Terrifyingly Cute Monsters

Irene Sutton’s Mystery Monsters have become all the rage at the ARTE Markets. The creative genius behind the unique pottery brand Irene’s Pots, Irene has been teaching pottery in Dubai since 2009 and is a regular at the ARTE markets.

We were especially fascinated with Irene’s imaginative miniature sculptures series called Mystery Monsters.

It was during a Summer Camp when she was wracking her brains as to what her class could do that was interesting and taught the kids about pinch pots, that Mystery Monsters were born.

Each Mystery Monster is completely unique and almost ‘unrepeatable’ since they are born of Irene’s mood and motivation at the time.

Each piece is handmade with stoneware and handpainted (sometimes badly) with underglaze before a final dip in transparent to give them a shine. The mystery is why do they like to eat socks and just which one will you want to take home!

All of the Monsters have their own stories and anyone lucky enough to own one has not only a unique and personal monster for themselves but a one-off short tale of mis-adventure about the life of their monster.

Upon purchase of one of Irene’s Mystery Monsters, owners can click here to register their monster and receive the monster’s unique mystery tale.

To learn more about Irene’s Pots, join her on facebook for visit her website: http://www.irenespots.com

One Card To Rule Them All…

One Card to rule them all,

One Card to find them,

One Card to bring them all

and always have a card on hand, no matter what.

Meet Clara Townsend – a Dubai College student who recently began her very own laptop fund from the sales of her unique handmade greeting cards at ARTE.

Between school and playing drums for an indie band called Rainhouse, Clara needed a quick yet smart way to raise money for a Macbook Pro. With her goal in sight, Clara decided to create something that was unique yet cost-friendly. Using her friends and family as inspiration, she quickly realized that most people in Dubai lived very busy lives and often forgot small things such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Enter All-Occasion Cards

For the common multitasking Dubai-resident, Clara created funky yet simple wordsearch greeting cards with a plethora of sentiments (Sorry, Congratulations, Merry Christmas) and phrases (Thank You, Missing You, Welcome Home) that can easily be customized for any occasion.

A picture of a “last minute” gift accompanied by Clara’s All Occasion card sent in by a customer

Clara suggests, “Just store a few cards in the office, at home or even in the car. Then, on your way to a last minute  party, pull one out, highlight/circle the right occasion and you’re good to go. For extra points, you could consider dropping by a flower shop for a bouquet.”

Clara’s all occasion cards are available as a single piece or in sets of 5, for only AED 45.

Lego Heads

It has been over a year, since Clara raised enough money for her Macbook Pro. However, having caught the ARTE bug, she is far from being done with creating Greeting Cards.

Today, Clara’s card collection has expanding to include new Lego-Head cards, with her bestseller being the ‘Ghitra Lego Head’. The new collection was well received by customers as well as fellow crafters, which also gave her the idea to use it in her GCSE art final piece.

To find Clara’s unique handmade cards, visit her at the ARTE Market in Times Square Center on the second Friday of every month.

Mummy’s No. 1 Inspiration

Bahraini-born, Mona Al-Alawi is the lucky mother of a beautiful little girl who is also the inspiration behind her baby accessories line, The.Little.Lady.

Mona Al-Alawi with her daughter

Specializing in handmade hair accessories for little ones, her collection currently ranges from hair clips & hair bands to luxurious ribbons & sashes, specifically made for a baby or toddler’s fine and wispy hair. Mona makes it a point to keep an eye on high street trends and tries to make sure that her designs compliment the seasonal clothing ranges in the local shops.

When creating her unique one-of-a-kind pieces, Mona takes extra care to ensure that each item is safe for babies. This entails making sure that all embellishments are firmly secured using non-toxic glue, and lead free materials. On occasions, these accessories could make it to a child’s mouth, so she makes sure that the parts are not going to easily come free, posing a choking hazard, or that any of the components used could make a child sick.

A customer visits The.Little.Lady booth at the ARTE Market

A happy customer

To learn more about Mona and her cute line of baby accessories visit The.Little.Lady facebook page or just drop by her booth at the next ARTE Market in Festival Centre and Times Square Center.

In the Mad Potters Laboratory

We recently visited Maria Pearson aka The Mad Potter in her private pottery studio.

Tucked away in the backyard of her Jumeirah Residence is The Mad Potter’s not-so-secret laboratory, equipped with her Potters Wheel, clay and an abundance of ceramic glazes.

For Maria, what began as a mindless hobby for stress relief quickly grew into a passion for clay. She has been working with clay for over 7 years now and is a regular at the ARTE Arts & Crafts Markets in Dubai.

While designing a piece, Maria always thinks about functionality… but ultimately she lets the clay tell her what it will be. She then adds some quirkiness through the colour choice of the glaze and texture finish to make each creation one of a kind.

The Mad Potter’s designs are as unique as their creator. Maria explained, “Over the years, I found my own voice and discovered that I preferred the utilitarian forms when combined with both the beauty of perfection and the element of imperfection. Living in a world of quickly reproduced identical forms, it’s the depth of character and inability to duplicate the organic imperfections that intrigue me. It is my goal to create spontaneous patterns and forms keeping that ingredient of uniqueness in every piece.”

We were especially surprised to learn the rather complicated yet fascinating glazing process behind her work. The glaze application is achieved by both brushing and dipping, and then fired in a kiln to over 2,000 degrees.

We were fascinated with her incredible selection of glazes and glaze chemicals. Much like cooking or chemistry, glazing pottery properly requires thorough knowledge of materials and technique, and Maria has spent years developing and perfecting her style. While her application of dynamic colours and glazes may seem like a reflection of her title i.e. The Mad Potter, in reality it is a laborious process involving, brushing, dipping and dripping.

To follow Maria’s personal journey, visit her website and facebook page.

She is a regular at the ARTE Markets in Times Square Center.

Birds of a Feather

Thanks to Hollywood hipsters, such as Jessica Biel and Steven Tyler, the feather hair extension trend – often seen as colourful feathers that clip into the hair – has really taken flight and is quickly spreading worldwide.

Closer to home, 16-year-old ARTE member, Hannah, is showing fashionistas how a strand of feathers into your mane may be just what you need to get yourself prepped for a truly bohemian summer.

Safe, Beautiful and Colourful

All natural real feather extensions are the simple way to give your hair colour and life; they will not damage your hair like adding dye or highlights.  They are the perfect way to change your hair with your mood or with the seasons because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to put in; your professional stylist can ensure they are put in properly so they last.  When done properly, feather hair extensions can last for up to six months.

How to Wear It

Hannah says: Feather extensions can work with any hair length. If you have short hair, you can wear your extensions two different ways: the length of the feathers can extend past the length of your hair for a dramatic look. You can also cut the feathers to match your length & blend them into your hairstyle.

Low Maintenance

Made from natural feathers, you can treat these extensions just like your own hair. They are water-friendly and you can straighten it, curl it or blow dry it. So style them any way you like!

Hannah is a regular at our monthly ARTE market in Times Square Centre. For more info about Hannah’s Hair Feathers, email her directly.

Add a Little Sparkle to Your Life

Meet Laila Lambert, who brought to life her passion for crystals in 2006 when she founded Sparklefairy – the UAE’s first New Age online boutique, all things fairy, angel, handmade & crystals.

Illustration of Sparklefairy made by the fabulous Pink Poodle

Her collection comprises of beautiful handmade angel & fairy jewellery for every occasion including angel callers, wish pendants, exclusive scared geometry jewellery as well as supplying a full range of crystals from giant geodes (up to 1 metre high) tumblestones, raw, clusters, wands, pendulums, very rare crystals, fossils MOLDAVITE & ORGONE. Angel/Oracle cards, unique natural incense (no synthetics) and so much more, she also does lovely ideas for wedding favours.

We especially love her Fertility Bracelet made from crystals have an innate energy to prepare the body for conception.

We asked: What crystals are in the Fertility Bracelet and why?

Laila said: I personally use Moonstone and Rose quartz. Many crystals can assist but from research these 2 crystals are most effective in my opinion. Moonstone is said to help aid in nurturing receptivity and balances emotions, moonstone also said to help welcome new life into the body. Moonstone is often called the Stone of the Goddess and symbolises acceptance and new beginnings. Moonstone may help with childbirth, conception and breast feeding. Rose quartz helps stabilize the energy inside the body. Provides one with love and self love. Rose quartz provides us with harmony and trust. The powerful combination of the rose quartz and moonstone is known to boost the woman’s fertility status. The energy from the Fertility bracelet works by balancing the energy in the body. It is calming, rids negative energy and reduces fears, also known to regulates menstrual cycle, improve blood circulation. As above.

We asked: How effective is it?

Laila said: We never say the fertility bracelet gets you pregnant, but it aids and working with energy is a lovely thing. Fertility Bracelets come from ancient traditions and still continue to be in use today, These days, a lot of women wear these types of bracelets for the very same reason that they were worn decades ago. Women will wear these gemstones because of tradition, out of belief or suggestion from family and friends, in order to improve their chances of getting pregnant.

For more info visit her facebook page or her website here: www.sparklefairy.com.

We’re so Sweet for this Jewellery

Meet Sophia Mattia of Funkme Designs, who recently joined the ARTE fold with an amazing collection of quirky, fun, vibrant pieces of individually handmade jewellery.
Sophia began making jewellery in 2008 with her very first necklace made was a liquorice allsorts. What began then as a dabble into jewellery making has now developed a range of sweetie jewellery made from polymer. Each piece is individually handmade by herself. She also produces “one off” necklaces, bracelets and earrings that are different from the sweetie range using the Millefiori technique. These are pieces that cannot be produced again to an identical copy and so are completely unique.
Sophia will be returning to ARTE in May with a new look to her stand and a whole new range of products.