The Creative Craft Show is held in Birmingham three times during the year; spring (March), summer (June) and winter (November). This was my first time participating in any of these shows and I loved seeing so much variety around. There were lots of opportunities for visitors to gain advice from industry experts, as well as the chance to try new crafts in the Creative Den workshops and mini Make & Take Sessions dotted around the show.
Bookable Workshops: Trophy Greeting Card, Personalised Flag and a Wooden 'Welcome' Sign.
Day One, Friday 23rd June
The first day! And, after missing my exit and driving up the motorway for an unnecessary 20 minutes, (cheers, Google Maps!) I eventually arrived at the NEC, thankfully before the doors opened to any visitors!
When the doors opened at 10am, there was an instant buzz and visitors, using their show guides, were working quickly to find the Make & Take sessions and workshops to book onto for the day. I had no idea whether pyrography was going to be popular choice amongst all the other wonderful crafts that were at the show, but my, oh my, things got busy very quickly!
To my delight, the keyring Make & Take sessions were extremely popular, and my workshops were almost fully booked within the first hour of the show! It was such a lovely feeling that visitors wanted to spend part of their day with me to try pyrography for the first time, or to learn new techniques.
Take a look at some of the gorgeous pieces made in the workshops:
Flags created by Rosie, Heather and Connie (it made my day meeting another Connie!)
Welcome Sign Workshop
Welcome Signs created by Sue, Juliette, Julie and Stephanie.
Day Two, Saturday 24th June
After a fantastic first day, I was excited to do it all again and meet even more happy crafters! Everyone was smiling, chatting away, until a heated pen was suddenly in their hand - that's when things went all quiet! I didn't want anyone thinking I was ignoring them, so every now and again, I'd quietly ask "Is everyone okay? Everyone happy?", trying not to disturb any creative flow! Pyrography does have an element of danger to it, so the concentration levels can sometimes be intense, especially when it's your first time, but once you get comfortable, it becomes a very relaxing, therapeutic craft to do.
My highlight of the day? During a workshop, there was a lady stood behind me looking the opposite way, admiring the display on the wall. I heard her whisper to her friend, "Can you smell burning?" There was such a sigh of relief when she turned around and saw us, it was just brilliant! "Ooh, it's wood burning - that makes sense!"
Flags created by Jo, Wendy, Amanda and Tracey.
Welcome Sign Workshop
Welcome Signs created by Lisa, Natalie, Denise and Bronwyn.
Day Three, Sunday 25th June
The third and final day, I didn't want it to end! I was having so much fun. Although, I was looking forward to a cuddle from the cats at home!
Sunday felt more like a family day as there were more young crafters visiting my stand than the other two days combined. I met some very energetic characters, looking to be inspired! My go-to magic trick was turning the pyrography pen on and turning the heat up to the highest setting, making the pen glow red. I felt super cool getting lots of "Ooh's" and "Ahh's!" but would always follow-up with why we should never touch the tip of a heated pen.
My other trick was showing visitors how to add colour to wood burned art. My personal preference? Watercolour pencils with water-brush pens. The water-brushes store water inside the pen, which can be easily emptied and re-filled. Saves time having to make trips to the sink to change the paint water, and the water-brushes are cat friendly too. (My two are always trying to drink or knock glasses of water off my desk!) The young crafters added bursts of bright colours to their pieces, which was so wonderful to see. It felt great to inspire a younger generation.
Welcome Sign Workshop
Welcome Signs created by Trish, Gracie, Rachel and Karen.
Greetings Card created by Katie. Flags created by Eva, Emma and Isabel.
To read some of the comments made about the workshops held at this show, please click here.
A few words of thanks
Thank you to everyone who joined me on a workshop or Make & Take drop-in session. I am humbled that you chose to spend time with me learning this wonderful craft. Every second was just so much fun, even if it was super quiet due to everyone's concentration levels! I really enjoyed your company and it was an absolute joy seeing the delight on your faces after burning something of your own.
If you attended The Creative Craft Show in June 2023, share your highlights in the comments below.
If you're still thinking about pyrography and would like to buy some tools or materials, you can save 5% off pyrography related products on the Turners Retreat website until 31st July 2023. Use code CONNIE5 at the checkout. (This is an affiliate code and I may receive a small commission from Turners Retreat for referring you to their website, thank you!)