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  • Hi, I'm looking at making gladstone or carpet bags from all sorts of fabrics. Does anyone know of good quality bag frame manufacturers and/or wholesalers in or outside of the UK? Much googling has brought up info for fittings for leather bags and buckles, but not much else except for one 12" tubular frame from one site. I want to order many and I don't want to be limited to the tubular frame inserted into the fabric. I've seen all sorts of frame designs on bags in the shops from metal to fake bakelite ones, so they must be available, but where do I get them from?!
    29 Dec '07 - 2.57pm
  • Hi there, don't know if you or any of your members can help. In December 1990 my husband and I attended a victorian craft fair in Winsford, Cheshire where we purchased a large ride on wooden train made by Ketkuti-Line Toys of Lincolnshire. At the time we were undergoing IVF treatment and optimistically bought this for our hoped for child.
    We didn't succeed in becoming parents and the train has spent the past 17 years in our attic.

    We now wish to pass this on to our nephew's family but we no longer have the assembly instructions. As the train was multi functional i.e. could be ride on, sit in or push along, the assembly process is not easy to determine without the intructions.

    We have tried to contact the seller, but the contact details are no longer valid.

    We would be very grateful to anyone who could help.

    Many thanks
    Christina Power
    6 Dec '07 - 10.31pm
  • Hello
    I'm looking for some advice. I'm looking for somebody that can do original fabric painting and quilting. i'm not sure if anybody can do this on a long term basis and how much this will cost. Any suggestions and advice would be great.
    12 Nov '07 - 4.09pm
  • Hi
    just looking for some advice please. Booked a craft show last year and paid a deposit with the balance to follow so many weeks prior to show.

    Unfortunately I had to cancel so posted a cancellation letter by Recorded Delivery on 6th Sept I was well within the time limit for cancellations (nearly 5 weeks before the cut off date). Yesterday received a letter from the Organiser saying that they haven't received any notification from me and I am now liable to pay the oustanding balance to them.

    I'm upset as I did everything by the "book", I have my little orange Recorded Delivery slip with their address and date stamp. They are demanding payment, but even if I send payment I'm still not entitled to that space.
    I've tried emailing using several address but all are bouncing back, also tried to fax but it just rings.

    Sorry to waffle on but wondered where I stand legally.
    Any help and advice would be really really appreciated!
    20 Oct '07 - 4.10pm
  • I've been reading about 'craft holidays' - such as going to Kazakhstan to meet and learn from traditional felt makers, or going to India to see weavers and dyers. Does anyone have any experience of these sort of holidays?
    18 Oct '07 - 8.43pm
  • It is my ambition in the future to open my own gallery. I am trying to gather as much information as possible and I would appreciate any information regarding contracts for sale or return items. I think I need an Opening a Gallery for Dummies book. Any advice would be welcome.
    9 Sept '07 - 9.03pm
  • Hello everyone,
    My message is similar to the one previously left by Ellie, as I too would like to learn. I am hoping to teach myself and I wondered if anybody could tell me of any good books for a novice on bench Jewellery?! I would appreciate and welcome any advice or guidance!
    A part time job may be handy too in the London area to try and build up my knowledge on the trade! But I think that is me hoping and asking too much!!!
    Thank you.
    21 Aug '07 - 11.38am
  • I'm looking for a change of career and am really interested in Jewellery making. How can I get into the trade without having to do a 3 year course at Uni? Can i teach myself? Or is there anyone out there willing to take on an eager apprentice? (Preferably around the Warwickshire area but anywhere will ultimately be great!)
    20 Aug '07 - 11.49am
  • Hi I make jewellery but also work full time - i intend to sell to galleries and the public do I have to register as a small business with the Tax Man?

    Anybody know how it works - thanks guys.
    6 Aug '07 - 9.23am
  • Hi, I'm looking for transparent bags that I can put individual embroidered cushions in for storage. Any suggestions? Also, can anybody recommend any soft furnishing workshops or courses. Many thanks. Bea
    2 Aug '07 - 11.30am
  • Hi all
    Does anyone know a supplier of the plastic credit card inserts to use in wallets etc? I've drawn blanks with all my usual suppliers of leather & metal work for bags / luggage.
    Many thanks
    24 July '07 - 7.44am
  • Hi, I know this is probably a less serious offence than people stealing your own design ideas, (as discussed in a previous thread) but I found the inability to stop people grabbing your pictures from the web and using them on their own website without permission very annoying and frustrating. Recently I've found out that one of my "online competitors" has "pinched" one of my pictures from my site and uses it as an icon for one of her shop categories. I politely wrote to them asking not to use the picture, but while they admitted the picture was not theirs and agreed to take it off, the picture it is still there (after three weeks) and I don't seem to have much power to make things change.

