Miso Funky Market
Sun 18 Mar, Oran Mor, Glasgow; Sat 24 Mar, The Caves, Edinburgh
'We just got fed up with craft fairs where all they sold was knitted egg cosies,’ says Claire Brown, co-founder of the Miso Funky Market, the Shangri-La of Glasgow’s growing hipster craft community, which branches out into Edinburgh this month. Brown and partner Jo Bartlett had been taking orders from friends for scarves, brooches and hand-beaded accessories for a year before they came up with the idea of a once-monthly market allowing like-minded crafty types to show their wares, with all rent and publicity charges shared democratically between the stall holders.
Almost a year on, their markets fill increasingly larger spaces; 18 stalls overloaded with colours, textures and jewellery, salvaged vintage beads re-threaded on belts and hairslides, the occasional glitter of a knitted lurex disco tie. Despite sponsorship from DADA, which has enabled their graduation from a small space in Hillhead Library to a packed out Oran Mor, and now to Edinburgh’s Caves, the markets retain a ramshackle, jumble sale charm. Although a few established Glasgow designers do have stalls - Clare Nicolson, who sells her own textile designs on silk cushions, jewellery designers Hannah Zakari and Stella My Star (‘she’s like the fairy godmother of the Glasgow craft community’ whispers Brown) - for the most part, the wares on sale are made by amateur enthusiasts.
‘Neither of us have any formal crafting qualifications,’ says Bartlett. ‘We’ve just picked up our skills along the way, and we teach ourselves new techniques as we want to learn. We’re all about the freestyling! Only a couple of our stallholders are trained and full time. That’s the beauty of it, I think: we’re taking over the world from our bedrooms.’
And from the bedrooms come handbags, hats, earrings, brooches, posters, clothes, cards, soft furnishings, leg warmers and charm bracelets themed around the TV series Lost. Bartlett and Brown themselves have just branched out into handmade shoes, which they’re very excited about. It’s probably not the place to pick up a nice knitted dolly to cover your toilet roll, though.
Miso Funky Market, in association with DADA. www.misofunky.com