This year, the wonderful East London Craft Guerrilla are throwing a party in the Vestry House Museum. It's a CrafTea Party to be exact ...... mad as hatters...
1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
This year we're hosting a Craftea Party...it's a DIY craft event meets tea party. We've created a series of limited edition DIY craft packs for visitors to purchase and make in the company of others in an impromptu tea party! Well we thought it was a perfect combination...making things is thirsty work so we're quenching those crafters with pots of tea in our pop up tea party and of course, you can't have tea without cake!
2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Related to this, did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme ‘At Home’?
Basically the nature of "pop up" means it can be done anywhere but because the majority of The Craft Guerrilla core members are based in E17 we see it as our HOME so...it's the perfect place to have a tea party which always reminds me of home. Having afternoon tea after a hard morning’s cross stitching was something my granny insisted on! Again it was by pure chance that it falls under the HOME subtitle....
3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
Yes both as an individual artist and with the Craft Guerrilla.
4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
I think it's the natural progression for me. Because I am hyper-creative I like to weave in and out of things and I guess that's why this project suits me fine. In the past under the name "handsome Betty" I've had a summer outdoor cafe in Beautiful Interiors garden where I sold home baked cakes. This was the perfect chance to marry the two! With Craft There's always a chance to try your hand at different disciplines...knitting, crochet, felting, sewing so no chance of getting bored. I think it's pretty important to keep adding to your artistic talents and knowledge. With the tea party side of it I can indulge in my other passion which is baking. Also having a craft zine is great because I can put my design skills to work and catalogue our event and its progress.
5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
WOW, finding tea pots was a real chore! You'd think it would be easy by the amount of tea we drink as a nation but because we want to use vintage crockery and vintage table linen it's been a real struggle. Basically we didn't want to get shiny new things because recycling is also something we absolutely embrace and would like to keep to. And it was important to get a nostalgic, homely feel to the event.
6. Who is this work for?
Everyone! Please don't be put off if you're not a seasoned crafter. It's an interactive event and novices are most welcome. That's the point,we want people to learn to make their own pieces of art and craft! Apart from wanting to spread the joy of craft we also want to teach others to be more self sufficient ....buy less, make more!!! So don't worry about getting in a tangle because the Craft Guerrilla tutors will be on hand to help anyone in crafting need. That's why we're there.
7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
I run the Craft Guerrilla with 2 others: Lisa Margreet and Louise Batten. I also have a day job, my own Kawaii creatures company. I'm an illustrator and also in my spare time a musician. Yes, I do sleep, honest!
8. What is your favourite place in E17?
St Mary's Church graveyard in late summer when the brambles are in full fruit but apart from that my home in my kitchen where I bake... lots of cakes!