Making Uncovered: Judith Bartlett

upholstery1Upholstery can restore unused or discarded furniture into glorious, cherished pieces. Judith Bartlett of Cushions ’n’ Stuff will demonstrate her skills in the art, transforming over the course of the day a charity shop chair to its former glory and revealing how new is not always best.

Tell us a bit about your business.
I reupholster chairs, stools and ottomans as a service and as goods for sale in markets throughout London.

The items of furniture come from a variety of sources – second hand shops, charity shops, friends and family. I strip back the items and repair where necessary before upholstering, customising and improving as I go.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
judith-bartlett2I hope to promote my craft and introduce to public to the technique of upholstery. Upholstery brings new life into the item of furniture.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
I will be running a workshop for five lucky people to teach them upholstery – skills they will be able to use and reuse in their own homes.

Judith’s 2.5-hour upholstery workshop starts at 1pm and costs £27 – book your place here! All materials will be provided, and you can either buy your chair at the end or donate it to charity. Or bring your own chair to restore.


Making Uncovered: AfroRetro

making_uncovered_afro_retro_0194 (1)
Lilly and Anna, the sister duo behind AfroRetro, will be demonstrating their unique blend of Ugandan textile art and upcycling at Making Uncovered, transforming various materials and fabrics into garments and other items.

Tell us something about your work.
We combine all the things that we love and are important to us in our accessories, jewellery and fashion range.

Our creations are a showcase of all the great ideas, opinions and amazing experiences we have been lucky to have as British Ugandans.

We forage in the streets of south London, not only for ideas but to source many of the materials we use to make our ranges from the local community.

We combine the goodies that you throw out with traditional African materials like banana leaves, Dutch wax and Ugandan bark cloth to make a quirky, hand made, ethical, upcycled range of T-shirts, earrings and snoods.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
UpcycledScarfWebSometimes words are just not enough. At Making Uncovered we have been given the amazing chance to show people who we are and what we do in our own words and actions. Such an opportunity was too good to miss out! We really wanted to be a part of this creative gathering and meet the people who inspire and drive our work.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?

WeaveTeeWebWe will be sharing the making love and unleashing your creative selves in a series of drop-in and timed workshops.

You can try your hand at weaving a greeting card, Ugandan style, using traditional African materials, or turning an unloved T-shirt into a fabulous circular scarf.

AfroRetro’s Making Uncovered workshops are at midday and 4pm and cost £20 each – book your place here! The price includes materials, but bring along an old T-shirt if you have one – the bigger the better!

Making Uncovered: Ben Willis

ben2At Making Uncovered, furniture maker Ben Willis will demonstrate how beautiful pieces of furniture can be crafted from wood in its rawest form, straight from the tree. As well as demonstrating a range of woodworking techniques, Ben will offer short taster sessions in turning wood on a foot-operated lathe.

Tell us a bit about your work.
ben3I’m a green woodworker – that’s to say, I make furniture and other objects such as spoons and bowls out of unseasoned or ‘green’ wood. It’s an amazing way of working with wood; the fact the wood is still full of moisture means it’s soft and able to be worked with quiet and dust-free hand tools rather than lots of big messy machines. The techniques I use are millennia old.

My main speciality is making chairs. There’s something I find utterly addictive about this. One on level, chairs are such everyday items, but a sculptural, hand-crafted chair can be such a presence in a room – it has a character and life of all of its own and there’s nothing I find more rewarding than bringing one into being.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
I was part of the organising team last year, and the event was such a success that I wanted to be part of it again. It’s great to be part of such a positive team and to put on such a colourful event.

Apart from that, I just love demonstrating what I do and talking to people about it. Green wood crafts aren’t something you see everyday in an urban environment, so being able to show them to a new audience is always fun.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
ben1I’m going to have a couple of my pedal-powered lathes on the go. One I’ll be using for demonstrations, showing people how I fashion parts for chairs and other items. Then the other one will be free for people to come and have a go.

