Bristol is bustling with alternative artists and creatives – often with products to sell, ready to intrigue and delight. Many feature at markets and similar gatherings throughout the city, for example those organised by the Bristol/Bath art collective Ghoul Gang and also Bristol Goth and Alternative Market (read our interview with founder Amy Ruth here)… and yet in light of Covid-19 measures, such events cannot currently take place. 

In turn, many of the regions’ most cutting edge creatives face a difficult loss of trade, with public events off the cards for the foreseeable future. That is why showing your support matters more than ever – and it is possible – as many of these exciting creatives have internet shops, so you can buy online. Even showing your support on social media and spreading the word, still makes a significant difference. Amy Ruth, of Bristol Goth and Alternative Market – and Grimly Fiendish Crafts, reflects

For me one of the special things about supporting an artist, maker or small business is that you are supporting them on such a personal level. When you buy from an artist or maker, you are paying for their time, skill and expertise. You are also helping to put food on their tables, buy more supplies to keep creating, and allowing them to continue following their dreams.  

“Covid-19 has unfortunately caused many markets and fairs to be cancelled, and stores to close. Being able to talk about your work, your creative process and the story behind a piece is something that drives sales. Without being able to talk to customers, these businesses risk losing a huge portion of income.  

“When I started doing my crafts, it was mainly as a hobby that I expanded over time, and seeing my customers reactions and reviews is so wonderful! Knowing that customers believe in what I do enough to purchase my pieces, give them as gifts or just admire them is very exciting. Being on the other side of this as a customer, and helping support someone else is a great feeling.  

“There are lots of ways we can support small businesses, artists and makers:  

- Instead of shopping at big chain stores, head to your local high street shops. 

- Buying from their online shops, even something as small as a badge or a card helps 

- Ordering a commission 

- Interacting on social media to help their reach 

- Leaving positive reviews 

- Tell your friends and family, tag them in pages you think they'll like. 

- Purchasing a gift card to give to someone, or to use yourself at a later date.  

Now is more important than ever to vote with your pound and shop small!” 

Here at Haunt Bristol, we have brought together a selection of alternative independent traders from Bristol and beyond… and hope to feature more in the future! Stay tuned.  

Occult Box  

A Gothic subscription box service, originating right here in Bristol. That means you can order a crammed box of themed Gothic goodies to your doorstep – everything from a Gothic Tea party Box to a spooky special Horror Box! They have also recently developed a new monthly box service, set to have a different theme each month and featuring plenty of exclusive Occult Box items, as well as being vegan-friendly! Champions of Bristol’s independent and creative scene, Occult Box often work with other small businesses and artists to stock their boxes. And that is not all! Browse online to discover their online Emporium, offering a range of delightfully dark home décor and accessories.  

Photo: by Meisha Daniels  

Occult Box by Meisha Daniels

Weird And Wonderful Ceramics  

Bats on a teapot? Skulls on a sugar pot? It’s Gothic kitchenware galore thanks to Weird And Wonderful Ceramics, founded by Elisha Morton in 2016. These hand-painted ceramics are all truly one-of-a-kind, with customisation and even personalisation available. Plates, bowls, mugs, vases and more are amongst Elisha’s products, with lines including ‘The Skull Collection’, ‘The Bat Collection’ and the beautiful ‘Galaxy’ range… all deeply enchanting to the eye and crafted with evident care.  This is kitchenware that is a piece of art in its own right and an ideal option for a special gift.  

Weird and Wonderful Ceramics

Hammer and Tongs, Jon Bull Artist Blacksmith

Jon Bull is an artist Blacksmith whose designs combine traditional and modern blacksmithing skills to create a range of exterior and interior pieces – from railings and gates to music stands, coat hooks and even incredibly intricate forged flowers! Support a fascinating craft, as many of these pieces make great gifts too. John is a South West based artist whose designs can be seen across the Bristol area and beyond. He also has an Etsy shop and we particularly like the forged snail design!  

