Handmade in Norfolk

Handmade in Norfolk hero
Make Holt - Makers collective

If anywhere in Norfolk could be considered a ‘one-stop-shop’ for beautiful handmade homewares, it’s Make Holt.

Located in a former courthouse, the store’s stripped back appearance, showing flint, brick and ancient wood, echoes the natural textures of the items within. Since opening its doors in December 2020, Make Holt has become a favoured lifestyle store for Norfolk residents and visitors.

Its owner, Aviva Leigh, selects items made in Norfolk or nearby. Featuring more than 50 independent makers, these include artwork, ceramics, handwoven soft furnishings and glassware. Aviva is passionate that the people behind the products are celebrated too and uses her website and social media channels to highlight each creator and their skills.

There are also opportunities to meet them at ‘The ‘Maker’s Table’, in-store. Make Holt is a fabulous emporium if you want to fill your home with unique pieces that have a story behind them.

Picture credit: www.makeholt.com

Penny Wood - Bespoke Furniture

Buying bespoke is a brilliant way to get your home looking exactly as you’d imagined, filling those awkwardly-sized alcoves and corners with products that are made to fit perfectly.

Giving customers the ability to choose from a range of styles in made-to-order sizes and finishes is what makes Penny Wood Bespoke stand out from the crowd. While working in retail and the police force, Sam Penniston missed being creative.

He’d learned about DIY from his dad and grandad growing up, so he started creating custom items using driftwood, wooden pallets and scaffold boards. Time working in Cambodia, where he created furniture for hotel resorts, alongside sharing woodwork knowledge with local workers, motivated him to launch Penny Wood Bespoke.

Now, Sam and the team create handmade desks, dining tables, shelving and storage. Each item is built in their King’s Lynn workshop using sustainable Scandinavian joinery pine or reclaimed wood.

Sam’s passion for great woodwork and craftsmanship is clear. “To be able to earn a living doing something I love is my dream, and I’m so thankful. The goal when I started this business was to be happy and employ as many people as I possibly could… I’m so proud of what Penny Wood has become.”

Picture credit: Penny Wood 

Eleanor Torbati - Ceramics

There’s something special about relaxing with a cup of tea or coffee in your favourite mug. That’s the philosophy behind Eleanor Torbati’s work and the ceramicist encourages clients to invest in a piece and consciously enjoy using it.

While studying a nursing degree at UEA, Eleanor enjoyed spending time at Studio Do, where she swapped cleaning up after classes for extra time at the wheel. Pottery soon became a way to relieve stress – a space carved out for quiet creation.

Taking time out of nursing, she took to her wheel and kiln and eventually created her online shop. Now, Eleanor balances the two, working part-time as a nurse while focusing on the concept of slow living in her ceramics work.

Inspired by visits to the North Norfolk coast from her Norwich home, her pieces are minimalist and muted in colour, using natural textures, clays and glazes.

Eleanor creates tableware, vases, candlestick holders and also accepts commissions. Her work looks at home on any shelf, table or window ledge, and is made to be both used and enjoyed.

              Picture credit: www.eleanortorbaticeramics.co.uk