I’ve developed my FMP and decided to create and sell my own products, following the theme of a Cabinet of Curiosities in a live market setting. The next stage of my project was to investigate different markets and talk to traders and market managers, this was really key to developing my ideas and finding out exactly what the process would be to get my own stall. I started by researching London’s markets and making a list of places before going to each market for a couple hours and ask a few questions about trading.
I then decided on 3 markets I really liked, I looked at key features such as location, footfall, types of products being sold and overall atmosphere. History is a big part of theme and my creative process so I wanted to show my work in somewhere that would also reflect this, so I decided to reach out to the trading managers at Greenwich Market, Spitalfields Market and the Apple Market at Covent Garden. I researched the right people to contact for each market online and emailed them explaining what I wanted to do and asking for advice. After a few applications, phone conversations and emails I was able to get an interview to show samples of my products and explain my ideas.
I attended the interview and was able to get a space in the world famous Spitalfields Market! Which I really felt that the history of the Spitalfields reflected the themes of the products I wanted to create. Before attending my interview I created a small selection of samples. Economically it was pretty important to find out if I would have a place to trade and if I would need to change anything before making larger numbers. It also gave me a chance to try out a few different materials as I created my samples, doing this over a couple of weeks meant I could reflect on each material and make changes as I needed to.
I ended up creating a series of badges, a piece of original work (2 colour lino print) a hand printed ceramic coaster and a tea towel for my interview. I also took along my sketchbook and a selection of my work from previous projects to further illustrate my ideas and give a better idea of who I am. The interview was really good and I got some great feedback as well as being allowed to trade for 1 day in the market! Success!
“Spitalfields had been relatively rural until the Great Fire of London. By 1666, traders had begun operating beyond the city gates – on the site where today’s market stands. The landmark Truman’s Brewery opened in 1669 and in 1682 King Charles II granted John Balch a Royal Charter giving him the right to hold a market on Thursdays and Saturdays in or near Spital Square.”
After getting the go ahead on my work and my plan, I started to look how I could use stall space to create a display and how I could start branding my stall. I knew that I could need to have a table cloth, back wall, and stands to display work and create different levels on the table. So I started thinking about items that could be part of a cabinet of curiosities and also be used to display work at different heights. Props became quite important to the overall feel and look of my space so it did take a while to research different items and buy/rent/borrow them for my stand. I also created some 3D sculptures to use as props on my stand, I wanted to create a stand that was aesthetically interesting and would hopefully start some conversations whilst also making my work the key feature.