On the 9th June , Lunar 21 participated in the third ‘Creative and Crafty Blogger Meet Up’, hosted by Marriott Breadsall Priory, located north of Derby. We discovered it by chance a few days earlier on twitter and jumped at the chance to attend . When we got there we found an outstanding example of a self-organised grassroots event. bringing together specialists and creatives within our region; developing the impact and diversity of the craft practice in the area. All the bloggers who came write regularly about their work and so promote the Derbyshire and Midlands area to a wider audience.
The afternoon brought together writers, crafters and artisans from as far afield as Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham . A number, including the organiser Samantha Schofield (who hosts the Pickford House ‘Crafternoon Teas’, with Derby Museums) run micro-businesses in the region. The afternoon included a number of talks and demonstrations from attendees, including Weleda Skincare, Phil Stott working with paint effects for furniture and a new exhibition space ‘Bless Your Arts’ in North Staffordshire.
The theme of collaboration continued into the afternoon with a craft swap, and the chance to take part in the Etsy Global party around the theme of kaleidoscope, colour and paper. Everyone contributed a small wrapped craft activity for someone else to attempt, as well as the chance to talk about each blogger’s own work, writing and etsy shops. Conversation blossomed as people compared notes and work, and the sharing of ideas, and experience continued until past four o’clock.
Refreshments and lunch included a stunning afternoon tea, with sandwiches, cakes and scones courtest of the venue. In keeping with the nature of the #ccbloggers group, presentation was immaculate, and very, very tasty!
The #ccbloggers event showcases how the creativity and skill in Derby and the Midlands is being nurtured by the very people who are doing the hard work. No government funding or huge marketing budget boost it’s visibility. It is a small but vital event that grows organically throughout the niche community that it benefits.
This kind of organisation creates vital links between small businesses and individuals that may otherwise operate in isolation, and establishes a network that eventually promotes the creativity of a region. Events like #ccbloggers engage with the connections forged easily in the digital space and transpose them into something more meaningful and permanent, that in turn feed and extend the digital network. It demonstrates how the changes created by the massive expansion of the digital sphere into a traditional realm such as craft and artisan practice can revive and expand it to new participants.
If you’re interested in reading more by the #ccblogger writers here a list of their blogs is here: