Find your perfect Christmas gift with local crafts handmade with love
As Flowerfield is unable to host our wonderful annual Christmas Craft Market this year, we want to provide you with a directory of talented creatives, movers and shakers within or associated with our borough, who produce creative work which will make the perfect memorable Christmas gift! All unique, all reflecting years of craftsmanship and honed expertise, influenced by our rich culture and landscape.
You’ll find glassware to ceramics to literature to jewellery.
Remember, when you buy local and from an independent artist, you’re supporting your local community and arts and culture in your area.
Robert Spotten is a jewellery designer and goldsmithsince 1977, a graduate of Ulster University School of Art,his work has been purchased by the Arts Council NI aspart of their collection. In 2016, he was commissioned to create a brooch for HRM Queen Elizabeth II.
Inspired by nature and the environment, Robert has developed a silver jewellery collection on the theme of water, space and nature which is available for sale on his website. Sterling silver earrings and necklaces skillfully enameled with hints of gold to represent the movement of water, sunsets, the earth and the North Coast. Other jewellery designed has been based on Celtic patterns found on the Camus Cross (Castleroe) and the Bann Disc.
Part of his services includes upcycling pre-loved jewellery into a completely new design based on your own aesthetic taste and style.
You can commission an individually designed piece to celebrate your special occasion: wedding rings which fit perfectly around the engagement ring, an engagement ring with the matching wedding ring, an eternity ring, a pendant or brooch, cufflinks for anniversary, birthday, graduation etc.
Robert will help you select the metal, the size, quality and colour of precious stones and the design which best match your taste and budget. Book a free design consultation by contacting him by text on 07594192372. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, the consultation can be done by video link.
As well as making jewellery, Robert has a passion for painting wildlife in gouache, watercolour and oils and recently participated in a joint exhibition with ceramicist Ann-Marie Robinson, “Endangered” at the Puffin Gallery, Ballycastle.
Where to Buy
Teresa Robb is the owner of the Irish knitwear business called Walsh Irish Knitwear. She is based in Portstewart on the Causeway coast of Northern Ireland and designs and creates her unique luxury knitted accessories from her studio at home.
Walsh Irish Knitwear was born out of Teresa’s love of knitting and creating beautiful accessories. She designs the products she loves to wear and has sourced the best quality Italian merino wool making her products a timeless luxury that can be kept and worn for many years.
The products she creates include ponchos, cowls, gloves, scarves, baby blankets and are all designed and created using the finest merino wool.
Teresa has her own website and sells on Amazon handmade and shopinireland.ie You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
Where to buy
Will deliver locally
Free P&P to UK and Ireland
Based in Ballycastle, Christine Williams’ small business, Grandma’s Spoons, transforms sterling silver antique and vintage cutlery into ‘one of a kind’ pieces of jewellery. Christine likes breathing new life into objects that might lie forgotten in a drawer or be melted down for their scrap value, thus destroying forever the artistry and skill of the original silversmith. Many of the knives, forks and spoons she uses are beautifully engraved and enamelled and ideal for reimagining into jewellery. Grandma’s Spoons pieces are unique and often truly antique at over one hundred years old.
All pieces come with an explanation of their hallmarks, stating when and where they were originally created, except for pieces from countries which don’t use a dating method.
Grandma’s Spoons make pendants/ necklaces, bangles/ bracelets and rings and all items are boxed.
Where to buy
Benefield Spencer Glass
Scott Benefield and Andrea Spencer are Benefield Spencer Glass. They make hand blown, functional, glass tablewares such as vases, pouring vessels, condiment sets and also Christmas decorations.
Established in 2010, their studio operates from an old farm property on the rugged North Antrim Coast just outside of the village of Ballintoy in Northern Ireland.
All of their work is designed, produced and finished in our studio entirely by hand. This limited production is made by combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, the end result being functional handmade goods which adhere to the highest standards of finish.
Where to buy
Bernie McGill, Novelist & Writer
Bernie McGill is the author of two novels, both fantastic books to curl up to during dark winter nights: The Watch House (nominated for the Ireland European Union Prize for Literature in 2019) and The Butterfly Cabinet (named by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year in 2012). Her collection of short stories, Sleepwalkers, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize in 2014. Her work has been published in the UK, the US and in translation in Italy and the Netherlands. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies Belfast Stories, The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shoreand Female Lines. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty Short Story Prizes and she won the Zoetrope:All-Story Award in the US in 2008.
Bernie was Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund at Queen’s University, Belfast from 2018-2020. She is a Professional Mentor with the Irish Writers Centre and works as a Writer in Schools with Poetry Ireland.
‘McGill writes about life, love and telegraphy with a poet’s clarity’ The Sunday Times
‘McGill proves once again she is a masterful storyteller . . . historical fiction at its absolute best’ The Lady
‘The book is a masterclass in how to marry narrative and setting.’ David Park,
‘McGill has the ability to enter into the brain and heart of her characters and so to make us sympathise with people who commit acts we abhor.’ Julian Fellowes, the Guardian
‘Bernie McGill’s rare, hypnotic gift for writing fills every page of The Butterfly Cabinet. [It] contains no end of apparently throwaway sentences you want to remember.’ Eugene McCabe, author of Death and Nightingales
Where to buy
Eleanor-Jane is inspired by where she lives on the North Coast, the land and seascape and our environment. She works with metal and glass, often incorporating her print-making skills into her pieces. Kilnforming glass and vitreous enamelling are the processes she enjoys to produceframed works, sculptures, unique jewellery and commissions for interiors and gardens. Her home studio and The Boat House Gallery (Causeway Road, Bushmills) are where she can be found designing/making, demonstrating and facilitating workshops.
Where to buy
By phone 07752315476 OR
by visiting The Boat House Gallery
Based in Coleraine, Sue hand makes all her jewellery and decorations out of polymer clay. She loves working with colour and enjoys creating bespoke pieces, which she says, are created with love.
“I have such fun creating new design patterns and am often drawn to strong, bright colours that will make sensational designs. I let my imagination take me on a journey of colour. No two batches are ever the same. I design the beads in polymer clay and they are baked in the oven. Each piece is individual and finished by hand. If you have one of my pieces, chances are you will never see someone wearing the same jewellery.”
Where to buy
Sue also takes commissions for particularly bespoke jewellery.
Maureen creates patinated copper jewellery, wood and silver jewellery, wire wrapped jewellery as well as Christmas decorations and cards.
“I’m a Designer with a heart and a naturally inquisitive eye for patterns, colours and shapes of nature flow with simplicity into my creations.
From my student days I have always used the philosophy of making even the most functional part of a piece of jewellery a beautiful part to be admired.
I love combining different materials in my designs, especially wood and metal… the soft wood with the hard unyielding metal. Its been a trademark of my jewellery and continues now in my Artwork also.
But I also believe that jewellery is a tiny piece of Artwork,
I recently reintroduced the technique of “patination” in my designs. I colour using heat, natural elements and even foods to create a range of colours that on copper. They amaze me every time I draw the colours out of the metal, each creation never to be repeated.
Simply put, I make what you love…with love.”
Where to buy
Derry: Number 19 Craft and Design, The Craft Village, Derry. Also on their web-shop at www.number19craftanddesign.com & No 1 Guildhall St, Guildhall Square, Derry
Omagh: Omagh Craft Collective CIC, 47 Market Street, Omagh BT78 1EE
The Craftsmyth is Anita Smith. Based in the Roe Valley, Anita handcrafts beautiful accessories, purses, journals, jewellery and more.
“Born and bred in the beautiful farmland of the Roe Valley region, I delight in the natural world around me, soaking up the colours and textures to incorporate into my art. Working from my kitchen table I use a combination of wool and silk fibres along with fine Irish Linen to produce useful, practical and pretty products including bookmarks, journals, coin purses and brooches. I’m also very excited about my newest products, that of luxurious linen scarves, made from exquisite Irish linen in coordinating colours and embellished with a variety of hand embroidered designs.
A Little Bit About My Makes
Irish Linen Bookmarks and Brooches:
A typical Irish depiction of the countryside usually includes sheep and farmland, such is the inspiration for my bookmarks and brooches.
Irish Cottage Coin Purse
If you ask someone what they think of when you mention Ireland, I’m sure they will think of the humble ‘wee’ Irish Thatched Cottage. What better place to put your coins than in a wee Irish Cottage Coin Purse? Each purse combines linen and felted wool to create something a little different.
Irish Linen Zipped Coin Purse
A perfect little gift idea constructed from beautiful linens and novel embroidery. Perfect for posting!
Hand Felted Covered Journals
Continuing the sheep theme, I use the finest merino wool to make Hand Felted Covered Journals.
Luxurious Irish Linen Hand Embroidered Scarves
My newest product, and one I’m very excited about. No two scarves are the same. These eye-catching neck candies, made from colour coordinating linen, will be sure to keep you cosy.
I hope you get as much joy out of my products as I did in designing and making them.”
Where to buy
Fiona Shannon Ceramics
Working from her studio at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Fiona graduated from the Ulster University Belfast in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Honoursdegree in Contemporary Applied Art specialising in Ceramics. She developed her knowledge and expertise further on the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Skills and Design Course graduating in 2016.
Fiona set up her studio in Portstewart and has exhibited in a number of galleries throughout Ireland including the National Craft Gallery Kilkenny, The Cowshed Gallery Phoenix Park Dublin, The Blue Egg Gallery Wexford and exhibited internationally at the International Ceramics Expo, Liling, China.
Her pottery range is focused on function and the social dining experience. The simple, elegant and authentic design of tableware and richness of colours enhance any communal dining table. Her pots are reminiscent of quality home cooked Irish food and robust coastal inspired designs which reflect her local wild Atlantic and Causeway coastlines. The Fiona Shannon Ceramics range includes mugs, plates, bread platters, salad bowls, serving dishes and jam/chutney pots that are functional yet aesthetically pleasing. Check out her online shop for unique handmade products.
Where to buy
Potter and Bunny
Potter and Bunny is a range of quirky, beautiful ceramics including homeware, decorations and jewellery designed and made by Sasha McVey from her studio in Glenarm on the Antrim Coast.
“Why not treat yourself or someone you love to high quality products at affordable pricing this Christmas? Potter and Bunny offer a wide range of products wheather it’s jewellery, homeware or gifts, we have it! You don’t even have to feel guilty as you’re supporting handmade, sustainable wares. We even offer a unique service whereupon we create customised gifts for you, if you’re interested send us a message and together, we can create a customised gift suitable for your loved one.“
You can contact Sasha by email firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on Instagram and Twitter
Where to buy
Heather Byrne Art
Heather lives and work in Coleraine on the North Coast and is inspired by the dramatic coastline. Combining her work as a graphic designer, Heather’s paintings are mostly mixed media on board, paper and canvas.
She also creates pastel and line drawings outside exploring waterlines and coastal paths and is drawn to shorelines, where water and land meet which has been the predominant theme in most of her recent work.
Heather recently completed a series on paper inspired by sea swimming at Castlerock, which look semi-abstract, but are conveying the mood and emotion of being in the sea. These are available to see on her website, and can now be purchased as fine art prints.
Where to buy