Norwich artists urge shoppers to Love Local and find unique gifts

A Norwich-based group of artists is urging people to shop local this Christmas and in doing so find unique and unusual gifts for their friends and family.

The members of The Jade Tree, in Elm Hill, are some of the latest supporters of the Norwich Evening News Love Local campaign, which was launched last week and aims to encourage people to give vital support to their local shops and businesses.

The Jade Tree is a shop, art gallery and artists' studios based in Elm Hill. It is co-operatively run by the seven artists who work on the premises and it also supports other craftspeople by stocking a variety of handmade and locally-produced work.

Tamara Rampley, one of the founders of The Jade Tree, said: 'We represent about 40 artists and a lot of them only sell their work here. Everything is handmade and everything is local.

'The Jade Tree is all about supporting local artisans, so that they can stay local and we have been doing this for about 13 years.'

She explained that The Jade Tree was about being part of a sustainable community.

'We support the local artists who love what they do and who want to stay in the area, and in turn that supports the local economy and means that consumers get more choice,' she said.

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'We sell everything from small stocking filler-type gifts and handmade cards, right up to bronze sculptures.

'There is something for all budgets and there are a lot of things in our shop that are not available anywhere else.

'When people buy gifts from The Jade Tree they are unique and as well as buying a nice gift for somebody you are also helping other people in your neighbourhood.'

Tamara makes fair trade and environmentally-friendly fashion and also does botanical illustrations.

The other artists who work at The Jade Tree and are all from the Norwich area are:

? Helena Carrington, who specialises in creating bags, cushions and tea towels decorated with illustrations inspired by her travels around places such as Italy and France.

? Lizzie Searle, whose work includes embroidered pictures, purses and bags, and decorative ceramics.

? Jacqui Fenn, who paints landscapes and abstract work on canvas and driftwood.

? Jean Cummings, who specialises in decorative work and painting.

? Georgina Thorpe, who creates intricate wire sculptures that are used on items such as head dresses and bookmarks.

? Lisa Stirling who does a range of photography work.

Work by other artists on sale at The Jade Tree includes handmade jewellery, ceramics, scarves and soaps.

The Jade Tree is having a special Christmas late night shopping event on November 25 which will include refreshments and music in the courtyard.

For more on Love Local see pages 52 and 53.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email