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Half-arsed Crafts – Blog Post

www.halfarsedcrafts.co.uk/remarkable-local-artists/

I paid a visit to the Independent Design Collective on North Street, Bristol last week and was blown away by the stunning range of arts and crafts produced entirely by local artists and designers in Bristol. I got chatting to Chitra Tarling (the shop owner and designer behind Karve Design) about the Collective and immediately fell in love with their philosophy of providing amazing handmade art and design at reasonable prices. As an obsessive upcycler, I was especially impressed with the amount of recycled materials used in many of the products on offer!

Local Artists and Designers

A few of the artists that currently feature include:

Pieces of Bristol 

Pieces Of Bristol is the creation of local photographer, Nicola Bartlett, who produces quirky and colorful Bristol themed gifts using her original photographs. Nicola’s little Bristol treasures are perfect for lovers of Bristolian Street Art in particular.

local artists and art in bristol

 

Dandylion Jack

Jenny Price’s creative and illustrations utlise colour, pattern and typography to produce vibrant graphical designs, which are inspired by the natural world and iconic Bristol landmarks and scenary.

local artists and art in bristol

 

Karve Design

Karve Design’s upcycled timepiece jewellery really caught my eye, being lovingly transformed from vintage watch parts into bespoke jewellery pieces.

Karve’s founder and designer, Chitra Tarling, also creates upcycled and sculptural furniture, beautiful stitched art pieces and origami decorations.

5% of all sales of Karve Design products are donated to charity.  Another great reason to shop locally!

local artists and art in bristol

 

Bella Rock

Bella Rock create luxurious cosmestics which are all natural, cruelty free and environmentally friendly and all handmade in small batches by Becki.

You can join Becki in a Make Your Own Face Mask Workshop at the IDC on 22 July 2018 (see more details at the end of the post).

local artists and art in bristol

 

Citiviews

Citiviews produce stunning works showcasing photographs of the scenic scapes and iconic city images of Bristol; particularly focusing on Bristol’s harbourside, architecture, nature and reflections. Their products include something for every budget, from mugs and fridge magnets to canvas prints and framed photographs.

local artists and art in bristol

For a full list of all of the local artists and designers currently featured at the Independent Design Collective, click here.

 

Workshops

IDC have also started providing workshops to teach various crafts and techniques. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Create your own collage coaster set – 15 July 2018 – 10:30am to 1pm £35 per person or £55 for 2 people
  • Making your own natural face mask – 22 July 2018 – 10:30am to 12pm £15 per person or £25 for 2 people
  • Beginners string art – 12 August 2018 – 10am to 12pm £30 pp or £40 for 2 people
  • Make your own bath bomb – 9 September 2018 – 10.30am to 12pm £20 per person

 

For further info pop into the shop, check out their events page on Facebook or email mail@independentdesigncollective.com. Most importantly of all, don’t forget to buy local!

 

 

My Bristol Favourites – Bristol 24/7

Chitra Tarling owns and runs the Independent Design Collective gift shop on North Street in Southville, designing and making a broad selection of her own products under the name Karve Design.

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www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/people/bristol-favourites

Balloon Fiesta

“Every time I see a hot air balloon I feel like a little kid watching something magical floating by! I am lucky enough to live opposite Ashton Court Estate and therefore get a fantastic view of the balloons each year during the Balloon Fiesta.”

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Upfest

“This year is the tenth anniversary of Upfest and it’s going to be epic! This festival is like one big street party with amazing artists from all over Europe creating stunning graffiti pieces. Some of my favourite pieces over the past few years are the John Lennon piece opposite Aldi in their car park by Eduardo Kobra, Neptune on the side of the Masonic by Pichiavo and the hand-stitched rhino on the side of Red Point Climbing Centre by Louis Masai.”

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North Street

“There are so many independent shops and restaurants opening up and creating a warm, family friendly place to hang out. I have only lived in Bristol for five years and even in that short period so much has changed. The Dean Lane end of the street was filled with empty units and there was no life. But slowly slowly the units have been let or sold and fabulous businesses have taken over: The Old Bookshop, Corks of North Street, Margot May, Rhubarb Jumble, Earthcake, Mon Pote and many more. And of course, my new gift shop Independent Design Collective!”

Blaise Castle Estate

“The perfect place to walk our dog, who loves wooded areas and splashing about in the stream. Blaise Castle Estate has it all: a kids play area, plenty of trees, a large open green area and even a castle!”

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Tobacco Factory

The Tobacco Factory holds a special place in my heart for several reasons. When my husband and I first moved to Bristol we often popped in for a coffee and lunch. It is such a warm, open, friendly place and you are free to stay as long as you need. They have amazing food, events and a great theatre upstairs. The Sunday Market has such a nice vibe and is also the first market I sold my pieces at for four years after moving to Bristol. The other stallholders are friendly, helpful and super talented. There is always fresh veg, fish and bread along with a wide range of craft stalls. The perfect place for a Sunday mooch.”

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Birthday Celebrations!!

In a couple of month’s time it will  be our 1st birthday!! 

29th July 2018 IDC will be a year old and I wonder where the time has gone…

Since holding the keys to the shop in my hands for the very first time, life has been busy and I have loved EVERY MINUTE!

The past few months at IDC has felt much more settled as I have got into the rhythm of the day to day life of the shop.  We introduced a large number of new local artist who are all selling well and creating the variety needed to keep customers coming back.

We also started running workshops in the shop on Sundays, which has been very popular with all involved.  The workshops we have run and which are currently available are listed on our website under ‘WORKSHOPS’

The celebrations for our 1st birthday will coincide with the 10th year anniversary of Upfest, which is the largest street art festival in Europe! So in other words it is going to be one hell of a weekend.

We will be holding a raffle which starts on the 10th of July and will run till 28th July.   Every purchase made within this time will be entered into the draw and you could win one of 25 prizes! The draw will take place on 29th July at 1pm.

Any party also needs cake and bubbles which will be provided by our lovely neighbours Earthcake and Corks of North Street.  We are also lucky enough to have singer/songwriter Mat Lingraad join us from 4 to 5pm on the 29th July.  

We look forward to seeing you then to help us celebrate and wish us luck for the next year!

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Visit Bristol Blog – Food Friday

Food Friday – 1st June

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Souk Kitchen

The Souk Kitchen in Southville is one of my favourite places to eat in Bristol thanks to its authentic Mediterranean food and great service. The menu changes depending on what can be sourced locally and what is in season. I always order from their Meze menu as there is such a wide choice and everything is super tasty.

Ganesha

This family-run Indian restaurant is warm, welcoming and has a relaxed atmosphere. Their knowledge on balancing the spices for each dish is clear upon tasting and they are always happy to recommend dishes. My husband and I normally order mango lassie, chilli paneer, masala dosa, lamb chops, Goan fish curry with rice and peshwari naan which is more than enough food for two people, however, we always love having leftovers for the next day!

Spotted Cow

The Spotted Cow was the first pub we ate at when we moved to Bristol so will always be special in my eyes. This beautiful gastro pub has amazing non-pretentious food, made using locally-sourced produce, some of which is grown on their roof garden! The staff are happy and friendly even when it is super busy.  Every High Street needs a top notch pub.

Clifton Village Fish Bar

Everybody loves fish and chips, but this take-away restaurant manages to take them to the next level. Whenever I fancy Fish n Chips I make sure we drive across town to Clifton as a special treat! They have a large selection of fish to choose from along with the old favourites. The batter is light, crisp and crunchy and their chips are plentiful, and of course, they have all the sides – mushy peas, curry sauce and gherkins.

Glassboat Brasserie

Elegant, classy and set in a beautiful location, the Glassboat Brasserie is the perfect place for a romantic evening. The food is classic French cuisine and is absolutely divine. From the fresh bread rolls right the way through to the naughty desserts. The staff go out of their way to make you feel relaxed, comfortable and ensure you have a truly enjoyable night.

About the author:

Chitra Tarling owns and runs The Independent Design Collective gift shop, located on North Street in the heart of Southville. She designs and makes a broad selection of her own products, under the name Karve Design, which are heavily influenced by the geometry of nature and concept of re-use. When she’s not at IDC or making her own pieces, Chitra loves spending time cooking a new recipe or pottering about in her garden.

