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Janine Basil is another UK talent with a flair for making hats and fascinators, her designs are heavily influenced by Burlesque, Vintage and Pop Art. Janine’s designs are stunning, crying out for you to step right into character, paint on the heavy eyeliner and rock until you drop.


Maria Flynn of Emerald Angel creates anything from Ankle Ruffs, to Gothic Wedding Hats, to Corsets. Everything is designed and handmade by Maria and is influenced by her love of Metal, Gothic and Rockabilly music. This is not pretend dressing up – it’s the real deal.


Yet one thing strikes me - where can these artists sell their goods, other than at one of the mainstream craft fairs? We can approach galleries and


boutiques, take part in exhibitions and contact small independents willing to take us on. Some have even managed to work their way up to open their own shop. And there’s no doubt that Etsy has opened up lots of doors and reaches a wide audience, and word of mouth creates commissioned pieces.


When you are into a certain genre – take Burlesque as an example - there are nights and events held, opportunities for showing off your wares and spreading the word about what you do. There are also dedicated Rockabilly festivals and club nights where you can set up stall and sell your wares. There’s even a whole weekend at Whitby, should Goth be your choice of style, at the Whitby Goth Weekend. Believe me, there are plenty of potential outlets if you’re


willing to do a little homework and find out where your customers hang out.


Each and every one of us has our own style – we take pieces of this and that and come up with our own unique look. Sometimes we want to dip in and out of looks, according to where our mood takes us. And as you can see, there’s a market out there for just about anything we can dream up.


Make no mistake, here in the UK the Alternative Craft Scene is strong, unique and vibrant. With its own dedicated followers, it is thriving, growing and definitely here to stay.


Autumn 2010 | ukhandmade | 47


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