May was a busy month for Bath’s students, with most of them revising and handing in coursework for exams. But by June they are released into the big wide world, just like Bath Spa’s third year photography students who are joining us on the 9th. They’ll be selling their work to raise money for their graduate show in London and will be the first students from Bath to have a show there, which is a great opportunity for them to network and be introduced to the photography world at large. Here’s more about them:
We’re ten final year students studying BA Photography and Digital Media at Bath Spa University. We’ll be selling photographic prints that we’ve produced throughout our degree to raise funds for our graduate show in London in July.
2. Why is the graduate show so important?
The majority of the art universities in the UK hold graduate shows in London to highlight the final year students’ work to potential employers. This is done every year. The shows are promoted through the press and it is a way for the students to get noticed.
This will be the first year our course will be holding a London show, as we are the first year to graduate from the course, so we want to introduce the course in the best way possible and need funds to make it happen.
3. What do you hope to do when you ‘grow up’?
As a group we are all different in our aspirations after we finish our degrees, some will venture into further education, many will start out in the photographic world, with internships and photographic assistants, with the hope of one day becoming well-known, either as a commercial photographer or being seen in galleries around the world.
4. What are your favourite things to do in Bath (apart from visiting the Bath Artisan Market)?
Vintage markets at Bath racecourse, picnics at the Royal Crescent in the sun, film screenings at the Little Theatre and visiting art galleries.
5. What are you looking forward to the most about our market on June 9th?
Having the opportunity to showcase our work, and sell to the public. Raising enough money to put on an outstanding show in London.
Come and find Stephanie Fogg, Simon Collington, Marc Le Galle, Adam Reid, Chennel Wright, Rachel Forester-Bennett, Holly Hayes, Joshua Michael, Aimie Desoisa and Lucy McLeod on the walkway in June. Buy one of their prints to help them create a brilliant graduate show in London – you never know, the next Rankin or Annie Leibowitz could be among them!
Settle down with a cuppa and meet blogger Jen Gale, who is spending a year not buying anything new and writing about it in her hugely popular blog. She’s also a regular fixture at the Bath Artisan Market with her “Upcycle Exchange“, a craft supplies stall which sells donated materials on a Pay What You Wish basis to prevent unwanted fabric, buttons, card etc finding its way into landfill and give crafters an affordable way to keep their passion going. Jen also runs workshops under the name Make it Better and has recently appeared in The Sun newspaper too! Here she explains more about her life’s work and mission!
“My name is Jen, and I live not far from Bath with my lovely hubby, two gorgeous small boys, who are 4 and 2, and two slightly annoying cats.
Last September I embarked on a challenge to Buy Nothing New for a year and dragged the rest of the family along with me. I called it My Make Do and Mend Year, and I have been blogging about it pretty much every day since then (you can catch up at www.mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com). The blog has really taken off, and now has over 300 followers, and more than 2000 followers on Twitter, and as well as being a regular on BBC Radio Wiltshire, we have also been in the local press, on the local ITV news, and just last month we had a big feature in The Sun!
This is all very exciting, and hopefully it is helping to spread the word about Making, and Making Do and Mending, but you may well be asking what I am doing here on the Bath Artisan Market blog!
My Make Do and Mend Year is proving to be a bit of a ‘journey’ and has helped to empower me to do things that I think I would otherwise have just sat and daydreamed about. It has given me the push to get on a actually DO things instead of just thinking about them and I have started a fledgling social enterprise which I have called Make It Better… Along with another local crafter, Verity Scott, we are running monthly free making/mending/sewing drop in sessions in a pub in Warminster; holding regular Saturday morning Upcycle! sessions in the local library; putting on a Charity Sewing Day, making pillowcase dresses for the Dress A Girl Around the World project; running Swishes, and also starting up a Repair Café-phew!! And that’s just for starters!
Another ‘arm’ of Make It Better…is the Upcycle Exchange. Some of you may have seen me at the April Make Do and Mend themed market.
This was the inaugural outing for the Upcycle Exchange, and I got a fantastic response from all the lovely traders and visitors at the market. So much so, that I will now be there every month! Now, I can hear you all asking, “What on earth is an Upcycle Exchange?”, so I will explain…
Essentially, people donate any unwanted/un-loved/surplus crafting supplies, and I then make them available to the local crafting community at Pay As You Wish prices. The aim is to try and save things from landfill, and to allow local artists and makers to buy affordable supplies. Pay As You Wish pricing is exactly what it says on the tin-you pay what you think is a fair price for the materials. You will obviously not be paying even close to what the craft stores charge, but by honouring the value of the supplies you are buying, you will help the concept and the business to grow and to thrive.
