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Craft fair

Having read what fellow bloggers have gone through at craft fairs, I approached this one yesterday in a marquee at the Donkey Sanctuary with some perception of the time it takes to make all the stock and then the commitment to being there all day and maybe only covering costs. We paid our £2 each and entered. Maybe I’m a craft fair purist but I don’t go to a craft fair to buy a) plants or b) cheap tat. This made it easy to avoid the first few stalls. Because I’m a knitter, I had a look at what one lady had on offer but as it was all knit in acrylic (I imagine in order to price it cheaply) I didn’t linger. We were both very taken with a stall selling hand dyed scarves and ties, though I suspect at the price they were selling them for they were bought in and not artisan. I may be wronging the very nice people on the stand, but I recently bought D a handmade, hand printed tie and it was £30. So at £14 each, £25 for 2 possibly not.

Sounds like I’m being very picky, but I just feel a greater sense of awareness of homemade versus looks crafty from reading crafty blogs. We had more luck on the next stand, where I fell in love with this print: image It’s from an original artwork and I just love it. D and I agreed it would look fantastic in the pink room. Maybe I’ll save up and buy an original – they were £80 – our entire budget for the fair and beyond so sadly not an option yesterday. I also bought this card for my friend who had a birthday soon and is into esoteric stuff. I think the tree looks magical! image The artist is Mark Betson and his website is http://www.tandm-artsandcrafts.co.uk – his wife made lovely wire & bead jewellery too.

D bought countless jars of chutney, lemon & lime curd and pickles. This made him very happy. Our last purchases were from the kind of stall you get at posh markets – they weren’t crafty but nice different stuff – socks made from bamboo: image And socks made from alpaca: image And a pair of arm-warmers to wear while it’s not quite cold enough to wear woolly ones but bracelet length sleeves aren’t quite long enough: image I was delighted with these. I bought two pairs that are very similar in Australia four years ago and I gave worn them constantly.

Lucie, none of the stalls were as nice as the pictures I’ve seen of yours! I’m very glad we went but it did make me reflect on what we consider craft, as well as what people produce for sale. And I admire those of you who persist at it.

11 thoughts on “Craft fair

  1. I’m so glad you came away with some lovely things. It is very interesting to see how much sellers are prepared to let their handmade items go for. Or alternatively use the cheapest quality materials in order to grab a sale.
    Many of the regular sellers that turned up to the fairs I sold (ha) at, were generally using the day as a great social to get out and meet up with all their friends so to them every item sold was just a bonus. And why not. It is a friendly, non confrontational atmosphere that would fill an otherwise empty day for a lot of people.
    I think the artists value (and rightly so) their work above all others and are less likely to let things go for a song.
    I love the print and the card. I was going to knit some wrist warmers so I definitely approve of those. And I could just curl up on the sofa in all those lovely socks. So in all I think you came back with a great haul.

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    • It was a good haul but reflecting on it the socks, while fab, were manufactured not crafted. I just walked round thinking of what you’d said and thinking about much time some of these people had spent creating their wares. It made me more appreciative but also pickier in that I was questioning their status as craft. D & I admired these amazing turned wooden lazy Susan cheeseboards which were £80. They were totally worth it but I doubt he’d sold any. Anyway, it made me think.

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  2. Sounds like you had a fun day and got a good haul! It is interesting that once you start educating yourself about what is involved in creating, the way you view such fairs totally changes. I went to one last winter that had some amazing things, and some really awful things – same idea – cheap crafts to sell, or works of art. I couldn’t afford what I wanted but I certainly did not begrudge the artist’s prices. So the key as a sales person is to find the shows that draw the crowds that CAN afford to pay for the quality. Meanwhile, the rest of us get to go ooh and ahh and get ideas and buy what we can afford. 🙂

    Love the tree for the pink room – don’t lose track of it!

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  3. It seems that craft fairs are the same all over the world from what I have read. Those attending are often looking for a bargain, I think they make the mistake of thinking they are going to a scouts summer fair or similar (not that I mean to be disrespectful to all the work that goes into a scouts fair). Maybe the trick is to change the name, does the title ‘craft fair’ really conjure up an image of time loving spent crafting to produce great quality projects? Anyway, enough ranting. You came away with some lovely goodies, the colourful art is wonderful and I will definitely be checking out the link so thanks for sharing. I do hope you are going to give a frame with that gorgeous card because it certainly deserves to end up in one!

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    • I think you’re right. Maybe make it clear that craft fairs are for homemade stuff? I do agree with you – although I’m delighted with the bamboo socks they don’t really come under the heading of craft. Nice things to own but… I will definitely send a frame! I’ve already been on the artists website trying to work out if I can afford an original!

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