Midsummer fair celebrates top designers and makers at Charleston’s Hay Barn

Charleston near Lewes launches its summer programme of events in the newly restored Hay Barn over the midsummer weekend with its second designer and makers’ fair.

Be sure to book your ticket early because the first fair last autumn was a sell-out and this promises to be just as popular.

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23, 11am to 5pm both days, and curated by Charleston’s programmes’ manager Melissa Perkins, the fair features 30 exhibitors from southern England, carefully chosen for the quality of their work.

They will be selling ceramics, textiles, jewellery, basketry, bags, woodenware, stationery, prints and papers, homewares, clothing, kids’wear and artisan produce.

“Creativity was such an important part of life at Charleston,” Melissa explains, “and this event showcases contemporary local makers.

“It is an important part of Charleston’s ethos to support the next generation of makers and it is exciting to see who are the best craftspeople working today.”

The great bonus for visitors is that in buying direct from the makers they can talk to them about their work – so the whole process becomes much more personal, says Melissa.

The names of some of those taking part will be familiar. Others will be newcomers who have already made an impact on the craft scene in the south.

Look out for jeweller Julie Tucker-Williams, whose work is original and exciting, or visit Tessa Newell, who makes lampshades and chairs. Weaver and textile designer Josephine Doolan will be talking about the way in which she works and where she finds her inspiration.

For the full list of exhibitors visit Charleston.org.uk.

About the Hay Barn

The Grade 2 listed Hay Barn is the perfect setting in which to see crafts both traditional and modern.

Restored by Julian Harrup it is part of an exciting new development, which includes galleries designed by Jamie Fobert, the architect behind extensions to Tate St Ives, Kettles’ Yard and the National Portrait Gallery.

The galleries will be open throughout the fair giving visitors a chance to visit two exciting exhibitions – Sickert to Riley curated by Cressida Bell and Land by Philip Hughes, which traces his love of the South Downs and Cornwall.