Start Up Bursary Gallery
In 2022, to celebrate our 10th Birthday, we introduced a Start Up Bursary to help new creative businesses showcase their products at the show. This was generously supported by Amanda Bloom of Cosy Life Boxes with the first recipient of the bursary being Lana Grindley of Woven Together, a fibre artist based in Kendal.
As Lana says:
“I am based in Kendal in Cumbria where the town moto is “wool is my bread”. Woven together represents a dream of me one day bringing people together with wool at its centre. I started in lockdown 2020, and fibre art became my sanctuary and therapy. I was starting to dabble in needle felting, weaving, embroidery, and tufting to develop a rich style of colour, texture, and different techniques.
“I’ve been a creative community artist for over a decade, but I have never created for myself. But in the state of isolation, anxiety, and frustration this art was born. It isn’t a want, but it’s now become a need to create now for myself. Exploring topics of female empowerment, climate change and art as therapy.
“The joy of working with wool is so pure the textures, thicknesses, and colours. I also have dreams of creating a community ran wool making business for people with learning disabilities. I only ever use donated or scrap wool currently. I believe to celebrate wool is future proofing the rural north to support our farmers. The thought of farmers burning fleeces because its to expensive for them to process and sell is wrong. In an age of plastic, we need to step back to something that is more sustainable and less harmful.”VIEW LANA's latest work here
We also awarded a virtual Start Up Bursary to laurenink.
Lauren is a hand paper maker, letterpress printer and botanical dyer. Combining these disciplines she creates original artworks that are rooted in and inspired by nature. Lauren offers a made-to-order paper and print service for artists, designers and makers.
As she says:
“For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to nature – textures, organic shapes, botanicals. In my early childhood you would often find me pouring over botanical illustrations and if you were to flick through my books, you would see little pressed flowers I’d lovingly collected and tucked amongst the pages. I’ve always delighted in learning the names and characteristics of plants, getting to know them like they’re my neighbours! It gives me a sense of place and belonging. No wonder I’ve found myself in a creative practice that experiments with plant fibres and dyes.
My deep appreciation for botanicals led me onto a path of curiosity that began in 2016 in the form of pen and ink botanical illustrations and early dye experiments on old clothes and scraps of fabric. The alchemy of plant dyes blows my mind!
When I first tried my hand at hand paper-making, I knew I needed more of that in my life – and guess what? Paper is made from plants too! I started off making paper with a kitchen blender in a tiny box room. Look at me now: a dedicated studio space with a Hollander beater that processes enough plant fibres to form over a thousand sheets of botanically dyed paper a month. And let’s not forget that big beautiful antique printing press. Seeing the deep fossil-like impression on the pillowy handmade paper is literally a dream come true. I sometimes have to pinch myself!
Fibres, dyes, illustrations – my whole creative process has botanicals flowing throughout. I told you I was obsessed with plants!”Laurenink Website