striking contrasts. The result, a one-off piece.

Similarly London is a dynamic, diverse and colourful cultural mix. It is ever changing, contorting and evolving yet remains exciting and pulsating with vivacity.  The River Thames is at the heart if its energy, as it silently wraps and contorts its way throughout. Who could fail to be inspired by such a city?

Anna P

London is one of the most dynamic cities in the world constantly changing yet retaining a sense of tradition. Anna and use some of this contradiction in her own collection using traditional materials, shapes and techniques but with a modern aesthetic reflecting her surroundings. London adopts cultures communities and tastes which it makes it's own and that is a great inspiration which  encourages creatives working in London to have a broad welcoming view to new ideas and trends without fear of judgement, this freedom is why so many creative people are 'Londoners'. Anna is privileged to be one of them.

Rachel Orme

London inspires Rachel through its diverse styles of architecture, mix of people, music, food and rich arts scene.
 "I have spent more than two decades living in this exciting city, I know that there is still so much more to explore and experience and that is what I love.
 Walking down a street for the first time or visiting a new area is so invigorating. Each pocket of London is so varied in terms of its different communities, each with its own identity, style and culture.
London offers and embraces freedom of expression- it never fails to inspire, challenge and stimulate. I can understand why the city has been and is home to so many creative people; the energy and constant evolution of the city is unique."

Adam Aaronson

Adam is a lifelong Londoner. In recent years, he has lived on the banks of the River Thames, taking daily delight in exploring riverside life and its urban expression and drawing inspiration from the panorama for his artworks.
In Adam's artwork, the urban landscape is viewed as a moment captured, a subjective experience of a view that is revered and loved. But those observing Adam's work seek their own landscapes and natural strata in those that have been created from the London skyline and waterscape. Adam's work depicts a serenity and open space amidst urban and industrialised living. The Thames often acts as a spacer between buildings and industry, a rare panorama along its banks.
The main body of work Adam is showing at Handmade in Britain is called 'Strata', a series of work exploring a long held fascination with layers; from layering found in the natural world of rock formation and glacial structures, to more complex sociological layering seen in aspects of everyday life. 'Strata' acts as an invitation to look beneath the surface, to avoid judging by appearances. When you are encouraged to take a closer look, you often find hidden treasure!

36 designer/makers of handmade crafts will be at London: a celebration with work available to purchase and commission. A unique shopping experience that allows you to discuss these beautiful products with the makers themselves.  

We look forward to seeing you at the show, open daily 11am-6pm,  10th - 13th May 2012 at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf (nearest train/tube: Waterloo, Blackfriars, Southwark)

For the full list of exhibitors who will feature at our show visit
If you have any questions email us at, or tweet us @handmadebritain

Don't forget to add #LondonACelebration to any tweets on contemporary craft and the inspirations of London in the lead up to the show

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Textiles @Londonacelebration

I hope you are all excited for the show in less than a month! Here is the list of textile designers who will be showcasing their London inspired designs at our show on May 10-13th 2012 at the fabulous gallery@oxo overlooking the river Thames!

Penny Seume

Penny Seume uses site-specific imagery from urban landscapes as inspiration for atmosphere, texture and colour. Her textiles display a combination of traditional fine art techniques and contemporary digital print. Penny creates bespoke and limited edition high quality fabrics and products for interiors. Her unique designs reference Bristol in a subtle way while capturing some of the inherent mood and magic of the city. All Penny's designs are created, printed and made in the UK.

Cheryl James

Cheryl James is a unique, eco friendly textile and surface designer. She experiments with a range of techniques and mixed media often using unconventional and discarded materials to interpret imagery. The inspiration for her latest collection comes from the city of London. Her current collection entitled "city views with London news" combines old and new London in its pieces. This collection uses various London newspapers to illustrate both sets of views. All the materials she uses are recycled, organic, or end of the line materials. 

Josie Jones

Josie Jones produces contemporary interior accessories originating from hand drawn illustrations. Her designs are inspired by nature and mixed cultures, having a special interest in Japanese oriental design. She often visits the Kew gardens and the Victoria and Albert museum to gain inspiration. Josie is very passionate about her work and loves to see a customer fully satisfied with their experience, uncompromising in her passion to deliver the ultimate combination of colour, print and fabrics.

London Kills Me

London Kills Me is an independent design and screen print company based in London. They make design and make fashion and interior products. The company is very passionate about London culture and architecture. The city of London is the main inspiration and influence for the majority of the company's designs and products. They use all natural or reclaimed materials and are focused on being an environmentally friendly company. 

