Meet the Maker – Black Dog Pottery

Meet Etsy Manchester’s first winner of Member of the Month, Lindy De-Melo Garner, aka Black Dog Pottery…

Congratulations Lindy, you have been selected as our FIRST EVER Member of the Month! You were chosen because you consistently feature in our monthly “top 10 contributors” stats on our Etsy Manchester Members group on Facebook. Thank you for being an enthusiastic, active member of our team, and we’d like to celebrate by getting to know you better!

Firstly, please introduce yourself! Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Who IS Black Dog Pottery?!

Hello and thank you for choosing me to be the first ever Etsy Manchester Member of the Month! I’m Lindy but you already knew that. I’m originally from the US – met a Brit and followed him over. Luckily I’m a dual national (Portuguese) so I could come over without any issues ☺

My hobbies are… sunset walks on the beach and pina coladas and puppy videos. Just kidding – a glass of red every time.

Lindy loves walks on the beach… Or maybe just a nice glass of red wine.

I’m pretty much a self taught potter. I took hand building classes for about a year and set up a home studio where I would experiment and try things I didn’t have time for in the classes. Then my studio slowly developed as I acquired more and more things. I’m based in South Manchester and my studio is in our spare bedroom. One day I’m have a large sunny shed in the bottom of the garden but for now I am super grateful for that I have.

I love everything about clay and it really is my happy place. I’ve got big big plans for this year (talking business plans and appointments with bank managers- eek!), I won’t go into it here because I don’t want to jinx anything but I hope my dream will be something I can share and involve some of the amazing EtsyMCR makers I’ve met.

Find handmade ceramics like this cheery yellow planter in the Black Dog Pottery Etsy Shop.

We absolutely love your bold, colourful pottery style! What, if anything, does your pottery style say about your personality?

My aim is to make people smile. I’m not sure what that says about my personality – maybe that I just want people to be happy. I love it when I’m at a market and someone walks by stops and starts to laugh when they see my funny face pieces – goal achieved! Next goal is to get every one of them to buy what makes them smile! (LOL).

What is your favourite part of the pottery-making process?

My favourite thing to make are my embossed pieces and it’s a tricky process – too wet and everything sticks and rips too dry and it cracks. When I get that sweet spot and the embossing comes out perfect I do a little dance. I actually love everything about pottery – from wedging to making to glazing.

We love Lindy’s Funny Face Planters!

… And what is your least favourite part?

Eeerm – cleaning up.  The super fine silica dust is very dangerous and it gets in your lungs and stays there, so I get a bit freaked out about that. We clean everything always but it still freaks me out.

If, for some crazy reason, you couldn’t make pottery… but HAD to make something else to sell on an Etsy shop… what would it be?

I would love to learn stained glass.  I don’t know if anyone would want to buy stained glass but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try.

You have lots of beautiful planters and vases in your product range. What is your favourite plant or flower?

My favourite is begonia maculata – it’s a gorgeous spotty plant, green with white spots on one side and red on the back side.

Do you have any top tips for someone who wants to start out in the pottery world? Any courses or people you’d recommend them checking out?

Just go for it- find a community studio somewhere and have a go.  I would say 7 Spot at Islington Mill and Clay Studio in Hulme are amazing friendly people and have a range of classes you can try, as well as membership options.

This moustachioed fella is called Fernando!

And finally, is there anything happening soon (such as markets, events, giveaways, celebrations, new product launches) that you’d love our readers to know about, and to add to their diaries?

I’m all over the place as I try to do a market at least 3 times a month – check on Instagram if you want to know where I am. I’m focusing on vases so watch this space for new shapes and designs – I’m still a big fan of embossing and stamping clay so that will feature heavily. I’m also a big big fan of my lava range – I have a glaze that bubbles and runs and drips in awesome amazing ways. More of those are on the way too.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Lindy. We look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pottery creations soon!

Check out Black Dog Pottery on Facebook, Follow Lindy’s work on Instagram and shop for Black Dog Pottery ceramics over on Etsy.

