Clear the diary for Living Crafts
Spring fayres, craft markets and shopping in general - how we've missed them! Great news then that Living Crafts is returning to Hatfield Park in June for its (wait for it…) 47th festival. Scrap books at the ready? Read on for what to expect at this four-day crafty extravaganza.
Love craft and all things handmade? Check out this one-stop creative shop showcasing the talents of hundreds of acclaimed designer-makers from across the UK.
The Living Crafts flagship event is coming back to the fabulous grounds of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 June (that’s a Father’s Day gift sorted then – how about a unique handcrafted design or a workshop for Stone Carving or Longbow making?)
Pick up beautiful and contemporary pieces, handmade jewellery, unique gifts and artisan homewares that will get all your friends talking. And choose from dozens of inspirational workshops and demos (fancy a go at marbling, calligraphy or clay sculpture?).
They’ve got Covid safety covered too, so there’s no excuse not to pop in. See you there!
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 for as long as I can remember! We’re thrilled to be returning to the beautiful grounds of Hatfield House this year with such a variety of master craftsmen and women.
It sounds intriguing, tell us more?
In short? Handmade heaven. It’s a four-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 Hatfield House. There’ll be original 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 willow weaving.
What stalls and artisans can we expect to see?
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 as well as supporting 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, 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 skill. Craft a silver pendant, marble a silk scarf or even make your own longbow.
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 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 master classes including glass-blowing 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 I’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.
Sounds like thirsty work, takes 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 concert bands in the sunshine.
Is it inside or outside? And how can we get to it?
The event takes place in large pavilions on the showground and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Hatfield Park is a beautiful setting and easy to find, the event is fully sign-posted, or just pop AL9 5AE. into your sat nav
Where else will Living Crafts be happening around the country?
Hatfield is our flagship event but for the first time we’re also coming to Cirencester Park in the heart of the Cotswolds, over the Bank Holiday from 29-31 May. It’s a real creative hub with a quintessentially British backdrop – the perfect combo for the launch of a new show.
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, with a one-way browsing system and layout that allows for social distancing, plus there’ll be hand-sanitiser stations at various points. Further Stay Safe – Covid 19 information is available here.