By Ilona Cabral
What’s your favourite part of Christmas? The food? The alcohol? The Presents? Well, this year your favourite part could be the Christmas shopping. Forget about that crazed pushing and shoving through shops. Forget that last minute trawl through Amazon. This year, you can enjoy finding unique and beautiful presents for each of your loved ones at Craft Fairs.
From now, until that big day on the 25th of December, Cardiff is full of cool and creative events where you can find that perfect gift. Or maybe these events will inspire you to take your Christmas present game to the next level with your own homemade craft gifts.
“Made by Hand” at City Hall (2nd-4th November) was one such event. This craft showcase was full to the brim with quirky and beautiful items. As there was over 100 sellers there it is not possible to talk about every person, but here are a couple of stand-out artists, who will hopefully inspire you to head out to a Fair or to try your hand at something crafty!
Poetry and Print
Francesca Kay is a fantastically crazy and innovative artist. She is a poet and letterpress printer who combines her passions (crafts, baking, the outdoors and the written word) to create truly unique gifts. On the right is her “Do it Thyself” Shakespeare kits, including a hand finger puppet actor, fold out audience, and copy of a famous speech from the bard. Another beautiful idea is her “Poems in seed packets”, which draws on her belief that poems are seeds for the mind.
Using vintage recycled materials, Jennifer Collier combines paper and stitching to create beautiful ornaments and sculptures. She designs unique and innovative creations from vases, to jewellery and beyond all wrapped, twined and deigned with a vintage-retro feel.
Stone Hens Ceramics
Gill Oakley is a Penarth based artist and ceramist who uses numerous different techniques to create her unique gifts. On the right is an especially cute rabbit sculpture she moulded and painted holding a bouquet she crafted herself. However, she also designs button, brooches, hearts, Christmas ornaments and so much more!
Kayleigh Radcliffe is an illustrator and designer based in Lancashire. Inspired by her love of animals, she draws creative inspiration from German Expressionist silent films, folklore as well as nightmares and dreams to create weird and wonderful anthropomorphic figures.
Though this artist work may be (well is almost definitely) out of your price range the technique she uses to make these beautiful lampshades seemed so simple yet effective that I had to include her here. Using a ‘matrix’ material of her own design – mesh painted and then treated – she creates statement pieces which create a sophisticated and mesmerising atmosphere whilst also reminding you of kaleidoscopic childhood lampshades.
Again this is probably not the most affordable or conventional present but this artist deserves a mention! Initially trained in weaving and embroidery Juliette decided to branch out into a different area, willow weaving. Using chicken wire and willow branches she creates gorgeous and whimsical sculptures. He also runs workshops if anyone wants to try something new!
Craft fairs are great places! They’re somewhere you can see and buy incredible things but also learn and get inspired by quirky and creative people. Somewhere you can try out something new, perhaps at a workshop, and most of all somewhere that gets you even more excited for Christmas!
Here are some other crafty event coming up that you may want to keep an eye out for:
|2 December||10:00-17:00||Etsy Made Local Cardiff||Tramshed Cardiff|
|8- 9 December||9:00am- 5:00pm||Caerphilly Christmas Fayre||Caerphilly town centre|
|10-11 December||11am to 3pm||Barry Island Handmade Market||Barry Island Beach Front|
|17-19 December||10am to 4pm||St Fagans Food and Makers’ Market||St Fagans National Museum of History|