Dragon Den style win for Lancaster art group

Photo Neil Cross
Meet the Makers - a group of artists from Lancaster and Morecambe have got a place at the Southport Flower show, a huge achievement for such a small group. From left, Carolyn Philips, Sandy Gardener, Gill Forrester, Jan Beal, Emma Hamilton and Diane Clarke
Photo Neil Cross Meet the Makers - a group of artists from Lancaster and Morecambe have got a place at the Southport Flower show, a huge achievement for such a small group. From left, Carolyn Philips, Sandy Gardener, Gill Forrester, Jan Beal, Emma Hamilton and Diane Clarke
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A Lancaster group are putting the handmade back into British crafts as they prepare to show off their talents at the largest independent flower show in the country.

Meet the Makers, who regularly appear at St Nics Arcade in Lancaster, are on their travels this summer to put on a display at Southport Flower Show.

The group have come a long way since they were founded in 2013 by Jan Beal.

Jan, who creates all things quirky for Martasha Handmade Jewellery and Gifts, was keen to create a group full of like-minded people who shared a passion for crafts.

Jan joined with Gill Forrester and other local artists to create Meet the Makers after they became despondent that craft fairs had lost the heart of craft, with many stands selling bought in merchandise.

For the last few years the group have put on shows in Lancaster and had a huge response with many customers asking when they will be back.

Their popularity has increased, so much so that they won ‘Best in Stand Show’ at The Royal Lancashire Show.

Jan said since the group first started the group now has more than 200 members.

As the group’s confidence grew, Jan and Gill decided to take their skills to the next level and apply for the Southport Flower show.

Jan said: “When we auditioned it was like being on Dragons Den, pitching to the dragons but the organisers were so lovely and they really understood what we were all about. I think they could see how passionate we were about local crafts and our community, which is nice when they are accepting us into their territory.

“Our stand is among some big stalls so it is very exciting.”

Held over four days in August, plans are already in place for a marquee packed full of a delightful mix of crafts.

There are 18 artists involved who all design, make and create their own work and they are already busy making and creating to put on a great show.

The group has stand B54 at the show which is held from August 18-21.

Meet the Makers will still be showing in St Nics Arcade on July 21-24 and October 27-30, with their Christmas dates on December 8-11. To get involved in the group visit www.meetthemakers.info or email meetthemakerslancs@gmail.com. Interviews with Meet the Maker’s artists will be revealed soon in the paper.