FERMANAGH has a great tradition of arts and crafts, and there is no better time to indulge your creative urges than at Christmas. Either making your own gifts, or buying locally made items for you loved ones, is a guaranteed way of ensuring your presents this year are unique, affordable and top quality.
And there’s no better place inspired and stocked up for the season than the Buttermarket, with its art shops and supply stores, whether you’re making your own special gifts, or looking to buy locally crafted creations.
Ken Ramsey of Ken Ramsey Picture Framing at the historic site in Enniskillen town, which is also known as Erne Art and Craft Store, not only provide a bespoke framing service, but stock all the art supplies you need to get crafty this Christmas.
Mr Ramsey said the festive season was, unsurprisingly, one of their busiest times of year, as creative locals begin preparing for the festive season. This was especially true, he said, in tough financial times, when people’s budgets are smaller but they still want to give their loved ones a heartfelt present, and when local community groups are also getting crafty, creating pieces to sell at fairs and fundraising events.
“It goes up an down, but generally we find any time the economy is on a downturn, that usually inspires people,” he said. “Some people will decide to start making things themselves, while others who may have had their hours reduced and or have been made redundant find they have more time to pursue those creative hobbies they didn’t have time for before.”
Mr Ramsey added another surprising factor that has led to an increase in arts and crafts locally had been the internet, which while it is a doubleedged sword, has helped encourage new and long-time craft enthusiasts.
“Now with the internet people are looking at new crafts and new ways of expressing themselves,” he said, explaining “the internet is giving and taking away” from business at tradition art supply stores. “People are combining new ideas they get online with more traditional crafts. They are using the internet to get new ideas. You find you always get that flow of ideas.”
Stating those who made their own arts and crafts were much more likely to buy locally made items, explaining there was “a great exchange there,” Mr Ramsey encouraged everyone this Christmas to buy local, and to come along to the Buttermarket to pick up that something special
Forget your Hatchimals and your Skylanders, here in Fermanagh traditional toys are still holding their own at Christmas.