Would you like to be our next Member of the Month, and be featured on our website and in our exclusive Team Newsletter? To be in with a chance, all you have to do is become an active EtsyMCR team member, in three easy steps:

1. Join our team on Etsy.

2. Head over to Facebook and join our EtsyMCR Members Group.

3. Be ACTIVE! Ask questions, support other team members by answering their questions and joining in with conversations, share news & opportunities, tag @etsymcr on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, and come along to our monthly Socials! Our next Social is on Thursday 30th May in Manchester, from 6pm. See you there?

Father’s Day 2019

This month, Lars from Norseman Furniture chooses some of his favourite Father’s Day gifts made by the EtsyMCR team!

Hi my name is Lars, I am a father of two and I am currently in my second year of business with Norseman Furniture where I make bespoke industrial style furniture and homeware.

I have been asked to put together a Father’s Day gift guide, with some unique ideas from our talented EtsyMCR teammates.

So, what do you get for a Dad other than socks? As a father myself, I have tried to look at this based on gifts that would make me smile. So, let’s get started.

First things first, you need to buy a card, and this one from BeckyBygone made me chuckle.
For the craft beer lover, I think these coasters from BeardyBearByKPD would go down a treat.
For the Executive Dad, I think these personalised cufflinks from OMGoshShop would definitely put a smile on his face and may even bring a tear to his eye.
For the Techy/Geeky/Sci-fi Dad, this Cyberpunk trinket dish with circuit board impressions from BlueButterflyCrafts should get some use, even if it is to keep spare computer components in.
For the designer Dad, this Marbled Geometric Wall Clock from Misshandled will get pride of place. I should know, I have one myself.
What Dad doesn’t like baked beans? I know beans on toast is my go-to quick meal fix, so this candle in a baked beans tin from McPoodleShop should light him up.
For the Dad who’s into his exotic pets or generally just loves spiders, this cute needle felted jumping spider from Noseytoescreations should get pride of place. He may also enjoy pranking spider haters with it.
For the art-loving Dad, this handmade linocut art print by HabitatsPrintStudio features buildings that can be found around the Manchester area. Due to the way these prints are produced, each one is unique.
For the music-loving Dad, this detailed print of the history of Manchester Music from TheSenseOfDoubt should make him happy.
This recycled copper wrap bracelet stamped with song lyrics by CCartistmaker would be worn with pride.
Finally, for the Manc Dad, this Manchester Quote Phrase Dictionary print by ShookNorth will keep him entertained as well as looking great on the wall.

Easter Treats

This month, EtsyMCR teamie Sophiemay shares her top Easter picks

Hi everyone! I’m Sophiemay of Sophiemayde (get it?), I do a bunch of things from embroideries, to portrait stitches, to illustrations, to lettering. I love being able to be creative in pretty much any medium I can! I’ve been given the opportunity to put together a list of all the excellent Easter Treats my fellow Etsy Manchester teamies have to offer.

Easter for me is all about chocolate, bunnies and lovely colourful flowers, so I’ve put together all things Easter but it’s also heavy on these particular aspects of what I associate Easter with!

What better way to kick this off than an edible Bunny cake topper by MariesBakehouse? How perfect would this look on a delicious carrot cake?

If you happen to love brooches and pins as much as me, then you’ll love this Wooden Hare Brooch by stephaniecoleDESIGN. The perfect combination of bunnies and flowers in one adorable package.

How can you go wrong with combining fudge and mini eggs? You can’t. You can get your very own Easter Fudge by SugarChicFudgeToffee and have an amazing post-Easter dinner sweet snack.

Tulips are one of my favourite flowers, and this print by HelenaLeeStudios is just stunning!

Wreaths are the perfect all year round decoration, and this Knitted Easter one from ClairTdesigns is the perfect Easter decoration.

Having people over for Easter dinner? Want to get adorable and personalised treats? TailoredChocolates has got you covered with these Easter Peekaboo tins.

