Our school, and my employer, broke up for the summer holiday yesterday (deep joy for all involved) and I took the opportunity of a free day to visit Croyde Village Craft Market in the neighbouring village. The market has been running in and around the village hall for several years, but after a change of management last year has been transformed into a thriving, buzzing hub of creativity twice a week smack bang in the centre of this busy tourist and surfing destination.
Today there were about two dozen stalls selling locally crafted items such as silver jewellery, driftwood frames, fused glass decorations, printed t-shirts, felt slippers, swimsuits, photographic prints, turned wood and much more. I spent a fascinating hour browsing and chatting to the craftspeople about their wares, and spent more money than I should have.
My favourite stall was selling the beautiful bowls, plates and other items made by wood turner Dave Tozer who has a gallery and workshop near Barnstaple, our nearest town. The woods in evidence were ash, elm, oak, beech and maple, but I thought the most beautiful pieces were made from burrs, the knobbly lumps which sometimes occur on the sides of trees but never develop into branches.
The spalted woods were also interesting; stunning patterns and colours develop in wood which has been cut and left on the ground for a year or two where various fungi and parasites get to work on it. Once the dishes, plates, bowls and other vessels are turned, Dave polishes them or treats them with vegetable oils which makes them suitable for food use. They just scream out to be picked up and caressed!
I bought a lovely shallow bowl made from burr oak which I plan to keep in my bedroom, possibly for my rings.
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