I will definately check this craft fair out again, and I think this one is a bi-annual affair so we won't need to wait a whole year. Has anyone been to the Bust Craftaculars in the US (or anywhere else if they have them)? What was it like? Did it live up to your expectations? What did you like/dislike about any of the craft fairs you've been to recently? Have you been selling at any craft fairs recently? How did it go?
Monday, 13 December 2010
T'is the season for a squillion craft fairs! Yay! I remember the ones I used to go to when I was little with my mum at the Cliffs Pavillion in Southend. The vast majority of visitors were over 65 and the crafts on offer were so different, I can scarely draw a parallel with the stuff you tend to see today. I remember things like pebbles glued together with eyes painted on to look (very vaguely) like animals, and handmade wooden cheese boards with the word 'Cheese' burned into them. And those pictures made from lots of layers of the same image cut out and stuck on top of each other to give a wierd 3D effect. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED going to those craft fairs back in the day, and maybe those type of fairs still exist. They modern craft fairs can be a very different beast, eh?
There was a lot more interactive stuff like raffles and craft demonstrations, but not as much as I'd built up myself up to expect by pouring over the website so much. The stalls themselves were pretty cool with a good range of price points, but I would really have liked to have seen more variety in the stock being sold. I recognised many of the stall holders from my days selling at UpMarket and the Backyard market at Brick Lane, which disappointed me as I was hoping for a different experience from one you could have any Sunday if you bothered to make the journey to Brick Lane. I don't know why it should have surprised me, as surely there can only be so many hip designer/makers in the London area.
Over the last few weeks, alongside my intrepid craft fairin' friend Michelle, I have been to a couple of fairs which I shall report on here. You might be all 'Big deal, Zoe. Why would I want to hear about craft fairs that have already been and gone?', well both of these are annual or bi-annual so you might want to store this info up for the future.
The first was MADE10, which is a yearly fair here in (not particularly) sunny Brighton, UK. Ok, I have to tell you something before I continue: tickets on the door were £6!!!!! If you aren't from the UK and don't generally deal in quids, that's a shit-load. Well, everything in UK is a shit-load of quids these days, but in my opinion that's way lots for what is basically merely entry into a building with the ability to part with many more quids on actual stuff. I got tickets in advance (I had to go to the box office though, you can't even buy these online!) which made them a slightly more palatable £5, but still...
Despite the (apparantly not) prohibitive cost, it was rammed in there! I'd recommend going early or later in the day, the crowds definately thinned a bit the longer we were there. But the stalls were slick, the whole thing was incredibly high-end. Some really incredibly amazing stuff and everything was really good quality, the very best of British Handmade, if slick is your preffered aesthetic. If you are into jewellery, I would definately recommend heading down there next year. See below for a couple of my favourite sellers who had stalls at MADE10 (click on the images for links to their sites):
The second craft fair I visited was Bust magazine's Craftacular in Bethnal Green, London, (England, UK, Europe, The Earth, The Universe etc. Did you ever write your address like that when you were little? I really am regressing today). I was so excited about going to this as I love Bust magazine and their approach towards crafty culture and beforehand I poured over it's site and checked out lots of the vendors links. Wierd fact: the Bust Craftacular was held in part of the same building as my old gym from when I worked in Bethnal Green a few years ago.
Craftacular was also rammed, it opened at 12pm and when I got there about 10 minutes to 12pm, there was a massive queue which curled round the side of the building. But the queue moved quickly and entrance was a much more affordable £2. What was pretty funny about this fair was that about 98% of visitors were cool, interestingly dressed chicas in their mid to late twenties. Bust readers basically.