Arts & Crafts at the Chiswick Flower Market, Sunday 7 April

Image above: Suzette Llewellyn at the flower market in Chiswick; photograph Anna Kunst

Art, pottery, jewellery, hats, scarves and accessories … and of course, flowers

Suzette Llewellyn, pictured above at the February flower market, is holding an Arts & Craft market as an extension of the Chiswick Flower Market this Sunday (7 April).

The actress, who lives in Chiswick, has her hands full, as she is currently also rehearsing for a new play. She has been talking to makers of all sorts – jewellery, ceramics, furniture, art, and hopes that the market will become a regular fixture.

The Chiswick Flower Market’s licence allows them more space for stallholders than they use for flower and plant stalls. They would like to use it to promote other community ventures in Chiswick, director Ollie Saunders told The Chiswick Calendar.

While the flower market takes up the space in Old Market Place, outside the row of shops from Linden Gardens to Devonshire Rd, the Art and Crafts market will continue eastwards along the south side of Chiswick High Rd.

Images above: Max Rademacher hats

Max the hatter

I spoke to Suzette while she was still putting her list of stallholders together, but one she can be sure of is her husband Max Rademacher, who makes hats. Based at the artists community on Johnsons Island in Brentford, he makes fabulous concoctions to be worn on the head. Does that make him a hatter or a milliner? I asked him.

“I’m a hatter. I make hats by steaming and blocking felt. I might embellish it by adding bits to it, like a bit of gold leaf, but I am a hatter. Millinery – think Ascot.”

It is more difficult than you might think to become a hatter, he told me.

“I looked at all the fashion schools. None of them could teach me how to prepare the felt. Someone who used to work at Stetson gave me eight hours’ tuition. The actual felting and blocking isn’t rocket science, but nobody will tell you how to stiffen the fabric.”

He has ruined quite a lot of fabric trying to learn, he told me.

Images above: Max Rademacher; Steaming in the studio – photograph Douglas Kurn

Max discovered hats by trying to stand out as a performer. He is the musician Maxim Rad, with several albums to his name.

“I wore a massive black Russian fur hat for an album cover. I liked the drama of it and realised it really worked, people noticed you.”

He quickly found that by April or May his statement headwear was too hot to wear, so he switched to wearing Hasidic hats decorated with African fabrics, though sitting at Heathrow as a planeload of Hasidic Jews disembarked, he quietly slipped off his hat in case it caused offence.

Images above: Max in his studio at Johnsons Island; A piece of his wearable art

“People asked me where I got them. I decided the only way to service demand was to learn how to make them.”

Since Brexit and Covid has made touring with a band so difficult, he has recently concentrated more on hat making than music making. He will be bringing some hats on Sunday, and some “wearable art – too arty to be saleable!”

Sarah Dickinson – paintings

Another of Suzette’s stallholders will be Sarah Dickison, an artist based in Barnes, who paints flowers and landscapes in vibrant colours. A graduate of Camberwell College of the arts, she says her regular walks in Rishmond Park with her dog give her inspiration.

The place to browse and buy anything from cards to vegan beauty products

Other traders will include Bespoke Diva, who make unique greeting cards, illustrations and giftware; Flamingo Arts Emporium providing tropical, colourful themes from Johanne Narayan; Albertha’s Garden with natural beauty products; Vicki Cooke art; Joel Sydenham art; Michelle Hawes art; Alice Brookes art; Sophia Bloxham art; Lori Shaul ceramics; Sarah Lelli jewellery; Lelia Sylvester vegan balms; Sarah McBain shawls scarves, accessories and cotton dresses.

The Chiswick Flower Market will be bursting into life with spring plants and flowers from 9am on Sunday 7 April.

Images above: Cards by Bespoke Diva

Images above: Flamingo Arts Emporium; Albertha’s Garden; Vicki Cooke art

Images above: Artists Joel Sydenham; Michelle Hawes; Alice Brookes 

Images above: Sophia Bloxham art; Lori Shaul ceramics; Sarah Lelli jewellery; Lelia Sylvester vegan balms

Images above: Sarah McBain bag, dress and shawl

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar