This year saw an exciting and eclectic mix of Makers gather together at the fabulous Peckham Pelican, for the very first Ministry of Making Christmas Craft Fair;
Ceramic artists, leather workers, aromatic soap makers, glass makers, jewellers, and printmakers gathered on site, all ready to sell their delightful handmade craft work, and also to chat with visitors about their practice, and offer taster sessions throughout the day in some of their chosen disciplines; The day began with a massive snowfall, and we were all being quite pragmatic, but as we set out our stalls, fuelled by delicious coffee from the Peckham Pelican Arts Cafe team, and people started to show up early to browse, chat and buy, spirits were running high. The snow wasn't going to stop anyone from taking advantage of this great event.
By the time the choir had arrived, ( the choir in residence for the Horniman Museum-no less!) it was impossible for people to get seats, and the stallholders were kept busy giftwrapping presents, and chatting to a buzzing crowd.
After a few hours, some of the crowd left, since there were other craft fairs to be visited in the area, and others arrived, but later in the day, we were amazed to see many of our original crowd return, saying that the prices and atmosphere were so good, that they just had to come back. We had purposely kept our stall fees low as the Ministry of Making organisers are Makers ourselves, with our own practice, and we know that sometimes Makers can't take an enormous financial risk in order to just break even; They need to be sure of a profit. Yes- Makers need to pay their bills too! So we kept our stall prices affordable in order to support our Maker community. This meant that everyone was able to relax and have a great time, and the prices of the goods on offer, coupled with the great relaxed atmosphere, encouraged our visitors to splash out and support the idea of having a truly Handmade Christmas in 2017.
Visitors were able to take part in supportive, delightful and informal sessions themselves, to make their own cards and presents, including Herbal wreath making, Life drawing, bespoke charm bracelets and love bunting.
Later in the day, we were treated to a celtic mandolin recital, as the workshop events got underway.
People realised that they were not just here to buy, but also to learn, to play and to relax with friends, in true Ministry of Making style.
Our thanks go to the wonderful Peckham Pelican Arts cafe for hosting the event, and keeping everyone well fed and warmed up with delicious food and drink all day. Also big thanks to Bridie Tyler, who arranged the event, co-designed the publicity and managed all of the press and PR single handedly.
Watch this space for more events from The Ministry of Making.
Imagine, Create, Inspire.