Centre’s festive makers market


After last year’s success, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve will be hosting its 2nd Festive Makers Market on November 12 and 13 in the Discovery Centre. So, save the dates in your diary and come and enjoy some festive treats – you won’t be disappointed.

Gesine Garz, centre manager and Rowan Bunney, assistant manager, are feeling festive as the dates get closer and planning for the event starts coming together. Kathy Crowther, communications officer at Rye Harbour Discovery Centre interviewed Gesine and Rowan to find out more about this prestigious event.

Festive Makers Market

Plenty of experience has already gone into year two of this event, hasn’t it?
Gesine: As a trained jeweller and photographer, I have taken part in many Christmas fairs as a stall-holder myself over the years. I have also organised and volunteered at similar events, mainly in London over the last 25 years.
Rowan: I was quite new in post when the event took place last year but like Gesine, I have a background in the arts. Last year, it was great to see talented local makers being given space to sell their work here. We’re very grateful to Meg Dodson, Elaine Baker and the other members of the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve who organised the first Makers Fayre last year and who have passed the baton on to us.

What are the aims of this year’s festive Makers Market?
Gesine: As someone whose role involves helping others get the best possible experiences in their visits to the Discovery Centre, I definitely hope the festive vibe comes through. I would love everyone to have a really nice time and do some relaxed Christmas shopping with a glass of festive punch and a mince pie.

What can visitors expect?
Gesine: They can expect the best of what local artists and makers have to offer, high-end products skilfully produced, and a chance to have a chat with the creative people behind the work.
Rowan: Many of the makers involved take their inspiration from the local area and some from the reserve itself, which will really resonate with our visitors. There will be some beautifully produced items that you won’t find in the shops.

What will be different about the discovery Centre for this event?
Gesine: The Discovery Centre isn’t just a venue with wonderful views, it’s also an amazing, adaptable community hub. With the attention to detail that’s going into organising the space, the centre will be showing some special “winter plumage” for the event. Our shop will have Christmas stock on display, and we will be opening up the whole of the education and exhibition space to host one big market area.
Rowan: It’s a bonus to have the flexibility to open up the building to accommodate these special events. Visitors will benefit from a little more space to explore in the building while still enjoying the beautiful views. Our café and shop will be open as normal and the Makers Market will add that extra festive feel to the Discovery Centre.

What are you looking forward to seeing across the event?
Gesine: We have managed to attract a fantastic range of makers working in a variety of materials. We will have ceramics, jewellery, wreath making, textiles, glass, felt, candles, chocolate, prints and greeting cards. I can’t wait to see all these amazing makers and artists.

No spoilers please, but would you like to share any surprises and extras you would love visitors to be aware of?
The Festive Makers Market isn’t just about things to see and buy, there are also artists and crafters who will be demonstrating their skills.
Gesine: One thing that I think will be special is the wreath making stall, where visitors can create their own festive door wreath with the help of Katie and Carrie, who will be bringing in some natural materials.
Rowan: I’m sure there will be some lovely festive fragrances from the candle and chocolate stalls.

For additional information and updates, please follow Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on social media – Twitter: @ryeharbour_NR; Facebook: @RyeHarbourNR; Instagram: @ryeharbournr or visit our website

Image Credits: Kathy Crowther , Discovery Centre .

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