Meet the Christmas Makers

Louise Hancox and Denise Stanton

With our Christmas Delights selling exhibition in full swing and #MuseumShopSunday kicking off the festive museum shopping season last weekend, we caught up with Louise Hancox and Denise Stanton, 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?

DS: ‘I am a visual artist living in the Warwickshire area. I have been working as a freelance artist since graduating in 2008 and during this time I have collaborated with some amazing people and have worked in some very unusual and interesting places… I enjoy creating intaglio plates, which are then developed into screen-prints and then ultimately into digital artworks. I am always exploring new ways to develop these printing techniques onto my products, which are made from my home studio.’

LH: ‘Textile art has given me a whole new direction in life and working from home has allowed me the flexibility to balance my days more successfully. From a small studio, I design and create a range of handmade textile wall art, felted 3D vessels such as vases and bowls and smaller gift items like my individually hand crafted felt bookmarks with free motion embroidery details.’

Q2: Why did you decide to set up your craft business?

LH: ‘I have always enjoyed being creative and I love home interiors, so once I decided to take a break from my role as a Teaching Assistant a few years ago, it seemed only natural that I should explore my creativity.  I spent eighteen months exploring creative textile art techniques and love the freedom they have given me to express my own ideas. I am totally self-taught and in November 2019 I set up my small handmade business, under my own name, Louise Hancox Textile Artist.’

DS: ‘Life has thrown so many things at us of late and it is this that has reignited my desire to develop new ideas and products, plus finding some amazing places to sell them.’

Q3: Do you have a stocking filler or luxury present you would love to recommend from your range at Christmas Delights?

LH: ‘I have created three needle felting picture craft kits, enabling you to make your own needle felt picture at home. These kits would be my go to gift recommendation for anyone who loves to try something new. They come with all the equipment and materials that you need to successfully create a needle felted picture of your own… All three kits are available in the Court Barn Christmas Delights shop, where there is also a sample picture to see.’

DS: ‘I do love a stocking filler, these for me are the most fun to open. So, to answer your question, it would have to be a screen-printed sketchbook. Who doesn’t love to draw, doodle or write? It is just the perfect filler for anyone, preferably with a hare on, if at all possible!’

Q4: What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

DS: ‘For me, it is the build up to Christmas, the excitement of looking for gifts or making them, the Christmas lights, the smell of festive delights and of course the sound of carol singers, such a magical and evocative mix.’

LH: ‘I am really looking forward to being able to share Christmas with my family and friends this year. I love decorating the house from top to bottom and once both my sons are home from university, we will put the tree up together. Unpacking all the tree decorations is a journey back through their childhood… I love just about everything about Christmas really, but especially the scent of the pine needles from a fresh tree, oh and the aroma of a roasting turkey, wafting through the house on Christmas morning.’

Court Barn’s Christmas Delights will continue until 9th January…

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