Christmas Cheer in Chelsea~A Crafter’s Delight
Visitors enjoyed extraordinary British craftsmanship at the 9th edition of The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair

For 9 years, the Handmade in Britain shows have been an annual celebration of the very best of contemporary fine crafts. Handmade in Britain hosts The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair each winter, beginning the Christmas season with exceptional design and crafts in a luxury shopping experience, set to the glamourous backdrop of the Chelsea Old Town Hall. The 10th anniversary edition of the show takes place in November 2016.

The fairs have showcased some of the sector’s biggest talents and continue to provide a launch pad for new graduates and emerging designers. The result is a truly unique and festive event. With innovative design alongside truly exceptional craftsmanship, visitors this year were once again treated to a dazzling variety of form, function and style from over 120 highly skilled designer-makers.

Our Visitors

Footfall this year was encouraging with over 3300 attendees across the weekend. The show was well attended by a broad range of customers including affluent retail consumers alongside trade buyers from major retail stores, galleries, independent boutiques and online platforms.  Buyers and galleries from the UK and abroad attended, with representatives from well-known UK based stores.

New Graduates
Alongside established and well-known makers, Handmade in Britain invited ARTS THREAD Selects to showcase the work of ten top graduate talents. The showcase was an overwhelming success for these new designer-makers who presented creative, vibrant and inspiring work across a range of disciplines – from jewellery to ceramics, and textiles to enamelware.

Success for Designer-Makers
This year, Handmade in Britain 15 welcomed an exceptional calibre of work from over 120 exhibitors, each handpicked by our panel of industry experts which included Marianne Lumholdt, Mar Mar Co; Kate Bentley, Bils & Rye Gallery; Dan Goode, Home of Artisans; Ian Rudge, Clarion Events and Judith Harris, The Conran Shop. The exhibitors demonstrated extraordinary talent across fashion and interiors, offering an exciting variety of absolute craftsmanship from all four corners of the UK. Disciplines showcased included glass, ceramics, jewellery, furniture, fashion accessories and home textiles.

Handmade in Britain 15 once again drew a fantastic response, with both visitors and makers praising the exceptional standard, variety and innovation of the work on show, alongside appreciation for a lovely, friendly and buzzing atmosphere. 

Exhibitors reflect on #Chelsea15

Jill Ford

“I thought the show looked fab - with the usual high standard of work.”
Jill Ford

Alison Stockmarr
“Thank you so much for such a fantastically well organised event. Everything from set up to finish was great. Set up and finish are usually a bun fight but with such careful planning and so many charmingly helpful porters, it was a dream.....On a personal front, I’ve never achieved such success....Many thanks for all your help and advice...what a team!" 
Alison Stockmarr

Emily Thatcher

“Thanks for putting on such a great show, it not only looked fantastic, but it was also really well curated, which really showed in the attendance and sales!...I will definitely be applying for 2016.”
Emily Thatcher

Alice Robson

“I would very much like to do it again...and thought the whole show was fantastically organised.” 
Alice Robson  


Leonardo Pieroni

“We picked up two new and wonderful clients. One has already visited our studio....”
Leonardo Pieroni

Sabine Konig


“The Private View was lovely, really busy and buzzing.”    
Sabine Konig

Annie Ruthven-Taggart

“Really looking forward to the 10th Year celebrations next year.” 
Annie Ruthven-Taggart

Support for contemporary craftsmanship

The Fair was well supported by media partners Crafts MagazineCeramic ReviewSelvedge MagazineCraft & Design MagazineArts Thread and Resident Magazine and headline sponsor Home of Artisans who took centre stage quite literally with their online marketplace which transformed the main stage. Their stand offered a variety of beautiful handcrafted objects for the home from Scandi inspired ceramics to contemporary tapestry art.

