Crafty men: making it manly

Monday 8th June, 2015

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Manmade on 12 and 13 June is a new event for craftsmen who want to promote their work

Sam Wingate in his studio. Photo: Yeshen Venema

Printmaker Sam Wingate noticed how few men took part in the craft fairs he attended.

He wanted to see this change so he talked to some like minded friends and the result will be an all-male craft fair at The Old Truman Brewery taking place on the 12th and 13th of June. 

The event, Manmade, will offer men the chance to showcase their work and sell their wares.

“Our markets are 90 per cent female,” said Sinead Koehler, the founder of Crafty Fox Market, a business that is trying to change the idea of traditional craft fairs and the co-host of Manmade.

The fair will include 50 male sellers, talks related to the business side of crafting and workshops.

Sam Wingate; a screenprinter and the brains behind Manmade Photo: Yeshen Venema

Wingate said: “As a man who makes things, I have always been aware of just how few of us are out there making and selling in comparison to our female counterparts. The number of women selling at craft fairs like Crafty Fox far exceeds the number of men.

"I want to get more men involved with making and selling and dispel the myth that craft and making is just for the girls.”

Wingate said: “[We are] trying to get more men involved with the whole scene.” He hopes to take the fair to other cities.

Wingate, who trades as Mr Wingate, started selling screen-printed clothing out of a stall on Brick Lane. He has since expanded to home wares and runs a screen-printing workshop for Crafty Fox Market.

He said there has been a positive response to the idea: “I’ve had a lot of women say they’re excited to come and eye-up the handsome craft men.”