There is a Wish-List available of things that I think other makers and crafters may be on the look-out for, and this will obviously change and adapt as people let me know what it is they want. If you bring along a bag full of items from the Wish-List to donate, then I am issuing vouchers for people to use at the stall as well.
I will be at the Bath Artisan Market every month, with an eclectic mix of crafting supplies for your delight and delectation-from the more traditional, like fabric, wool and knitting needles, to the more unusual, like vinyl records, old keys and silver cutlery-all of which can be turned into amazing art works with a little bit of inspiration! To help you work out what to do the more unusual bits on sale, I am putting together a series called “Inspiration Station” to help inspire you as to exactly what you can make out of old CDs, scrabble tiles or mens ties…!
The Make It Better… Upcycle Exchange, is modelled on the original Upcycle Exchange, set up by an inspirational lady called Autumn Wiggins in St.Louis, USA, and is unique in the UK at the moment. Obviously I think it is a really great concept, and I hope that you do too! Next time you come to the market, please do come and say hello, have a browse and a rummage, and if you have any supplies that you have been hoarding in your stash, that you know you are never really going to get around to using, then please do consider donating them, so they can go on to help someone else Make It Better..!
Ask your little ones to create their own personal Chelsea showstopper in a seedtray with some soil and anything you can find in the paper, card and/or plastic recycling bin. For example, use matchsticks to make trellis or swings, pieces of card to make patio slabs, gravel from the garden to make a path, small toys for animals sunning themselves, foil for a pond and so on – no planting required, although planted gardens are most welcome! Here’s an example of one (pictured below) – you can use flowers or twigs and branches like the dandelions in the picture too – or as we say, bring along a properly planted entry that you may have made earlier. The one thing that every entry has to do, is look like a garden. Here’s a photo of one to inspire.
Pick up your FREE seedtrays from Prior Park Garden Centre (ask for them at the counter), create the garden and then bring it along to the Bath in Bloom stand on Sunday between 10am – 1pm. They are going to be judged by the Mayor Of Bath and the prize awarded at 2pm (yes there is a £10 gift voucher prize, maybe more)!
There are plenty of other things to do at the market on Sunday while you are waiting for the results – Bath City Farm are bringing a pygmy goat and chickens to pet (11am-1pm), Bath in Bloom are offering FREE planting sessions and FREE gardening demos (11.30am and 2.30pm), they will be running a raffle and there are over 60 different art, food, vintage and craft stalls there including some selling gardening bits and pieces. Plus we’ve asked traders to dress their stalls in flowers. Entry if free, so don’t miss our great floral extravaganza!
We’re blessed with so many talented traders who never cease to amaze and impress with their skill and originality, just like design company with a twist, Saunders Creative. Find out more below in this article supplied by the face behind the business, Victoria Saunders and come and seek out the stall on Sunday May 12th at Green Park Station, Bath. Check our website and social media for details of other dates that this innovative initiative will be with us.
“Saunders Creative offer surface designs and graphics, which are expertly crafted using a vinyl cutter. The Illustrations & typography are cut as fine as the original pen drawing or layout by designer/maker Victoria Saunders.
Saunders Creative has been exploring the possibilities of vinyl cutting as a creative medium and the results are not what you might expect. Their exploration of vinyl cutting has lead to a unique product with multiple uses for both private and commercial customers. ‘Decal’ meaning a design that is prepared for transferring to another surface (from the French word decalcomania) are used to add surface designs and graphics to smooth surfaces, these can include glass, mirror, wood and paper. ‘The possibilities of decals have not yet fully been explored, but are great for up-cycling furniture & mirrors or for decorating walls at home’ says Victoria, who graduated as a Surface Designer.
Saunders Creative has opened an on-line emporium, and sells decals, prints & cards at local fairs and events including The Bath Artisan Market and Made in Bristol’s Pop-up Shop called Paper scissor stone.
Saunders Creative also continues to work with local artisan businesses in the Bristol/ Bath area. Victoria draws on her commercial background to create graphics & surface designs that enhance a business presence by producing and installing window graphics, signs & surface patterns to shop facades.”
With May 12th just around the corner we’re delighted to share a little bit about the winner of our free student stall this month – Kathryn (Kate) Roberts from Kiss Me Katie bespoke designed collars.
Here’s a little about her in her own words.
“I make mostly detachable collars which are unique and handmade by me. They are designed to wear with your existing clothes so you can transform your look when you feel like it. I started the business to help me fund my degree and learn a little bit about business. I go to Bath Spa Uni and am in my second year of fashion design and am currently leaning towards a degree in couture fashion or bespoke tailoring, although what I want to do in the future changes on a weekly basis! I’m really looking forward to meeting like-minded creative people at the Bath Artisan Market on May 12th.”