‘Meet your Makers’ – Visit local craft studios this weekend in Gozo and Malta

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'Meet your Makers' - Visit local craft studios this weekend in Gozo and MaltaA reminder that this coming weekend visitors will be able to tour local craft makers who have joined together to give customers the opportunity to take a glimpse behind the scenes with a series of ‘Open studio Meet the Makers’ events from Friday, the 6th to Sunday, the 8th of December.

An opportunity to buy locally made designer craft direct as Christmas gifts for others, or for yourself, from the makers at venues across Malta and Gozo. There are 7 makers in 5 venues for 3 days. The craft makers said that they aim to make the shopping experience a pleasure and guarantee quality, style and originality.

The Group said that on display at the studio events will be a good choice from wearable textiles, cushion covers and silk scarves; to stone sculpture from recycled Maltese limestone; silver designer jewellery with precious and semi- precious stones, in patterned silver, or with copper and other materials; to unusual metal art for the home and to wear; and ethically produced beauty products designed for luxurious pampering.

Please view the Makers Mark Malta facebook page, to view some of the work available.

The event is organised by the team behind ‘Makers Mark,’ a charitable foundation set up this year by a group of like-minded professionals who are making their mark on the local craft scene.

It encourages craft makers to share skills; to collaborate on new designs, and to promote their skills and products more effectively in the Maltese Islands and overseas.

The nine founder members (7 in Gozo and 2 in Malta) are established designer/makers with years of experience in their respective fields, both on a national and international level. Several of them have won Maltese awards in design and innovation as well as retail. Others have been granted public art commissions or have been chosen to represent Maltese contemporary art internationally.

One of the organisation’s founders, Gozo-based metal artist Jackie Roberts said, “we recognised that customers often find it difficult to identify original craft items when they are looking for gifts. At our ‘Meet the Makers’ events people can talk directly to the makers and feel confident that what they buy is genuinely hand-crafted locally from the start to finish. Some of the Makers Mark founders had been hosting open studio events for a few years and it made sense this year to promote them all together leading up to Christmas.”

All the venues have parking close by, or are easily accessible by public transport. The organisers said that if it is not possible to make it to this event please contact the makers to arrange an appointment to visit another day, there aim is to make this weekend a welcoming and relaxing shopping experience for all.

In Gozo there are three venues:

Victoria: Prickly Pear in the historic, winding back streets of Victoria (in an alley to the right of St George’s Basilica) where jewellery designer Rachel Robinson has her workshop and also sells design craft from numerous local makers. Prickly Pear was awarded local ‘Craft Retailer of the Year 2012.’

96 Triq San Gorg, Victoria.

Open: Friday 10.30-3pm; Saturday 10-1pm and Sunday 10-12pm

Tel: 99264150 e.mail: pricklypear@me.com

Xewkija: Jackie Roberts and Nancy Church are at Jackie’s workshop and studio gallery at “Casa D’Amore,” Triq It-Torri Gorgun, Xewkija (to the right of St. John’s Church and spectacular Rotunda then second lane on the left overlooking Ta’Cenc and Mgarr Ix-Xini valley). Unusual metal art – functional, fanciful or wearable and original designer silver jewellery with gemstones, leather and other materials.

Open: Friday 4-7pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-2pm

Tel: 79562753 e.mail: robertsj@maltanet.net

Gharb: Pat Holtom and Karin Grech at Pat’s 300 year-old traditional farmhouse 7, Bishop Molina Street, Gharb. (Go to the left of the Gharb church, turn immediately right behind the church then first left along Trux Street. Bishop Molina Street is the first big turning on the right. Farmhouse with blue door on the left). See woven textiles, silk scarves, Gozo wool felt cushions and a unique collection of ‘Guards’ stone sculpture for your house, garden, desk or handbag hand carved from recycled Maltese limestone. Stunning scenery around this historic village to San Dimitri Chapel, Ta’Pinu and along the valley to the coast.

Open: Friday 3-5pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-2pm

Tel: 79602233 e.mail: holtom@onvol.net

In Malta there are two venues:

Fgura: Nadege Renee shows award-winning handcrafted silver jewellery from her workshop at “Schön,” 215, St. Thomas Street, Fgura (coming from Paola, right turn at the Tip Top roundabout, and drive till third block on left, just in front of the Fgura Pharmacy). Unique limited edition designs just the perfect gift for someone special, at a central location accessible to many of Malta’s archaeological treasures.

Open: Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm

Tel: 99229345 e.mail: info@nadegerenee.com

Sliema: Charlene Mercieca at the Soap Café has luxurious, hand-made natural beauty products in custom-made packaging for corporate and personal gifts, hampers, secret Santa packages and teacher’s gifts at her shop the Soap Café, 46,St.Mary Street Sliema (Down right from the Imperial Hotel direction towards Manuel Dimech Street. Soap Café is a few doors down from Max Pastizzeria). Escape to the quiet back streets of Malta’s shopping mecca for relaxed pampering.

Open: Friday 4.30-7.30pm; Saturday & Sunday 10.30am-2pm

Tel: 99883675 e.mail: info@soapcafemalta.com

Photographs – Rachel Robinson – silver lockets, Jackie Roberts ‘ ‘Summer Fennel’ copper & brass pendant, Nancye Church ‘Standing Stone’ Chain chokers in stirling silver, Karin Grech – ‘Guards’ for house, garden, desk or handbag handcarved from recycled Maltese limestone and Pat Holtom – textile designer.

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