Designer and Maker Fair back at Charleston

Charleston Designer and Makers fair
Charleston Designer and Makers fair

Charleston Designer and Maker Fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, November 23-24, this year.

The event is open each day from 11am to 5pm.

Clothing by Susie Petrou

Clothing by Susie Petrou

Crafts from some of the top designers and makers in the south will get you into the Christmas spirit in good time – just head off to Charleston’s Hay Barn, for some mouth-watering shopping ideas.

And for the kids, there is even a Snow Queen in her winter grotto, plus free arts and craft activities.

This will be Charleston’s second winter craft fair since the barn was newly restored, and if the weekend has that wonderfully frosty feel to it, then the scene is set for an early taste of a traditional Christmas, complete with boughs of greenery and seasonal fare in the Threshing Barn cafe, to include boozy hot chocolate; hot toddies and mince pies.

Two dozen makers are taking part this year and will be on hand to discuss their work. They will be showing ceramics, jewellery, textiles, fashion accessories; children’s toys and clothes and much more besides.

Cushions by Susie Petrou

Cushions by Susie Petrou

This is a craft fair with a difference. Some of the work – although created in Sussex – has its inspiration across the globe. Among the makers is Molly Mahon, whose beautiful and original fabrics, wallpapers and functional art pieces for the home derive from India, where she works with local craftspeople.

There are traditional crafts such as Ophelia Dolls, handmade in Kent using Romney Marsh wool for stuffing and natural materials for clothing. These are heirloom dolls, sold from a unique toy shop in Hawkhurst, but available to buy at Charleston over a single weekend.

Also for the traditionalist and lover of all things retro is the range of clothing from Susie Petrou, who collects antique textiles, repairs, restores and re-purposes them into vintage pieces.

For those who prefer stylish modern there is fabulous knitwear by Quinton Chadwick, including scarves, hats, gloves and other fashion accessories in stunning colours.

From her workshop in Lewes, Deborah Manson is showing collages, prints and drawings, working both with paper and textiles, and demonstrates her love of the crossover between art and design.

There are wonderfully tactile ceramics by Gary Edwards and Sarah Rickard; baskets by Emma Purcell; trendy children’s clothes from Seawhistle – plus some of the most innovative jewellery in the south.

Tickets cost £4 if booked in advance or £5 on the day. Children under 16 go free.

To find out more and to book tickets visit charleston.org.uk.

While visiting the fair, call in at Charleston’s latest exhibition inspired by the Omega workshops, or stroll through the magical beauty of the winter garden. There is also a chance to visit the ground floor of the house, which Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell called home.

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