New Year: The 10th Anniversary

11 – 13  November 2016
Chelsea Old Town Hall, London

Handmade in Britain exists to support, promote and celebrate designer-makers who create their work in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  We increase accessibility and visibility, create market opportunities and maintain high standards in the craft sector whilst providing a comprehensive support programme towards a bright future for British craft and design. Our work provides a platform for design and craft talent through both our own events and collaborations with other organisations, alongside a mentoring programme and membership scheme. 

For further press information and visuals please contact:
Sarah Ward: / 02072865110


Christmas Gift Guide for Her

Christmas is approaching, which means it's time to start thinking about shopping for gifts! The upcoming guides will make shopping this festive season at the HMIB Chelsea show easier than baking Christmas cookies. 

We're starting with a Christmas gift guide for her. What can you possibly buy for the woman who has everything? Take a look below!

A satchel for the woman on the go

This mini square satchel made by Williams is perfect for her next holiday, or weekend errands. It is made using textured and smooth English bridle leather and fully lined with aqua pig suede. The bag features a small internal pocket and comes with a detachable, adjustable, cross body strap. Choose from the colours Red, Mint, and Black/Navy. 

A kimono robe for the home

This silk kimono made by Phoebe Joan shown in the pattern Lawan Aurora will give her the perfect excuse for breakfast in bed. There are only 25 robes available in this collection. It is a timeless piece of loungewear that brings together both longevity and luxury. Phoebe Joan is releasing a Christmas line exclusive for the Handmade in Britain Chelsea show next week.

A scarf that makes the winter a bit more bearable 

This scarf designed by Lucy- Cox is hand made from soft Chunky British Alpaca. The cold weather is approaching, and this is a gift that will continue to keep her warm, and stylish every winter. 

A hat for a bad hair day 

This hat named Anne designed by Karen Henrisken is a deep-fitting, cloche shape that sits snugly over the ears, with a sculpted knot on one side. It comes in the colours Charcoal/Blue, Charcoal/Red, and Grey/Cream. This cloche will certainly rival Kate Middleton's infamous hat collection! 

Earrings that make an impression

The earrings made by Emily Thatcher Jewelry are delicate and stunning for the holiday season. They are shown in rich pink Tourmaline cabochons, highlighted by faceted Indicolite Tourmaline, and are set in 18ct recycled rose gold, with a hook style which fastens at the back. 

A Wine Coaster for the hostess

This completely unique wine coaster for the London obsessed woman who has it all is made by silversmith Jen Ricketts. This piece is shown in the design of the intricate London skyline. All items are hand cut using the finest of saw blades. 

A vase for the woman who stops to smell the roses

This contemporary, handblown glass piece made by Adam Aaronson is a celebration of the simplicity of pure form, and his coloured patinas draw on painterly techniques and are predominately inspired by a love of nature. This is sure to be a display piece in her home for years to come. 

Find all of these pieces and more at the Handmade in Britain Chelsea show the 13-15 of November!


New Graduate Showcase

Handmade in Britain is collaborating with Arts Thread this year for the New Graduate Showcase at the Appreciating British Craftsmanship: The Annual Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair.

Arts Thread is a company that offers the opportunity to promote an individual's own artwork to a Global audience, so naturally this collaboration is perfect for the show and the designers who have recently graduated from university and are attempting to spread awareness of their work.  

The New Graduate Showcase will display upcoming designer items in the show. It aims to celebrate new talent, and invites the viewer to meet designers at the very start of their career. The team at Arts Thread have carefully selected the brightest new talent in fashion and interiors to present their work in a dedicated gallery area in what for many will be their first professional show. 

The New Graduates' work that will be displayed includes the following designers: 

. Aimee Bollu ceramics

Aimee graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a First Class Honours degree in Decorative Arts and continues to work from her studio at Backlit in Nottingham. She is a collector, a gatherer, an arranger of the things people have discarded and forgotten. She seeks out objects that have fallen out of use, out of society, and revives them. 

Through the creation of hybrid objects, incorporating these found elements and newly made vessel forms, the disregarded items become meaningful once more, and possess a new value.

