Manchester’s Crafty Buggers

Ryan Vintage in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter is harbouring its very own little secret. No longer is it merely a twinkling fashion cavern, dedicated to all things old and kitschy, where you can pick up a pair of cowboy boots or a Lyle and Scot cashmere jumper for an absolute steal. Oh no, now it has something else to offer the discerning shopper – The Crafty Buggers, a new collective dedicated to arts, crafts and complete creativity.

Launched just a couple of weeks ago by three university textiles students – Sarah Mutter, Samantha Gardner and Vicky Mellor – the art space currently sells embroidered art pieces, handmade jewellery, painted teacups, prints, zines and a whole lot more, but it is the workshops and drop-in art sessions that Sarah, who’s now on a year out and quit her day job to run the stall full time, hopes will help put the Crafty Buggers on the Manchester map.

“We just want to have it as a space where people can come and talk and do, a bit like the Stitch ‘n Bitch groups,” she explained, adding that it’s more a matter of waiting to see what customers want at the moment and then acting on that later down the line.

Currently, the three students are celebrating half-term in style by holding a series of three drop-in craft sessions. Today (April 5th) anyone over the age of four can come along to do a bit of Easter card making, all for the princely sum of £1.50, while on Saturday those over 12 can try their hand at screen-printing.

Next week, the Crafty Buggers plan to do something a little different, holding a craft fair and having a lot of fun. “People seem to really like the lucky dips we’ve got at the moment,” Sarah said, explaining that the fete will feature “something a bit different that people might want to have a play with, as well as buying things”.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Buggers can last the year and compete with other more established Manchester-based companies like Junk, the Ministry of Craft and Nexus Art Cafe, which already hold very successful events and workshops, particularly since the business is really little more than a stall at the back of a big shop at the moment. However, as Sarah says, it has already been a great learning experience for the three students, so watch this space. Great things could be on the horizon for these Manchester arts and crafters.

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