London Craftacular: The House of Ismay’s vintage-inspired wares

by Grace Evans

Craftacular countdown: Just 4 days now! And in anticipation of the big day I’d like to introduce you to the House of Ismay! The crafty lady behind the House is Ms. Sarah Pounder, who works out of the spare room of her house in a village in Suffolk.

After studying Book Arts at university, Pounder found herself in an unrelated job, so she started selling her homemade wares at the markets on Brick Lane as something creative to do. Luckily she has been able to turn that passion into fulltime work, and her online shop is brimming with reclaimed paper turned into beautiful cufflinks and lettered brooches, as well as leather bound books. A new item in her store is a notebook bound in a vintage postcard, and stitched together with linen thread. Each postcard has been chosen because of the pretty stamps, beautiful handwriting, or intriguing message scrawled across it. All of Pounder’s handmade items share a similar kind of unique and personal feeling to them, each with its own sense of history. 

Pounder’s favourite things to make for The House of Ismay are the vintage leather books that she lovingly crafts. Her passion shows: “I love the fact that I can recycle an old wallet or needle case and give my books an instant feeling of age. They are so tactile because the leather has already been handled so much and sometimes, if the wallets still have things in the pockets, I’ll stitch them into the pages to add to the sense of history.”

Pounder uses found objects because of the aesthetic appeal that they retain even after they become obsolete for their original functions. And now she can justify her hoarding habit; she said, “I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder of paper ephemera and would always buy torn maps or incomplete decks of cards just because they looked pretty. Now I don’t have to feel so guilty about it!”

This will mark Pounder’s third time at a Craftacular. She said that it’s her favourite fair to do because it’s such a fun day, and the whole operation is well organized with awesome music and workshops. Check out The House of Ismay’s online shop or better yet, stop by her table on Sunday! 

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