Don’t miss the Makers’ Market at New Lanark this weekend
It’s not just history buffs who regularly make a pilgrimage to the New Lanark site founded by Robert Owen.
Thousands of JK Rowling fans have also visited, not least to pick up some of the wool made on site that was used to create scarves and jumpers for the original Harry Potter movie.
Fans regularly pop into the Mill Shop where the pattern in the same shades of yarn is sold.
But this summer, Harry fans who’ve dropped in for the Makers’ Markets have also been able to pick up a wonderful new wand from Johdi, the wandmaker!
The firm is run by designer Johdi Bryant, who is also a huge Harry Potter fan.
Johdi will be among a host of crafters setting up stall once again in the fantastic surronds of the World Heritage Site this weekend for its penultimate Makers’ Market of the summer.
Explaining how she came up with her business plan, Johdi said: “I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and have loved arts and crafts my whole life, so decided about three years ago to combine these interests and start designing and making my own wands.
“I’ve since sold more than 2000 wands and sent them to 24 different countries around the world.
“Each one is hand made – completely of my own design – meaning that no two wands are ever the same.
“They are completely unique to each witch or wizard who buys one, just like in Harry Potter!”
The wands have been a big hit at the two Makers’ Markets which have so far been staged in New Lanark’s exhibition space on June 29 and 30 and July 13 and 14.
And it is hoped even more people will pop in for a visit this Saturday and Sunday and August 10 and 11 for the final two of the summer season.
Makers, artists and designers from across the country will bring their wares to New Lanark to showcase and sell their unique products.
And there will be mroe than just wands to put a spell on you!
Discerning shoppers will be able to buy handmade soaps, candles, paintings, crafts and accessories, as well as delicious local produce and gifts.
Andrew Cuthbertson, New Lanark’s marketing officer, said: “Whether you are looking for gifts, homeware or just a special something for yourself, you’ll be sure to find something at our Makers’ Markets.
“There really is something for everyone!”
Carrying on the Harry Potter theme, a number of designers who use New Lanark Yarn will also be setting up stall.
They include Albanach Yarns, an indie yarn dyer based in East Lothian, which hand dyes and paints a selection of luxury yarns in shades inspired by the stunning Scottish coastline and countryside.
Albanach seeks to inspire crafters with colours, textures and patterns, all knitted in the now famous New Lanark wool.
But there’s also an international flavour to the markets, as well as more whimsy and folklore, courtesy of Zena Murphy from Whimsical Whispers,
Zena makes beautiful characters, called Tomtes, inspired by Scandinavian folklore.
She said: “I make unique and quirky fairies, fairy accessories and gnomes, known as Tomtes.
“They are based on folklore tales where every household would have one to guard the home, the land and look after the animals.
“Tomtes also help Father Christmas in with presents during the winter.
“They are very easy to look after – a few beard scratches and the odd bowl of porridge keeps them happy.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like just the man for me!
However, please note, Tomtes can also be mischievous, just like their cousins, the elves.
Zena also sells Fairies, or Faes as they like to be called, who love to collect treasure and trinkets which they place in secret places, both in the garden and home.
Also bringing her skills from across the world is Sientje, from Highland Sea Ceramic, who trained as a potter in Germany, before moving to the Isle of Skye in 2001 to work in a pottery in Uig. She fell madly in love with Scotland and is still here, 18 years later.
Scottish landscapes and the colours found in them have been a massive influence on her work.
Textile production and innovation has been a continuous thread in New Lanark’s history, from its early years as the largest cotton manufacturer in Scotland, to now producing over 60 shades of yarn using historic textile machinery.
It’s an ideal venue for a Makers’ Market so be sure to pay a flying visit this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.