Handmade Fair Meet the Maker: Joanna Clark Designs

You can officially start crossing off the days, The Handmade Fair is just one week away! We’ve already got a WIP waiting by the door for the journey to Hampton Court, and we can’t wait to see you there.

Earlier this week we talked to Joanna from Joanna Clark Designs about what she’s looking forward to most…

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
It may begin with some machine knitting with my Peruvian knitting expert and then in-between dog walking, exercising and seeing my friends (crochet is very portable!),  I finish off knitted scarves, hats and gloves with crochet embellishments and edges to add colour and interest. I use baby alpaca from Blue Sky Alpacas as I like the colours and weight of their melange and sport weight yarns. I use hand-knitted or crochet to make machine knitted items have the home-made touch. The favourite part of my job for me is playing around with new colour combinations and working out a new design. Recently I have started carefully annotating all the designs I have come up with over the years and I am hoping to sell finished items as well as these designs at The Handmade Fair. 

Are there any crafts you don’t like, or can’t do?

I don’t like following other people’s patterns. I like to do my own. But sometimes I have to look at a pattern for some guidance. I didn’t enjoy sewing and making clothes from patterns. They are too restrictive and require too much precision work. My granny taught me how to make lace in my 20’s but I get bored when I can’t play around with colour and nearly went cross-eyed with the detailed work!

Who inspired you to start doing what you do?

Both my Mum and my Granny are/were very good at making things – lace, embroidery, patchwork, knitting, crochet. When I went to Chelsea College of Art to do Textile Design I thought I couldn’t possibly do knitting as it was what my Mum always did and so I did Weave but returned to Knitting when I finished and Kay Cosserat whom I had met at Chelsea offered me a freelance job for her design agency. Knitting was in the blood! I worked for Kay for 3 years until her death in her 50’s. I loved seeing all the designs coming in and having her guidance but also being able to bring my hand-knitting knowledge to the mix as I had been taught everything my mum knew.

What do you love most about working in the craft industry?

I love being creative and being able to put an idea into production so quickly. I love sharing my hobby with others who enjoy it and learning from them. I love playing around with designs and colours of yarn. 

What new projects are you currently working on?

I am working with The Portobello Road Hamper Company on baby knitwear for their hampers. We are hoping to make stripy bootees amongst other things.

What are you looking forward to most about being at The Handmade Fair?

I am looking forward to being at a fair which should attract lots of people who appreciate handmade knitwear designs. I am also looking forward to meeting other knitters, crocheters and seeing the other things that people make.  


Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at the Fair.

I will be selling my designs – scarves, cowls, gloves, mittens and hats in lots of different colour ways. I am curious as to what will be popular. I am also going to trial selling my designs written out with the yarn for people to produce them themselves.

Joanna Clark Designs is situated in the West Shopping Village Tent on stand B155

Find out more about Joanna Clark Designs by visiting www.jclc.co.uk

Check out all the exhibitors and book your tickets for The Handmade Fair now by visiting www.thehandmadefair.com