Ash and Bone Craft 

A one woman powered Bristol-based business, handcrafting ethically sourced and cruelty free bone jewellery. There is a beautiful delicacy to these designs, made with real sensitivity, from jackdaw jaw bone necklaces to pendants carefully crafted from the leg bone of a hare. Memento mori frames and custom pieces are also available.  

ash and bone

Domina Lunae Apothecary 

Herbal oils, sprays, salts, incense and more - Domina Lunae Apothecary provides a huge range of handmade perfumery, inspired by the natural world, spirituality and occult knowledge. The creation of Cristiana Pandolfo, Domina Lunae Apothecary prides itself with a particular focus on female spirituality and many items make unique and thoughtful gifts; beautiful handcrafted candles, botanical perfumes and soothing plant essences being some further examples. There is also a selection of jewellery and merchandise too, with an extensive and informative website ready to browse. 

Florian Oscar Artist

Taking the inspiration of folklore and nature and crafting it into distinct embroidery and prints, is the skill of multi-media artist Florian Oscar. From beautiful brooches featuring folkloric symbols, to cards, badges and full lino prints, a variety is available via the Etsy Shop. The motifs of skulls and séance hands feature significantly, ideal for those with an interest in the macabre. Their recent one-of-a-kind creation of a Victorian mourning jewellery cyanotype highlights their skilled and innovative approach.

Florian Oscar

Merry Widow Vintage  

A vintage trader offering ‘Gloomy, unusual and vintage trinkets for your crypt’ – it’s Merry Widow Vintage.  
This is an opportunity to pick up many one-of-a-kind vintage pieces including clothing, jewellery and trinkets – all with its own fascinating history. Created in February 2020, Merry Widow Vintage is an exciting recent addition to the creative scene and was certainly well received at the last Bristol Goth and Alternative Market.  

Sally Carini Arts 

Ethical taxidermy is the speciality of Sally Carini Arts – creating wonderfully macabre decorative features for your home, including mounted pieces, decorated skulls and other esoteric delights. From sheep and deer to more unusual creatures such as Muntjacs and turtles, Sally’s taxidermy covers a fascinating range – all roadkill or otherwise ethically sourced, also raising money for charities such as Tortoise Rescue at previous events. Sally has an interest in Pyrography too – the decorating of wood using burn marks, often to create intriguing designs – with pieces also available. Contact her via her Facebook page for more information on products.  

Sally Carini Arts

 
Requiem Resin 

Goth and occult-inspired décor crafted in resin! That is the specialty of Requiem Resin, creators of macabre art that makes an impact; the use of resin giving an alluring, almost glittering quality. Quirky design features such as skulls, moths, bats and coffins are a regular feature. The individual craft also means all the products are unique and include trinket dishes, wall hangings, storage boxes and more, sure to captivate the eye when it comes to home décor. A number of delightfully dark jewellery pieces are also available, including earrings, necklaces and chokers as just some examples. Browse their extensive Etsy store to see the full range of resin creations to enjoy. There also is the possibility of custom orders – contact Requiem Resin via their Facebook page to discuss.  

Geist  

Gothic-inspired artistry and wonderfully weird comics, ideal to add a dash of darkness to your home! Geist is also an ambassador for artgeckosketch and you can follow the creativity over on Instagram, with new drawings and sketches appearing regularly! There is also a shop link below so you can buy some for yourself.  

Geist

Grimly Fiendish Crafts  

Self-described as ‘handcrafted wares made with a dash of something cute, a hint of something spooky and a bucket full of goth juice’ – you can expect dark and delightful handmade creations from Grimly Fiendish Crafts. Founded by Amy Ruth – who is also the founder the Bristol Goth and Alternative Market, interviewed by Haunt Bristol here – and her online Etsy shop is packed with choice. Decorative embroidery hoops loaded with quirky animal and character designs are a particular speciality, and make an ideal gift or item to hang in your home.  

Grimly Fiendish Crafts

Misery Guts 

A South West based illustrator creating grim and darkly delightful designs, with prints and t-shirts available. Skulls, daggers and ghosts all feature – ideal for fans of the macabre! Misery Guts (aka Dannie) is also one half of the Bristol and bath-based dark/alternative art collective Ghoul Gang – along with artist Goody Who (check out their work here). Ghoul Gang: organises an array of artistic events… and in terms of the recent public health situation have taken things online too, including a drawing challenge!  

Misery Guts

 Casey Marie Tattoo 

A tattoo artist whose designs are sure to catch your eye – and spread across a range of other art forms too! Bristol-based Casey Marie not only works as a highly-regarded tattooist, but creates a range of tattoo and Gothic inspired decorations and homewares available via her online shop. There is an enchanting array of items, including art prints, healing candles, a tarot hand t-shirt… and our particular favourite, wood slice wall hangings hand-painted with nature and Goth-inspired features.    

