Master Classes....

Almost since we started, showing people how to do things, passing on skills, and teaching classes on things like basic crochet has been a big part of what we do.

We've had members give up their time, mostly for free, to spread the word on how amazing Handmade can be.

But now thanks to the wonderous people at Creative Peterborough we've been given some cash to help the crafters themselves. Anyone can book to take part, and it won't cost you a penny.

We asked what would help you to get better at what you do. The answers have been split into two catagories, the first half for people who want to make things, and the second for people who want to make those things make them a living.


Master-Classes will be held at Chauffeurs Cottage, St Peters Road, Peterborough PE1 1YX.
It's the building through the big wooden gate behind the Town Hall.

To book, email your name and mobile number to

More Master-Classes will be coming later in the year.
Most of this stuff can also be learned by coming along on a Monday night to our meetings and simply asking people what they think. You may have to buy them a drink though!

Saturday Feb 2nd 1200 – 1300
Pricing Your Items – It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, with Dawn Birch-James.
This Master-Class is not designed to give immediate answers to questions such as, “what should I price this scarf at?” It is designed to help you explore target markets and audiences. It will also help you to position yourself in relation to target markets, assess the quality of your own pieces and your own relationship with your crafting skills.
At the end of the session, you will feel better equipped to answer questions such as: Where do I want to sell? How do I want to present my work? What price shall I put on it and how can I justify that?

Dawn previously taught French and German in secondary schools and managed a Careers Education and Guidance Centre for young people giving training to both staff and students. She has spent the last 11 years buying and selling decorative art and antiques face to face and online. For her Masters Degree in Arts Market Appraisal, she covered topics such as valuing, cataloguing, the commercial relationship between the artist and the purchaser, exhibiting spaces and art business planning. She has also been involved in local fine art circles since 2005, exhibiting as part of the Peterborough Artists Open Studios. She ran Harriet’s Art Gallery from April 2011 and more recently founded Art in the Heart, which started in the Visitor Information Centre and developed into the current gallery and shop on Bridge Street. She feels passionate about creating democracy and inclusion in the art world. She deplores the snobbery and exclusion often associated with art exhibiting spaces and also feels passionate about the bringing together of fine art and crafting as part of that campaign. With 83 current exhibitors and sellers she offers advice on a day to day basis to artists and crafters on how to exhibit and sell their work. She has also assisted new sellers to make a start.

Saturday Feb 9th 1200 - 1330
Getting Measurements Right, with Lindsey Holmes.
This Master-Class will cover taking measurements for fashion. To achieve the correct fit you must first have the right measurements, weather you are working with commercial patterns or drafting your own. The measurements you need vary on what you are making and who you are making it for!
Starting with the basics you will work through how to measure, record and use vital statistics professionally. The second part of the session will include a demonstration of some trick, but very useful sewing techniques including how to insert or replace invisible zips.

Lindsey has been making costumes for theatre, film and museums for over ten years, she graduated with an MA in Costume for Performance from The London College of Fashion in 2010. She has worked with places as varied as The National Theatre and The Natural History Museum. She was chosen to create a gift from the London borough of Brent to be presented to the Queen for her Jubilee earlier this year.

Saturday Feb 16th 1200 – 1330
A Fine Art Approach to Sculptural Textiles, Anita Bruce.
This Master-Class will introduce methods of extending craft skills to develop a conceptual approach to three dimensional textiles. Although you will principally look at knitting and crochet, and some experience of either would be useful, this approach is just as relevant to other craft disciplines.
You will look at experimental methods for creating exciting and unexpected textiles, and how underpinning strong craft skills with analytical and researched based processes can give meaning to your work. These ideas will be backed up by examples of Anita's body of work as a practicing textile art using craft skills.
There will be some time for sampling, so an array of enticing materials will be available to work with along with all the tools you will need, just bring a notebook and pen!

Anita has a background in both the life sciences and textile arts. She explores the boundaries between the arts and science, particularly with reference to environmental change and its impact on biodiversity. She creates intricate sculptural textiles from fine copper wire, using a variety of processes, but principally hand knitting.
Anita is a Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and has been commissioned to create work for the Crafts Council’s handling collection. She has exhibited her ‘Knitted Plankton’ series in a Cabinet of Curiosities at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House. As a core reef contributor to the ‘Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef’ project, Anita has exhibited at the Hayward Gallery and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Recent work has included a series of hummingbirds for the Ghost of Gone Birds exhibition in Shoreditch, London, which aimed to raise awareness of Birdlife International’s preventing extinction’s program. She also exhibits locally with View5, currently artist’s in residence for the Langdyke Countryside Trust.

Saturday Feb 23rd 1200 – 1330
Presenting Your Products with Confidence, with Luke Payn.
This Master-Class will enable you to develop, refresh and even Re-Think the way you communicate with the public face to face at craft fayres and stalls.
This is suitable for anyone who sells their work at Craft Fayres.
It is a one off session, designed to invigorate how you sell, present yourself and your work, harnessing your confidence and much more. Please bring 2 or 3 pieces of your work that you normally offer for sale.

Luke is a visual artist who has created work for sale as well as curating exhibitions. He has over ten years of experience in what it takes to make an impact on the public and how to think creatively to make your items centre stage. He is also an expert in Divergent Thinking which gives you the confidence to use your creativity in every aspect and to be confident with it.

Saturday March 2nd 1100 – 1230
Developing Designs, with Samantha Hope.
This Master-Class will focus on how you can develop practical skills as a crafter, record ideas and write patterns.
Crafters of all kinds usually find that they reach a limit when producing items for sale and this can be frustrating and halt your potential development and sales. Regardless of your craft, selling experience and ability this Master-Class will encourage you to reach for the next level. It will start with a presentation, followed by a practical demonstration that will lead into a question and answer session.

Samantha is an experienced crafter with her own shop and online outlet. For several years she has been designing for Bead & Jewellery magazine. More recently several of Samantha’s textile designs have been selected to be sold as kits in 200 branches of The Range. As a regular guest presenter on Create & Craft Samantha keeps up to date with new ideas and trends.

Saturday March 9th 1200 - 1330
Build your Brand Using Social Media and Sell Online, with Emily Henderson.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the others... They can all help sell your crafts.
You have a brand! You may not know what it is yet, but you do have one lurking around. Find out what it is and how to set it loose on the internet. You will cover the basics, but also go a little deeper into how these sites work, where they are going in the future, and how to get the most gain from a little time.
We will also cover sites like Folksy, Etsy, Not On The High Street. Find out how to get on there and get selling.
Bring something you've made that shows off what you are all about, and discover how to show it off in 140 characters.

Emily is one of the co-founders of Handmade in Peterborough and she is also a journalist, she has a vast experience and understanding of social media and how it can be used to advertise, bring people together and even to create a successful crafty community.

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