Looking for a cute, but still Easter-related tag to add to your Easter gifts? JanewayLasers has the perfect Wooden Carrot Labels, and you can choose to have them blank, personalised with names or with “Happy Easter” for that extra finishing touch.

Enjoy a good pun? Who doesn’t! Doodlesworth has you covered for Easter cards with this Good Egg Card.

Looking for a cute, yet functional gift to give this Easter? TasherellaKitty has the cutest Handmade Zip Pouch, complete with adorable duckling and floral pattern.

For the those that like hot cross buns, and adorable food based jewellery, MarysJewelleryBakery has you covered with these Kawaii Polymer Clay Hot Cross Bun earrings (and for those without pierced ears, there’s hot cross bun necklaces too!). The perfect addition to an Easter dinner outfit.

Our thanks to Sophiemay for her fab picks!

If you’re looking for more gift ideas, why not take a peek at some of our other EtsyMCR Gift Guides?

Valentine’s Day Top Ten <3

Check out these romantic cards and gifts for your Valentine (or Galentine!) from the EtsyMCR Team

Top Ten Picks by Team Leader Sally, aka The Lobe Wardrobe

1. Perfectly capture a moment or memory with a customisable card this Valentine’s Day! Simply send your chosen photo to the maker, ALittleMoonBeam, via Etsy conversations and they’ll illustrate it to create a wonderfully personalised card. And don’t be shy about getting creative with it – you could choose photos of your pets, places or objects – whatever means something special to you or the recipient!

2. Go down the traditional route with a classy box of chocolates this Valentine’s… but make sure you choose something extra special, such as the luxury Valentine Chocolate Box by EponineChocolate! These beautiful works of chocolatey art are skilfully handmade with dark chocolate and filled with salted caramel and hazelnut gianduja. You can choose a box size of 4 to 36 chocolates… depending on how much you love the recipient, of course! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Sometimes we love each other so darn much that it’s just impossible to express ourselves verbally… so let’s share our innermost feelings via the unusual medium of embroidery! You can choose your own personalised message, so long as it’s short and sweet, and Sophiemayde will stitch your words by hand onto these little hoops for you to pass on to your partner, your Mum, or maybe your Dentist, if you think they’re really great.

4. Do you hate dating? But do you like your friends? If you answer yes to both these questions, then stop wasting time and immediately purchase these cards for each of your besties. Screw Valentine’s, it’s all about Palentine’s – which I personally think we should celebrate all year round! The vibrant design has been hand-painted by LauraCharleyDesign, before being printed to create A6 cards, which are left blank inside – ideal for you to fill with more rambling complaints about all the bad dates you endured in 2018.

5. OK… now back to items for people who DO like dating… we have these delicate little heart dishes made by BlueButterflyCrafts! Available in your choice of purple or red, these dainty ceramic hearts are perfect for holding tealight candles, as a place to store rings or other small trinkets, or simply to add a pop of colour to your mantelpiece or bookcase. Did you know that pottery is the traditional gift for the 9th wedding anniversary?

6. Inspired by The Great Gatsby, OMGoshShop offers these smart and sophisticated wooden monogram cufflinks, which are personalised with your chosen initials. You can even opt for 2 different initial pairs, one for each cufflink, AND you can choose Solid Oak, Walnut or Cherry as your choice of wood!

7. Clearly we think that personalisation is the way to go for Valentine’s Day 2019… because here we have another fabulously customisable option for you! sevenPMstitches will add your chosen names to this adorable cross-stitch pattern (PDF download format), which is ideal for beginners or intermediate level cross-stitchers. Go on – give it go – handmade gifts are always a fabulous way of saying “I love you”!