Nora and Luna Interview 14th May

Independent Design Collective is a craft based gift shop located in the vibrant Southville area of Bristol, featuring and promoting designers and makers from the local area. We were lucky enough to interview Chitra Tarling about the shop.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

I’m great thank you!

What made you decide to set up Independent Design Collective?

From a very young age, I have always wanted to own a shop selling my own designs. I studied furniture design at University and have worked in retail for over 20 years. Since moving to Bristol (from London) 5 years ago I have been selling my own pieces of timepiece jewellery, stitched art work and wooden candle holders at local markets.

I met plenty of local talented people at these markets and wanted to include them in my dream. The shop I found was the perfect size, location and with stunning windows and a beautiful door. When this opportunity came up I couldn’t say no, it was a ‘now or never’ moment.

What does your shop sell?

My shop sells a variety of pieces made by Bristol local creatives. We stock work from over 25 different artists. We currently sell, prints, photos, greetings cards, coasters, beauty products, string art, jewellery, candles, crochet pots, plant holders, tote bags and much much more.

Why did you call your shop Independent Design Collective?

I went through a number of different names and asked friends and family for their ideas too. After a lot of discussions with my husband it just came it me and sounded ideal. I know it is a bit long, but it can easily be shortened to IDC.

Have you always been into design and craft?

I have always been interested in art and design from a young age. My grandmother taught me to draw and my mother taught me origami and craft. From then I was hooked and I eventually choose to study furniture design at UCE in Birmingham. I worked in furniture sales while I lived in London but I was desperate to follow my dreams and so we moved to Bristol a few years ago. Bristol is a vibrant city full of independent businesses supported by the locals. I stated out with a small box of my jewellery, candles and cushions to sell at a local market. Each market I attended I learnt something new and my business grew slowly and steadily.

Where do you source your independent stock?

I met many Bristol artists when I was trading at the markets for 4 years and so when I first opened the shop I contacted them directly to see if they wanted to join my venture. Now, artists approach me and as long as they are offering something different and are local to Bristol I try and take them on and fit them in the shop

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

Social media is everywhere and if you are not a part of it you are not moving with the times. Social media is a form of free advertising and has helped massively in growing my business and even in selling products. So many people browse Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all day and then want the items they see.

Who inspires your shop?

I have honed my own style over the years, but everyone takes influence from others around them.  I have admired several independent shops in London and Bristol and have tried to emulate their style in to my shop.

Do you have any favourite pieces from your shop that you adore at the moment?

That is a very difficult question as I adore everything I have in the shop. If I wasn’t 100% on the pieces we have in store, I would struggle to sell them. I am passionate about each piece and every designer has their own merits.

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram page?

I will continue to showcase new artists and designers joining the shop.  I will also promote our workshops happening throughout the year. So far we have held beginners crochet, beginners knitting and make your own face mask is coming up at the end of April.

Can you tell us a little bit about the events you are currently holding?

There are a couple of events coming up, firstly we are taking part in the Southbank arts trail on the 12th and 13th May. One of of jewellers will be stamping silver rings with shapes and letters for customers while they wait. Secondly it’ll be our 1st birthday on the 29th July and so we’ll be celebrating by holding a raffle. It will be happening over the same weekend as Upfest, so I’m sure it will be very busy.

What’s your typical working day?

We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am till 6pm every week. I am here most days, but every so often we have a few volunteers help cover the shop. I normally post on Instagram and Facebook first thing. I then check the displays and make sure they are looking tidy and smart. I also try and redo the window displays each week, just to feature something new.

When it is quiet the shop also gives me the opportunity to make more timepiece jewellery for my other company Karve Design.

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

We are only 8 months old, so still relatively new. I think the hardest part has been advertising what we are and what we offer. Getting people through the doors and looking at all the pieces made my local artists and designers. Being a small independent shop means budgets are low and anything we can achieve through low cost or free advertising is very important.

Every purchase helps, not only me and the shop but also all the artists who sell with us. We are strong believers that every penny spent in a local independent shop goes back in to the community.

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

The workshops we are holding in the shop is the biggest challenge for this year and they are already quite popular. As I said previously, we will also be celebrating our 1st birthday, so I’m looking forward to that.