Fleur Andreas

Fleur Andreas is a former potter turned textile designer. She is constantly fascinated with the exploration of colour, pattern, structure, and texture involved in the production of each piece of work, finding infinite sources of inspiration to explore from the beauty found in nature to the vibrant atmosphere and colours of London that are continually stimulating and challenging. Fleur loves producing original, individual textiles of quality. 

McClement Textiles 

McClement Textiles is a newly established independent London based design company, created by Larna Smith to showcase her passion for contemporary design incorporating traditional handcraft skills. McClement produces luxury handmade accessories and furnishings with a hint of heritage, designed to fit alongside both contemporary and traditional interiors. For the Handmade in Britain exhibition McClement has developed a range of products influenced by iconic London architecture. Taking inspiration from the structured stonework of St Pauls Cathedral and exquisite carvings of Westminster Abbey, McClement has created an array of interior products that celebrate contemporary British design.

Fruit Farm Fabrics

Caroline Davidson is the mastermind behind Fruit Farm Designs. Caroline's two main inspirations when designing her textiles are the unstoppable force of nature and the celebration of the insignificant and overlooked, encountered in everyday life. The colours and shapes she uses celebrate the styles and designs that surrounded her as she grew up in the London suburbs during the 50s 60s and 70s. All her fabrics and products are created to please the love of something different and individual that has existed in London for years. For 'London: A Celebration' she has created two new fabric designs that reflect the theme further. The designs were influenced by the numerous Buddleia plants that can be seen growing wild through the railings, on a commuter's journey into London. The shapes created where the railings join are used to symbolise Oxo Tower Wharf and other iconic landmarks. All the textiles that are on display are intended to draw attention to the beauty to be found in London, not only in well-designed and manicured aspects of the city but in everyday elements that reflect the lives we lead in this city in 2012.

Perfection of Production

Helen is a English textile designer deeply enamoured with the city of London. Helen gained inspiration from old city maps of London from second hand bookshops. Her favourite maps show the blue of the curving Thames, the green of the parks and the empire pink of the built up areas. Her current collection, the "London Collection" uses the maps which introduced her to the city she loves. She shares with you the city in 1929 to celebrate London and to recall those urban walks.

For the full list of exhibitors who will feature at our show visit
If you have any questions email us at, or tweet us @handmadebritain
Don't forget to add #LondonACelebration to any tweets on contemporary craft and the inspirations of London in the lead up to the show


Jewellery @ London: A Celebration 

With the show quickly approaching we are excited to announce our talented jewellery exhibitors! Our Jewellers have found inspiration for their pieces all over the wonderful city of London. We are so excited for them to be a part of our show from May 10-13th 2012 at the gorgeous gallery@oxo overlooking the river Thames!

Anne Morgan

Anne Morgan is a Welsh jewellery designer. Anne makes her jewellery using reticulated silver and combining it with semi-precious stones. Her new work, "Coast", which is supported by the Arts Council of Wales uses a combination of her own work and both natural and manmade objects found from various UK coastlines. Anne has been particularly inspired on her trips to the Thames where she has collected pieces of driftwood that she has incorporated into her pieces making them extremely unique. She has also been selected to make the crown for this year's Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan, which will be revealed in August 2012.

Louise O'Neill

Louise's work is characterised by simplistic lines and pure forms. Louise is inspired by the architecture of London's buildings, skylines, boats, and bridges. The majority of Louise's work is in 18ct gold and often incorporates precious and semi precious gemstones, notably tourmaline, aquamarines, sapphires or diamonds. Louise selects stones that she finds particularly beautiful, an unusual colour or shape, and sometimes has them cut to meet requirements where the design demands. Louise is interested in light and how it is reflected from, and refracted through the stones and often she highlights edges of the metal elements to draw attention to a particular aspect of the piece.


Ceramics @ London: A Celebration

With six weeks to go the countdown begins to our own little celebration of London through craft - we have all exhibitors in place and are very excited to begin sharing them with you. This week we focus on the Ceramists who will be featured at the selling exhibition, in a hope to whet your appetite with a glimpse to the quality to be seen.

Noa Cermaics - Maria De Haan

Maria was inspired to train as a ceramicist after extensive travel in East Asia, which fuelled a passion for the understated, elegant designs of the region.

Following an apprenticeship at North Street Potters and one-on-one training with renowned potter Simon Leach, Maria took up residency under Mike Goddard in a converted 18th century sugar mill on the beautiful island of Bequia in the West Indies.

She returned to London in 2008 and set up her own studio, Noa Ceramics, where she now works full time.
Representing how the world inspires the creativity so abundant in London, Maria offers skill and quality with her designs which elegantly compliment the exhibition.

