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Chagford’s exclusive Wonderworks Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair

If you are looking for unique Christmas gifts of value & distinction, then Chagford's Wonderworks Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair will be right up your street.
The village of Chagford is one of Devon’s loveliest hidden gems, situated right on the edge of . December is a great time to enjoy a scenic drive as you head to the Wonderworks Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair on the first weekend in December.

Chagford was settled at a crossing or ford over the River Teign. In summer its straggle of local shops and tearooms are always busy with hikers and visitors. It’s a delight to visit in the quieter winter season and see the 13th century parish church, the haunted Three Crowns Hotel and the octagonal Market House.

Beautiful craftsmanship at the Wonderworks Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair

One of the village’s biggest annual events is the Wonderworks Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair, and as the title suggests, it is a cut above the regular Christmas markets held elsewhere. Wonderworks prides itself on being a showcase for local master craftsmen. Even if you are not intending to buy anything, it is worth attending the event to see some of the beautiful and original work turned out by these local artisans.

The Wonderworks Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair is held in the Jubilee Hall in the centre of the village. There is plenty of public parking next to the hall and around this small village (some car parks are pay and display). Admission to this wonderful arts display/Christmas Craft Fair is free. The doors are open from 10am to 5pm on the Saturday and 10am to 4:30pm on the Sunday of the first weekend in December.

Buying direct from the craftsman

This high-end Christmas Fair offers some beautiful arts and crafts of unusual quality and distinction. What I really like is that you are buying direct from the people who lovingly created each unique piece. You get the chance to ask questions and understand the medium or how the piece was made, which makes it extra special. If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can easily order a bespoke item to be made to your specifications.

Buying something from the maker gives each piece a connection and a sense of history that you certainly don’t get from department stores or buying off the internet, that’s for sure! This is a place to find a valuable handcrafted piece of art for a loved one as well as finding some smaller pieces, but it isn’t really the place to find cheap stocking fillers.

Space in the hall is limited and stallholders are actually chosen according to their quality and skills, not on a first-come, first-served basis, which ensures an unusually high standard. There is a raffle of donated items which raises money for a local charity which is well worth buying a ticket for. You may well end up with a valuable item for just a couple of quid!

Ceramics, fashion and jewellery at Chagford’s Wonderworks

Stall holders sell all kinds of items including beautiful handmade jewellery made of precious metals and semi-precious stones that would grace any fine jeweller’s window. Chris Back of Moretonhampstead brings a display of his renowned woodwork and furniture, from maple and walnut jewellery boxes to cutting boards and shelf units.

, who trained at the Royal College of Art, is well known for her glass, ceramics and carved wood panels. displays some extraordinary ceramics, as does . For fashion, look no further than who produces some gorgeous clothes, tops and shawls in silk and merino wool.

There are also handmade books, metal sculptures, handthrown pots and beautiful fabric cushions to admire, touch and discuss. Designer homeware, three dimensional ceramics, basketry, pottery, porcelain and some outstanding works of art make this truly worthy of the title “Wonderworks”.

Do you know Chagford? We’d love to hear the story behind some of the interesting local landmarks. We’d also like to hear what you bought if you attended Wonderworks in the past. Do share!

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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