. Boky Lee jewellery 

BOKY is a jewellery designer and maker who grew up in Korea and is now based in London. She finished a MA in Jewellery and Metal at the Royal College of Art in 2015, having previously graduated from Seoul National University of Science and Technology in 2013 BA in Metal Art and Design.
She designs wearable, classy and witty jewellery and she also aims for her pieces to have different functions. She is mostly inspired by structural shapes such as architecture or organised objects. 

. Cheryl Van Goethem metal

Through experimentation Cheryl has developed a method of enamelling onto industrial steel pipes using vitreous enamel in an original and contemporary style. She uses liquid enamel combined with mark-making to express the sounds of the natural environment and recreate a sense of place and the passage of time.

. Francesca Bea ACFD Designs textile design

ACFD Designs is a sustainable fashion and textiles brand creating one off luxury silk scarves.
Each lovingly made in Britain using an arduous natural rust dyeing method these luxurious pieces are impossible to create identically meaning every piece is completely unique and individual.

ACFD Designs is grounded in principals of high quality design, home grown British craftsmanship and a global responsibility from the fabric sourced to the natural dyeing process. 
Established at the end of 2014, ACFD Designs is a British start up company established after Francesca completed a Masters in Textiles Design.

. Joanna Bury jewellery 

Joanna studied for a BA in Fashion Design and went on to specialise as a Lingerie Designer; she worked in the industry for 7 years primarily based in the UK, China and New York. After discovering the Silversmithing and Jewellery degree Joanna relocated from New York to Cornwall to take up full time studies and complete the degree.

“I am currently working on the concept that a piece of jewellery can be treated like a removable tattoo, worn to adorn and easily removed. Most of the design details are inspired by tattoo designs and so the pattern is effectively projected onto the skin, or patterns can be projected through the reflection of light or a shadow cast”.  

. Judy McKenzie ceramics

Judy describes herself as having a passion for ceramics as a medium for self-expression and creative fulfilment, and a love for the manipulation of the addictive raw material. Her studies have allowed her to refocus and discover a new direction to my making.
My hand-built forms are serene and still. They possess a contained energy, which contrasts dramatically with the dynamic force created by the sideways application of the porcelain slips and glazes, a process of decoration requiring further investigation and study. My current body of work is a collection of hand built, non-functional, porous vessels. I have concentrated on form and volume, and investigated methods of construction. I have experimented with surface treatment, and how the materiality of the clay can add an extra dimension and interest to a form. This is a work in progress. I continue to investigate and expand on my collection, working at a larger scale than I have previously achieved, employing untried techniques and processes.

. Laura Murphy ceramics

In October 2014,  Laura completed her Masters in Design and Applied Art, specialising in Ceramics, at the University of Wolverhampton. Having left a career in medical publishing to pursue ceramics full-time, this period of study has been invaluable in honing my skills and developing the ideas and concepts behind the work. 

A period working as an Artist in Residence and assisting in the gallery at Torquil Pottery in Henley-in-Arden has been hugely beneficial to my practice and she currently works from my own studio space near her home in Birmingham. 

. Laura Scott Design jewellery

Laura describes herself as a maker and she is quite instinctive in her style of working. She chooses the materials and techniques to suit the work she is doing rather than sticking to one material or skill, so she is constantly learning. 
Laura's work tends to be jewellery based because of the way jewellery can be a very diverse medium. There is no limit to the materials and forms it can take and it is perfect for communicating a story or message as it has been used for thousands of years in communicating something about the wearer.

. Sophie Warringham jewellery 

Sophie is graduated jeweller from the Glasgow School of Art who finds her inspiration in colour and patterns, in particular shades of blue that have a light and translucent quality. She often looks to the sea and sky as she has an interest in the forms that they naturally produce. Sophie likes to manipulate the layers of these forms to build up textures and depth to both the colours and patterns within her work. Sophie’s interest in colour influences her use of enamel, using a combination of traditional and experimental ways of applying the enamel to metal to create her own style of contemporary enamelling. In order to create a light transparency to her work Sophie not only uses enamel on precious metals but she also combines this with resins and plastics to build up intensity to many layers to the depth of colour and pattern.

