Butterflies! For anyone who's never been to the NEC before, it is huge! I was pretty nervous and like most shows, my imposter syndrome struck before I even got to the venue. "Am I ready for this?" "Am I good enough?" then a little voice in my head just told me, "It'll be reyt lass - go for it!"
The event itself was held in one of the smaller halls of the NEC, but once the doors opened, there were people (and robots!) everywhere! The hall quickly became filled with creative, like-minded people, and the conversations and banter just started flowing.
I met so many lovely, gorgeous people, and even recognised a few familiar faces, including Hayley and Eddie from Odie's Oil UK, who gifted me with some delicious treats!
Also demonstrating on the Turners Retreat stand, was legendary woodturner, Mick Hanbury, who happens to be a good friend of mine. I've known Mick since 2019 and I truly admire his woodturning skills and creations. He's a true artist, with an incredible amount of wood craft experience and knowledge to share; he's an all round nice guy and it was a pleasure to demonstrate alongside him. (If you've never heard of Mick, go check him out!)
Day Two, Sunday 14th May 2023
Day twooo! And I met even more lovely people! Some who had dabbled in pyrography a couple of times before and some who had never, ever heard of it but were excited to give it a try. I mean, who wouldn't want to try a new craft for free!?
Note: I'm one of those people who will try any craft, buy everything you need to get started, then store it all in a box somewhere because "I'll go back to it someday!" Although, pyrography has stuck with me longer than most!
A couple of visitors bought some wood blanks from Turners Retreat and burned some designs on them while they were there! Look at these lovely pieces by Abi and Ethan & Emily, amazing results for three first-time burners!
It was great to see so many visitors try pyrography for the first time and be wowed by the sheer satisfaction this craft provides, and although it is a slow craft, it's a very therapeutic and enjoyable one. And, it smells amazing if campfires are your thing! (Disclaimer: You should always burn in a well ventilated area with a fan and/or a mask. Look after your lungs, my friends!)
Overall, my first time demonstrating was a lot of fun, even though I didn't really demonstrate much! It was more like hosting a thousand tiny workshops over two days, which was more than okay with me! I had the pleasure of introducing and teaching pyrography to others, offering advice and guidance when it was needed, and that's what it's all about - encouraging and inspiring like-minded creative minds!
To everyone who stopped by to say hello, have a chat and try the craft that makes me happy, thank you! Your kindness made the weekend so enjoyable, it's certainly a show to remember.
I'd also like to extend my thanks to the organisers at Makers Central, the team at Turners Retreat for giving me this opportunity, Mick for all his words of wisdom and of course, Hayley and Eddie from Odie's Oil for the donuts... yum!
If you attended Makers Central 2023, share your highlights in the comments below.