    I'm probably overreacting as my picture admittedly has no intrinsic value (being just of some suede thongs!), nonetheless, I found it frustrating that people should think that because something is published on the web they can just help themselves to it without even asking.

    I've since reluctantly added a watermark with my logo to all my images, but I don't really like this solution as I think it ruins the appearance of the pictures and makes me look a bit paranoid.

    I guess I just have to accept that web thieves exist and look on the bright side and be pleased that one of my pictures (which I considered of mediocre quality) had such an appeal on someone else that they just couldn't resist using it! .... how sad...

    22 July '07 - 11.11am
  • Formulae for calculating commission

    Does anyone know if there is a formula for calculating the cost you would need to charge for an item if selling through a gallery so that you make something like the gallery commision in return? I've just realised, a little late I'll admit, that items I'm selling net the gallery far more money than I'm making in profit. Whilst I appreciate that they have overheads, it makes some of my products unviable for selling through a gallery for the tiny return. In fact, if I have to post or deliver I would not make anything if they only sold a few items.
    I suppose this is the age old question of how do I price my work so I see a reasonable return. Has anyone a magic calculation they use?
    6 July '07 - 4.28pm
  • I am becoming increasingly concerned about some supermarkets and retailers not accepting cheques. Is the bank cheque going to become obsolete? I do hope not. I am concerned that consumers might get out of the habit of carrying their cheque books. So what happens when you're at a craft fair and your customer has not enough cash? People don't carry cash these days either. They rely on their credit or debit cards. Cheque book? The problem is without cash or cheque book the customer will not be able to purchase my product.
    5 July '07 - 12.13pm
  • Any idea what to say to customers who are blatant about their intent to steal your ideas? I've just come back from 2 days trading where I got mightily sick of hearing people say 'Oh, that's a brilliant idea, I'm going to pinch that'. I had one woman whip out a camera and say I'm just going to take a photo so I can remember how to do it! Obviously I don't want to be rude but I was pretty angry at the way people were so open about stealing my ideas. I felt like putting up a sign saying 'Free information point for the Creatively Deficient' Grrr.
    2 July '07 - 9.27am
  • Hi everyone, i am new to this and could really do with some advice. I design and make my own handbags and was just wondering if they would sell well at craft fairs and if not what would be the best events to sell them at?
    Please help!
    27 June '07 - 10.01am
  • Hello,
    I am starting a new business and I am looking for a used Fudge Kettle. Does anyone know of where I might be able to find one or does anyone have one for sale?
    Thank you so much!
    8 June '07 - 12.52am
  • Do you think making and selling your own Craft can only be a hobby? Is it possible to earn a decent income from craft? Are some crafts more lucrative than others? To make a reasonable living, I've noticed many makers have to supplement their income by running workshops or teaching. I'd like to know if anyone is making money out of designing, making and selling their own craft?
    A painter friend of mine employed a joiner to fix her door. He charged her £10 an hour. As an experienced painter, she decided she would charge £10 an hour (or try) for her paintings. How many craft workers can honestly say they get £10 hourly rate for their labour? Not many I should imagine.
    Someone else, I know, worked flat out for a whole year but was bitterly disappointed when her year-end profit was only £5000. She was working hard and therefore earning more or so she thought. She felt like giving up altogether.
    Do craft workers do it for the love of it then? Are most craft people retired and therefore happy to earn pin money? If the money is not there, perhaps the lifestyle is the attraction? What about the post graduates who are starting out trying to run a small business? How do they make it pay and pay off their student loans?
    Has anyone got any comments or answers
    7 June '07 - 8.45pm
  • Hello
    I am looking for a permanent full time position as a jewellers assistant or jewellery design assistant. I am 25 and have just completed a City & Guilds in Jewellery at Sir John Cass. I have a portfolio of designs and pieces and would re-locate for the right position. If anyone knows of any vacancies I would appreciate it if you could get in contact.
    Thank you.
    7 June '07 - 5.35pm
  • I have a stand at a show coming up in june, and will be able to accept only cash and cheques. I can't quite remember when accepting cheques what to look for and how to cover yourself if the cheque bounces - is it just the card number and expiry date that you write on the back of cheque?

