Maker Spotlight: Forest and Found

Hand Turned Pots

We’ve been big fans of Forest and Found for a while now. Their booth displays are always stunning at our London Fair and we can’t wait to see them again this weekend!


Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?

We knew straight away that our name had to reflect what was at the heart of our business. It has always been about our relationship to the outdoors and particularly to the forest, so it was a definite that ‘Forest‘ had to be the starting point. We then wanted something that would reference our methods of working and approach to our craft. Foraging for dye plants and locally sourcing timber has always been central to the way we gather materials to work with so ‘Found‘ quickly became a direct reference to this. We haven’t ever set ourselves strict limitations or have a heavily structured business model, instead we prefer to let the business grow organically finding new opportunities and avenues through direct contact with like minded people. ‘Found‘ also became the perfect representation of how we work and run our business. Most importantly we wanted a name that felt warm and welcoming with a sense of adventure … hence ForestandFound!

Naturally Dyed Madder Quilt

Have you always been passionate about design?

We both have come from a Fine Art background where our interest in making always revolved around materials and how we experience objects. Design has always been on our radar but has never been the driving force of our practice. We almost fell into it accidentally while pursuing our interest in woodwork and textiles. Our starting point for approaching design is always informed by the materials we work with. The products we design and make always have function at their heart but our interest lies in how people interact with them and the relationships they form.


When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

After graduating in 2013 we felt a need to pursue our practice in making and directly working with our hands. We began looking at traditional methods of craft and the role of the craftsman/woman in contemporary society. We had always worked with wood while building sculptures so our research began there and we quickly started looking at carving and woodturning. An impulse purchase of a wood lathe meant we very quickly had to learn how to use it! We live and work in Walthamstow in East London and have Epping Forest on our doorstep so sourcing timber from the forestry management has been invaluable. Walthamstow also has a thriving textile industry and we are surrounded by textile shops. Having always worked with found objects and whatever materials we had to hand it was a natural progression to start looking at textiles. Having both made and stretched canvases for painting at college we were drawn to the most basic painters canvas and calico. This has remained our fabric of choice and to achieve the colours we were after we began hand dyeing all our textiles using natural plant dyes.


What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

When thinking about our business or discussing how we differentiate ourselves within the craft and design market we always return to our integrity to the materials we work with. We are looking for a ‘truth’ within our materials whether that is in their provenance and sustainability, or in the way they react and surprise us in the making process. We are always designing our products with the users direct experience of the object in mind. We aim to make products that offer something more through their touch or smell and the way they interact with the body. The way a spoon feels in the hand or a quilt warms your back are all considerations from the word go.


Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

Failures are part and parcel of the making process, we are always testing and pushing the limits of our materials. How thin can you go on the wall of a bowl before it cracks or what colour can be achieved from an unknown foraged plant? Often without the mistakes you wouldn’t have the discoveries. A cracked bowl can often be beautiful in its own right and an unattractive colour result can become a happy accident when over-dyed to produce an unexpected and beautiful shade.


Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?

Weekends have definitely gone out the window and our social lives have often been put on hold. However we have discovered the most amazing network of friends and fellow business owners who make it all worth it so definitely no regrets!

What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?

We are probably most proud of our studio and workshop, which without we couldn’t have ForestandFound. We built it from scratch and it is the hub and centre of everything we do. It is currently going through an expansion as we add a new textile studio and a deck for natural dyeing. Our favourite moments of running ForestandFound are when people purchase our products. The novelty still hasn’t worn off and it is the most rewarding sensation when people walk away with something they will truly treasure.


How does the city you live in influence your work?

London has the most amazing galleries and museums which we regularly visit to get new ideas. It is one of the main reasons we are here and if we ever moved out of the city we would always return to catch new exhibitions. Our love of landscape and the outdoors has made us seek out London’s green spaces which exist in abundance. We have an allotment which is the perfect breath of fresh air and escape from the hustle and bustle. Being able to inhabit and cultivate your own patch of land within such a built up city is an opportunity we are so grateful for.


What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

Chelsea College of Art and Design where we both studied Fine Art runs a very independent BA course. It taught us the invaluable lesson of being self motivated and how to have a working practice we believed in and had the drive to pursue. As a result we are able to structure our days and be our own bosses. We know each others strengths and weaknesses which allows us to work very well together and to shoulder different responsibilities to spread the workload. We are also used to coping with self-doubt and how to work through issues within our own practice without feeling the need to give up and throw it all in.