I’m doing this rather sign-up workshops as I did last year. I enjoyed doing that last time, but I want to give more people a go this year so have opted for a less structured approach. I’m certain I’ll have found a few more green woodwork converts by the end of the day!

Ben will be letting visitors “have a go” throughout the day at Making Uncovered. No need to book – just turn up. Get your free ticket to Making Uncovered here.

Making Uncovered: Flextiles

shibori fat quarters1Kim Winter of Flextiles will demonstrate the techniques of resist dyeing at Making Uncovered. One of the best-known examples is tie-dye – binding the cloth with string or elastic bands to produce a ring pattern. Other types include stitching, folding, pleating and clamping. Kim will be showing how she uses stitch to create patterns when dyeing with indigo.

Tell us a bit about your work.
rust onion scarf6I’m a textile artist specialising in wet felting and dyeing with indigo and other natural dyes. I’m particularly interested in shibori, a kind of sophisticated version of tie-dye that comes from Japan. When combined with indigo it produces particularly special results.

Indigo dyeing is rather magical – when you remove the fabric from the vat, it’s actually green, and then as oxygen gets to the fabric it turns blue before your eyes!

I work a lot with upcycled and found materials, especially scarves. I love the thrill of the hunt, and there’s a real sense of achievement in cleaning a cast-off and transforming it back into a desirable item by stitching, clamping or wrapping it in the indigo vat.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
I participated last year and it was huge fun. It’s great to show people what goes into making handmade items – the time and skill involved. And to learn from other makers about how they do what they do.

For me, Making Uncovered sums up what Makerhood is all about – creating connections between different makers, businesses and the local community. And having fun at the same time!

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
egg1I’m going to be showing people the principles of resist dyeing – using eggs and onion skins! People will be able to wrap an egg in leaves, flowers and onionskins, and then boil it to produce a lovely golden egg with the shape of the leaves and flowers on the shell. If they don’t like the results they can just eat it instead. 😉

Kim will be boiling up eggs every 30 minutes at Making Uncovered. No need to book – just turn up. Get your free ticket to Making Uncovered here.



Making Uncovered: Prickle Press

rachel1At Making Uncovered, Rachel Stanners of Prickle Press will show how a hand-operated letterpress works, show the equipment used, and how to ink up, set type and print using this traditional technique. Letterpress is an old, tactile craft that requires time and focus to produce a beautiful impression!

Tell us a bit about your work.
Prickle Press is a design and letterpress business based in Brixton specialising in handprinted stationery: greetings cards, prints, calendars as well as personalised stationery and wedding invitations. Every design is carefully hand drawn and designed by myself and then handprinted on a one-hundred-year-old Chandler & Price letterpress.

Each each piece of card is fed through the press, piled and packaged by hand. The finished product is well worth the hard work and elbow-grease: a luxurious card with ornate designs impressed on the surface.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
rachel2I am taking part because I am passionate about sharing letterpress with the public, giving children and adults alike the opportunity to learn about this old craft.

Also, I took part last year and I loved the atmosphere of the event – being surrounded by so many talented makers producing beautiful works and meeting the public. It was an incredibly positive experience for me and I made some excellent contacts.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
rachel3At Making Uncovered I will be giving people the opportunity to typeset and print their own postcard. They can chose from various sets of type I have or pick out already set words and phrases which they can turn into their own personal message. We will set it up on the press and they can print it themselves.

The idea this year is to maybe think about someone you know and send them a little card to say hi or wish them well. Envelopes and stamps will be provided too!

Prickle Press will be offering drop-in printing sessions at 11.30am-1.30pm and 3.30-5pm. No booking needed – just turn up. Cost: £2 -£5 per card, depending on your message.

