Q&A with The Makers

Here at Ikon, we aim to support both emerging and established artists and creatives. As a way of showcasing local makers, Ikon Gallery is hosting a Winter Craft Market on 14 December 4-8pm, with a late night opening of the galleries. This will be a perfect chance to find those last-minute Christmas presents, and you can enjoy 20% discount in Ikon Shop across a range of products.

Our Bookshop Assistant, Alice, had a chat with makers Erin and Madeline, ‘EEP Makes & Meeni’, to give us a sneak preview of what to expect from them at the Winter Craft Market.

Can you tell us a bit about what you create?

Erin: I am an illustrator, photographer, and textile artist. I like to make household items that are beautiful, simple, and useful. I love handwritten type and to play around with words with my drawings.

Madeline: I make textile and 3D mixed media pieces, illustrations and collages. I also create a range of embroidery kits that feature my designs.

What might people not know about you, your work or how you make it?

Erin: I am completely self taught and I really didn’t start making things until after I had children. I am inspired by folk art and naive crafts. I am inspired by people having to make things out of necessity. In my past life, I’ve studied psychology and computer science. I much prefer my current life as an artist.

Madeline: I am fascinated with re imagining and reusing items from different eras to make my work and many of the mixed media and collage pieces I create incorporate vintage, antique and reclaimed materials. Using these resources gives me the sense of bringing new life to the discarded and adding layers of history to my own work.


What lovely things will you be selling at the market? Is there anything in particular you think would make a perfect Christmas gift?

Erin: For this Winter Fair, I just wanted to sew by hand holiday ornaments that are simple, sweet, soft to the touch and have a hint of nostalgia. One of my favourite Christmas traditions is to collect a new ornament for the tree, either at a market or making it myself. I also have prints of my Brumland drawing, my small ode to Birmingham and Spaghetti Junction.

Madeline: I will be bringing a selection of items from my whole range including Christmas cards and decorations, framed collages, textile sculptures and embroidery kits. I think one of my textile sculptures would make someone a very special present.

Which other makers/artists/designers inspire you?

Erin: It’s very hard to narrow it down because I am inspired by so many people. I love the work of Carson Ellis, Lisa Congdon, Wes Anderson and Frida Kahlo. I adore Keri Smith, she really is a superhero of mine. I love her approach to living life authentically, staying curious, asking questions, finding art in everything. I am also so inspired by Maud Lewis, a lady who lived in the woods in Nova Scotia, stuck a sign on the road that said “Paintings For Sale” and was inspired by nature.

Madeline: Oh where to start? I could give you a very long list, there are so many wonderfully creative people out there inspiring me every day but here are just a few. I am a huge fan of Tove Jansson and admire all her work – illustrations, writing, paintings. I love the worlds that Julie Arkell creates, the paintings of Beatriz Milhazes, sculptures of Niki Saint Phalle and pretty much everything produced by Elisabeth Dunker and Fine Little Day.

Describe yourself in 5 words?

Erin: Quiet, anxious, over-thinker, dreamer, busy.

Madeline: Hmm, I asked friends and family for help with this one and they said inquisitive, compassionate, nostalgic, whimsical, persistent.


Come along and have a chat with our makers at the Winter Craft Market on 14 December, 4-8pm.

Ikon Shop stocks a range of items from local makers and designers – shop online for some gift guide inspiration.

All profits support Ikon.



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