Naturally Dyed Crusades Quilt

What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

We had both worked several part time jobs throughout our time at University so when we graduated we knew we didn’t want to go back to that way of working. We found it tired us out so much that it sucked all creative energy out of the days we then had off. We were lucky to be living at home in London and with the support of our family around us we were able to make the transition to working full time on ForestandFound. Watching it grow and progress to a point that we can support ourselves has been the most amazing and rewarding experience and we will never underestimate the value of having a supportive family network when running your own business.


What are some inspirations for your work?

We think a lot about where our materials are from and how they relate to one another. Subtle relationships between wood and textiles can often be the catalyst for a new idea. If we are designing and making an object we want to know how it will then go on to be used within the home. We are always researching and looking at the way different cultures use vessels and utensils and how textiles play a role in the home. We draw a lot on Japanese ideas of frugality and the humble nature of the materials used. We have never been interested in making the most ornate and decorative objects rather we like the grain of the wood or the colour of a piece of fabric to speak for itself. The very act of making can be meditative and we’d like for our products to have the same effect when used. There are definite health benefits from living with simple, well-made and natural products. 

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

Our advice to fellow makers is always to stick to your guns and to trust your instincts … 90% of the time they will be right and the other 10% you will learn from.


Man, we are so so so excited for this weekend! Don’t miss out on our London Holiday Fair this weekend, and check out Forest and Found online here:



Our London Holiday Fair Kicks Off This Weekend!

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The London Holiday Fair kicks off this weekend at the Old Truman Brewery! On November 7 + 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can shop for the perfect handmade gift, take part in DIY workshops, and welcome in the holiday season.

A selectively curated assortment of more than 200 Makers will provide exciting options for holiday gift giving, such as jewelry, ceramics, home décor, children’s accessories and toys, letterpress stationery, art prints, and knitwear. All items featured in the Fair are handmade by emerging and established artisans and offer an opportunity to support local makers.
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Feeling inspired to join in on the handmade spirit? Get hands on with some of the Fair’s festive DIY workshops! Textile artist Amy Ilic will offer weaving workshops both Saturday and Sunday for £10, which includes all supplies and materials. Seatting is limited, so RSVP before it’s too late! Prickle Press will also assist shoppers in creating personalized letterpress cards at £5 each.

For more holiday fun, portrait artist Emma Block will be on hand Sunday to create her live illustration watercolours, in which she will paint unique portraits of guests in just five minutes — a lovely gift for family or friends.

Attendees looking to boost their shopping stamina with some sweet treats should search out My Little Cake Tin, who will provide a selection of bakes and cakes at a beautiful dessert table. Offerings will include friands, brownies, tartlets, cakes, cookies, and more.

Oh Comely will be present with a Christmas subscription offer, back issues, and exclusive merchandise from their shop, including pieces designed by Owen Gent, Marie Gardeski and Kaye Blegvad. You won’t want to miss out on their photo booth operated by lifestyle editor and photographer Liz Seabrook, who will be creating Oh Comely “Cover Girls.” It’s the perfect gift and perfect way to commemorate your visit with RCF!


Getting There: The Fair will be indoors at the Old Truman Brewery, located in East London at 81 Brick Lane. Pets are not permitted at the venue. Route directions to the venue can be found here. Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation to the Fair; the brewery is easily accessible via tube, rail, and bus.

Uber is sponsoring rides for Renegade’s Holiday Fairs. New users can get up to £15 off their first Uber ride using the code RCFLONDON. To sign up, download the app or head


Want to spread the word? Join our Facebook event and invite your friends. Grab our e-flyer and pass it around. Add #RenegadeCraftFair and #RenegadeLondon to your RCF-related Instagram pictures and tweets! We love seeing what our followers and makers are up to!

For more information about this event, please visit the Renegade Craft Fair website, check out our upcoming Maker Spotlights, or browse the Makers on Pinterest.


Big Thanks to Our London Sponsors:

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Maker Spotlight: Mind the Cork

MInd the Cork - cork composite objects

We’ve got a sweet little Maker Spotlight today featuring the beautiful design wares of Mind the Cork. Mind the Cork was founded in 2013 by designer Jenny Espirito Santo, who’s inspired by the natural value of materials and the sense of history and heritage they embody. These pieces elevate the humble cork into one of a kind statement pieces for your home, and we can’t wait to make our living spaces look awesome! The London Holiday Fair is going to be a beaut, folks!

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?

My business name has a few influences. Anyone who lives or has been to London (or heard of!) will recognise the term “mind the gap”. When I was growing up, I often heard adults saying, “oh, mind the cork” when serving wine at the dinner table.

My aim was to make people consider cork as a high end sustainable material that is great to use in design and as a leather alternative too; so the idea behind it was to “mind”, to “consider”, to “be aware” of something. I liked that play on words and meaning.

