The Church Christmas fayre for me, starts the beginning of the festive period. An event which is at the heart of community life.
The fayre is always well attended and has many quality craft stalls, which are all unique.
Many are from out of the area and belong to several specialist crafting guilds. The running theme, is that they all love to come to Littleport as it has a vibrant, community feel and people genuinely enjoy and buy their creations.
As you come through the welcoming church vestibule, decked with fir and pine cone garlands. You open the ancient, big oak door and the air is full of Christmas. Scents of pine needles, ginger biscuits, fruit cake and mulled wine.
One of the jewellery stalls is run by the lovely Liz Hunter, ‘Handmade by Histon’. Liz prides herself on doing one off pieces, which are interesting and intricate in design. Using semi-professional stones and handmade glass beads.
A special skill which Liz has, is to adapt the ancient African/Indian Peyote stitch, woven fine bead work and produce beautiful, modern pieces.
Moving on, I was welcomed by a pair of beaming elves. The happy mum and daughter duo. Whom I recognised from the Autumn fayre.
They started attending craft fayres two years ago. Julie cares for her autistic son at home and needed a hobby. She developed her knitting and crochet skills and can now do just about anything. Julie enjoys being on her craft stall as it is very social, meeting so many lovely people. Also a lovely mum and daughter time.
Another stall, on first sight looks very ‘Harry Potter’. Full of stunningly crafted tall pens magnifying glasses and wooden bowls to name but a few. Pat Carter is a master crafter who specialises in searching for unusual, reclamation material. Which he uses to make so many items. Being hand turned on a traditional lathe. This process of making, using primarily ancient wood, is popular in America. But becoming more so over here. Pat’s father had been a pen maker and after he sadly died. Pat (self taught) decided to continue on with his fathers craft. The items which Pat has fused into pens etc. Includes wood, resin, watch parts and other items. The strong core of the pen, often being brass.
One pen which catches my eye is a light wood and brass one, which is engraved with ‘Rolls Royce’. Pat explains that he had to really search out the material. The light and smooth wood actually coming from a Rolls Royce. Also, a brass gearshift and across the top and bottom of the pen is a tyre tread designed metal band. Obviously a one off design. Pat likes to push himself, particularly when fusing newly found, different items. Another pen contains watch cogs and marbled resin mix. Another, which is bright reds and browns contains mulled wine ingredients.
For those who have an interesting in sewing, is a pen fused with many tiny coloured buttons and resin. The buttons were first stuck onto the pens carbon fibre sleeving. Then a coating of resin was placed on top. Everything on Pats stall is very tactile. Enjoyable to hold and to feel the different finishes. Easy to marvel at each, and every one.
Rev’d. Howard explained that the beautifully crafted pen which is used during the church wedding services, is one of Pat’s creations.
The proceeds of the fayre go to the the Ministry of the Church so that the church can continue to flourish and to welcome the community.