Top Drawer Zoo

Who wouldn't want to live in a miniature zoo full of tiny weird and wonderful animals? I visited Top Drawer in London's Olympia yesterday and was fascinated by these creations by Japanese needle felt artist Terumi Ohta aka "True Style Lab" as part of the brilliant new area for designer makers called CRAFT.

Smooth on the inside...crunchy on the outside

Smooth on the inside...crunchy on the outside

The patience and skill of hand needle felting is the perfect way to capture the colours and the textures of a spider's hairs giving this super little tarantula a lifelike appearance.

The patience and skill of hand needle felting is the perfect way to capture the colours and the textures of a spider's hairs giving this super little tarantula a lifelike appearance.

This little fellow looks preserved in a pre-historic environment as your own pet dinky dino in a bubble.

This little fellow looks preserved in a pre-historic environment as your own pet dinky dino in a bubble.

Hand made clay teeth are painstaking made and indiviually inserted for as their creator Terumi says, for her; "It's all in the details".

Hand made clay teeth are painstaking made and indiviually inserted for as their creator Terumi says, for her; "It's all in the details".

Here is my favourite of Terumi's art pieces, I really wish I could have taken this beautiful cub home with me but hopefully I can visit it if she will exhibit more of her menagerie soon!

 

Have a look at more of Terumi's work online at WWW.TRUESTYLELAB.COM who was exhibiting at  Top Drawer London as part of the new specialist makers area called CRAFT

Button Up

Last chance to see the amazing Button Project exhibition in Macclesfield's Heritage Centre & SIlk Museum! 300 amazing, unique pieces make up the work on show by as many different artists, designers, jewellers, crafts persons from all over the World.

 

Sarah Bradney's Parachute Button

Sarah Bradney's Parachute Button

Inspired by Macclesfeld's Heritage in silks, Sarah Bradney made a cocoon like button, hiding a parachute complete with a silk map. You can see original silk maps used in the museum!

Sarah Bradney's Silk Map

Sarah Bradney's Silk Map

Silk Map and tie! In the museum.

Silk Map and tie! In the museum.

The exhibition has been created by Chair of the Contemporary Glass society, Victoria Scholes. Thanks to all of the participating artists who ansewered her open call it showcases different skills, techniques and a love of making.

Starting a new project or trying to learn a new skill can often be daunting but I think events like  this provide really great motivation to get on with your own creative projects, even if it as small as making one beautiful little button.

All of the buttons are for sale at a wide range of price points so you can take away one of your favourites to keep or to wear! I have a soft spot for these sunny little daisies, they would look so sweet on a vintage blouse.

 

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The Heritage Centre and Silk museum are also great sources of inspiration full of gorgeous textiles, beautiful old machinery and even some fun science where you can use a microscopic camera to get a close up view of the clothes you are wearing! Really makes you appreciate the construction and textures of the materials we take for granted giving you a chance to look at them so closely.

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Silks in the museum

Silks in the museum

Macclesfield itself is a lovely place to visit when you have finished checking out the exhibition. This is Jack Sevens, art gallery the pretty yard leads into a nice little shop of design products and a great range of cards and goodies.

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This is the view inside the Cafe at Jack Sevens, which serves up tasty treats while you are surrounded by the art on show. It's a really nice bright, airy space.

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Here is a cheeky owl-ish sculpture, the gallery is on several levels and rooms to discover the artwork in different settings. This is St. Michael's Church, around this area are several nice little vintage shops so you might find an item you can customise with a new artistic button or two or a bit of inspiration for making some of your own!

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The Button Project is on until 8th August at The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield.  See their website here for details on how to get there (it's really easy by train!) :)