Handmade at Kew

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Quoting from Confucius, ‘isn’t it joyful having a friend coming from afar’. It has been such a long time, since I caught up with my high school friend. We used to do so many things together back then as a group of four, now facing the harsh reality, we all reside in different cities. So it was such a pleasure seeing Laura again. We decided to pay Kew gardens a little visit, whilst the craft fair– Handmade at Kew was taking place.

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This is the London chapter of a series of craft exhibitions organised by Handmade in Britain. We were impressed by the beautifully crafted items, whilst joking about how the fair is a heaven for ‘hipsters’, and how we ‘fit right in’. As far as I am concerned, we did blend in. Although without round specs, well-trimmed beard or a top bun, Laura, with her cute little burgundy dungaree dress and I, with my huge camera suggest we are definitely the right people for this place. In fact, we were asked several times whether we are collectors, or local artists

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We loved those intricately handcrafted jewelleries and the delicate ceramics. Even though there are some pieces we wouldn’t buy for ourselves because they are not our style, yet we still appreciated the beauty and craftsmanship went into the pieces. Each one reflected the craftman’s personality, imagination and their life experience, which are something you can never get from high street shops and commercialised products.

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All the items would make wonderful Christmas presents or gifts for special occasions. Leto Ariadne scarves caught my eyes. These were handweaved in the UK from silk and satin. We met the weaver/founder himself–Nick Ozanne, just like his scarves, he oozed out the charming Englishness. Beautiful patterns, soft texture. A potential Christmas present for my dad.

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Another of my favourites was the jewelleres by Eileen Gatt. All pieces were either made of solid silver or 24 carats solid gold, and were crafted into novelty shapes of bees, rabbits and penguins.

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This kind of fairs shorten the distance between the makers and buyers. We could freely ask questions on the inspirations for the artworks, production process and any future work. It was truly an artistic feast to fill our  aesthetic appetite.

More events from Handmade in Britain.

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