All's fair in art + craft

I love crafting, and getting handmade gifts others have made, so I was very keen to pop along to Saturday’s Auckland Art + Craft Fair. Here are some of the highlights – and a LOT of owls…

Pictured left: Jessica Whiting of co-runs the Art + Craft Fair along with Kylie, which is usually held in winter around July and again for the Christmas retail scene in early December, with a gold coin entry at the door of Auckland’s Aotea Centre.

Read more about it at

Pictured below:

Helen Webb is someone I’ve met at her stall at our local school fair in Birkenhead and her stuff never disappoints, with its whimsical charm and nostalgia; childhood books made into journals, old embroidery finding new life as zipped purses.

Her blog is

Below: A stunning lilac Japanese cherry blossom fabric padded ‘Hue-tech clutch’ for netbooks and ipads by Nicola Walker of Hue. It’s lined in purple linen, and I like the elastic cord closure to keep your bits warm and padded inside. Hi tech meets handmade!

I noticed a shift from old-fashion handcrafting of previous markets, and a lot less made from woollen blankets, and a move towards contemporary art especially printing. There were probably three or four screenprinters who stood out, and one was Erupt, who were manning their stall with a very cute small baby! Pictured below, Helen McLaren of Erupt Prints ( makes her own designs and sells cards, posters and more, with a witty and Kiwi edge.

Cute ice-cream prints are screenprinted by hand on greeting cards by The Art Room (

I got this Babushka dolls numbered print by Waikato graphic designer and illlustrator Bron Alexander ( which will look adorable on my little girl’s wall. I can’t take my eyes off their sweet little babushka faces! So cute.

iDear ( makes witty greeting cards and paper goods such as this card, "I think you’re great."

We got a children’s wall poster from Go Benny Go ( with its fun and lively cartoon animals.

A big trend this year was owls. I read recently that in a recession or depression people are drawn to creatures with big eyes and high cute factor, such as kittens or baby owls. I’m not sure of the psychology of it, but there’s no doubting their appeal. Coupled with the fact that New Zealand has its own native owl, the ruru, there were veritable flocks of the feathered friends on offer.

Below: Owl print on plywood ($45) created by artist Aly Bennet of Native Creative, who specialises in handcrafted native artwork.

Millicent Crow is the label of artist Emily Cater ( with her printed paper goods including this snowy owl.

The lovely May May Chung creates these beautiful owl cushions from her artwork, as well as stationery and homewares. You can view her work at

Owl cards by May May Chung.

This vintage owl journal is ‘coptic bound’ ($36) made by Lisa of Honey Design (

Artist Lisa of Honey Design at the Fair.

Adele Robinson of Borrowed Earth ( creates ceramic creatures including these charming wee owls in black with white detail at $20 each. "Each one is unique" she tells us. We got a gorgeous heart fridge magnet in the blue lace-pressed pottery you can see at the right of the photos in her pottery lettering.

By Megan Robinson
13 December 2011


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