MADE London

Made London took up residence in the church at Great Portland Street four years ago and has gone from strength to strength since then. I have had Made London on my exhibiting radar for quite some time as I had heard good things about it as a central London selling show. Particularly since the demise of Origin – and its predecessor, the Chelsea Craft Show – there hasn’t really been a large regular show in London curating contemporary crafts for a dedicated database of customers, but Made London seemed to be confidently claiming that position.

When curating our own show Designed | Crafted last year, we picked up a couple of makers from last year’s Made London who we thought were a great fit and one of them turned out to be Sarah Young, who also happens to be one of the organisers of Made London. It wasn’t until I spent a day invigilating our own show with her partner Jon Tutton that I heard about Made London direct from the horse’s mouth, as it were, and I decided to apply this year.

I was happy to have made it past the selection panel, as there is now a long list of disappointed applicants who try to get in to exhibit each year at One Marylebone,  the wonderful venue that is used for the show. Originally built in 1826, the Holy Trinity Church was one of only three churches designed by Sir John Soane but it was considered the most architecturally distinguished. It was sympathetically renovated and reopened in 2008 as a leading London events venue, and Made London has been occupying it for a weekend in October for the last four years. It is a magnificent space, with four levels each having its own feel which adds to the atmosphere that this is a unique selling show in the Craft calendar.

I took a large stand on the first floor galleries which had beautiful tall arched windows all the way along. Having a lovely big stand meant I had space to exhibit my Global Treasury lightboxes which I rarely display because of the space required. Hiding the electrics is always a bit of a faff, but it was well worth it this time as I mounted twelve lightboxes on the back wall plus a new piece based on the Global Treasury range but made much larger at 60cm square.

Good sales of the lightboxes during and after the show made me reconsider my Global Treasury lightboxes. I realised, with some nostalgia, that these were in fact my very first collection of retail items – they were the first pieces I thought about in terms of a product range with distinct patterns designed to be replicated. I enjoy making batches of these lightboxes as there is enough scope within them to play with colour so as to make each one unique even though they follow an overall design. Also because the cost ratio of materials to labour is favourable it means I have been able to keep the retail price consistent over the years. Although I have streamlined both the number of designs in the range, as well as the making process, the one thing I have never managed is to hone the making process down to the bone to supply them at trade prices, despite having had numerous requests from my stockists over the years. Maybe this could be a challenge for next year?

2 thoughts on “MADE London

    • Alex R says:

      Thank you Anna… I don’t always show my lightboxes so it was lovely to have a big enough space at Made London.

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