In response to the spread of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus), and in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and partners, Ikon Gallery is closed until August. Reopening date to be announced soon.

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Winter Craft Market: Meet the Makers

Join us for our annual Winter Craft Market on Thursday 12 December, 5.30-8.30pm, expanded over both floors of the gallery. Take the opportunity to meet a range of local independent makers, with artisan food and drink alongside stalls selling jewellery, gifts, cards and books plus music from the Diskery and 20% off in Ikon Shop.

We got in touch with a few of our stallholders to learn a little more about their work.

Jo Plimmer creates natural imagery using cyanotypes for her Hidden Light Photography

The cyanotypes are made using a process first discovered in the 1800’s. The technique hasn’t really changed much since then! It involves coating paper in specific chemicals that are light sensitive. This is where the term ‘blueprint’ was born. The paper, once dry can then be used to create the blue images using UV light, or as most people know it, the sun! By placing an object on the paper and exposing it to light, the uncovered area turns blue and the paper covered by the object, stays white. The equipment involved is minimal but each piece of work is 100% unique. I like to use natural objects such as leaves, flowers and feathers to create my images and I use the paper dry, which creates the sharp blue and white images and also wet, which creates the more painterly images. When using the paper wet I spritz it with water then sprinkle on things such as salt, spices and coffee to create the abstract patterns. The added ingredients disrupt the chemicals on the paper and it’s all about experimentation! 

The place I get my biggest inspiration from is nature. She is the surely the best artist? Whenever I go out anywhere that’s surrounded by flowers, plants and trees, I am always on the hunt for things that I can press in my homemade flower press to use in my work. The process of making a cyanotype is hands on and by using objects that I’ve found; things provided by nature, I feel it only enhances the unique element of the work. I can use the same leaf several times but each piece will be different. It reflects the ever changing beauty of nature and all she has to offer.


Josefina Flello Martinez is all things Atypical Thing. A one person Jewellery company, she designs, makes, promotes and sells the products.

I tend to use the abstraction of shapes that I find all around me. I’m hugely inspired by the shapes found in the windows within the jewellery quarter in Birmingham. I collage using papers and experiment with colour to create the theme of my collections. I then begin to work in my final chosen materials. It all began after I quit my full time job in 2017 and decided to pursue my dream. My first market was around two years ago now – and I was terrified. I now look forward to each and every event. It’s a way of me interacting with my customers, gaining feedback and generally meeting the people that buy and wear my products. 

I am very much inspired by modernist jewellery and the movement itself. Modernism jewellery was all about using innovative materials and changing what was perceived as high end jewellery at the time. They would use copper and silver rather than gold! So artists like Alexander Calder, Art Smith, Margaret De Patta are all major influences in my inspiration and design now. I can’t believe how far the scene has grown in the past few years and its only going to continue to grow. One thing about Brums creative scene is how supportive everyone is of each other! Which is amazing!

 

SOOK Ltd is all about delicious and healthy sweets and snacks made from organic ingredients and is run by Sukhy Dosanjh Lally.

I’m a small business and set up in January 2019 after retiring on ill health from a career in the NHS of 20 years. During my journey to manage my fibromyalgia and many other health conditions I learnt that refined sugars and artificial sweeteners were aggravating my symptoms.  I eliminated these from my diet and became creative and started making my own treats…this is when SOOKS was born.

I hand make sweet treats using quality organic ingredients.  They are free from refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, gluten, dairy, soya and palm oil. They are beautifully presented in recyclable / biodegradable packaging and come in a slab so you decide the size of your portion.

I attended my first event on 27th January 2019 and haven’t looked back.  I’m so in awe of all those super talented and skilled creative people and love the creative makers’ scene.

 

Larissa & Aimee Shaw are sisters working collaboratively to run a small jewellery business.

Everything is handmade by us, using 100% sterling silver and glass. We take into account who our jewellery may be suitable for, including customers with all skin tones and hair colours, for different types of ear piercings, and for women, men and non-binary customers, so that we can make something that will hopefully complement everyone.

 This is our first year on the market scene for our collaborative jewellery project. We started making glass jewellery through wanting to do and make something together. We hope we can at least profit double what we have spent on our materials so that we can continue to buy more materials and develop thinking about how else we can work together. 

 We draw our inspirations from the increasing ease of sourcing different kinds of glass materials. We like shapes, bright colours, and accidents. Our biggest inspirations are the colours and pattern of birds of paradise and the pigmentation and reflectiveness of exotic beetles. We try to imitate these characteristics in our jewellery. We are both keen to become more involved in the makers scene across the midlands, and would also warmly welcome any jeweller or glass maker’s advice!

 

Dionne Robert is the founder of Declog Body Mind, a small business looking to become a social enterprise.

Dionne is a regular on the market scene; promoting healthy body’s and minds with her massages and yoga. Drawing on the seasons, festivities and healing themes that will evoke personal growth and spiritual development.

For the Winter Craft Market I will be providing an Indian Head Massage on an onsite massage chair.  The massage covers the back, arms, neck, head and shoulders.  At a no fix price, it will be accessible for everyone.  

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