The Norfolk Makers’ Festival is a free annual event for all ages. There are talks, exhibitions, demonstrations and hands-on activities, many of which are free to join in. There are also paid workshops that you can sign up for and lots of fringe events taking place across the county.
All crafts are on show – weaving, printing, painting, knitting, sketching, crochet, spinning, sculpting, embroidery, upcycling, to name a few. There are different events on each day, so if you plan to visit, check out the programme before you go.
The main event takes place at The Forum in the heart of Norwich
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust was set up outside The Forum.
I missed the sheep shearing demonstration which took place later in the day, but I did get to see this cutie, being kept warm under a colourful blanket.
I visited on the first day of the festival, a Saturday. It was busy, but not so busy that you couldn’t have a really good look at everything.
The Ship of Light is a community artwork, which is being decorated by visitors during the first weekend. It will be on display throughout the Festival.
This fairground is modelled out of stained glass by artists from Alby Stained Glass.
I’m a huge fan of Petal and Purl (check them out on Facebook). This Snowman scene is a taster from their new Walking in the Air project, which will be displayed in Caston (perfect place name), in November.
See my post from last year for pictures of their 1950s display.
Another favourite exhibit from last year was Margaret Seaman’s 12 ft long knitted, 3D model of Great Yarmouth in the 1970s. This year Margaret has recreated Sandringham. There’s so much detail in this piece. Every time you look at it, you see something new. By the way, Margaret is 90 years old.
These pieces were created by crochet students working with designer Sue Maton, of The Mercerie. They were inspired by Dutch Still Life paintings.
The Cloth of Kindness is a community-led health and wellbeing textile arts project by Sally-Anne Lomas. It’s inspired by Lorina Bulmer, a Norfolk woman who used stitching to express her anger and feelings while in a Victorian workhouse.
The Picking Up The Threads exhibition features work submitted by amateur and professional textile artists from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including one piece from my niece.
And this is my niece’s entry. It was all I could do to stop myself going up to people who were looking at it and shouting “MY NIECE MADE THIS”!
A history of the Gansey was on display from Sheringham Museum. A Gansey is a fisherman’s woollen sweater, traditionally hand-knitted in the round. They were hard-wearing garments, resistant to sea-spray. Ganseys have unique patterns, which varied from village to village and from family to family.
The Norwich Castle Tapestry project – a two-year work in progress – picks up English history where the Bayeux Tapestry ends. The 20 metre long tapestry will tell the story of two East Anglian rebellions against William the Conqueror. The Tapestry Project includes the creation of medieval banners, costumes and interior furnishings.
The Norwich branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild was running a ‘decorate your own personalised luggage tag’ activity.
The Festival is on until 23 February, so if you’re in the area it’s well worth visiting.
There are lots more photos on my Facebook page.