Think of Brighton and Hove and you’ll likely think of pastel-coloured, decorative railings, the magnificence of the wide, blue sea on your doorstep and a lively city where there’s always something happening.
There’s also a community of Brighton creatives that I feel honoured to call myself a part of. It’s a group that’s endlessly supportive and inspiring, hidden away in studios all over the city.
In 2019 I was invited to join Brighton’s Pop Up Makers. Founded by Amanda Doughty in 2017, the idea is to create a pop up shop where you can meet a small group of designers and makers firsthand and see their work.
The Pop Up Makers is about believing in the value of great design and making with your hands. It’s about sustainability and creating something that’s useful and incredibly beautiful at the same time. Showcasing everything from resin jewellery to sustainable basketry, it was a great event that reflected the love and passion each of these makers puts into their work.
Read on to discover the Brighton creatives that help to make the heart of this city beat.
Amanda makes contemporary jewellery for men and women that’s bold, confident and wearable. With strong, architectural forms and hidden, precious stones, Amanda works mainly to commission as well as selling to selected UK galleries.
Anna used to cut patterns for the high street before turning to work with leather in her Hove studio. With the highest standard of handmade craftsmanship she makes bags that fit and fold around the body, loved by fashionistas and fellow artisans alike.
Endlessly inspired by folk art, designer Emma Carlow will knit, sew, use paper, clay or anything else that takes her fancy. Formerly a high street designer of children’s products, her work is colourful, lively and full of character.
Angular architecture and a gorgeous, understated colour palette is the basis for Emma’s ceramics. Often stacking and always perfect in shape, colour and form, these are pieces that fit the modern kitchen perfectly.
Kathie’s unique jewellery pieces come in a kaleidoscope of stunning colours which merge seamlessly into one another. A teacher, author and maker for over 3 decades, Kathie’s work is featured in international collections across the UK.
Ken’s much-loved bird vases and shapely earthenware is alive with colour and pattern. With a background in textiles, Ken has turned his hand to make functional ceramics striking and great fun.
Ruth Martin’s world is one of extraordinary miniature books, old-world charm and enchanting illustrations. Her work is held in the collection of Tate Britain and has been exhibited all over the UK and abroad.
Immersed in a world of basketry, Sarah works with different materials to mend old basket work, make new, sustainable baskets and run a range of weaving courses at her studio. She sells her work at different craft and maker shows around the UK.
Nicki Tarr brings old chairs back to life in a range of graphic prints and patterns. Using natural, biodegradable materials and traditional techniques, Nikki transforms forgotten-about furniture to keep British craftsmanship alive.
We’re all looking forward to the time when we can get back out in person, show our work in real life and meet the people who support us face to face. In the meantime, I hope you’ll visit these Brighton creatives virtually and support them in bringing so much character and craftsmanship to our brilliant city.