Sep 28 2010 Harrow Observer
A gallery is to be transformed into a pop-up shop selling hand-crafted and bespoke merchandise during October. IAN PROCTOR reports
ARTISAN, in Harlesden Road, Willesden, will be given over to Homeworks, a group of like-minded women who live within a stone's throw of each other in Willesden and share a love for creating beautifully designed items.
Each member of the collective has their own cottage industry and they meet regularly to swap ideas and information, and to organise events to showcase their products.
The conversion of Artisan into a shop harks back to the premises' original use as a corner shop before it became an art gallery and workshop.
Among those taking part is mother-of-three Fiona Bailey, who produces hand-knitted accessories, such as bags and hats, under the name Fiona Bailey Designs, and Lou Rota, who uses collage, decoupage and homemade and vintage transfers to turn unloved objects into desirable homeware.
Visitors will be able to buy children's tops from Smith and Coates, which are recycled from woollen pullovers and hand-finished with crochet, making each piece unique.
Naomi Harrison, owner of Artisan, said: "I already knew Fiona because our children went to Donnington Primary School together and she only lives about 200 yards from the gallery.
"I was aware of her work and her crafts and it was through her that I discovered the rest of the group and what they did. With my gallery I try to keep the artists local as possible, so it was really good to get the group involved in the gallery as they are going to create a shop. They don't have a permanent retail outlet so this is a good idea to give them the space.
"A lot of people really like to know the people who make the produce they are buying.
"We live in a homogeneous world where you can be in Rio de Janeiro or Rome and you're still seeing Zara, Accessorize and Monsoon."
Another company that forms part of the group, is Homespun and Vintage, which produces handmade and vintage home accessories, such as pictures, jewellery, ceramics and soft
furnishings. Made With Love, by Mrs Booth, aims to recreate items of childhood with colouring and counting books, alphabet friezes, prints, cards and stickers, while Handworks creates lightweight cotton clothing for children and women, printed shirts for men, and cotton quilts and home furnishings.
* The Homeworks pop-up shop runs from Wednesday, October 6 until Saturday, October 30, and is open each Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 5pm.