8 handmade Sussex gifts to give this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 10:55 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:42 02 January 2018
Make this your first locally sourced Christmas. We choose our favourite gifts made by local artisans...
1. Cuckmere Trug Company, Sussex Trug, from £43
Thomas Smith of Herstmoncuex invented the trug in the 1820s. The last Smith family member to own the company was Eddie Smith who, together with his wife Winnie, ran it until they retired. After that the company had several owners and was purchased by Robin and Peter Tuppen, Anna Piper and Frank Odell in 1989. Robin now runs the business, supplying trugs all over the world. They are all handmade by local craftsmen in Herstmonceux – what could be a nicer present for someone far from home? Prices range from £43-£88 which include P&P. The company has a retail shop, the Thomas Smith Trug Shop in Herstmonceux, or you can buy online.
2. Joanna Corney Pavilion Fairy Lights, from £22
Joanna works from a studio in Hove, designing textiles and wallpaper inspired by her love of architecture. Brighton themes abound, from the Pavilion wallpaper to lampshades printed with a starling pattern reminiscent of the murmurations around the West Pier. Those wanting a gentler nod to the seaside city will love these sweet fairy lights, or perhaps one of the bandstand or beach hut prints. Joanna also give workshops on how to make fairy lights and lampshades, which would make a fun gift for those with a creative bent.
3. Wolfram Lohr Toni Leather Satchel, £550
Based in Hove (visits to the workshop are by appointment), Wolfram Lohr makes beautiful leather bags by hand. It’s difficult to single out one design (the laptop bags and mini messengers are particularly beautiful), but this satchel would delight pretty much anyone – vegans aside. It’s clean and contemporary and will look good for years to come. Bags can be customised on request. Local stockists include The Specky Wren in Brighton.
4. House of Hoye Peace Statue Necklace, £50
Brighton jeweller Jeremy Hoye purveys a rocking collection of cool jewellery, much of which nods to his seaside hometown. This charm depicts much-loved local monument the Hove Peace Statue and would look equally gorgeous strung round the neck on a leather thong, or as part of a charm bracelet. Other charms include a Brighton seagull and deckchair which, together with a bracelet, would make a lovely themed gift.
5. Nancy Meiland Parfums Eglantier, £105
The Lewes-based ‘nose’ created this strikingly original fragrance in response to a family holiday in Skagen, Denmark. “This is my Nordic scent,” she says. “It is the evocation of that moment at sunset when the tide is out and the sand stretches away with a warm, coral glow.” Rich florals (neroli, orange flower and tuberose) overlay base notes of cardamom, patchouli and sandalwood for a scent suitable for all ages and genders. Nancy Meiland Parfums is stocked locally at Glyndebourne, Charleston, Paul Clark Clothiers in Lewes and NOLA Brighton, among others. For a very special present, Nancy has a signature scent service.
6. Phoebe Jewellery Acorn Earrings, £95, and Potted Succulent Necklace, from £110
Lewes-based designer Phoebe Sherwood, who did some of her art and design training at Brighton City College, takes her inspiration from wildlife and the natural world. These acorn earrings are sterling silver and hand-turned oak and the quirky, of-the-moment potted succulent necklace is silver with gold vermeil and hand-turned reclaimed mahogany. You can buy Phoebe’s jewellery locally at Ditchling Museum, Goodman Morris and Two Kats and a Cow in Brighton, and Leadbetter and Good in Lewes.
7. Forge Creative Cruise Skateboard, from £75
Forge Creative is the partnership of designer-makers Josh Kennard and Oliver Milne, who have a studio outside Chichester. Among their original designs are beautiful handmade furniture, art and other lovely things. The Cruise skateboard is inspired by classic 1970s boards, designed and created using different woods to form Forge Creative’s original deck shape.
8. StephieAnn Design, Silk Eye Mask, £25, and Silk Scarf, £71.50
This talented young textile designer works from her studio in West Chiltington. Her initial lingerie collections have expanded to include beautiful luxuries such as these. There are also gorgeous alpaca bed socks, sleepwear sets and camisoles. The floral designs are inspired by poetry and previous collections have taken Dylan Thomas and Lord Byron as their jumping-off points.
• The Sussex pantomime stars of 2017 - As pantomime season approaches a select group of actors will be donning dresses and fixing their falsies to carry on a fine British theatrical tradition