Festive Harbour Marketplace – Homeware
The Festive Harbour Marketplace opens on 17th November for the weekends running up to Christmas Eve. There will be late nights shopping every Friday night from 4 to 8pm along with free festive movies for the family to enjoy in The Goods Yard. This year the Marketplace has a huge wealth of homeware, ceramics, candles and smellies for you to choose from. Folkelife thought a guide would be useful.
Fran returns to the Festive Marketplace in 2023 with her collection of wonderfully wild homewares. “I’m inspired by the likes of Guillermo Del Toro and Jim Henson and make unique keepsakes for the weird at heart. This year I’m in Hut 21 with my cabinet of curiosities, where you’ll find everything from stocking fillers and tree decorations to dramatic objets d’art.”
Alex, Sam and co-founder Mum run Gaia Homeware. The business was born during Lockdown when the appeal for creating beautiful pieces of tableware and furniture from pieces of driftwood and off-cuts won over working in retail. “It’s that age-old story of making something that a friend says ‘ooh, you could sell that’ which has turned into this. During the first lockdown I made a console table from a piece of driftwood I’d found on a holiday in Scotland. It had sat in the shed for way too long, and my friends said to sell it. I was getting 40 to 50 orders a month. Trying to make and ship them around the world – yes, to America, Australia, everywhere – was just too much with a day job as well. So October 2021 I quit my job in retail and here we are!
“We came down to Folkestone to see about setting up in one of the huts here and the vibe just suits us down to the ground. Being here last summer and through the Festive Marketplace I feel that our brand has really found its home. We’re about being eco and sustainable. Being by the sea adds a relaxed nature to what we’re doing. Our refill shop will also be open throughout the year. The Harbour is promoting local and creative businesses and we’re trying to be as local as possible.”
My Pottery Shed
Deryl Gillam Jones has been a regular on the Station market for the past 4 years. Starting during the Covid times he’s built up a base of loyal customers who come to buy a vase or dish.
“It’s wonderful to be appreciated for creating what I do. Let’s face it, if I didn’t sell my pots I’d be running out of space at home! But it’s been enlightening to find so many people liking my pots. I also love the camaraderie between the traders down here, they’re really fun. It’s not just a regular market, it’s an artisan market. Everyone here is creative; we all have that in common.
“I make what I call ‘ordinary pots’ but then it’s great to see people appreciate the more adventurous things I make. It’s also good to be challenged to make different items to show what can be done with a bit of clay.
“I’m sharing with Twisted Treasure and I think we complement each other as we’re creatives at heart. When you visit, you’ll find one or both of us there and we can talk the hind legs off a donkey. It’s really that we’re both so passionate about what we do and create. Give us a moment and we’ll tell you all about what we do.”
Nathan says that if you stand still for too long he’ll make a lamp out of you. There’s a fantastic collection of weird and wonderful pieces of artwork in this hut that are practical as they function as lamps as well.
“I upcycle lamps from vintage cameras, instruments and anything I can get my hands on really. We’ve spent the summer at Folkestone Harbour developing our range. You might find me drawing outside the hut, and these artworks have been known to sell even half done! There’s a real buzz around the market at Christmas time and sometimes I can’t get the lamps made fast enough, but I will do my best!”
snap wax melts
Connie is the mind behind Snap Wax Melts, another regular from past years at the Folkestone Harbour market. With over 40 fragrances to choose from, you can make your house smell festive, fruity or floral by snapping a chunk of wax into a wax melt warmer.
“I’m from Folkestone and usually known as the mum of one or other of my children but I’m making my name here, I’m going to look for studio space to make this my job. It’s great that there’s the support for local independent traders like myself. Being in a hut it allows me to expand and bringing back some of my favourites by popular demand!”
Katie makes and sells handmade ceramic mugs and plates, trinket dishes, and little buddies. Every item has its own character.
“I have been working for a while in air-drying clay but at the beginning of 2022 I decided to make more practical and useful items so have started to work in proper clay. A friend suggested we do the Festive Marketplace and it’s grown from there. The Harbour team are really keen to give people like me the opportunity to sell my work and meet new customers.
“I feel there are not a lot of places in Kent that are like Folkestone – there’s such a great atmosphere; the food selection is awesome and you don’t find this anywhere else in the county. The fact that there’s a place that’s willing to give small independent creators a platform to sell is really exciting and I’m so pleased I’m a part of it.”
madi strong ceramics
Because each potter has their own style and flare, you’ll be sure to find the one that suits you at Folkestone Harbour Festive Market. Madi Strong hand throws her pots, and also creates her own glazes so each item is an artwork in itself. There are Japanese raku pots which have been fired at low temperatures and rapidly cooled to give their glazes an extra element not seen in kiln-fired pots. These are definitely items to be admired for their unique nature as each pot is different.
love a lemon ceramics
Another potter comes to Folkestone Harbour in the guise of Love A Lemon Ceramics. These wheel-thrown pots can be tableware or pieces of art for your walls. Her love of vibrant colours and ergonomic forms will have you reaching for your morning cuppa with a smile on your face.