Makers Corner: Nur Polat Kantar

We are excited to welcome Nur Polat Kantar of Noar Ceramics to our makers market on 21 September (Bernie Grant Arts Centre). Ahead of market day, learn of Nur’s journey below.

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I Graduated from the Department of Ceramics – Glass Design at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. In the following 3 years, I was involved in and provided training on art, design and photography projects as a co-founder of Studio Koza in Istanbul. And over the years, I worked in private sector in the field of photography and graphic design.

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In 2016, I actively started ceramics again opening up my own studio in Istanbul. Ceramics, with its therapeutic and transformative nature, guided me gently through an inner journey which led me inside to seek for myself, as is.

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As a maker, I take my inspiration from this journey which is coming from the inside. On my ceramics, it is either a motion or a colour; it is a glitter coming out and blinking. Sometimes intense, sometimes gentle. Revealing myself to share and to spread…

And now I continue my journey in London, since 2018.

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Makers Corner: Abi Gill Calligrapher

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We caught up with Abi who kindly shared her hobby and passion with us.

Please tell us about yourself?

I’m Abi and I am the founder of Abigail’s Calligraphy based in Haringey, north London. I started practicing calligraphy seriously about three years ago and have slowly started turning it into a business, mainly providing calligraphy for weddings but also making cards and gifts.

Can you please tell us what inspired you to turn your hands to calligraphy?

I’ve always admired beautiful handwriting. It’s a huge part of someone’s individuality. But it’s also something we see less and less of, as we all communicate through our phones and computers. I don’t know what most of my friends handwriting even looks like! I decided to take a couple of calligraphy courses to unwind and rediscover the beauty of creating something hand written.

The more I practiced and learnt, the more inspired I became. There are hundreds of different styles of calligraphy, known as scripts, many dating back hundreds of years. I learnt to write italic script, which is one most of us are familiar with. Perfecting a script takes years of practice and an eye for the technical, each script has different rules on the necessary angles and line heights. I branched into modern calligraphy too, which is a little more free flowing and is popular at the moment. This is what I use for most of my products.

What is it like to juggle your passion whilst holding down a full-time job?

Calligraphy is my hobby and it’s how I relax. I try and spend as much time as I can writing, but it can be hard. I work full time for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. Sometimes it can be hard to find as much time as I want to for my calligraphy after a full day at work. If your craft isn’t your main income, I think it’s important to be kind to yourself and not pressure yourself to work on it when you’re not in the right headspace or you’re tired, otherwise it becomes a chore rather than an enjoyment.

How do you limit your impact on the environment?

I create a whole range of calligraphy based products but I’m mainly selling cards at the market. The thing that strikes me about most card shops is the amount of single use plastic wrapping every single card. Nobody wants a grubby card, but we also don’t need the plastic to be single use. My cards are in plastic so you can pick them up and have a good look, but when you buy one I’ll keep the plastic to use again and you take it home in a recyclable paper bag.

Can you please tell us of your future aspirations?

I feel like I am very much at the start of my calligraphy business journey and I’m really excited to see where it will go! I love providing calligraphy services for weddings as it’s such a special thing to have something unique and handmade at your big day, so I hope to reach more brides and grooms! Alongside cards and postcards, I also want to explore where else I can use calligraphy. Ideas are always welcome and I’m always up for collaborating with others!

You can view more of Abi’s pieces at our 6 July Makers Market at The Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Until then…

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Makers Corner: Roomamakes

We have only a few days until our Spring Makers Market this 2 & 3 March at The Beehive Pub, N17 9BQ and still so many makers to introduce! Let’s go!

Hello. Who is Roomamakes?

Roomamakes is Rooma, mum of three boys with a background in the arts, including a degree specialising in printed textiles, and who went on to work in the fashion industry for a number of years.  However, although i veered off the creative track and into production, my love of creating and making was always there.

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We are intrigued to know, where do you get your inspiration from?

This was probably down to my mum who taught me how to sew,  knit and crochet at a very young age.  So once my boys were settled in school, I decided to take the plunge and do what I always loved. My mum was a machinist in the old Simpson’s factory in Hackney.  In her spare time she would make us outfits,  knit without the use of patterns and still manage to create amazing things. Her love of embroidery carried on with needlepoint in her retirement . She was very much a multi-tasker in the world of creating.

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After a long day creating, what do you find to be your go-to for relaxing and switching off?

I usually relax after the boys are tucked into bed… with a few catch up episodes of the current BBC drama!

I try to switch off from everything, but there is always some thing well within reach. A notebook to doodle in acts like therapy and I fall into a little bubble of my own!

Before you go, can you impart some words of wisdom for those starting out?

Life is short and if you never try, you never know!

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