The Design Drifters | Makers & Friends

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger evening at new designer maker pop-up shop, Makers & Friends, who have just launched on Upper Street in Angel. Although still a little under the weather, I was curious by the promise of a wire workshop and of course any chance to meet up with some of the lovely ladies who have until now only seen my Twitter and Instagram profile! 

This rather special travelling shop has been curated by the lovely Zen who is a creative herself. You can totally see this through the careful selection of the artisans involved and the delightfully pretty curation of the shop, its a pretty good first pit stop for the roving store. All of the designers involved bring their own something to the mix and it was extremely hard not to walk out with something from everyone involved! Expect to see the likes of geometric jewellery from Promises Promises,  gorgeous handmade soap from Stella Says Soap as well as an array of beautifully copper packaged beauty products from Isla Apothecary (bonus points for being vegan) on your visit.

I was particularly intrigued by the narrative behind Fine Cell Work, a social enterprise that teaches needlework to prisoners who then go on to create beautifully hand sewn cushions. I was attracted by some embellished pieces (I’m sorry for lack of pictures, I was not completely with it) but of course the story has sold me even more. Do take a look at some of the very tongue in cheek designs they have going on and help a prisoner or two out!

Another designer right up my street was Volpine. These wonderfully intricate designs work well so well on prints and I love the added detailing of the little diamonds and occasional pop of pink you might find when rummaging through. All of the designs are illustrated by Maria Sole Cortese and even more importantly they have also been transferred to the most luxurious of silk scarves, which are certainly a statement piece worth saving up for. It was a pleasure to talk to Maria about working and creating at the same time, I’m excited to see what is in store for her and the brand but in the meantime merci for the colour inspiration.

Now for the wire work! Zen happens to be brilliant at teaching a workshop or two and it was lovely to try something I probably hadn’t done since I was about ten, when every weekend was a crafty one and every christmas meant some kind of DIY jewellery making kit. After feeling a little overwhelmed by kinks and curls initially, I’m happy to say that actually I appear to be a dab hand at making my name out of wire and you can see the results of my practise and final necklace, party ring and all, just below!

Like my efforts? Want me to host your next wire jewellery workshop? I joke, get down to the Makers & Friends shop at 126 Upper Street, Angel and see all of the wonderful work for yourself. Zen may even be on hand to show you the tricks of the trade. It was so lovely to finally meet Natasha, Uli, Shelley & Annie – check out all of their blogs and if you’re really interested watch Natasha’s VLOG of the event below – WARNING. I make great faces. 

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