From tree surgeon to jeweller, a local crafter who specialises in creating handmade necklace pendants from all types of wood and natural materials, will be exhibiting at The Ridings Shopping Centre’s Craft Fair for the very first time this week (Sunday 5th February).
Lee Soren Johnston Jewellery, which was founded in October 2016, will be joining a collection of 20 other crafters who travel from across Yorkshire to attend the monthly event taking place from 10.30am until 4.30pm.
Lee Soren Johnston, owner of Lee Soren Johnston Jewellery, comments: “After noticing a leaflet at the centre advertising the Craft Fair, I was immediately interested in learning how I could get involved. As I had only just established my business, I understood that the fair would act as a great platform for trading and that it would also help to raise my profile.”
Lee, who came up with the business idea after being house bound following an accident, has always been creative and saw the start of his company as a new challenge.
“I’ve always had an artistic flair and studied A-level art at college. I used to make costumes for conventions and fancy dress parties and before that I worked as a tree surgeon. During my time as a tree surgeon, not only did I learn about different types of wood and how to work with it, I was also able to collect unusual pieces of wood. This was where my inspiration for the business came from.
“Whilst most of my jewellery is made from different wood types, I can also make pieces from other materials including see glass, brass, bronze, piano keys and buffalo, deer and antler horns. Basically, anything I can get my hands on!
“I like geometric shapes, so much of my jewellery takes on this form. However, I also take requests for specific pieces. I was recently contacted by a bride who had been let down by a supplier to create some custom-made necklaces for her bridesmaids.”
Lynne Thompson, from Created in Yorkshire, who manages the Craft Fairs comments: “The Ridings’ monthly Craft Fairs have been a great success, but we want to make them even bigger and better this year.
“We are hoping to attract even more traders just like Lee and are on the hunt for new stall holders to complement existing traders – ultimately we want our Craft Fair to showcase the best that Yorkshire has to offer.”
Lee Soren Johnston Jewellery will be joined by a collection of other stalls including regular traders Sulphur Skin Care, Holly’s Needles and Cards by Ann Marston. All the stalls will be selling handmade, quality items such as clothing, gifts and homeware that have been created in Yorkshire.
There will also be free craft workshops for youngsters at the Craft Fair. Focusing on a different theme each month, this week’s will give pre-schoolers the chance to create an icy snow flake, while four to seven-year-old children will make snowmen and eight-year-olds beaded snowflakes.
Admission is free and car parking is only 50p for the entire day.
The Ridings Shopping Centre is expanding its Craft Fair offering and is looking for new stallholders to complement existing sellers. If you produce handmade items in Yorkshire and would like more details on how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.