Claire Brierley, Jo Dewar and Clare Wainwright
With our Christmas Delights selling exhibition in full swing and #MuseumShopSunday kicking off the festive museum shopping season last weekend, we caught up with Jo Dewar, Claire Brierley and Clare Wainwright, three makers of beautiful handmade gifts in the Court Barn shop…
Q1: Tell us about you! What do you make and where do you make it?
CW: ‘[I] have been working with glass for 20 years, beginning at an Adult Education class learning the Tiffany (copper foiled) method of stained-glass work consisting of 4 stages: cutting, grinding, copper taping and soldering. After spending many years using this technique in my home studio… I went on various courses to learn the art of glass fusing… I [now have] regular stalls at Moseley Arts Market, Mac Birmingham and other local venues.’
CB: ‘I paint colourful quirky paintings in acrylic and make unique creations out of driftwood, recycled wood and found objects from my home studio in Stratford-upon-Avon.’
JD: ‘I am a textile artist who works with coloured wire that is made into 3D pieces and jewellery. I love the malleability and versatility of wire enabling me to create a wire mesh that is converted into art pieces and contemporary jewellery. I work from my home on a farm in Hartlebury.’
Q2: Why did you decide to set up your craft business?
CB: ‘When I left school I worked for a local company in Stratford painting figurines and when I left to have my son I bought an easel, set it up in our attic and began to paint. I got more and more confident and started taking on commissions of people’s houses and pets.’
JD: ‘After I attended Art College I wanted to take my work further so I sold at art markets and contemporary craft fairs. I am a member of the Worcestershire Guild and work with some very talented designer-makers who are extremely creative and supportive.’
CW: ‘There was never a master plan to work with glass, it just evolved! After taking it up as a hobby I quickly filled my house and my friends’ houses with stained-glass and at this point decided I’d have to start selling at local craft markets.’
Q3: Do you have a stocking filler or luxury present you would love to recommend from your range at Christmas Delights?
JD: ‘My stocking filler… would be one of my brooches. They are light, bright and fun to wear. My more detailed item is my Woven Wire shoe that is an ideal birthday, Christmas or wedding present.’
CB: ‘My new Christmas decoration additions this year are polar bears wearing festive jumpers to hang on your tree and the mini original paintings make great stocking fillers.’
CW: ‘My stocking filler would have to be one of my fused glass Christmas decorations… I’ve really enjoyed thinking about the designs and making them. As I tend to fire overnight I still get a thrill when I open the kiln in the morning and see how they’ve all turned out!’
Q4: What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
CB: ‘I love the run up to Christmas, I enjoy all the Christmas fairs I take part in, getting my house decorated with lots of sparkly lights, seeing family and friends and putting my feet up in front of the fire.’
CW: ‘After the rush of all the Christmas markets it’s lovely to have a day at home with family and really treasure that time together… When we’re decorating our tree I also think how many people are hanging one of the decorations I have made on their tree and hope they still love it!’
JD: ‘This is a bit predictable but I love being with my partner, family and friends, playing games and lots of laughter… Of course the odd glass of wine and delicious food goes down very well!’
Court Barn’s Christmas Delights will continue until 9th January…