Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair

13th-15th October 2017
Trade Preview Friday 13th October, 11am–2pm
Haynes International Motor Museum

It’s that second novel or hit record feeling! How to follow up a smash hit? The very first Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair in October 2016 at the luxury laden Haynes International Motor Museum was indeed a smash hit with buyers flooding in from across Somerset and the rest of the world! 

La Place – pair of iron rocking chairs with original paint fragments

La Place – pair of iron rocking chairs with original paint fragments

But there are no jitters in 2017 at Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair HQ in Burnham on Sea in Somerset because the organiser are already running a waiting list for hopeful dealers with some brilliant new names on board, Bombe Interiors, Branching Out Antiques and Elham Antiques all from Kent; Kore Purchase, Tetbury; John Read Smith, Herefordshire; Molly & Maud’s Place and Chris Holmes Decorative Antiques, both Yorkshire; and The Archives from The Netherlands. And with a big sister like the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair just up the road in the Georgian City, running at an all-time high in March 2017, after 28 years, the traction is red hot and the Bruton Decorative Fair is getting ready to motor back to the Haynes International Museum for a spectacular return from 11th-15th October 2017.

Linda North Garden Antiques

Linda North Garden Antiques

Decorative dealers pull out all stops at this show and there will be choreographed displays from some of the most exciting decorative dealers in the UK, Europe and the Channel Islands with C18th – C20th decorative trouve for the home and garden, English Folk Art – early pottery, samplers, walking canes, CMid furniture and accessories, lighting, textiles, grand painted furniture from local country houses, lighting, mirrors, dazzling jewels and even vintage desirable designer handbags.

Chris Holmes Decorative Antiques

Chris Holmes Decorative Antiques

Owners of the fair, Sue and Peter Ede of Cooper Events, who also own the madly successful Shepton Flea, had been trying to find a location for a companion fair for Bath Decorative Antiques Fair with exhibitor pressure mounting for a second event on the calendar. 

The Factory, Castle Cary

The Factory, Castle Cary

The transformation of the sleepy Somerset town of Bruton into the ‘Notting Hill of the South West’ with the arrival of the internationally renowned Hauser & Wirth Gallery, which instantly lit a media fire under this untouched corner of leafy Somerset, drawing an influx of city money, second home owners and celebrities to the area which created a light bulb moment for Sue and Peter and they found the perfect site - the £6million extension to The Haynes International Motor Museum, with its luxury interior and extraordinary raspberry red futuristic façade, just outside Bruton and very hi-viz from the adjacent A303.

Waterfall Antiques, Bath

Waterfall Antiques, Bath

A number of notable Somerset dealers will exhibit again in 2017 including The Factory in Castle Cary, home to seven leading dealers from the decorative trade founded by David Tupman Antiques.  Sharing the beautiful former dairy house factory in Castle Cary are Brighton based dealer Jill Palmer, Pimlico dealer Christopher Butterworth, London based Derek Greengrass and Ashburton, Devon dealer Roger Organ.  Expect to see a highly charged eclectic mix of decorative antiques for the home and garden.  Alchemy from Bruton will also be returning with French and English upholstery, dining tables and chairs, C20th century glass tables, beautiful English and European mirrors, textiles, and a selection of contemporary art and sculpture; Quillon House Antiques, also Bruton based, with fine country furniture and accessories; Wharton Decorative Antiques based between Frome and Bath, dealing in French fireplaces, architectural reclamation and decorative antiques; Elizabeth Lee Interiors from Frome with French, Swedish and English decorative antiques for the home and garden; and just across the border into Dorset, Sherborne based Macintosh Antiques with painted country house furniture and upholstery from the leading furniture makes of the C18th – C19th, and English mirrors; and The Jerram Gallery, British Contemporary pictures and sculptures.

No 1 Lewes

No 1 Lewes

Sue Ede: “We had such a fantastic Bruton debut at Haynes International Motor Museum last year – the superbly equipped conference halls offered us a spacious and stylish venue for our exciting new event and we cannot wait to return in October 2017.”

Complimentary tickets and full information via the website.

Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair 13th-15th October 2017. 
Trade Preview: Friday 13th October, 11am-2pm.
Public: Friday 13th, 2pm-5pm. Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, 11am-5pm.


