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Clear the diary for Living Crafts

Spring fayres, craft markets and shopping in general - how we've missed it. But Living Crafts is coming to Cirencester! Read on for what to expect at this terrific, three-day crafty extravaganza.

Love craft? Well how about a one-stop creative and shopping experience showcasing the talents of hundreds of acclaimed designer-makers from across the UK? Sounds good right?

Living Crafts is making its first appearance at the spectacular Bathurst Estate in Cirencester from Saturday 29th May to Monday 31st May (that’s Bank Holiday sorted then).

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Shop with style and choose beautiful contemporary craft, handmade jewellery, unique gifts and artisan homewares that’ll have all your friends wondering how you developed such exquisite taste. There will be dozens of inspirational workshops and demos (fancy a go at marbling, feltmaking, stone carving or willow weaving?) from simple, fun activities to challenges that will get you hooked.

There will be one-way browsing with a layout to allow for social distancing, plus hand-sanitiser stations, so no excuses to not pop into this brilliant three-dayer.

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We caught up with Julie Jenner, event organiser and craft-lover to find out more.

Hello Julie, how did Living Crafts come about?

Living Crafts has been our well-established family business for many years now, and my brother Robin and I have been involved as long as I remember! We are approaching our 50th anniversary this year and are thrilled to be launching a new event with the beautiful backdrop of Cirencester Park.

It sounds intriguing, tell us more?

In short? Handmade heaven. It’s a three day festival of contemporary British craft. You can come and enjoy a creative shopping experience and a day out for all the family in the iconic parkland of Cirencester Park. There’ll be original designed British craft to buy, you can watch designer-makers demonstrating their skills or have a go at making your own masterpiece in one of the workshops. Get creative and try everything from chocolate making to macramé.

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What stalls and artisans can we expect to meet?

Our makers come from all over the UK and plenty of local craft talent will be showcased. We carefully vet our exhibitors so you can shop with confidence and buy or even commission the very best of British craft and support small, independent businesses. You’ll be spoilt for choice from sculpture and silver jewellery to contemporary ceramics and studio glass and more.

We’re in! How do we book a workshop?

The event will be buzzing with workshops, some are drop-in sessions you can join on the day while others can be pre-booked here at Living Crafts. Willow will be woven, limestone carved, clay sculpted and felt rolled as visitors get creative and try a new craft. Craft a silver pendant, marble a silk scarf or even make your own longbow.

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OK, we love craft … but we’re rubbish at it! Does it matter?

A love of crafts is all you need! Whatever your skill level, everyone from the complete novice to the more creatively inclined can make a masterpiece in our have-a-go workshops. They are led by friendly experts in a fun and relaxed setting with all tools and materials supplied.

What will be the highlights of the show for you?

I’m really looking forward to watching the craft masterclasses, including glassblowing demos as molten glass is transformed in front of your eyes into stunning coloured contemporary studio glass. I probably won’t be able to resist adding to my collection of glass! Which workshop to choose? I’m going to be spoilt for choice, maybe I’ll weave a willow wigwam for my garden now that the sun has come out, and ‘ve always wanted to learn how to pipe my own chocolate ganache in the chocolate making workshop. I am intrigued to see Peter King’s bold, dreamy metal sculptures in the Sculpture Spectacular with their large botanical themed pieces and the kinetic weather vanes with amazing quirky designs.

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Sounds like thirsty work, take us to the Refreshment Tent!

Funny you should mention that – we’ll be serving up Pimms, ice creams, entertainment and much more if you need to refuel. Don’t miss artisan food producers in the Food and Drink Pavilion and around the showground. Take your pick from morning coffee & cakes and lunches, cream teas from the Vintage Tea Tent, wood-fired hand made pizzas, vegetarian options and a salad bar. Relax with the festival vibe and listen to jazz and swing bands in the sunshine.

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Is it inside or outside? And how can we get to it?

The event takes place in covered pavilions on the showground and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Cirencester Park is easy to find, the event is fully sign-posted, or just pop GL7 6JT into your sat nav.

Why Cirencester for the first time ever, and where else will Living Crafts be around the country?

Cirencester is in the heart of the Cotswolds, a real creative hub and Cirencester Park is such a quintessential British backdrop, the perfect combo to launch a new show. Our flagship event will be taking place at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire from 17 – 20 June, 2021 if you want more!

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How is the event going to be Covid-safe?

Living Crafts has been awarded the Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark and we will be ensuring that the event is as safe as possible for everyone attending from one way systems to hand sanitiser stations. Further Stay Safe – Covid 19 information is available here.

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