Tag Archives: Ilford Craft

Events: Walthamstow Wire Workshops & Jewellery Making

15 Apr

Last month I chanced upon a special kind of craft fair, showcasing the work of crafty men and women who make beautiful one-off jewellery and accessory pieces. The interesting thing about these folks is their fusion of traditional celtic-style stones and modern methods of handicraft.

Birgit Barret - Walthamstow Jewellery Group

They’re all member’s of Walthamstow Jewellery Group, headed up by the charming German expat Birgit Barret. For those unfamiliar with Stow, it’s a borough in north east London, a cosmopolis of all interests, generations and cultures, and home to famous English textile designer and writer William Morris.

Student of Craft

Ouzha, from Walthamstow has been with the group for 6 months, and says her passion is all down to her teacher; “you name it and she teaches it Birgit has taught me so many things like wire crochet, ring making and wire wrap.


She adds: “My real passion now is crochet jewellery, I’m really going to get in to it. It looks great, if you have little gemstones, you just put it in to the wire threads in the necklace and it looks stunning, plus you can adjust it to suit your size, or make a range of sizes if you’re selling your pieces.”

I ask Ouzha what this shift back to the handmade way of life is all about; “You go to to shops nowadays and everything’s mass produced, I think it’s a case of, you know what you like.” The office worker also finds it a calming experience, “when I’m at work and I’m stressed, I just take my crochet on my lunch break and I’m on my way. Also it’s a nice social gathering, because you’ll go to a class and you’ll meet like-minded people.”

The Teacher

The creative guru shares her home with frame making entrepreneurial husband and dog, Rusty. She’s no begginer in the crafting world, and started back in her teens; “I sort of forgot about it, then picked it up again seven years ago – I got interested in beds & crystals and wanted to wear them.”

Like many successful creative professionals she told me her crafting business grew by mistake; “two yrs ago, people ask me if I teach, I thought, what is there to teach? So I looked in to it and started a little class in my front room. I converted that and now I’m running classes in the evening every week.

” I also host two daytime workshops and classes on Saturdays, plus fayres and whatever I can fit in.”


Crafty Tuck Shop Continue reading

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