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Artisan Fairs & Craft Fairs: What's the difference?

Or where can I buy quality handmade items, created locally? Now I'm questioning, what's local? My city Derby? My county Derbyshire? England? The UK? Is it handmade or handcrafted?

Here are a few musings abut selling at events that I've been considering lately, feel free to read my blog, scan through it or perhaps save it for later over a cup of tea, although you might not get to dunk a biscuit as it isn't that long!

CRZyBest, with her usual pink and blue hair, wearing a pink apron with big unicorn pockets. Standing in-front of her CRZyBest Bar, showcasing her creations at her last Artisan Fair
CRZyBest at my last event with The Derbyshire Makers

I try to only attend one event a month in an effort to keep my carbon footprint down, taking along my CRZyBest Bar which is becoming well known, as I use this instead of a table. I chose my bar over a table, as the whole process of trying to work out what sort of tablecloth to use and do I buy my own table or rely on the venues supplying it, the questions and options were piling up, plus as well as Artisan Fairs, Craft Fairs and Makers Markets, I also attend Wedding Fairs. Having a more unusual or unique stand at a wedding fair is expected, well it is at the more alternative wedding fairs that I like to attend. After looking into purchasing my own table, so I didn't need a tablecloth, I then got sidetracked and came across a fantastic maker on Etsy who specialised in making workbenches and had just created a new product, which was an easy to assemble bar, I was immediately drawn to this idea, as it reflected my love of visiting my local pub! I now have my eye on the upgraded version on their website, but I need to sell a few more of my creations first and do I really need two bars? Should I have a table set up?

My CRZyBest Bar looked a little lonely on it's own, so I surrounded it with crates, which have the double use of shelves whilst I'm at an event and storage for traveling in-between. The only downfall of my stand, is I can't pack up my creations and get a bus or train to an event, so I do need to rely on the support of family to get me places, this means occasionally I can't attend an event that I would have loved to have gone to and when I first started out some events said they couldn't accommodate me as they provide tables to use and that was that! I soon learnt that generally those type of events weren't for me anyway! But what sort of events are for me, or you?

Which sort of brings me to my initial question: what is the difference between a Craft Fair and an Artisan Fair?

For me the answer is nothing and yet loads! What do you mean? I hear you asking. Lots of people will have lots of different opinions and perceptions, for me with a background in teaching and studying art history, an Artisan is highly skilled at what they do, without necessarily having traditional training in what they do, whilst a Craftsperson is a highly skilled person often with some type of formal training, perhaps an apprenticeship to a Master Craftsman behind them. There are lost of explanations, so I chose these simple dictionary definitions:

Craftsperson; A person who is skilled in a particular craft

Artisan; A person who does skilled work with their hands

For me, these days, I think the only real difference is perception by the individual of what an Artisan or Craft Fair is and of course there is also 'Makers Fairs' which can be similar and also very different again. So, in the end it is up to you what sort of event you go to, perhaps don't go on what it is called and go for a visit, check out who is there showcasing their creations, you might be surprised and if you buy something you will definitely make someone smile and hopefully you will also be supporting a local, independent business, or it might be just the start of a dream!

Find me and lots of other talented local creatives at the next Derbyshire Makers Artisan Fair, on May 8th 2022 at The Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale, near Matlock in the wonderful Peak District.

Have a browse on my website to see what I make and follow me on social media for up to date info on creations and events.


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