Friday, 11 March 2011

Somerset = Local and Quality

Somerset is perhaps best known in the past for its orchards, and particularly its long career as a cider producing area.  Somerset has branched out into other areas and both local and top quality are its trademarks.

Local Food

Somerset has its own locally-branded food, Levels’ Best.  This is “a beacon for high quality and transparency and it identifies producers who are doing their level best for consumers.

When you buy Levels' Best you can be assured that this branded food or drink has been produced by people who practice conservation land management, animal welfare, rear native breeds of livestock and where feasible plant traditional varieties of plants and seeds within the 260 square miles (114 parishes) of the Somerset Levels and Moors.
The Somerset Levels and Moors is a wetland landscape defined by its willows and rhynes (ditches). It's ancient heritage underpins today's traditional, extensive farming methods that are sympathetic to the needs of wildlife - breeding, migrant and wading birds, meadow and rhyne flora, mammals such as otter and water vole and water shrew and not least dragonflies, grasshoppers and butterflies.” (

Local Crafters

The theme of both local and high quality is continued with the crafters from the local Somerset scene.  Today we meet Kate, aka rosielee.

Please introduce yourself and tell us what brought you to Somerset?
My real name is Kate Bradley, and I have been living on the Somerset Border of Sherborne since April 2010.  When I did finally move to Sherborne, life was considerably better and the creativity started going. I love Sherborne….there is Sherborne House which was featured on the BBC restoration programme and there is a small arts centre here.  The whole town is so small and full of lovely independent shops.

Tell us about your chosen craft.
I finished a Fine Art Degree in 2005 but its only since April of last year that I have been interested in all things crafty as well as all thing painterly. I am also drawn to paper crafts.   The two paper mache bowls that I managed to complete have been featured in many blogs, it is calling me to do some more.  For now I am doing lots of water colours - although I don’t list new stuff on folksy very much, I do creative work consistently every day.  Basically I prefer crafts that are cheap and easy to do in the home.

As well as selling through your Folksy shop, can your work be found in any other outlets in Somerset?

I don’t sell to other shops or outlets, I’m still learning and trying out too many things.  I am taking some stuff over to this gallery/cafe in Yetminster which is full of nice hand made crafts. Its not elitist or "contemporary".
Where does your inspiration come from?My inspiration comes from the fact I am living in this lovely area and I’m settled and happy, I love where I live and this just feeds my creativity. I can always walk into town and look at the local gallery, or look at Sherborne Abbey, or Sherborne House - there is so much here to give you inspiration. I have realised that your surroundings can make a big difference to your creativity.  Before I used to live in another town on a much rougher council estate and it wasn’t very nice, its only since I have moved here that it has all clicked into place and my creativity has taken off.  My creativity goes from strength to strength and this is the most important thing for me.

And finally, what's your favourite place in Somerset and why?
I like Glastonbury and Sherborne as it has so much history, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful.
To see more of Kate’s work please visit


  1. Love the iris glass panel really beautiful

  2. Thanks boocraft. Yes, rosielee has some lovely items.