Norfolk artists create unique and unusual Christmas gifts

If it is unique and unusual gifts that you are after for your loved ones this Christmas, then why not keep things local and support our Norfolk artists and craftsmen and women.

Our fine county is home to a wealth of creative talent, and in independent stores across the city and beyond there are lots of local hand-made products that could make the presents.

The Jade Tree, in Elm Hill, is home to the studios of six artists, and The Jade Tree's shop stocks items made by about 30 artists.

Tamara Rampley, one of the founders of The Jade Tree, said: 'Everything we sell at The Jade Tree is handmade and original - they are all one-off pieces.

'We have tried to create an Aladdin's cave with lots of things for people to find. We have got a main shop and a gallery, and we have a complete variety of price ranges from items costing a couple of pounds to expensive unique paintings.

'It means you do not have to spend a fortune to buy a gift that is unique and also shows you have put a lot of thought into your gift.

'Because everything at The Jade Tree is handmade, you will be buying something you will not be able to get anywhere else and you will also be supporting local artists.'

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Tamara specialises in embroidery, botanical illustrations, and fair trade and environmentally friendly clothes.

The other artists at The Jade Tree are: Lizzie Searle, whose work includes embroidered handbags and embroidered pictures; Helena Carrington, who specialises in illustrations, handmade cushions, bags and tea towels; painters Jacqui Fenn and Jean Cummings who both create landscape and abstract work; and Georgina Thorpe, who incorporates wire sculptures into items such as dramatic head dresses, bookmarks and mirrors.

Work by other artists on sale in the Jade Tree includes handmade jewellery, ceramics, scarves, Christmas decorations and handmade Norfolk soaps.

Wroxham Barns is also home to a wide range of artists, designers and craftsmen and women. These include Tim Foord, at Coastal Stained Glass, who makes everything from lamps to mirrors to window mobiles out of decorative stained glass.

He said: 'By coming to places like Wroxham Barns people are going to see gifts that are different and that they will not see anywhere else. Wroxham Barns also has a lovely laid-back atmosphere with a restaurant too – I do not think you can beat it for Christmas shopping.'

Uncle Stuart's Brewery is based at Wroxham and this year Stuart Evans has created a special selection of festive beers called Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. He said: 'Our beers are exclusive to Wroxham Barns. Everything is brewed here and people can see the brewery at work. Wroxham Barns is great for Christmas shopping because everything in the main is totally bespoke. There are a lot of crafts people producing one-off products totally exclusive to Wroxham Barns.'

Chris Hutchins, of Norfolk Sketches, is another one of the artists at Wroxham Barns. He creates prints of Norfolk scenes and illustrated maps of the River Bure and Ant. He also runs the Norfolk Gallery at the venue which exhibits the work of other artists.

Are you doing something unusual for the festive season? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

You could win �1,000 with Shop Local. Pick up a Shop Local passport from stores displaying the Shop Local sign, from our office in Rouen Road, or download one from www.evening When you spend �10 or more in a participating shop you receive a stamp on your passport. Collect 10 and send your passport to Shop Local, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE. Your name will be entered into our draw and you have until December 17 to collect your 10 stamps.

If you are a shopkeeper or have a business locally and would like to be a part of the Shop Local for Christmas campaign, we'd love to hear from you. Simply call Steve Maddams on 01603 693856 or email or call Emily Watt on 01603 693853 or email

We will provide posters, stickers and Shop Local for Christmas 'passports' for your customers to encourage them to shop with you.

Businesses currently taking part in Shop Local for Christmas include:

The Canoe Man, College Road

Blue Jean Co, Lower Goat Lane

Elements, Lower Goat Lane

Paddock Farm Shop, Mulbarton

Paddock Butchers, Mulbarton

Hatters, White Lion Street

Ginger, Timberhill

Jonathan Trumbull, St Stephens Street

Three Ways Lebanese Restaurant, Gentleman's Walk

Gallyons Country Clothing, Bedford Street

Clive Dennett Coin Shop, St Benedict's Street

Fishes Restaurant, Drayton High Road

Archers Butchers, Plumstead Road

White House Farm Shop, Sprowston

The Steam Packet, Rose Lane

Norwich Cosmetic Centre, Exchange Street

Simpsons Jewellers, White Lion Street

Albrow & Sons, All Saints Green

City Farm Shop, Notcutts Garden Centre

Aurum Jewellers, Bedford Street

Church Farm Shop, Hethersett

Elizabeths the Florists, Unthank Road

Sue Ryder Care Charity Shop, Earlham

Collins Care, Sprowston Road

Cane Furniture Centre, Dereham Road

Eastons Coaches, Stratton Strawless

Mirror Image, Sweetbriar Industrial Estate

The Kitchenary, Taverham

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden

Camilla Brides, North Walsham Road

The Brook Hotel, Bowthorpe

Frank Spurgeon Butchers in Unthank Road, Norwich, Brooke, Long Stratton and Harleston

Love Couture, Ber Street

Retreat Vintage, Magdalen Street

Wroxham Barns: Sugar and Spice Childrens Clothes; Capricorn Minerals & Jewellery; Coastal Stained Glass; Chris Hutchins Norfolk Sketches & Picture Framing; The Apple Shop; Tricia Francis Potter; Pat Trett Woodturner and Engraving; Sue Windley Sculptress, Art and Craft Materials; Sew Creative Quilting and Patchwork; Bill LeGrice Roses and Plant Centre; Uncle Stuarts Brewery & Beer Shop; The Model Landscape Company; Wroxham Barns Gallery; and Wroxham Barns Country Food Food Shop.

Heroes Fitness Stores, Bridewell Alley

The Jade Tree, Elm Hill

Cloud 9 Beds, Dereham Road

Silver Birch, Portersfield Road

The Good Room, Portersfield Road

You can show your support for our Shop Local for Christmas campaign online as well as on the high street.

Our campaign to encourage people to think of local traders this festive season has gathered great momentum since it was launched a few weeks ago, and now Shop Local for Christmas has a dedicated Facebook page. On the webpage you can post your own comments about why our local traders are so important to our communities.

You can also find out more about Shop Local and how you could be in with a chance of winning �1,000 this Christmas time.

Already about 300 people have registered their support on the webpage and shown how much they care about our local independent traders. So don't delay - log on to – and together we can all help give our local businesses a great Christmas this year. Shop Local for Christmas also has its own Twitter page with regular updates about the campaign at