A few weeks ago we ran a competition giving Folksy sellers the chance to win a free stall spot at the BUST Summer Craftacular 2015 taking place on 17 May at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London. We loved the enthusiasm that Christmas Craftacular Folksy winners I Am Acrylic brought to the event (I Am Acrylic designers Brendan and Ruth are back at the Summer event, selling their wares as well as running a workshop to create your own acrylic charm), and host of talented Folksy folk entered the competition this time too.
And the winner is amypanda, whose colourful felt creations – a range of brooches, finger puppets and, more recently, hanging mobiles – are beautifully hand-stitched in the Yorkshire town of Otley. “I hang out with my 2 year old all day, and by night I sew,” says Amy Wilson, who started up amypanda in 2008.
“amypanda has always been an enjoyable hobby rather than a job,” adds Amy. “My early ‘work’ mostly consisted of wonky brooches of as many things I could possibly think of, which I sold at little village hall craft fairs, indie-pop gigs and flogged to friends and family. I started making finger puppets when I became pregnant, and shamelessly use my toddler as a product tester.
First popping up at Craftacular, with her designs spilling out of a vintage suitcase, a few years back, Amy will be bringing some new creations to the May BUST Craftacular event.
“So far I’ve only sold my mobiles at fairs, not online, so I look forward to bringing along a few of those to the BUST Summer Craftacular. I’ve also been working on some new themed finger puppets too, my favourite of which are party cats – in hats!”
For more cats in hats, this time in the form of lino prints, there’s Brighton-based Woah There Pickle, whose quirky cards and prints narrowly missed out on the top spot.
Another firm Folksy favourite is Alison McIntyre, who cleverly creates geometric patterns with embroidery thread that she describes as “A bit like spirograph… and primary school maths…”
And if we had a “I’d most like to wear it right now” prize, it would go to Baku Forest Studios. Gloucester-based illustrator Fran Knight creates “unusual illustrated jewellery for the strange at heart” (that would be me then…), such as this toucan Rockabilly-esque necklace with the slogan ‘swallows are so cliché’.
Other Folksy sellers not to be missed at the BUST Summer Craftacular are Caren Barry (a designer of delicate floral stationery who is “currently working on a new range of textile products – from coin purses to cosmetic bags, storage baskets and more) and Manic Minotaur (seriously bright and busy Star Wars-inspired prints from Brighton-based Scott Nellis). For jewellery, there’s Kirstin Stride (hand-drawn and -painted birds turned into earrings and brooches), Frilly Industries (laser-cut wooden brooches from Birmingham-based duo Kirsty Hillyer and Adrienne Frances, who will be bringing “a Bust-inspired range of feminist STUFF” to our summer do) and Kayleigh O’Mara (acrylic laser-cut jewellery – plus a complementary range of cards and paper goods – currently riffing on a sea theme). There are more great cards from Little Paper Vee, bright totes and tea towels from Ceridwen Hazelchild Design, and, finally, wonderfully whimsical dioramas from Bonkers Clutterbucks (who would get the prize for best name, if there was one!).
For the full Craftacular line-up, see: http://bust.com/london/bust-summer-craftacular.html
To take part in the I Am Acrylic workshops, sign up at their stall on the day.
By Victoria Woodcock
Main photo: Amy Panda at Craftacular by YHF Photo
BUST Summer Craftacular
Sunday 17 May
at York Hall,
5-15 Old Ford Road,
(near to Bethnal Green tube station, opposite the V&A Museum of Childhood)