Pop-up 'Handmade Market' returns to Norfolk coast this weekend
- Credit: Puffin Cove
This summer Bluebirds Handmade Market has been showcasing the talents of East Anglian creatives on Gorleston seafront.
From jewellery and ceramics to luxury candles, upcycled homewares and much more, the events feature a thoughtfully curated mixture of makers and small businesses.
The last market of the summer is being held this weekend, on Sunday, August 29, from 10am to 4pm.
The gatherings are run by Zoe and Aaron Lawn, who started Bluebirds Handmade Market as a small event in their local village hall to support local makers.
"East Anglia has a wealth of incredibly talented makers, designers, artists and craftspeople and we are passionate about supporting and promoting them," says Zoe.
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"The first market was really well attended and after that event, makers were contacting us, asking us when the next one would be.
"Since then we have gone from strength to strength. Before the pandemic we were hosting three big markets a year: spring, summer and Christmas at a variety of venues."
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During the lockdown they moved online.
“We had a great time organising virtual markets on Instagram but it’s fabulous to be back with real life events," says Zoe.
“We love the buzz of a market; to chat to the makers, see all their gorgeous products on display and see lots of customers enjoying themselves and, of course, making purchases."
As lockdown lifted, Zoe and Aaron were asked to host some events in Pier Gardens on Gorleston seafront by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
"We curate our markets so we take applications, then decide on a selection of vendors to ensure quality and variety," says Zoe.
“Visitors to Bluebirds are guaranteed to find an eclectic collection of beautifully handcrafted, contemporary gifts including ceramics, artworks, illustrations, clothing, jewellery, homewares, prints, cards, luxury skincare, toys, decor, candles, photography, textiles and loads more!"
Their favourite venue is the Royal Assembly Rooms on Great Yarmouth seafront, and they'll be returning there later this year for their Christmas markets on November 14 and December 5.
"We are so lucky to have a fantastic, supportive community of makers on Instagram and it is always amazing to be able to host events and bring everyone together," says Zoe.
“Everyone always comments on what a lovely, friendly atmosphere there is and stall holders and customers alike are always keen to know when the next event is!"
The makers and small businesses taking part this weekend are:
Pretty Cactus Plants
Cacti and houseplants.
Down Bailey Lane
Handmade decorative items for nurseries and children’s rooms.
Lise Marie Prints
Hand painted beeswax candles, reclaimed glass and homewares, plus greetings cards and more.
Wild Wax Melts
Handmade fragrant wax melts.
Andrea Wright Designs
Artisan handmade jewellery.
Eco friendly gifts and homewares made from salvaged timber and vintage paper.
Ceramic tealight houses, wax burners, decorative items and earrings.
Fantasy comic sketch art.
Widget and the Peas
Hand painted wooden characters.
Seaside and nature inspired homewares. accessories and stationery.
Photography and cyanotype prints.
Children's baking sets, bags and baby blankets.
Hand carved wooden items from reclaimed furniture and stained glass decorations and jewellery made using Norfolk wildflowers.
Handmade hair accessories, party and home décor.
Art and needlefelt pieces.
Customised embroidered clothing and accessories.
Reclaimed wood pieces.
The Flora Candle Company
Soy wax candles, hand poured in small batches.
To find out more, including how to apply for their Christmas events, go to their Instagram page, @bluebirds_handmade_market
Something old...something new
Aaron Lawn will be among the stallholders on Sunday. He crafts beautiful and useful household and decorative items made from reclaimed and recycled wood.
He worked as a builder and hated seeing the waste on building sites, so started making homewares from the off-cuts. He set up his business, Salvaged Norfolk, in 2018.
He gets the timber from a variety of places: house demolitions, building sites, pallets and wood that would otherwise be discarded.
His most popular items are test tube vases, bottle openers and wax melt burners, which are made with a wooden block and vintage spoons.
“It’s a lovely feeling and incredibly rewarding to know that an old piece of wood that may have been destined for landfill or the bonfire has been transformed into something beautiful that people want to have and display in their homes,” says Aaron.
“I am always thinking of new ideas for things to create and I love the whole process.”
And currently, Aaron is getting ready for Christmas.
“It seems crazy to say that in August, but it’s true,” he says. “Last year we made Christmas trees from pallet wood and they were really popular, so we will be making more of those as well as all our favourite items.”
Follow Salvaged Norfolk on Instagram @salvagednorfolk