. Young-Ran Lee ceramics 

Young's work represents to himself a way of reaching down into his ancestral origin. He transforms his inspiration into contemporary vision finding suggestions even in the degraded suburbia and metropolitan environments.

His work is a result of the synthesis between "Primitivism" intended as an immersion in his ethnic origin and "Minimalism" that can be seen as a formal simplification which I express through the process of making in the gestural and intuitive way, focused on diversity, contrast and otherness adopting elemental shapes. Young's current work is based on wheel thrown and hand built using St.Thomas stoneware and Black textured stoneware clay.


A Preview of the Chelsea Show-What Talent to Watch For

Find covetable pieces for your home from a select group of talented ceramicists including London based Elizabeth Renton who makes hand thrown functional tableware in a delicate colour palette of muted tones and Chito Kuroda who creates modern porcelain vases and bottles on a wheel using simple forms with clean surfaces, which engender a feeling of calmness. Jill Ford’s contemporary bowls, vases and vessels explore the organic characteristics of porcelain: translucency, whiteness, smoothness and strength combined with an illusion of fragility whilst Scotland’s Sian Patterson creates ceramics as ‘functional still life’ and showcases a quiet collection of work both familiar and distinctive. With a nod towards knit and embroidery, Annette Bugansky produces tactile porcelain vessels with experimental and intricate textile surface patterns. 
Elizabeth Renton, Ceramics.

See an astonishing array of glassware at this year’s show from the likes of talented Samantha Sweet who uses traditional cutting techniques to decorate contemporary hand blown lead crystal glass and Assenden Glass who manipulate the medium to create beautiful, colourful forms from recycled glass. Elin Isaksson makes hand blown glass in sleek and tactile Scandinavian forms and Vicky Higginson takes inspiration from Japanese arts and culture to produce elegant hand-blown glass art and functional vessels. 
Samantha Sweet, Glass.

Snuggle up this winter with cosy knits by Hattie Kerrs and Katie Mawson, add a pop of colour to your wardrobe with Taisir Gibreel’s vibrant printed silks or a touch of elegance with hats by established milliner, Karen Henriksen. For perfect accessories, look no further than Nell Harper’s delicious leather bags which celebrate traditional handcrafted skills in a contemporary and functional form and not forgetting Scottish maker Catherine Aitken whose collection of bags, made with Harris Tweeds, waxed cotton and Scottish linens, embody style, strength and luxury. 
Katie Mawson, Textiles.

Shop for innovative designs and luxurious pieces, just in time for Christmas. Sabine Konig’s bold and striking precious metal jewellery uses vibrant unusual gemstones; by combining brushed silver with freshwater pearls Sabine creates classic pieces with a modern twist. Victoria Walker specialises in fine kinetic jewellery inspired by the beauty of natural forms. Her signature seed-pod lockets feature tiny articulated flowers that emerge and dramatically unfold into bloom. Lesley Strickland uses innovative materials combining cellulose acetate and silver to produce colourful pieces and Joana Cunha’s playful work blends traditional jewellery skills with new technologies and materials. 
Joana Cunha, Jewellery.

Discover exquisite silverware from talented UK based silversmiths including Adrian Hope who draws on the past to create nostalgic forms which are at once tactile, simple and unique and Jen Ricketts who transforms iconic skylines into elegant, decorative pieces. Sally Cox takes classical elements and gives them a contemporary twist to produce her functional tableware and Helen London utilises the traditional technique of filigree to create intricate pieces of sleek contemporary designs. For scrumptious textures and decadent forms, look no further than Zoe Watts’ lovingly hand-fashioned silver vessels. 
This a rare opportunity to see such a varied collection of original and beautiful work, all handmade right here in the UK. With Christmas just around the corner, The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair could be the answer to your search for that really special gift. Book your ticket now
Sally Cox, Metal.