    Any info would be great thanks!
    20 May '07 - 7.03pm
  • Hello,
    After many years of making life like flower jewellery out of polymer clay I would like to branch out into silk flower making. Unfortunately, it is a rare craft this days. Could anybody suggest any books, courses, teachers and equipment suppliers for this craft? I am particularly interested in Japanese set of soldering irons with special copper ball attachments for shaping petals and leaves. I would be interested in buying old tools for this craft. Are there websites which I missed?
    I hope you can help.
    14 May '07 - 12.40pm
  • Hi everyone.
    I hope someone out there can help. I project manage a non-profit, community art/craft organisation. We teach, amongst other things, silversmithing for jewellery making. We are desperate to get hold of a manual mini rolling mill, and wondered if anyone out there knows of anyone wanting to get rid of one? Also while i am on this message board, we are also looking for a small kiln for firing PMC. We would very very much appreciate any assistance or ideas, as our budgets are extremely limited, but the students are extremely keen (and good for that matter), and these items would assist them greatly.
    Thank you
    13 May '07 - 5.11pm
  • Hi there, I make jewellery (groan I know!) and have been asked to repair an elasticated bracelet for someone. Being my first time using elastic I am really finding it tricky to get the knot to hold, it just keeps coming undone. Am I being stupid and is there some kind of obvious method that will hold the knot fast? Please help!
    10 May '07 - 11.14am
  • Hi, I have a question about selling designs. I make silver jewellery and have been approached by a member of my craft group with regards to taking some of my pieces to show her company. She thinks the company would be interested in taking on my designs for mass production. This leaves me with the dilemma of selling the design or not. How do I find out what is a reasonable price for a design, and is it possible to continue to make the original myself (assuming the company will probably what to make some changes). Thanks for any answers and advice. Becca.
    7 May '07 - 9.42pm
  • I am looking for a handbag maker to make some handbags for me using fabric I design. I am a textile designer. The person must be in the U.K. preferably the south east of England.
    Any help will be most appreciated.
    24 Apr '07 - 10.54am
  • Does anybody know where I can buy small leather offcuts in lots of different colours?
    23 Apr '07 - 1.45pm
  • Someone has suggested that my work might be very popular in Holland & Germany. I have no idea how to go about introducing my work abroad. Anyone have any ideas as to how I could proceed?
    13 Apr '07 - 9.48am
  • I am a printmaker and I'm opening my studio (in my back garden) as part of a local open studios event. It will be open for three weekends and I'm wondering whether I should look for insurance with regards to public safety etc. Any advice would be welcome! Also my local source of 95mm square envelopes has ceased to exist. Does anyone know of a mail order stockist? Thanks
    12 Apr '07 - 7.33pm
  • I'm looking for some hard, black headpins strong enough to be used with large, chunky glass beads for jewellery-making.
    I've found some good suppliers of hard silver-plated and gold-plated headpins, but am failing miserably to get a similar quality black version - so far the ones I've tried bend out of shape too easily and the bracelets fall apart.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for suppliers?
    30 Mar '07 - 5.45pm
  • Smoking ban at craft shows.
    Should smoking be banned entirely at craft shows and outdoor events? I think the answer has to be yes. Often at shows there are walk-in enclosed stalls with smokers walking in blowing their toxic fumes over the exhibitors and their products. Then there is the sight of the bored chain smoking stallholder standing outside the craft marquee creating a poor impression. And its always the dodgier grey end of the craft spectrum that are the heaviest smokers. I say let's kick this foul habit from all craft shows and outdoor events. I know there is more chance of hell freezing over but one never knows.
    24 Mar '07 - 10.41am
  • The comments in Angie's editorial in the current issue [April '07] re the 'craft' debate made me think - what category do I fit into?

    I finished a ceramics degree last summer, but am currently concentrating on making my jewellery and fused glass. I make a wide range of jewellery, freshwater pearl bridal sets to chinese knotted pieces and fused glass. The chinese knotting is not 'ideas and skill-laden' and I am certainly not a highly trained professional in it so this would probably be classified as 'hobby'.

    I also make fused glass coasters and bowls using bought molds. My work is led by ideas of colour and design, but certainly not highly skilled, so which is it? craft or hobby? I am developing more ambitious projects and ideas in different areas of glass fusing and slumping, but the fact of the matter is that the craft-hobby debate is very muddy water.

    We can all think of what the difference is between 'hobby' low skill work, and design and skills led craft, but trying to create a worded definition seems to be nigh on impossible.

