Cavology: COBDEN CHAMBERS
In Nottingham’s vibrant Creative Quarter (the areas around Hockley and the Lace Market), you don’t have to go very far before coming into contact with the creativity of an NTU Art and Design graduate.
It’s a fact that many art and design students choose to stay in Nottingham once they graduate. The city has a strong arts community, and over recent years has become an energetic hub for new and emerging designers, art spaces and collectives. One such example is Cavology, a unique creative retail space, based in Cobden Chambers just off Pelham Street.
Collectively managed and run by creative practitioners, the shop has been set up by The Hive, Nottingham Trent University’s business incubator hub supporting new student and graduate ideas. It aims to offer affordable high-end lifestyle products, with a unique style and originality. It has recently expanded too; a relaxed new cafe and social space, COB (the Creative Occupations Bureau) has opened in the same building to provide daytime drinks and light bites, a bookable meeting space for events, and business advice sessions.
We took a trip to this ‘shop of hidden treasures’ to talk to some of the NTU creatives who are now selling their work, and find out more….
AMELIA HALES, JEWELLERY MAKER, GRADUATE, BA (HONS)
DECORATIVE ARTS 2015 www.ameliahales.com
“When I first came to NTU I was so impressed by the creative community within the university and Nottingham as a whole, it just felt like something I wanted to be a part of….
“Decorative Arts at NTU gave me the chance to experiment with lots of different materials including textiles, wood and ceramics, and to find my passion for metalwork…. Janie and Kirsty, who run Cavology, contacted me after seeing my work at the NTU Degree Show. I would advise anyone who has the passion to start their own business to go for it, I wasn’t confident at first but you learn so much along the way.
“I would describe my style of work as varied, illustrative, colourful, handcrafted and unique. As every piece is individually handmade, each customer receives a unique piece of contemporary jewellery. “Nottingham in 5 words? I’d say Creative. Inventive. Welcoming. Inspiring. Lively.”
KATIE ABEY, ILLUSTRATOR, GRADUATE, BA (HONS)
GRAPHIC DESIGN 2014 www.katieabey.co.uk
“I create relatable illustration statements that spread motivation, happiness, sarcasm and general
“NTU was where I found that I loved illustration and essentially started to actually get reasonably confident with my drawing style thanks to tutor guidance.
“The Hive at NTU helped me a great deal with the initial starting up of my business (as I had no clue what-so-ever!) They introduced me to Cavology, which has been an absolutely amazing starting point for selling my products and seeing what works. Cobden Chambers is such a great and creative environment to sell in.
“Nottingham in 5 words? Creative, Varied, Vibrant, Evolving, Intriguing!”
SARAH CLIFFORD, TEXTILE DESIGNER/MAKER, GRADUATE, BA (HONS)
DECORATIVE ARTS 2014 www.facebook.com/sarahclifforddesignermaker
“I am a designer maker producing wearable textiles through applying digital print and embroidery, knitwear, and hand embellishment. I enjoy painting for the digital prints and creating figurative drawings. I’m also really inspired by Nottingham’s lace archives and history.
“My style of work is diverse in the techniques and materials that I use and what I am influenced by. I recently designed leather and woven bags influenced by Kenyan makers and manufacturers, now sold in Cobden Chambers.
“For me, Nottingham is heritage, lace, has a booming-music-scene, is thriving and full of entrepreneurial treasures.”
SOPHIE UNDERDOWN LESTER, DESIGNER/MAKER, FINAL YEAR STUDENT, BA (HONS) DECORATIVE ARTS 2015/16 www.sophieunderdownlester.com
“Nottingham really appealed as a place to study. The lifestyle here is affordable which means the art scene is really strong. Affordable studio space in the city means a lot of students stay here after graduating and I’ve met lots of former NTU students who have set up great independent practices. My top Nottingham tip is visit Beeston too, it rocks!
“My course has given me an introduction to working in lots of different materials as a basis for becoming an independent maker – confident to cut glass, throw a pot, solder metal or turn on a lathe. Although my focus is on ceramics, my knowledge of other material processes have become invaluable to my design and making practice.
“Starting up as a maker while at university is great as there is lots of support available from HIVE and the Employability team. It can be tricky balancing time between this and my degree work but ultimately everything I’m doing crosses over to achieve the same goal.”
WITH CHRISTMAS ON THE HORIZON, YOU’LL FIND NO BETTER DESTINATION THAN CAVOLOGY FOR A UNIQUE OFFERING OF GIFTS, JEWELLERYTRINKETS, HOMEWARES, ACCESSORIES, MUSIC, LITERATURE AND FASHION. OPENING HOURS: TUESDAY TO SATURDAY, 10.30 AM – 6 PM AND SUNDAY 11 AM – 5 PM VISIT AND BE INSPIRED AT: CAVOLOGY AND COB, COBDEN CHAMBERS, PELHAM STREET, NOTTTINGHAM NG1 2ED.