Barn Blog

Craft Daft: from pop-up retail to meet-your-maker

Jenny Hood talks about her passion for crafts and the Barn's exciting plans for more space and opportunities for designer-makers.

Jenny Hood loves nothing better than working with other creative people, which is just as well, as that is a large part of her role here at the Barn. Employed initially as Administrator for the Gallery Committee, Jenny soon segued into the role of Project Assistant (Visual Art): with responsibility for Flock, the Barn’s contemporary maker extravaganza and the ever-expanding shop of products that are available to buy just outside the Box Office.

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Ceramics for sale at Flock

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Project Assistant Jenny Hood


Jenny graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2009, and now has her own business Corvid Eyes, which reflects the acquisitive, magpie-like nature of her art. She’s done her time as a stall holder on the Aberdeen creative market scene, which is what makes her perfect for the co-ordinating job she does leading up to Flock.

She says: "I see craft fairs as a promotional and networking exercise for the maker as well as a chance to make money. Making can be lonely, which is why we put on a Makers’ Mixer on the Friday evening after set-up. Establishing yourself on the craft scene can be tough, especially when you often have a day job to pay the bills, whilst fulfilling your craft orders and commissions at night or at the weekend."

Another string to Jenny’s bow is the shop that pops up in the foyer during Box Office opening hours, Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm. This is a small but beautifully curated space, full of vibrant colour, irresistible texture and desirable one-off pieces. 

Just some of the treasures featured are scarves by Helen Ruth, each one with a fantasy of nature woven into it; intricate yet calming origami lampshades by Misty Concepts; and jewellery by Aberdeen-based Aubin Stewart, whose juxtaposition of pearls, Perspex and precious metals makes her pieces quite unique.

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Jenny adds: "The Barn is a fantastic and inspiring space that is constantly evolving. One of our aspirations is to develop the Barn sheds next to the Box Office into a bigger permanent retail space, with potential for pop-up shops and workshop space for micro-residencies. We have savvy customers here in Deeside who values the experience of meeting and getting to know makers, and being really excited about where their pieces come from."