About the Artisans
We are delighted to be able to exhibit and offer for sale the ceramics, jewellery, leather bags and belts, wooden bowls, boards and furniture, textiles and candles of the talented craft-makers as profiled below.
These hand-crafted items are currently only available to personal shoppers in Forest Row. Although you can always contact us to discuss any item.
Katrina has been fascinated by the magical way a lump of clay can be transformed into a pot since she was first introduced to working with clay on the wheel at the age of eleven.
She graduated from Camberwell School of Art where she had the privilege of learning her craft from Takashi Yasadi, Colin Pearson and Ewen Henderson, whose work and teaching made a big impression on her.
Katrina tries to capture the essence of time in her work. Her glazes are highly textural, reminiscent of the kind of erosion and accumulation on objects found washed up on the beach. Indeed, one of her favourite activities is beach combing. Her forms are simple, opening, bud like vessels. All are thrown on the wheel and sometimes dented and distorted while still soft, giving them a human quality. Katrina continues to develop new colours and textures in her glazes and look for inspiration in her surroundings, on the beach and coastal landscapes.
Katrina is passionate about keeping the craft alive. She regularly exhibits and gives demonstrations and talks at events and art groups. She is also shares her passion through weekly throwing classes at her studio in Forest Row.
Topsy has been potting since 1998 and was trained by ex-Aldermaston potter, Mohamed Hamid, in Lewes, East Sussex. Her studio is in Lewes.
Topsy's hand-thrown pots are made from a white stoneware clay and decorated using a variety of glazes and decoration techniques. The glaze colours are derived from metal oxides or industrial stains. Fired to between 1260 and 1280 degrees C in an electric kiln, the vessels can be used in the oven and washed in a dishwasher.
Josie studied Art and design at Dyfed College of Art in South Wales. She has lived in the Weald of Kent for the last 29 years, spending much of her time bringing up four sons.
However, she has always maintained her creative output, working in textiles, sculpture, ceramics, life-drawing, painting and, for the last eight years making silver jewellery.
Her work is based upon her immediate (mostly natural) environment and day-to-day influences. Recent themes have included 'Paisley Patterns', 'Under the Sea' and even 'My Favourite Film.'
Lorraine is a natural born hands-on creative who, even as a child, would spend her pocket money on coloured candles that she could carve into tiny figures. In 1986 Lorraine decided to enrol herself in evening classes for Woodwork and Silversmithing. Wood work only lasted one term, but Silversmithing quickly became an obsession and it wasn't long before she had her own workshop at the bottom of the garden.
Over the next 5 years she managed to balance looking after her three children with hr need to create and gained qualifications in silversmithing, Jewellery Design, Jewellery Fabrication and Printmaking. Since then Lorraine has taken a number of steps to help her become the jeweller she is today. She has worked as a technician to help progress her technical skills, gained a level 3 teaching qualification, taken Master classes in printmaking, enamelling and stone-setting and set up a full-scale jewellery workshop at which she also exhibits and teaches jewellery making.
Having developed her own way of working, particularly with colouring aluminium, through years of experimentation, has led to her work being featured in several specialist books. Her jewellery is displayed and sold across the country. She is also a member of the prestigious Sussex Guild.
He has designed and crafted a wide range of cuff-links, which are unique to Simon Kemp Jewellers. They are cast in Birmingham and returned to his workshop in Redhill, Surrey, where Simon examines each piece and then removes certain parts of the gold layer to reveal the silver enhancing each item and drawing out the detail.
Simon's clients include the British Museum, Burlington Arcade, London Zoo and the National Trust of Scotland.
Lesley Taylor originally studied at Cordwainers College in London and has lectured in bag making and worked for herself and many premium brands, including Mulberry handbags, before moving into the saddlery industry.
She met Duncan Kent at Jeffries Saddlery and Brady Bags where he was CEO and they decided to form Taylor Kent & Co in 2012.
Lesley's inspiration comes from studying the construction of vintage leather accessories and working to develop new leathers with tanneries. Products are designed for their function and individuality, to age and develop further character depending on the lifestyle of the owner.
Using primarily English Equestrian leathers, Scottish canvas and wools, Taylor Kent and co design and make everything in their Worcestershire workshop using traditional methods. In addition to their own craft skills, they are passing their expertise on to two fantastic young apprentices.
Products range from belts and wallets to weekend bags and brief cases, with an equal focus on both men's and women's collections.
Vicky worked in the field of Theatre, Film and Dance, as a costume maker and latterly designer/maker, for over 14 years. She has made costumes for such film actors as Glen Close, Julia Roberts, and John Malkovitch. Her involvement in Dance has included work for: Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Royal Ballet Company and the Scottish Ballet. Her work has also featured in productions for The National Theatre, The Barbican Theatre, The Young Vic, and several West End productions.
Since 2002 she has continued working mainly in Textiles, as a designer and maker. Some of her extensive knowledge of garment construction have led to visual ideas on form and texture which feature in her recent designs for bags. "Shape has always played an important part in theatrical costumes and when making a costume, I have always used a layering technique which makes it strong and durable and this has influenced the technique which I apply to my handbag making".
Dennis is acknowledged as one of the country's most accomplished decorative wood turners.
Based in Norfolk he is a frequent 'guest' at the Sussex Guild shows. His love of wood and the use of colour and gilded finishes are reflected in a wide range of decorative plates, bowls and boxes.
He uses local white woods such as sycamore, holly, ash and maple to provide a three dimensional canvas for water soluble pigments and gilded finishes of gold, silver and copper.
Dennis uses a wide variety of techniques including hand painting, airbrushing and marbling together with texturing and engraving of metal leaf to achieve exceptional designs and finishes on each item.
Mark Beverton lives in Forest Row and has a workshop in Surrey which has been in the family for several generations. He designs and makes furniture to a very high standard using hand-picked Oak, Maple, Cherry and Cedar complimented by more exotic woods with their appealing colours and fragrances.
Often working to commission, he makes unique pieces as well as more everyday items like kitchens, book cases and small ornamental items.
Each item in the 'Segment and Tangent' range, some of which are exhibited in Rare Skills Gallery, is a tour de force of design and craftsmanship and look stunning from every angle.
Many hundreds of hours can go into producing a beautiful piece that is built to last and, akin to a work of art, will improve with age.
Burwood Boards was started by accident by Steph Kemp-Smith in 2011. She wanted a gift for the 'man who had everything', and was trying to find a rustic cheese board. She had the image in her head, but couldn't find the product to match it, so eventually, she bought a piece of wood, retired to the garage and made it herself.
The gift was a great success and Steph soon found she was being asked to make boards for other people. What attired as a one-off, slowly snow-balled into a part-time occupation and then into establishing Burwood Boards. It now has its own workshop in Essex and supplies a range of retailers such as Harrods and the White Company.
Steph met Simon when she was working as an operations manager at a Flying School and where he was Chief Helicopter Pilot. His earlier career, which involved steel fabrication and customer service, has brought an additional, hybrid set of skills to the company. Simon was also responsible for the name which stems from the burr oak, burr elm or burr sycamore timbers with the wonderfully wild grain and colour variations, that the company likes to use to make the weird and wonderful boards they specialise in.
Hand-made in Paddock Wood by Karen Sage, Gatehouse candles have a range of scented candle, room diffusers, sprays and melts that are at once luxurious and practical.
Karen uses top quality UK ingredients to ensure that her scented candles burn evenly and have a good strong scent that lasts the life of the candle.
Whether you are looking to create the perfect romantic environment, relax in a warm bath or mask the natural aromas of damp Labrador, there are six delightful fragrances to choose from in a variety of sizes and formats.
Karenza was born in Cornwall and spent 10 years in London working for a major retailer as a beauty and homeware buyer before bringing up two children.
Now based in North East Hampshire, she has maintained her love of retail, homeware and design by founding Karenza & Co.
Always intrigued by print, pattern, design, colour and authenticity, her passion for beautiful, handmade, useful and practical stationery and storage has grown into an obsession/business, loved by others who see things in a similar way.
Made from 100% recyled materials, their products are produced in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. Hand made by skilled craftsmen from hand-screen printed materials, they have an authentic, considered, high-quality and carefully crafted feel.
Grace Hill's stylish, eco stationery uses vibrant designs inspired by twentieth century textiles and wallpaper.
All the patterns and products are created in a small studio in Folkestone, Kent and are printed and finished throughout the British Isles by traditional, high-quality printers using recycled and natural materials.