A very warm welcome to Laura Morgan who will be joining us over the next two weeks as Guest Blogger. Laura has been running Curiosity Haus for two years, an independent craft haus which showcases local craft designers both online and as part of regular indie craft markets. With a big emphasis on high quality handmade goods Curiosity Haus has made quite a name for itself in the local art and design scene. We asked Laura a few questions to get to know her a little bit better
Who are you?
Laura Morgan from Curiosity Haus, based in Nottingham
What brought you to Nottingham?
I grew up in Bangor, Northern Ireland, but came here to study Textile Design at Nottingham Trent and have lived here ever since.
What keeps you in Nottingham?
I ask myself that question frequently! I have thought about leaving Nottingham many times. I spent a year in New Zealand, came back. I spent 3 months (ish) in Italy, came back. There is something great about this small city; it is large enough for there to always be something going on; and small enough for a sense of community. I really like that about Nottingham. There is always a project, job or something else that keeps my interest here and keeps me enjoying life in this city.
What makes you different to other creative people in Nottingham?
I specialise in providing a platform for independent designers, artists, craftspeople and small creative businesses to showcase and sell their wares. I encourage promotion of independent and quality handmade goods by increasing the profile of contemporary craft and design in the area.
I started running indie markets in 2009 with two friends, when we set up ‘Apples and Pears and Crafty Wares’ at Sneinton Market. The aim was to emulate a Spitalfields vibe on that run-down space. (The area is now being redeveloped)
Curiosity Haus now offers an online shop as well as regular events across Nottingham throughout the year. People can buy from an array of independent sellers who create and design their own wares as a refreshing shopping experience, alternative to that of the high street.
What do you wish you had more time for?
I wish I had more time to create my own work, drawing, painting, sewing, and printing. But as I also work part time as a designer for another company, most of my spare time is spent on Curiosity Haus- building my website felt like having a child to look after!
What keeps you awake at night?
I am a real night owl. I find late evenings my most productive time of day, so I often stay up late anytime I have a project to complete. When I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I am kept awake thinking that I am wasting the best time of day!
What do you think is Nottingham’s best kept secret?
Don’t I have to say Curiosity Haus Craft and Design Fairs? Although I hope it is not a secret! Nottingham has a brilliant creative scene, with so many artist groups, one off events and exhibitions happening. Artnot is a great listing well worth picking up for this. I also recently started a facebook group called Craft Map which is specifically aimed at mapping out all the craft and design based goings on in Nottingham and beyond. If you want to keep up or shout about your crafty happenings, please join!
What would you like to see more of in Nottingham?
More independent business! More people supporting independent business! More pop up shops, galleries and creative collaborations. There can never be too many!
What Big thing, project or event are you currently working on?
I have all three; a big thing, a project and an event worthy of mention, so it is going to be a very busy autumn!
I recently launched an online shop as part of the Curiosity Haus website, as another way to promote and sell the work of designers in and around Nottingham. I am adding lots of new sellers in the run up to Christmas; so do check out curiosityhaus.co.uk perfect for unique gifts and presents!
The next Curiosity Haus event is an indoor “indie market” at Bunkers Hill on Saturday 29th October, 12-5pm.
Facebook Event details here
As well as the usual eclectic mix of Craft, Design, Art and Vintage wares, the event is coinciding with the pub’s very own beer festival and there will be live music, food and tricks and treats for customers!
Applications are still being accepted for stall holders and any musicians or bands who would be interested in performing an acoustic set please get in touch.
Another exciting project is INK screen printing. I am currently working with Hopkinson Gallery (formally the Art Organisation) to set up a brand new screen printing facility. INK will be a screen printing ‘club’ and an accessible way for members and non-members to get printing! I am currently working on the branding and website, for this, so keep an eye out for inknottingham.co.uk, coming soon. The launch date for the facility is set for 14-15th Oct, and I can’t wait to get started!
Finally I also have a Christmas market in the pipeline and details will be confirmed shortly. Keep in touch with Curiosity Haus on facebook, twitter or emailing list if you would like to be amongst the first to hear about it!
You can see more about Laura and Curiosity Haus at:-