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Be unique and always be yourself.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own shop?

Research, plan, sort out your finances, find a good location, try and keep your overheads low and believe in yourself.  It takes time and effort but if you really want if to work if will.

What’s next for Independent Design Collective?

We haven’t got many exciting plans at present as we are still taking each month as it comes, but hopefully next year we’ll be more established and will be able to see what’s next on the horizon.

What’s the best piece of creative advice you’ve ever been given?

I have been given a lot of cliches as advise, such as, ‘follow your dreams’ ‘if you can dream it you can do it’ but strangely I never really believed it to be true.

I just kept my head down, worked hard everyday and here I am running my own shop. I couldn’t be happier.

You can take a look at their website ‘https://independentdesigncollective.com‘ for more information about the shop. You can also find Independent Design Collective on Instagram ‘https://www.instagram.com/independentdesigncollective/’.

 

http://noraandluna.com/craft/2018/5/13/interview-independent-design-collective

Happy New Year – 2018

Happy New Year Everyone!! 

At the start of this year I was lucky enough to be relaxing on a beach in Tenerife and so the shop was closed for about 2 weeks.

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Worth it though! What a stunning place with amazing food. #needtogobacksoon

 

The rest of January was as expected, cold, grey, damp and miserable.  On the bright side though we had plenty of people visiting the shop and commenting on how warm and inviting it looks.

We also had quite a few new artists join the shop… Ransom Design, Quantum Design, Polly Baker Art, Wool Quarter, Iduna and Sophie Helen Design.

Below are a few photos of their work and more inforation on each artist can be found on our ‘Local Designers‘ page.

 

Something new for 2018, we have decided to introduce workshops at IDC so stay tuned for future updates.  First up is a beginners Crochet class followed by a beginners Knitting class.

February is proving to be quite a steady month and hopefully this will continue into the year. #shoplocal

 

It’s All a Blur! – Nov/Dec 2017

To be honest there is not much to say about these two months as each day blurred into the next. 

November we featured the following 4 artists and their work – Chimps Tea Party, Seaurchin, SC Knis and Red Bird Makes

Here are a few images of their work:

 

December was manic from start to finish in a really good way! The locals were starting to notice us and beginning to buy their Christmas presents from us! SUCCESS!

BRING ON 2018  🙂

 

New Stockists, New Shutters and Late Night Opening (Sept/Oct 2017)

The past two months have sped by and we are now officially in the run up to Christmas! I have enjoyed chatting with all our new customers and have been slowly filling our shelves with beautiful products made by local artist and designers.
SEPTEMBER
During September we took park in the first ever Bristol Arts Trail (https://bristolarttrail.com/) which was taking place all over the city from the 1st to the 3rd Sept.
‘The Bristol Arts Trail offers the opportunity for everyone living and working within a Bristol postcode to open their home, studio, shop or gallery to the public. In creating Bristol Art Trail we wish to support the creative community throughout the City and unite everyone in a single event from the center to the edges of Bristol.’
On the 29th Sept Macmillian Cancer Support were holding the worlds biggest Coffee Morning and I wanted to take part as its a charity very close to my heart. I baked two different types of cake and offered tea and coffee on the day and I am pleased to say that we managed to raise £50 for this worthy cause.

In September we were pleased to announce that two new local artists joined our shop …
Button and Brew – All products are currently made by Siân Marie in her home studio in South Bristol. The embroidery is designed on a computer and sewn using a digital embroidery machine using high quality thread onto 100% cotton fabric. The items are then completed by hand. The make-your-own kit instructions are written by Sian Marie, each pack is put together by hand using a variety of recycled materials, mainly from clothing, and hand dyed yarns.

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Simone Potter Ceramics – Simone Potter lives in South Bristol and makes pottery at her studio located at In Bristol Studio in Barton Hill, Bristol. Most of her pieces are made on the wheel and designed for commissions for galleries, restaurants and private clients. She enjoys developing and designing new work, experimenting with different clay bodies and exploring the chemistry of glazes.

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OCTOBER
As the nights get darker and we move closer to celebrating bonfire night, people start to think about Christmas! As a result of this and still being relatively new to the neighbourhood we thought it would be a good idea to start opening late on Thursday nights. These extra couple of hours gives customers the perfect opportunity to come in for a quick browse on their way home from work to view all of our fabulous products.
So from now on we will be open from 10 till 7pm EVERY Thursday night from now until Christmas!
This month we featured in a write up by Studio Cotton and Bedminster BID who popped into the shop at the beginning of the month to find out what we were about.
I have listed the links below:
https://studiocotton.co.uk/blog/bristol/flurry-ultra-cool-indie-businesses-north-street-luckwell-road-dean-lanecannon-street-roundabouts/
https://www.bedminster.org.uk/news-cms/2017/9/28/retailer-profile-independent-design-collective

North Street has always been famous for its street art and being the ‘new shop on the block’ I felt I needed to comply by having my shutters painted. The only person who sprang to mind was Lucas Antics (https://www.lucas-antics.com/) and her amazing animals.  

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During October another 7 new artists joined our merry team, selling everything from cushions and crochet pots to ceramics, jewellery and other homewares.

Wisteria Workshop – Five years ago I started learning the craft of upholstery, combined the two and Wisteria Workshop Upholstery started.
I love trawling around markets, car-boots, and any second – hand shops looking for a fabric and chairs to transform.
At my workshop in Ashton I take commissions, make cushions and hold the odd class in basic Upholstery.

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Chimps Tea Party – My crocheted plant cozies were designed as a way to add some bright colours and pom-poms to my house plants – I now want to put pom-poms on everything!

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Seaurchin – Lisa works from her small home studio near Bristol Airport, taking inspiration from coral reefs, flowers, geology, moss and lichen. Most of the work is made of high-fired porcelain clay, which can be translucent when held up to the light. Wall sculptures and bowls are small-scale, delicate and decorative, often the creamy white of pure unglazed porcelain, or vibrantly coloured using stoneware glazes, underglaze or melted glass.

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SC Knits – Her product collections and tonal palettes are inspired by the vibrant surroundings and textural surfaces of nature. With a distinctive bohemian style, her lively knitted textiles and innovative products demonstrate her passion for colour and surface texture.

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Red Bird Makes – Red Bird Makes’ eclectic mix stems from her love of vintage and the simpler things in life. Find nostagic quirky porcelain charms alongside her more minimal and modern geometric brass and silver work.

Smithson Gallery Forge 09 Jo Hounsome Photography

So Spiffy – The tea towels are all designed by Sylv, then printed and returned to Sam who packages them in their spiffy punnets and dispatches them to their new homes. Their first products were a range of tea towels celebrating the joys of Devon. Nostalgia at its very best!! They continue to add new designs, while bringing in a range of other homewares.

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Anna Lees – Anna Lees creates playful compositions by recycling images from discarded books and forgotten photographs. She is focused on the process of deconstructing and reconstructing found imagery to create rearranged realities, playful portraits and imagined landscapes.

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Logo design and building furniture (July/August 2017)

These past couple of months have flown by and I can’t quite believe we are now open and trading.

July mainly consisted of sanding, painting, more painting and checking in on the builders.

Once the main building work was completed and majority of the painting was done, ordering the furniture and fixtures was next on my list of tasks.  The main furniture pieces came from a company called Moreplan. They are based in Hengrove, but also have branches in London. This shop sells anything a shop Ower could want or need…. It is fabulous and the staff are super friendly and helpful.

The rest of the furniture came from second hand shops around the city.  I’ve made use of old tea chests, scrap wood from a building site and even an old cable reel. The other pieces came from a shop on West Street called ‘Dear Old Thing’.

 

Whilst the final preparations for the shop were getting done, I was frantically looking for someone to help me design the shop logo.  I knew what I was looking for but didn’t have the skills to produce the final version.

In my hour of need a friend from London offered to come up with a few designs. As soon as I saw the first design I knew this was it! It was well presented, stylish, eye catching and sexy.  I loved it! Independent Design Collective now had a logo a brand and a colour scheme.

I would like to thank Dominic from Dominic Payne Design www.dominicpaynedesign.com who came up with this stunning logo. Thanks Dom 😀