Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Handmade Arcade First Birthday Bash!

Well, last Saturday was Handmade Arcade's first birthday and for the occassion the sun actually shone - we had some great stalls, some astounding music and as always some almighty indie art from local makers!

It's been a whole year since we re-launched the NGNG shop and launched the small but mighty Handmade Arcade. It's been great to see over the past year how much the community has come together and supported itself to grow - Handmade Arcade is a really DIY art fair and it rely's on motivated individuals to make it happen and spread the word each time around, we're really lucky to be surrounded by people who make stuff happen!

We decided that McCoys Arcade needed a little bit of a brighten up to mark the day, and so I got to work making the whole place as colourful as possible with the limited supplies to hand. A lot of people thought I'd gone a little mad when I turned up with beetroot stained hands from frantically dyeing paper plates - what can I say - the winter blues weather is totally getting to me. Admittedly I had strayed a little wayward from my intended theme (which was some take on a mad hatters tea party) but luckily had so many neighbourly traders congratulate me on my "Mexican" theme. I humbly accepted their remarks ditched the top-hat and began making plans for a Frida Kahlo costume.

A day of ladder climbing led to a rainbow arcade!

As everyone got set for the day we grabbed a few snapshots of stalls...

An intriguing selection of ingenious work from Kidnapped Cats (not a charity - rumoured to be a new band). I predict good things for the future for Ollie Jillings as an artist/inventor/barrister whose creativity is clear to see....

 The Kidnapped Cats technique? Tip-Ex on photographs - creating brilliant, sophisticated humour on things you can post to your friends. Kidnapped Cats postcard sets are now available in the NGNG shop!

 Claire (founder of Good Golly Miss Molly now run by Cassie Leicester) also made these toasty faux fur stoles and some charming earrings and hair slides.

Common Goals Jack came along to showcase some rad new charity tees - The Xcerts tee was designed by Xcerts drummer Tom Heron, as usual all profits from the sale of these t-shirts benefit the bands chosen charity. In this case the charity chosen is The Marfan Trust, funding research into the cause and prevention of Marfan Syndrome after the band lost a great friend to the disease late last year. The design is a homage to H. G Wells, The Invisible Man as well as to comic artists like Dave Gibbons and John Romita. You can read an interview with Tom on the Common Goals website as well as find out about all the great things Common Goals have been doing lately. Also be sure to check out the new red ink on grey version of The Arteries Tees which have raised £270 for the Mumbles Lifeboat Assosiation! help them raise more by picking up a tee for yourself.

The Spirit Forge had a great selection of handmade and designed wiccan wonders - we were rather taken by their Scarab pendants, whose re-birth message is alway's relevant at Handmade Arcade - Abi and Leon spend their days crafting and sculpting away as well as helping out with local project The Magic Carpet who aim to empower, support and encourage those with learning difficulties or mental health problems through making doing and seeing. Abi has also been spotted doing a lot of painting recently so keep an eye out for some colourful pictures at Handmade Arcade soon! 

Colourful Cadavers covered a stall and are the handiwork of Barry John, whose work is so full of mystery and intrigue, his colourful paintings adorn these skulls hand crafted by Barry.

It was great to see Gingerface and her brilliantly decorated and colourful Polymer jewellery, Steampunk inspired tapers and earrings with such detail and form. lovely!

Heather Sherwood came from the forest to sell her hand dyed sheep coats. We all know how valuable those winter woollies have been so far this year and what better way to wrap up warm then in a brightly coloured scarf made by the hand spun wool from Little Owl Crafts!

Helena Coard and Nic Farrell - travelled from far and wide (well London and Devon) to be re-united by their work at Handmade Arcade! They came with such a great collection of illustrated cards, prints and handmade notebooks, that we asked them to leave a few things behind in the NGNG shop - pop in and have a look at what we picked up or take a peek at their online shops for more from this industrious duo!

Sarah McDonald gave us a little peek at what may be available at the next Handmade Arcade - "May the Fourth Be With You!" Sarah is a very clever lady who paints on a lot of different surfaces. Her latest being vinyl clocks - which can be made to order!

Toe tapping jams were provided by reputed band the brilliant Zazou Cowboys whose hillbilly jazz took the vintage vibe of the arcade and wrapped it up in sunny sounds from a cherished era. The double bass  and violin caused some legs to shake for sure!

Those pesky Skull Kids entertained us with some awesome sounds, the band constantly swaps and changes  they then went on to play at the Phonicon warm up event at the Phoenix that night!

More music could be heard at the Exeter Local Records stall - whose growing collection now includes a whole host of NEW LOCAL MUSIC!

Local artist and maker Ruvina has been busy not only crafting unique fabric brooches, which she actually genuinely gets sad about selling as she puts so much care into making them!

 She has also been busy painting - it seems that spring(?) would be the time for this. Ruvina is also learning how to make lace - the ancient craft which takes so much time and care to create such a small square of intricately made woven treasure. A guilty pleasure and time taken away to learn a lost craft - I think this is pretty admirable - she says she is the only person in her class under 50! We're all way too obsessed in creating things so quickly nowadays! She also made these button badges (to go with the Mad Hatters Tea Party theme) which were great!

We were also super happy to have Alternative Robot in the Arcade to make a little film about the day - look out for that pretty soon!
Thanks to everyone for making our first birthday pretty special! Come and see us soon and remember to support local independent projects - let's keep things interesting!

Pop in to the NGNG shop soon! And be ready for news of the next Handmade Arcade!!


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