8. Say “je t’aime” with this beautiful print by emmycphotography! This 8” x 6” print features a view of the Eiffel Tower from Pont Alexandre, Paris, which is probably the most amorous location on Earth. The gorgeous, vintage-esque colours and dreamy architecture will effortlessly add a touch of romance to any home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. We’re a loving bunch here at EtsyMCR and would never condone you exterminating your significant other (or anyone, for that matter). However, we are very supportive of you affectionate-ing them, and recommend you do so by purchasing this adorable card by Doodlesworth! This card is A6 size, left blank in the middle for you to write your own message, and printed on environmentally friendly FSC approved card.

10. And now for those of you planning to make this Valentine’s Day extra special… we have this stunning proposal bear by AndSoItBiggins. Decorated with approximately 250 handcrafted roses and made to order in the colour of your choice, these bears are the perfect way to pop that all important question, and will be a lovely keepsake for you and your partner to remember the moment forever.

EtsyMcr’s Etsy Made Local craft market kicks off December

Etsy Made Local is BACK in Manchester for the third year running!

Treat someone on your Nice List… Discover handmade gifts from over 40 EtsyMCR sellers at People’s History Museum from Friday 30th November to Sunday 2nd December.

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FREE ENTRY all weekend, including to the Museum itself (although donations are always welcomed).

On Friday 30th November, join us for the Museum’s annual Winter Warmer Late Night Shopping event from 5pm – 8pm with Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Live music from the lovely, amazingly talented  She Choir!

You can also check out the Museum’s Christmas Tree which is being decorated by members of the EtsyMCR team – it’ll be on display until Christmas! Find out who made each decoration by getting up close and personal, plus there’ll be a chance to name one of the decorations!

We’re very excited to share so many awesome items from a whole host of Etsy Manchester members; keep an eye on our Twitter feed and follow us for information about each of our sellers.  And find out more over on our Facebook event page, and let us know you’re coming!

We can’t wait to see you all!

EtsyMCR’s Hallowe’en Gift Guide

EtsyMCR wishes you a spooktacular Hallowe’en! 

Witch ones will be your grave-ourites?

Picks by Sally Hayward aka The Lobe Wardrobe

Miniature Pumpkin Necklaces by GizzysGifts
Looking for some not-so-scary accessories to complete your Hallowe’en costume this year? Every pumpkin charm on these necklaces is lovingly handmade using polymer clay, and each delicate detail is carefully sculpted and carved, to make them look like real, miniature pumpkins! We still can’t get over how realistic these little pumpkin necklaces are!

Hallowe’en Paper Garland by SophieHeywood
No Halloween party would be complete without this Hallowe’en themed paper garland – each one has a creepy (well, actually adorable!) array of illustrated characters, including black cats, ghosts, skulls, pumpkins, and candy corn! Each character is printed onto recycled paper, before being individually cut out by hand and threaded onto orange cord.



Giant Vampire Yeti Plush by TheCryptidZoo
This giant yeti is all set for Hallowe’en, having decided to dress as Count Dracula this year! All of the monsters by The Cryptid Zoo are knitted by hand, and this yeti has been made using a red textured yarn, complete with a black vampire cape. Although he makes no guarantees, this yeti promises he’ll try his best to protect you from the real monsters this Hallowe’en!




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poison Bottle Patch by BirdHousePress
Any outfit would look venom-enal with these embroidered patches! Measuring four inches high, you can sew or iron these patches onto your child’s school backpack, or perhaps your own work bag or jacket. Or you could order a few of them, and decorate your whole Hallowe’en costume! And why not order the matching enamel badge on BirdHousePress’s Etsy shop, too?!

 

Sugar Skull Slate by SimplyImperfected
This expertly decorated slate will add a touch of Mexican macabre to your Hallowe’en décor. Hand finished using decoupage, it includes a stand so you can easily display it anywhere in your home – it would make a fabulously scary party decoration! Arriba!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby’s First Hallowe’en (Iron-on Transfer) by Madewithloveshop
Celebrate your baby’s first Hallowe’en this year with one of these vinyl transfers; simply iron them onto your chosen clothing (perhaps a plain onesie, top, or even a bib). You can personalise them with your baby’s name, and you can even choose your preferred size and colour scheme!