Norman Yap

Wheel thrown vessels in stoneware and porcelain clay.

Norman Yap, a self trained potter who speaks several languages, was born in post-colonial Singapore but chose to become British. Making wheel thrown studio bowl and vase forms with rich colours and interesting textures in either stoneware or porcelain clay, Norman changed his career from a management consultant to full-time maker after receiving a book on the subject from his partner. The book was Susan Peterson's The Craft and Art of Clay and it inspired Norman to make an unprecedented career move, he learned the craft by attending classes and also by observing, inquiring into and being in the company of other potters. All his hard work paid off when a buyer purchased his entire collection and continues to ask for more until this day. Norman sits on the council of London Potters.

Stephanie Wright

Contemporary hand thrown stoneware offering a fresh approach to the British tea service. Distinctive, lasting forms made from durable materials.

Stephanie combines traditional throwing skills with unconventional design approach to generate a distinctive style of sculptural and functional ceramics. Her current work in clay is an invitation to explore and celebrate the sense of excitement and energy associated with movement.
Ideas come from anything in motion: a flock of birds, a growing shell, a mounting wave a dancing couple and notably the River Thames.  Although each piece is a snapshot in time, the speed and motion each represents may be different.

Gin Durham

Floral and ornate ceramic sculptural pieces.

These beautifully crafted and nostalgic toy like forms incorporate contemporary social tensions within a childhood theme. Gin Durham's work will be hard to miss at the show the bold and usual subjects draw in the crowds as was demonstrated at Handmade in Britain at Chelsea Old Town Hall in 2011.

Lucy Goodwin

Lucy Goodwin Designs is all about individuality, style and the ability create a unique piece of art using traditional skills, incorporating both hand and machine.

Lucy graduated from Staffordshire University in July 2009 with a First Class Honours Degree in Surface Pattern Design. She is inspired by the ever changing trends in fashion and lifestyle, alongside artists and designers both past and present to create designs with and original and unique twist.

Lucy is inspired by the ever changing trends in fashion and lifestyle, alongside artists and designers past and present, to create designs with an original and unique twist. This is why Lucy uses London as one of her main influences in her design work. She expresses the very fashionable city by depicting landmarks and iconic London buildings into her ceramics.

Janet Stahelin Edmondson

Exploring antique textures through porcelain

Janet's new work draws on the particular properties of Porcelain; its fine texture and translucency. The porcelain is able to absorb the delicacy of the lace, reflect its texture and provide a unique interpretation of the translucency of the lace in the clay.  The resulting works whilst often having functional form, perhaps a jug, a vase, a candle stick, or a bowl, are first and foremost exquisite individual pieces of ceramic sculpture.

Janet was originally trained at the Manchester School of Art where she graduated in Three Dimensional Design specializing in Ceramics and Silversmithing.  She was a member of Northern Potters where for several years she edited their Newsletter and helped organize annual camps and exhibitions.  Moving to the Cotswold's in the early nineties she worked from her studio in Mickleton, exhibiting in Galleries in Stroud, Cheltenham and Broadway. She also taught at the Guild House in nearby Stanton, and assisted in the hanging of mixed Ceramic and Fine art exhibitions at the Anderson Gallery in Broadway.

Joy Trpkovic

Award-winning Joy Trpkovic finds working with porcelain so addictive that she often works late into the night on her clay pieces, managing only a few hours sleep most nights. She uses her hands and the simplest wood tools to pinch and carve her work. She relishes the risky nature of making fragile translucent porcelain pieces, testing the limits of the material and using the movement and shrinkage in firing to enhance the organic quality inherent in her work.
 "....Joy Trpkovic has created some really beautiful functional vases with Keraflex and is to my knowledge the first and only person to create a functional form entirely out of Keraflex, but I think that Joy will agree that these vase forms are quite fragile and although they are a major achievement, it is more along the lines of pushing the limits of what can be done with Keraflex and is not intended to be, and cannot be as strong as functional porcelain vases made by other means. Joy's work is conceptually and materially very important (and beautiful) and is a major achievement with Keraflex porcelain but if all an artist wanted to do was to create a functional porcelain vase, Keraflex would not be the obvious choice of medium due to its fragility." Rachel Kingston, Ceramicist. President of the Keraflex company. Arizona. U.S.A.

For the full list of exhibitors who will feature at our show visit
If you have any questions email us at, or tweet us @handmadebritain 

Don't forget to add #LondonACelebration to any tweets on contemporary craft and the inspirations of London in the lead up to the show