Frome Dusk till Dawn

This month saw the launch of NIGHT SCHOOL, a new series of evening workshops hosted by The Frome Independent, intended to provide an opportunity for people to gain hands on experience of contemporary craft. 

Night School is a series of one-off sessions where participants of all abilities can learn under the expert guidance of some of the market’s and Frome’s best designer-makers and food producers.

Classes take the form of affordable one-off taster sessions, giving participants an introduction to bookbinding, blacksmithing, food fermentation, leatherwork and printmaking - to name just a few. 

For around £35, participants get to learn a new skill from an expert maker in a friendly and supportive environment.  As it turns out, Frome residents and market fans are all quite a creative bunch, with every course in the Spring/Summer programme selling out within days of its launch.

The first Night School class took place on Thursday 9th March with a full complement of budding printmakers.  Anna Brindle of Lost Shapes led a cohort of classmates in designing and making their own tote bag over a three hour session. A Frome born-and-bred maker, Anna is also a passionate advocate for ethical textile production and slow fashion. Her clothing ranges are bold and distinctive, all hand-printed in her Wiltshire studio and can be regularly found in the Designer Maker section of The Frome Independent

Anna was thrilled with the enthusiasm and commitment of the class, and has already been rebooked to do a repeat of her workshop at the end of June. She said: “'It was such a pleasure to share the skills I use regularly with people who have never printed before, and see market fans enjoying the other side of the designer-maker experience. Nothing beats the excitement and nerves of lifting up the screen to reveal the first print of your very own design. It was great to lead such a creative bunch – I’m looking forward to my next Night School class!”

Along with Anna, some of The Frome Independent’s most highly regarded craftspeople and food producers are taking part as tutors.  The Spring/Summer season sees blacksmithing with Alex Pole Ironwork, whittling with Hatchet + Bear and food fermentation with Wild & Fermented, and photography, leatherwork, textile and bookbinding sessions are all lined up for later in the year. Almost every workshop in the Spring/Summer programme is now fully booked, with details for the Autumn/Winter programme due for release soon.

Tabitha Clayson, director of The Frome Independent was pleasantly surprised by Night School being an instantaneous hit, and feels that this chimes completely with Frome’s growing success and the market’s popularity.

 “We are seeing a growing trend for people eschewing the city and the complete dominance of the digital revolution in favour of a more meaningful, authentic and experience based lifestyle.  The antidote can be found at the market and in Frome’s creative and engaged community. We know that fans of The Frome Independent love to support local makers by buying their products on market days, but the overwhelming response we’ve had to Night School demonstrates that people desire creative, hands-on experiences and that Frome is a town full of people inspired to take the plunge and have a go themselves.”

For those of you unfamiliar with The Frome Independent, it really is a market like no other. Taking over the entire town centre of this east Somerset market town on the first Sunday of the month, the event closes the road to traffic to make way for more than 200 craftspeople, designer-makers, food producers and traders of vintage clothing, homewares and furniture. The Frome Independent is a curated market, and the sister organisation of Foreground, Frome-based contemporary visual arts commissioners with a remit to bring new art to new audiences across the south west. 

As such, the market now includes some of the very best designers, makers, food producers and creative entrepreneurs in the region, and attracts visitors from across the country. But the event isn’t just about shopping; the small market team work hard to create a free monthly event for all the community to enjoy, with live music, family activities, themed markets and visual arts events creating a mini festival atmosphere on market days. 

It’s this ethos of being ‘more than a market’ that inspired the idea to launch Night School. Tabitha says that the work of The Frome Independent extends beyond market days, and is more about promoting a different way of life, one where we ditch screens and multinationals and get back to making things with our hands and buying directly from makers again.

“What we’ve seen with the popularity of the market, and now with Night School too, is that people want to spend their money and time in a different way. People seem to want to buy directly from the maker, or even learn how to make something themselves; recognising that products made and bought in this way last longer, but hold more meaning too. ” 

The Frome Independent takes place on the first Sunday of the month April - December throughout Frome town centre, and is free for all to attend. Night School classes run on Thursday evenings throughout the year at Forward Space Work Hub. The full programme is available to view on The Frome Independent’s website and if you want to be the first to hear about new courses you can sign up to their mailing list there too.

The next market takes place on Sunday 2nd April. See you there…