    Where is the boundary on the amount of skill used? To me, making what I currently make requires little skill, but to my partner, even when I explain what I am doing he still thinks that it is incredibly difficult and skillful. So perhaps our problem is that to us makers, we can see the differences between ideas and skill laden work and 'hobby' made pieces but to those who do not make there is no difference because they are not directly involved in any making process and do not or cannot appreciate the skills level (or lack of) between two pieces of work within even one discipline let alone several.

    Hence perhaps the reason for The Guardian's 'Guide to Craft'?

    23 Mar '07 - 11.40am
  • I would like to start running china painting classes from my home, maybe 4 hours a week. What do I need to know about insurance etc? Do I need to inform the local council?
    21 Mar '07 - 11.32am
  • Hi
    I make glass jewellery, slumped glass dishes and bottles, onglaze paintings and watercolours. Onglaze painting is my real passion but takes about a week to produce a finished piece as they need to be fired several times. My house is over run with stuff so I'm thinking of doing my first craft fair.
    Is a stand in the craft marquee at a county show likely to be as successful as a craft fair?
    Also is £160 a typical fee?
    What price range is most likely to sell, am I better off with less expensive items and leaving the fine art at home or should i have both on display?
    Thank you
    13 Mar '07 - 1.20pm
  • Hi there
    I've recently started making my own jewellery and would like to start attending craft fairs in the Leicestershire/East Midlands area, with a view to selling some pieces. However I don't know where to start! I would be grateful for any information on who to contact regarding organisers of fairs, etc.
    5 Mar '07 - 6.15pm
  • Hi there. I'm a beaded jewellery maker and desperate to start selling at craft fairs/fetes. I have been in contact with a couple of craft fair organizers who have been extremely helpful, but at the moment I can't afford the expensive rates for stall hire upfront and its starting to get me down. Are there any craft fairs/fetes that anyone knows of that don't charge the earth? I have done one craft fair before and only had to pay £25! I live near Alton in Hampshire, and can't help but think there must be loads of village halls etc that host smaller craft fairs on a regular basis. Someone help me please!
    2 Mar '07 - 1.28pm
  • Hi,
    I started learning to make jewellery with a friend about a year ago and have recently starting selling at work and through word of mouth. We make jewellery from glass and crystal beads and 100% of the profit we make goes to the MS Society for their Myelin Repair Research fund. We would like to start selling our jewellery at craft fairs. Can anyone offer any advice on where to start? We are based in Warwickshire.
    Many thanks
    24 Feb '07 - 6.33pm

    Hi, I am looking to dramatically change career, and want to train as a jewellery designer. I am 28, too old to get an apprenticeship (!), and wondered if anyone had any ideas that would help me.
    I would love to start at the bottom and get bench experience, but am worried that I'm too old - I wish I knew this was what I wanted to do 10 years ago!

    Any help gratefully received! Thanks so much!

    19 Feb '07 - 2.46pm
  • Does anyone know of an antiquing solution for gold-effect metal? or even gold-filled metal? I have Liver of Sulphate for silver and brass but don't know if this works on gold...?

    Any ideas? I am desperate to get an aged effect on the gold jewellery that I make but don't know how! It's driving me mad...

    Thanks very much!
    19 Feb '07 - 12.45pm
  • Scam websites
    If you have a website, you are potentially vulnerable to scammers. You might think that this would only be a problem for larger companies, but individual craftspeople are just as vulnerable as anyone else.

    For the sake of brevity, I've split this message into two - click on replies for more details!
    17 Feb '07 - 9.09pm
  • I am setting this group up as I feel the craft worker who attends shows in the UK are very vulnerable, we have no organisation to help us if organisers go out of business, no one is there to advise us when craft workers have problems, and I am setting this up as a support group for craft workers to give their opinions and advice, this group is not set up to Slate Organisers.

    I think it would be good to hear where people attend shows and get some new feedback on new shows/organisers etc.

    Organisers are welcome to give their opinions.

    If you are interested in subscribing, please reply to this message.
    17 Feb '07 - 4.48pm
  • I need to buy an extension cable for an up coming fair, and was wondering what would be the best to buy. I re-read an old Craftman article about electrical safety in public and how you could invalidate your insurance by not taking the proper precautions. Are all extension leads now on the market class II? I need quite a long extension cable (8m+) so an RCD would be advisable but I cannot find any that are integrated. Would my best option then be a RCD adaptor?

    14 Feb '07 - 9.52am
  • I see that it is 20 years since the first IKEA was opened in the UK. Do you think it has had a beneficial impact in terms of making quality design and style available to the masses or has it led to a sort of banalification in that you see the same thing everywhere. I think they have had quite an impact on the craft sector in terms of their prices and design influence but what is bright and funky one year is tired and dull the next as with Habitat. Love them or hate them it's going to be difficult to ignore them.
    11 Feb '07 - 2.01pm
  • Did anyone see the guide book which came free with the Guardian last Saturday
    (3 Feb '07)?
    If you didn't see it, allow me to draw you a picture. Imagine an A5 guide with photographs of a range of undesirable crafts that would have been rejected for poor styling from 'Golden Hands' in the early 1970's. Add text in which the authors mock their own lack of skill and motivation at making the most rudimentary items (god knows how the poor darlings manage to turn door handles - I suspect that they must have inadvertently sewn their own fingers together before they started), and crown the whole ensemble by calling it 'The Guardian Guide to Craft'.
    9 Feb '07 - 6.22pm
  • Can event organisers live without us? I have been designing and making jewellery for a while but mostly through commissions and private sales, so I am relatively new to this world. And I am astounded by the mixed responses I got from various organisers, who haven't even seen my work. Admittedly (and reassuringly) some are both friendly and professional, like ETES and Oakleighs, others are arrogant and dismissive. They seem to be blissfully unaware of the fact that they would not exist without small crafts people, since the established ones had to start somewhere and the famous ones no longer need them. I have a business background and at one of my first ever job interviews at the grand old age of 22, I was met by an infinitely superior cigar-smoking character, who practically reduced me to tears and clearly enjoyed it. Eight years and a few mergers/acquisitions later, I happened to be on the committee that decided to get rid of him. Those people clearly need to be reminded that they are not doing themselves any favours in the long run, and that there is, after all, such a thing as common politeness and respect of others. The point of this, apart from allowing me to vent my frustration, is to reiterate what has been said in this forum last year, that it would be fantastic to have a guide to organisers from an exhibitor's point of view. I would be delighted to contribute!
    26 Jan '07 - 11.34am
  • Hello, I am looking for a UK supplier of Liver of Sulphur but it must be in block form and possible for me to order a small quantity. I hope someone can help. This is my first posting, so apologies if this topic has already been covered but I couldn't find anything looking back over past messages. Judy
    17 Jan '07 - 1.24pm
  • How do we think global warming will impact on the craft sector. Last summer we had scorching temperatures keeping the public away from shows and making uncomfortable in the marquees and we're having one of the warmest and wettest winters on record. In the longer term we could see large parts of the u.k. under water due to rising sea levels and huge numbers of ecological refugees from Africa and Southern European countries where it may be too hot to sustain humanity. It all sort of ties in with ethical and green consumerism which I read is worth some £30 billion a year and can help reduce the impact of climate change. I think we in the craft world set a good example in terms of producing goods locally from local and sustainable materials and on a small scale. LC
    13 Jan '07 - 11.07am
  • Hi, Can anyone give me some advice about exhibiting at the British Craft Trade Fair at Harrogate please? How much stock does one take, and should I have enough to sell there, even though I understand that most people will be just looking for information about products and prices.

    Also any tips on having a super display as a newcomer?
    11 Jan '07 - 6.52pm
  • Hi,
    Does anyone know how to preserve the wonderful colours you can get when gently heating copper? I have tried numerous laquers and sprays and they all make the bright colours instantly go quite dull.
    9 Jan '07 - 12.22pm
  • Hi. Are there any silversmiths/metal workers out there that could help me with a project? I make beaded accessories and am looking for some customised shepherd hook bookmarks blanks, either sterling silver or silver plated somehow. If possible I would like them marked and with a logo engraved. Is there anyone that could help me with this, provided prices, more info etc?

    Many thanks
    8 Jan '07 - 3.55pm
  • I've just had a visit from a customer who lives in Australia. These days with the World Wide Web, I suppose it's not unusual for this to happen. However, it was not the Internet that brought her to my door, but my display in the local library. Quite a few libraries in this area have glass cabinets (and wall space), where local clubs, societies and craftspeople can display work. I booked the cabinet, and displayed my wire jewellery / prices. The library staff sell it for you (not always the case). The local authority take a small percentage in commission for items sold. The Australian lady saw and bought my jewellery, whilst visiting relatives in the area. She returned to Australia and decided to email me and introduce herself before ordering more pieces. It has developed from there and I'm sure the relationship will continue. I think the motto here is simple. Don't pass over any opportunity to show your work, as you never know where it will lead. I think it's important to get your work 'out there'. The web makes it easier to sell, but there is nothing better than being able to see, try and touch. LH
    30 Dec '06 - 6.34pm
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