Crafting at Sailmakers

A crafty preview of things to come is on at a busy Ipswich shopping centre this weekend as local crafters stage a mini-market.

It’s all part of a two-day free event at Sailmakers Shopping Centre where stalls selling locally-made pottery, home-sewn goods, book crafts, photographs and prints, jewellery and glass and wooden gifts will combine with free activities for children aged from four to 11.

There will also be the Centre’s resident herd of colourful little elephants, part of Ipswich’s spectacular Elmer’s Big Parade summer event in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice, for the second of two weekends of free summer jungle fun this Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4pm.

Sue Laurence, of Home of Suffolk Arts And Crafts (HOSAAC) which is staging the mini-craft fair, said: “It’s going to be a taster for a series of monthly craft markets which will be held at Sailmakers in the run-up to Christmas.

“They are going to take place on the first Friday and Saturday of each month with the first on September 6 and 7 when we intend to have a much bigger turnout.

“This is a taster for that but it will feature some interesting work including some of the newer craftworkers to join our group.

Elmer the Elephant has been a big draw at Sailmakers all summer and the centre’s very own Ladyphant and the Golden Elmer Treasure Trunk of Shirley Shelley Cleaners alongside the herd of little elephants created by local schools has proved a big attraction.

An area of the Centre has even been turned into Jungleland where the ten Young Elmers should feel right at home and there will be a packed programme of fun-filled activities including story-telling, face-painting and elephant-themed arts and crafts.

Mike Sorhaindo, Sailmakers Shopping Centre Manager, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome the local crafters back and this will be an appetiser for their series of craft fairs which will run through the autumn.

“We’ve got Ed Sheeran in Chantry Park this weekend and we’re looking forward to welcoming some of his many fans to the town and I’m sure they’ll be attracted to a special feature in our HMV store.

“Elmer’s Big Parade has also been a big hit in the town and it has been perfect to combine that with our regular summer holiday activities for families and at the same time supporting such a wonderful charity as St Elizabeth Hospice.”

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