CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER...by Niamh McCooey
‘Creatures and curiosities’ is how self-taught textile artist Lucy Brasher describes her whimsical creations. Born out of a love of classic folklore and fairy tales, Lucy’s handmade cloth characters appear as if they were once illustrations on a page, having just come to life. To make these fantastical dolls she uses reclaimed and vintage fabrics picked up on the trails of everyday activities (using parts of old leather coats and curtains, for example). Along with many other makers she’ll be bringing her collection to the contemporary Craft Festival in Britain's town of Bovey Tracey in Devon this weekend.
Originally trained in fine art and photography, Lucy studied in Bournemouth before venturing out on her own and experimenting with textiles in 2010. ‘Fabric is a forgiving and flexible medium to work with,’ she explains. ‘It can become anything it wishes, even if its life began as something else. An old jumper, an unloved leather jacket, a scrap of lace and an offcut of felt – in my mind these can become whimsical beings straight from the pages of a book you read as a child.’
Living and working in Brighton, Lucy splits her time between stitching in her home-studio and looking after her son (a presence that many might argue maintains a constant source of inspiration for her lively textile figures). As each one is full of its own playful nature and fresh design, the slight touch of the maker is not something that comes easily to the most seasoned of artisans, let alone the self-taught. In good company this weekend at the Contemporary Craft Festival, Lucy will be exhibiting her newest work alongside artisans such as designer Miesja Chafer and Selvedge’s own Jane Withers.
Taking place in Bovey Tracey’s Mill Marsh Park, the fair’s location is in one of the most craft-central areas in the UK, which at one point had up to 15 commercial potteries running in the area. When it was initially founded back in 2003, the fair’s aim was to showcase the best in British craft and to strengthen the market place for artisans and consumers alike, bringing prosperity to the town of Bovey Tracey. With a list of exciting makers taking part this year, we’re excited to see what the UK’s top contemporary crafters have to offer this weekend.
The Contemporary Craft Festival, 9 - 11 June 2017
Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9AU