Mudlarks is the meeting off two minds that are equally obsessed with the infinite possibilities that working with clay (or mud) provides. One of those minds in mine and the other belongs to my good friend Caroline Dewison of Blueberribeads.
Caroline and I recently attended a bead show together and during the run up to this we got to talking about bead shows in general and how difficult and expensive it can be to find good ones. We don’t really have the equivalent of Bead Fest in the UK but we do have a big one day event called ‘The Big Bead Show‘. This show is very much geared to commercial bead sellers and is not cheap to attend so very few artisans exhibit there. Somehow though, in the course of one conversation we managed to find out the cost of the show and convince ourselves that if we pooled our resources and exhibited together we could hopefully do well enough to make it cost effective.
Because we’re booked as one unit we can’t really use both of our business names (Lesley Watt Artisan Elements and Blueberri Beads doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue) so we thought it would be better to rebrand ourselves for these events. Historically Mudlarks were people who scavenged around the muddy banks of the River Thames looking for items of value that could be sold to scrape a subsistence living. Because we both love working with clay which is, to all intents and purposes mud and because at times sustaining a living making art beads also feels pretty much like scavenging, Mudlarks seemed like the perfect choice.
We will still be selling our own original hand crafted beads at this event but by combining forces under one banner we can now offer customers a wider choice in one place. Hopefully some of our regular online customers will be able to come and support us at the show so if you’re going please do let us know.
Look out for more news in the next few days too…