MInd the Cork - cork leather cases

When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

My background is interior design and while I really enjoyed it, I had this feeling at the back of my mind that I wanted to work in a very specialised field and I wanted it to be sustainable and meaningful to me.

Working with cork is important to me because of my Portuguese heritage and because it’s so incredibly eco-friendly. I think is a product that looks to the future; the natural resources we have available and how we use them creatively.

Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?

Long and random backpacking trips around the world! Traveling is one of my great passions and something I was able to do fairly regularly when I was an employee. Ever the optimist, I thought that by being my own boss I would have more flexibility and control over when and long I could travel for. How naive! My business takes up every minute of my every day but I have no regrets at all, when I can look back at the milestones I achieved so far, and all the future things I have planned.

MInd the Cork - cork leather cosmetic bags

What are your plans for the future of Mind the Cork?

I am very happy to see cork being increasingly used and featured in design. My goal is to expand my range of homeware and lifestyle products and exhibit in different countries around the world.

I also love doing collaboration projects, so really looking forward to a few things that may be happening in the near future!

Mind the Cork - cork leather cushions

Just look at those pillows! We can’t wait to see these lovelies in person at our London Fair this weekend. If you aren’t in London, you can find Mind the Cork online here:



Gift Guide: For the Hostess

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With all the upcoming dinner invitations headed your way this holiday season we thought we’d simplify things with an RCF Hostess Gift Guide! Candles are always a popular choice, and you can’t go wrong with Evermore London’s Amber and Clove Candle, the perfect holiday scent. If your friends love hosting parties, pick up some Coral & Tusk whimsically embroidered napkins. Headed to a food lover’s home? Any of Beautiful Briny Sea’s salts are the perfect hostess present, but we kind of love Bird Bath. And if any of your friends are like me, chances are they’re always looking or a match to light a candle. I’m obsessed with these ceramic strikers by Gopi Shah Ceramics!

Want some Fall inspiration for your own party? Check out some of our Fall Favorites on Pinterest and get in the mood with our Thanksgiving Spotify Playlist!

Maker Spotlight: Jenny Sibthorp

Yeshen Venema Photography

Jenny Sibthorp for the win! We’re loving these illustrated textiles and goods from this UK designer and we can’t wait for you all to buy them up at our London Fair coming up in just 1 week!

Jenny Sibthorp Leather Coin Purse Stack
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

I was living in London and craving an outlet to be a bit more creative and feel more satisfied. I took up upholstery courses, and realized that I wanted to find a way of making a living by using my hands. I left London for the countryside, and started working out how I could turn my dreams into reality.

What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?

I’m still getting over a Design*Sponge feature at the beginning of this year. I submitted an entry to their Before & After for an old French nursing chair I’d reupholstered using some of my fabric, forgot about it and then nearly fell off my chair when Grace emailed me with some questions about a month later. When it went live the response was just incredible!!

Yeshen Venema Photography

How does the city you live in influence your work?

I’m hugely influenced by where I live, but its’ not a city these days. I live in the countryside and my studio is an old farm building round the corner from my house. It’s basic, but beautiful and rustic. I sometimes can’t quite believe how lucky I am to have it. There’s a resident bat and through the summer I have lambs outside my back door (see my plethora of instagram posts @jennysibthorp!)

Yeshen Venema Photography

What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

It was a now or never kind of decision. I just figured that at the time I didn’t have any responsibilities in terms of children or having a mortgage etc and I really didn’t want to be working in an unsatisfactory office job forever. A really great friend just kept on saying to me ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ and he was so right, you just don’t know until you try it.


What are some inspirations for your work?

I’m inspired largely by my beautiful surroundings, bright colours, old photographs; but everything is inspiring, its just learning to hone these inspirations into something that makes sense. But just sometimes, I just want to remember something important to me by putting it into a print – Eggs was born shortly after my chicken Widdy went ‘Missing Presumed Dead’. A lot of my prints can be a little bit tongue-in-cheek like that.

Jenny Sibthorp Deckchair Linen Zip

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

My favourite one is just chat to anyone and everyone about what you’re up to, you just don’t know who they might be and its amazing how easy it is when its something that really matters to you and that you feel passionate about. It’s really easy when you’re self employed to work every single hour possible and only take a break to eat and sleep, but this is a really important one, try to be disciplined and let yourself take off time every week, be that a few hours or a whole day. It’s amazing what a difference this will make to your energy levels and efficiency.

Jenny Sibthorp Sweet Peas Wash Bag

Jenny Sibthorp’s patterns and colors are as addictive as the cheeriness they emanate. Only one week until our London Holiday Fair, in the meantime find Jenny Sibthorp online here: