Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Jackie Hawkins - adding sparkle!

 Jackie Hawkins makes fused glass into all sorts of things to bring an 'Aah!' moment into your life.  She's always been a crafter in some form or another, starting as a needlewoman, making clothes, doing cross stitch and becoming a member of the Embroiderers Guild.  This has given her a strong grounding in design, and an understanding of quality craftsmanship, which is evident in all her work.

Her life experiences have also made a profound impact on her work, as she travelled the world in her childhood, following her RAF father at an early age to such far flung places as Aden (now Yemen) and Singapore.  Exposure to such different cultures and art forms at such a young age has clearly affected how she sees things at a deep level.  A few years ago, when she was working with transfers, and making cards, she saw some dichroic glass at a craft fair and was, as she says 'captivated'.  When an opportunity to take a course in glass work arose with Bill Robson, who sold his dichroic glass at Lock Warehouse, Jackie grabbed it with both hands!

Thanks to the gift of a kiln from her husband, she was soon making pieces that were snapped up by friends, and she started selling through Gloucester Arts & Crafts in May 2010, shortly after Helen Lomberg opened it in April of that year.  In June of this year, she added herself to By local, and the rest is history!  She makes a wide variety of pieces, from jewellery to delicate dishes, and continues to stretch the boundaries of her capabilities.

Cheltenham should be grateful to the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society, as it was when they took over the family business (a small, local building society) that Jackie and her husband moved to Gloucestershire, so without them, we wouldn't have the pleasure of Jackie's company, and charming work here in By Local!  Jackie lives with her husband and a small menagerie of 2 cocker spaniels and 3 cats, and has the privilege of a studio in one of their bedrooms - she only has to go upstairs to work, what an enviable commute!
Pictures cannot do justice to any glass work, as it is so dependent on light - do come into the shop and enjoy it for real!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Kathy Cooper. Ceramics with a personal touch.

When I was a child I loved to draw, sew, knit and make things from plasticine. When I first worked with clay I knew this was going to be a life-long passion. It was always my dream to make a living from making things.

I studied a Degree in Ceramics in Cardiff and have been involved in ceramics in some way ever since.
I worked for five years in a small pottery factory before going on to teach various adult pottery classes and being a pottery  technician .
Alongside all this I have always made my own work . Since 2008 I have been selling my own work full-time, designing and making a range of home accessories and gifts.

My inspiration comes from  childhood  memories, pattern in textiles, and visiting museums.  I am very interested in traditional pottery and craft techniques  and   keeping   these  skills  alive .
I work in a white earthenware clay and use underglaze colours and coloured slips and hand- made clay stamps to add decoration.

I want to make beautiful  hand-made products that are affordable and a pleasure to have in your home.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Susan Stayte's way with yarn

Happy to be back in Bylocal, particularly in the new location next to TK Maxx. I took a break from the shop over the Summer, to spend time with my family, walk Offa’s Dyke and make plenty of new stock.

My current work includes textile brooches and delicate scarves. My designs are made from very good quality yarns, often ‘lace weight’ and a wide range of beads. The flower brooches are made using combinations of crochet, corkwork and Japanese cording and usually feature beaded centres and extensions. I take care with the workmanship and aim to produce high quality decorative pieces in a variety of styles. The scarves are very fine, crocheted and subtly beaded and are sold with a co-ordinating brooch. Can’t wait for the chilly weather as an excuse to snuggle up in them!

I have just started an evening course on textiles, at Stroud College. I am hoping to learn some new techniques to keep my stock fresh and interesting, for both my customers and myself. Making the textile items is a real pleasure for me. New designs are queuing up in my head; thoughts of warm Autumn colours and of a little Christmas ‘bling’ evolve. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Art for all occasions by Ali Corder

I'm a recent graduate from a fine art degree at Spike Island in Bristol.
My style is eclectic with a touch of vintage and usually a smidgen of dark humour.
My work is mainly illustrative, but I like to illustrate an idea, so it always holds a story.

Having said this, in the last few years I have constructed a modern day freak show and a modern day
Punch and Judy show. I love mixing the past and present, it gives a real reflection as to how the world has changed.
I also take inspiration from parlour games, old wives tales and the proverbial wisdom of the superstition.
A lot can be learned from the stories we pass from generation to generation.

I have had many exhibitions over my time as a student, particularly around Stroud and Bristol but have recently started selling prints and cards and novelty gifts. I sell online at notonthehighstreet and Brighton Pod and at M.A.D.E (makers and designers emporium) in Cirencester and now the lovely Bylocal in my home town of Cheltenham!

I have a blog at