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Quirky curiosities and unique gifts: New summer craft collections arrive at RBSA shop

Millie Rothera

From eco-friendly textiles in bright, modernist prints to kiln-fired glass trinkets that ooze Victorian opulence, the RBSA shop is freshly stocked this summer with unique gifts made by our talented community of UK artists.

If you’ve never shopped at the RBSA shop before, in short, it’s a boutique destination where anyone with an eye for the unusual can shun the mainstream to discover the rarer talents of independent UK artists and designer-makers.

This summer, we’re adding an exciting array of new collectible craft to our shelves (both online and in the RBSA gallery shop). We’re introducing fresh works from debut artists and revealing the latest collections from our existing community of independent creators. So, if you’re looking to surprise friends and family with thoughtful, unique gifts, or maybe you’re on the look-out for some original homeware, our summer collection has plenty of stylish accessories and curiosities to offer.

There are hundreds of items now on sale in our gallery shop and online store, so we want to use this post to introduce you to three new collections released by our designer-makers for summer 2021.

Bethan Corin

Sustainable jewellery with organic style

Bethan’s jewellery has a deliberately simple style, giving every item an effortlessly, wearable quality. But belying the unfussy appeal of this collection, every item is hand-made with precision, meaning and intention from her North Wales studio.

Expect metal contrasted with pearl, and simple metal bars subtly etched to add delicate coarseness and character. From sourcing sustainable, natural materials to perfecting the texture and feel of every item – even the precise form of the clasp or pin – Bethan’s appreciation for detail and the method of making gives her jewellery a distinctly organic quality. Shop Bethan Corrin jewellery

Millie Rothera

Eco-friendly textiles with a playful sense of fun

The debut collection of pouches, purses and tote bags by West Yorkshire textile artist and print designer Millie Rothera is certainly adding a sense of fun to our summer shop. The influence of modernist architecture is unapologetic in the precise angles of her geometric designs. But this is softened by bold, bright colours that reveal the inspiration she gets from play within the home. The combined effect is eye-catching, stylish accessories that each have a unique story to tell.

Millie uses natural dyes and high-quality, organic fabrics, and creates her designs using screen printing and eco-friendly digital printing methods. This not only enhances the unique, personal feel of her textiles, it also ensures every item has a sustainable legacy.

Shop Millie Rothera textiles

Emma Wells

Functional ‘house jewellery’ evoking bygone days and faded grandeur

Emma is a self-taught artist, using glass as her canvas to create kiln-fired trinkets and curiosities that make characterful, unique gifts. By layering designs and textures in enamels and metals, she embeds ghostly visions and floating images with photographic plate-like qualities into her glassware. During the firing process these layers burn away and break up, leaving a sense of something that appears aged and worn.

Her latest collection is inspired by Victorian intrigue and opulence. Think old family photographs and ancestral memories, nostalgically brought back to life with the romantic authenticity of faded grandeur. You’ll also notice surface patterns featuring insects, interwoven with floral imagery, reminiscent of the Victorian ‘Language of Flowers’ and symbolic of the obsessive nature of the Victorian ‘Collectors Extraordinaire’.

Available now in our gallery shop.

What is the RBSA craft shop?

Giving our community of Birmingham artists, as well as designer-makers from across the UK, a platform to attract customers and sell their collections is a big part of the RBSA’s mission. We first opened the RBSA Gallery Shop to give our independent artists and crafters a physical place to sell their art and collectible craft. In 2021, we opened the RBSA online art shop to give independent creators an alternative digital marketplace for their work.

Products on sale include cards and stationery, books, prints, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and more. It’s the perfect place to find a truly original item to share as a unique gift.

Katie Robbins My Bear Hands Alex Allday

How can I support independent creators and artists?

Every item sourced for the RBSA shop is designed and crafted by an independent artist who cares deeply about every sale. It’s been a challenging year for those working in the arts. So, when looking for unique gifts, something special for your home or an accessory that will make any outfit a talking point, please consider our wonderful artists and show your support for the amazing independent creative talent in the UK. Visit the RBSA gallery shop

Article by Laura Jane Johnson

About RBSA

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.

The RBSA runs an exhibition venue, the RBSA Gallery, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.

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