Making Uncovered: Hairy Jayne

Hairy-Jayne_0059Jayne is a hairdresser who brews her own range of hair products in Brixton under the name of Hairy Jayne. At Making Uncovered she will be showing the process of creating handmade hair products, including conditioner and hair perfume, using essential oils and natural products.

Tell us a bit about your work.
My work is mixing potions which are good for your hair (in between doing haircuts). I have a little studio in Brixton where I make hair care products from naturally derived ingredients and essential oils.

I’m inspired by nature, nostalgia and the traditional hair care ingredients used around the world, such as oils, flower extracts and essences, and I avoid using harsh chemicals. I make shampoos, conditioners, a hair oil and hair perfumes, which are designed to freshen up your hair between washes.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
Hairy-Jayne_0026A lot of people that I speak to about my product range are usually really curious about what goes in to making it. I’d like to show people that it’s not much different to cooking – once you have the recipe sorted, off you go measuring and melting things and stirring them together.

Also I loved the idea of collaboration, of me giving the participants a base recipe and then them personalising it with ingredients to suit their hair type and fragrances that they love. I’m intrigued to see what people come up with!

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
Hairy-Jayne_0048I’ll be running two workshops. The first is conditioner making, where the participants will first vote for the oils and additives they’d prefer. Then I’ll demonstrate making the base of the conditioner. The base will be divided up into little pots, and then each person will then be able to customise their pot with the essential oils that they choose and add their own labels.

The second one will be making a hair refresher or perfume from scratch, choosing the ingredients to suit their hair type and their choice of essential oils.

Hairy Jayne’s Making Uncovered workshops are at 11.30am and 3.30pm and cost £10 each – book your place here!

Making Uncovered: Rosella Garavaglia

Rosella Garavaglia is an artist who works on calligraphy and lettering projects. At Making Uncovered she will be demonstrating how to use lettering to create expressive pieces that turn the written word into a beautiful art form. 

Tell us a bit about your work.

rosella1I am an experienced calligrapher and lettering artist working on a wide range of calligraphy and lettering projects. My main interest is to explore the expressive potential of the written word through various media and writing implements including the brush, fabric, wood, stone, glass and collage.

I alternate working on commissions with creating art for exhibitions, sale and a means of self-expression. I have worked with design consultants, marketing agencies, events organisers, public institutions as well as authors, artists and private individuals.

In my personal work, words and language are a springboard for artistic expression.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?

rosella2I was once myself inspired by seeing other calligraphers at work to start on the path of training and appreciation of the lettering arts. In my professional practice I’ve often embraced any opportunity to share my enthusiasm for lettering with others by participating to group projects and exhibitions, mainly with Calligraphy and Lettering Associations.

At Making Uncovered I hope to inspire people, especially young people, to pick up a pen or brush and express their words visually with skill, imagination and fun. In today’s world, where verbal communication is mostly produced by pressing digits on a keyboard, the art of handwriting has never been more significant.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?

rosella4On the day I will be demonstrating the use of the calligraphy pen and the brush to form letter shapes based on a basic italic alphabet and its variations.

I’ll introduce some simple method of decoration with handmade rubber stamps and mono-
prints to add colour and texture to small projects such as a birthday card, a book mark, a decorated post code or a small quotation. Wording may be inspired by the current Exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton.

I’ll accept donations towards materials and use of equipment from anyone who want to have a go.

Making Uncovered: Elena Blanco

summer-2013_10 Elena Blanco of Dreamy Me will be running an illustration workshop at Making Uncovered on 13 September for “artistically shy” adults.

So if you’ve always wanted to have a go at drawing but been too nervous, this workshop will help you build confidence through fun exercises and interesting techniques.

Tell us a bit about your work.

I do drawing and illustration. My work can be divided in two groups. One is the work I do as part of my art practice:  sketch books, drawing series, artist books. This is investigative work and my refuge, where I can be as happy as a child again.

The other is the work I do for other people, commissions. Lots of it comes from my Etsy shop. People contact me to illustrate their stories for special occasions such as weddings, births or even for the loss of a beloved one. I love doing this too.