 

Pumpkin House Accessories by PaperTreeCottage
One of our most loved Hallowe’en traditions is pumpkin carving – it’s a wonderful, creative activity to do with children this time of year. Take your pumpkin carving to the next level with these whimsical, handmade pumpkin house accessories by Paper Tree Cottage – you will receive a door and a window for your pumpkin, so when you put a candle inside, it looks like someone’s home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skeleton Hand Pin/Badge by Mickeypip
Make no bones about it – this enamel pin badge will make a handy addition to any Hallowe’en ensemble. Add badges to your jacket or bag for an every-day look, or incorporate them into your costume this year!  

Father’s Day 2018

Our top 10 picks for our top 10 Dads!

Our newest Team Leader, Sally – aka The Lobe Wardrobe – has picked some of her favourite Father’s Day cards and gifts made by the EtsyMCR Team.

1) First up, something for Dads who just never seem to grow up… introducing the Big Kid Dad! Treat both your little monkey and your big monkey (!) this Father’s Day to these matching t-shirts by DadsAndKids – they are hand pressed in Cheshire, and are available in several sizes and colours.

 

2) Next we have a gift for any New or Soon-to-be Dads; these beautifully simple card packs by IsabellaandUs would make a lovely gift to Dad from Mum, baby or the bump! The pack includes 20 “Daddy” cards, each have messages to remind and reassure new Dads that they’re doing a brilliant job.

 

3) Now we have something for perhaps the most prolific Dad of all… 

Pun-loving Dad! Using sustainably sourced materials, KatherineCoryDesign offers a variety of pun-tastic greetings cards such as this eggs on toast design – you might find they’re toastally perfect for your Dad this Father’s Day (hmm… maybe the puns should be left to Katherine!)

 

 

4) If you’re looking for something extra special for your Sophisticated Dad, we think these fine wool and silk blend scarves might just do the trick! BronwenSimpson offers a variety of styles in their shop, but this burgundy ponte fabric scarf in particular would make a stunning gift for Father’s Day.

 

 

5) If you have a Sweet Tooth Dad (also known as Always Hungry Dad, or Third Helpings Dad), we reckon you can’t go wrong with these personalised sweetie hampers! HarlieLoves offers two hamper sizes to best suit your Dad’s appetite, and you can add a personalised message to the gift box and individual sweetie labels.  

6) These illustrated cards by sophieheywood would be adored by just about any Dad out there, but particularly loved by any Nature Loving Dads! Blank on the inside, with the beautiful image of a baby fox cuddling into their parent on the front, we think these cards would be perfect for any child to give to their Dad this Father’s Day.

 

7) Spoil your Sports Mad Dad this Father’s Day with a “King of The Road” cycling themed mug! In addition to mugs, TailoredChocolates offer several other cycling themed gifts, and various other sports themes, including rugby and golf. The mugs hold a generous 11oz (ideal to quench the thirst of any particularly dehydrated Sports Mad Dads!) and are dishwasher safe.

8) Though very similar to Pun-loving Dad, may I introduce a new variety of jokester… Crude-loving Dad! This type of Dad will particularly enjoy these humorous (and sometimes a little bit naughty!) cards by HelenDodsworthDesign – with so many cheeky designs to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one that will make your Dad chuckle on Father’s Day.

9) The penultimate Dad on our list is Outdoorsy Dad! SimplyImperfected has used the tricky decoupage method to expertly decorate this piece of slate, and we think the campervan theme would make an ideal gift for any Outdoorsy Dads for Father’s Day. The slate comes with two stands, so your Dad can display this lovely slate piece pride of place on his window sill, or even in his actual campervan!

10) And last but certainly not least, an adorable gift for any Family Man Dads… a set of three hand painted penguin pebbles by TheRaspberryCat perfect for indoor or outdoor decoration in a family home. We think these would make a lovely little gift from any child to their Dad this Father’s Day!