Highlights for 2015 
Fresh Talent in British Craft & Design 
Not to be missed at the fair this year is the New Graduate Showcase, supported by Arts Thread. Alongside established and well-known makers the show celebrates new talent, and invites you to meet designers at the very start of their career. The team at Arts Thread have carefully selected the brightest new talent in fashion and interiors to present their work in a dedicated gallery area in what for many will be their first professional show. 

Countdown to the Annual Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair

Three days. Over 120 makers. The ultimate shopping treat. 

This Christmas, avoid the high street and opt for handmade at Handmade in Britain 15, the annual showcase of the very best of contemporary British craft and design at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Browse exceptional crafts, buy unique and original gifts, or commission a bespoke piece of work directly from over 120 of the UK’s finest designer-makers, each handpicked by a panel of industry experts. 

The show is a wonderful opportunity to shop for exquisite ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles, jewellery and silverware in a beautiful, historic venue. Makers will be on hand throughout the weekend to talk to you about their work and showcase their collections, inviting you to learn how your favourite pieces are made and to discover the story behind that perfect gift. On Saturday evening headline sponsor Home of Artisans will be hosting an exclusive late night shopping event, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy browsing in a relaxed and festive atmosphere until 8pm. 

On November 13th through the 15th, come down to Chelsea Old Town Hall to browse, buy, or commission exquisite pieces and chat with fresh talent in British craft and design about their work. 

Book your ticket now at


Friday 13 November 11:00 - 18:00 
Saturday 14 November 11:00 - 20:00 
Sunday 15 November 11:00 - 17:00 

Book early and save: 
Online: £8
On the door: £10 / £8 Concessions 
Group bookings: 0207 2865 110 

Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, London SW3 5EE 

Organised by Handmade in Britain 


Marcella Di Mare: Member of the Week

Bask Bindery

Before creating Bask Bindery, Marcella Di Mare worked as an advertising art director for 25 years. Bookbindery  is “equally creative and rewarding,” Di Mare says. Both professions required her to convey a story through design.

Bask Bindery offers journals, passport holders and ipad or phone cases; all in her abstract designs using a wide variety of materials from gold leaf, letterpress or wood cuts. Di Mare creates her own tools when necessary to attain the desired effect.

All the designs you will see on her website are unique. No two are alike. Customers enjoy her products and many of them explain how it feels like they “own a piece of artwork.”

Marcella Di Mare is also a volunteer at Bag where to helps make tactile story books for people with severe or profound learning disabilities.

Member of the Week: Nicola Hurst Designer Jewellery

Nicola Hurst’s career has been far from static.

After studying jewellery making at Middlesex Polytechnic, she moved back to Plymouth where she successfully opened her first gallery, Nicola Hurst Designer Jewellery, in 2006.

More success followed as she opened a second shop, in 2014, called NH2 in the Royal William Yard in Plymouth.

Hurst’s expresses how she loves to sit at her bench, in her Plymouth workshop , where she creates her jewellery.

Her style is simple, yet sophisticated as she works with clean lines and shapes, getting her inspiration from architecture and occasionally from nature.

Hurst’s abilities go beyond her store’s as she also conducts workshops. These workshops, whether it’s a wedding ring session or simply revamping old inherited jewellery, are a great way to add a personal touch to a piece of jewellery.

Member of the Week


Layla Chelache learnt the basics of knitting when she was just six years old from her Irish grandmother. She set up her company ‘Chelache’ after several years and various roles in the fashion industry. Dedicating all her time to her passion.

Her work reflects her love of colours, textures and sculptural forms. While her work is visually appealing there is also an ethos behind her knitwear, which adds a whole new dimension. Her disapproval of throwaway consumer culture and mass produced items is reflected in the high quality of her knitwear.

From her small knit laboratory in Hackney, Chelache uses a vintage hand operation knitting machines to create her unique textile pieces. This gives her the potential to play with the construction of the fabric and exploit its structural qualities.

To keep up with Chelache and her work check out her directory page

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