For each commission I make sure I get the right level of excitement and interest needed to produce something truly special. If the excitement is not great at the beginning, I look into it to find points of interest until the project has become my own and my enthusiasm is huge.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?


Making Uncovered is a wonderful occasion for artists and makers. It’s about celebrating the joy of creating with other fellow artist and makers and with the community – who are also makers that have not “come out” yet. 🙂 We are all makers and we have to share and inspire others to find their own creative outlet.

Making Uncovered is an event to look forward to every year, like birthdays and Christmas. It’s special, fun, moving, inspiring, encouraging… It’s just fantastic!

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?

rob_pic_2My aim this year is to help “artistically shy” adults, as people have come to me saying I would love to draw but I’m rubbish. I want to help and inspire them and have fun with it! I’m running a two-hour workshop I’m very excited about as I am planning to run regular teaching if all goes well.

Out of the workshop I want to engage with people and their stories. I am offering to make a little artist book for them with whatever they want to tell me and I’m asking them to do the same by creating their own artist book about the event and their experiences.


Elena’s two-hour workshop starts at midday and costs £15, including materials. Book now on Eventbrite.

Making Uncovered: Wolle + Hide

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be publishing short profiles of makers who are taking part in Making Uncovered, our celebration of creativity in Lambeth on 13 September.

First up, Susan Blackah-Lyn of Wolle+Hide.

Tell us a bit about your business.

wolle1Wolle+Hide  design and make products that mix a rural and urban aesthetic. We make handmade high quality women’s and men’s fashion accessories from natural materials for design-conscious individuals.

Wolle+Hide products combine wool, leather and sheepskin together, creating tactile, useable bags and purses. We use simple shapes  that show off the quality of our materials and incorporate details that make each product unique.

Wolle+Hide support the Campaign for Wool and British farmers and weavers – all of our products are handmade in Britain.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?

wolle2I have been involved in the fashion and textiles world for 30 years and decided to set up my business because I wanted to share my love of natural fabrics, simple design, quality making, and of course sheep, with others. 

I strongly believe in the revival in British craft and design and the awareness of ethical based products and sustainability. 

I decided to take part in Making Uncovered because I believe that it is important to communicate your passion to others, and as a Lambeth resident of many years  I am delighted to take  up this opportunity.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?

wolle3I want others to share my passion for wonderful materials – focusing on  tactile wool.  We are offering the experience of making simple shaped purses that show the beauty and texture of the cloth and  that are lined with printed cotton fabrics.

The purses will be handmade and  we will be demonstrating how to decorate them with appliqué, beads/buttons, handmade tassels and handmade felt beads/balls.

Wolle+Hide will be running one-hour workshops at 12.30pm and 3.30pm on making a wool purse or phone cover. Price £10, including materials. Book now on Eventbrite.

African accessories

Mariatu Turay of Gitas Portal specialises in contemporary, African-inspired ladies’ and children’s fashion, handmade slippers, jewellery and handbags.

At Making Uncovered she will be showing how to make fabric headbands for children and adults, and how to make the best use of your leftover fabrics by turning them into coin purses.


What do you like about your art/craft? Why did you get into it?

I love the fact that I have free rein to bring an idea or vision to life and that my customers appreciate what I do. I got into it because I thoroughly enjoy designing and making clothes and accessories and I come alive when I do – can’t help myself.

Why are you taking part in making uncovered?

It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet people and share what I do and engage others in the actual making process, which ordinarily would be behind the scenes. People usually see the finished produce and not the making process.

What will you be teaching people and why should they sign up? 

I’ll be running short, 20-minute workshops showing people how to make little purses and simple headbands that could also be used as a neckpiece. If you’ve got strips of material lying about in the house and you want to do something that’s simple, quick and fun to give to friends, with that added personal touch (you made it), then come along.