Celebrating and supporting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship
For the fourth year running, five makers demonstrating excellence in skill, originality and craftsmanship have been chosen by a TOAST panel. We offer business and marketing advice, as well as a platform to sell their pieces until the end of this year, with full profits being returned to them.
From ceramic vessels, carved wooden spoons and natural brushes to tactile bags and wall hangings, all of the pieces created by the makers are crafted by hand and will be made to order.
“I enjoy the process of making more than the outcome. I describe it as an energy release – it’s a way for me to find a sense of calm.”
Originally from north Devon and now based in east London, Samuel Alexander is a woodworker who began making spoons and vessels as a cathartic form of therapy. Inspired by organic shapes, his pieces are made from different kinds of wood, depending on what has been felled as part of local tree management.
He works at London Greenwood, a cooperative and community based at Hackney City Farm, where tools are shared and maintained by members. Each piece he creates is individual, due to natural variations such as the grain of the wood and the use of hand tools.
“The repetition, attention to detail, and focus required to keep the thread under constant tension brings me to a meditative state of calm and reflection.”
Wales-based maker Rosa Harradine creates brushes from natural fibres; the bristles are made from tampico and arenga, which are wrapped with hemp cord and finished with a cotton strap, making them completely biodegradable.
Rosa makes the brushes in her garden workshop in Carmarthen, with the long-term goal of growing plants on her land for the bristles. The process involves keeping the hemp thread constantly under tension, wrapped around a rolling pin underneath her feet to make the handles tight and strong.
“I dip-dye the yarns by hand, so even though the structure of a weaving can be the same, no two will ever be identical.”
Weaver Dalia James creates wall hangings, placemats and rugs on three looms in her east London studio. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement and a broad range of architectural styles, she uses geometric forms and vibrant colours in her unique weavings.
Dalia uses biodegradable fibres including bamboo alongside wool and silk to reduce impact on the environment. She dyes the yarns herself – which she has done since she studied woven textiles at Loughborough University – and often dip-dyes them to create a hazy effect similar to ikat fabrics. Because of this, each piece is unique.
“I’m drawn to anything that is rhythmic and soothing. With continuous repetition, I can see my pieces slowly start to take form.”
Based in Brooklyn, Rose Pearlman creates natural raffia and cotton bags using the punch-needle technique. She began rug hooking to stay creative when she was looking after her young son, finding it an expressive medium and enjoying how the method can be used to create functional objects and be easily returned to throughout the day.
She works from her Brooklyn apartment and during the summer, from a small studio in northern Vermont, creating tactile pieces through a slow, thoughtful process.
“My pieces represent my relationships with the women who have been a big part of my life – equally strong in their character and beautiful in their nature.”
Potter Reesha Zubair creates serene vessels in her Bristol studio, which she set up closeby to her house after interning at a pottery studio in Jericho, Oxford. Tying her to memories of home in the Maldives, Reesha’s Shareefa and Hawwa series of pots are named after her grandmothers, reflecting their close relationships.
She hand-builds the vessels using the slab and coiling method from stoneware clay, then creates marks on the surface using a kidney tool. They are left unglazed, with the forms, slips and textures creating a sense of variation and expression.
Alumni | Previous New Makers
We are delighted to share the ongoing successes of our previous New Makers from our 2019, 2020 and 2021 programmes.