Casey Marie Tattoo

Black and Bone  

The fascinating artistry of Amy J Higgins, working primarily in ink to create striking pieces that often connect with themes of the macabre, yet in an enlightening way – allowing for introspection. Amy’s creativity can be seen in colour as well as black and white forms, plus she has developed series’ of works such as those incorporating ‘Bell Jars’ and ‘Women in Black’. A range of prints as well as originals are available.  

Black and Bone

Onen Emporium  

Intriguing art and artefacts, ideal for fans of the eerie and mysterious! Onen Emporium prides itself in offering a range of antique and vintage items often with a dark twist, as well as unusual jewellery pieces. Many of their items are completely one of a kind… curios that are sure to turn heads, and all ethically-sourced too. Inspired by gothic, tribal and ethnic culture, Onen Emporium curates the work of talented creators from far and wide, with just some examples of stock including shelves crafted out of coffins, Ouija-board inspired trinket boxes and of course, plenty of quirky jewellery!  

Onen Emporium

SLAB Jewellery 

Jewellery with attitude handcrafted in a Bristol workshop and often featuring skulls, roses and spikes in an enchanting array. SLAB Jewellery describes itself as creating ‘one-off pieces to adorn the bodies of unique individuals’, with every item unique. Just some highlights include a mini skull medallion necklace, a floating skull bouquet and a particularly intriguing seven spiked halo ring, complete with skull design! See for yourself and order online. 

Photo: by Craig Derrick  

SLAB by Craig Derrick

Kiimomo Art 

The captivating and quirky artistry of Rebecca L Frape, whose deigns prove popular at markets in Bristol and beyond. The influences of Japanese and pop culture permeate the products of Kiimomo Art, including handmade ceramic badges, cute cards, stickers and ceramics too. Browse the Instagram page below to see further examples of what is available.  

Kiimomo Art

Doompunk 

Bold punk and metal patches handmade in Bristol. whether you want a patch to add some attitude to a leather jacket or something to sew onto a bag or other accessory, Doompunk will have you sorted. The creation of Silas Clay, punkish patches include slogans, symbols and more, with a range ready to browse online.  

Photo: by Silas Clay 

Doompunk Customs by Silas Clay

 
Darkotika 

Gothic Harnesses, Occult-inspired pin badges and jewellery… delve into the realm of Darkotika! Harnesses – often used to add edge to an outfit or worn on their own – are available in a range of designs, with leather as well as vegan-friendly options available. And that’s not all, as there is also a packed selection of pin badges, incorporating designs such as skulls, coffins and more.  Great attitude-loaded addition to a coat, jacket or bag! Check out the jewellery too.  

Katie Murt Photography 

A Bristol-based photographer with an eye for alternative perspectives and atmosphere within her work. Katie’s photography takes documentary projects and portraiture at its primary focus; her ‘External’ series for example combining architectural and plant forms in an intriguing way using double exposures. ‘Living With’ on the other hand, explores identity with the home – clever use of light and darkness adding to the exploration of the subject. Katie can be contacted via her website regarding both commissions and the purchase of prints.

Dead Space Chamber Music 

Gothic-inspired music with a cinematic quality ready to send a shiver up your spine. Dead Space Chamber Music are a group from Bristol, consisting of Tom Bush (guitar, FX and treatments / soundscapes), Ellen Southern  (voice, vocal field-recordings and visual art) and Liz Muir (cellist).Their music takes in elements of myth, folklore and much more – with plenty available to browse on their Bandcamp page. Merchandise – including the likes of tote bags and badges, with real symbolic detail - is also available, and a popular feature of the markets they attend.

Teja Jamilla 

Screen-printing by hand is the intriguing technique of Teja Jamilla; resulting in tights, clothing and accessories adorned in Gothic-inspired and edgy patterning. Designs often incorporate artful symbolism, including swords and skulls for a bold look. Whilst clothing options include elegant sweatshirts – with unisex options available – and t-shirts too, accessories feature the likes of scarves, brooches, patches and badges. Beautifully executed design with a delightfully dark edge.  

Photo: by Teja Jamilla

Teja Jamilla  

Lisa Rose Illustration  

Prints, accessories, and more from Bristol-based illustrator Lisa Rose. This is enchanting, largely character-led work in a distinct style – often featuring themes of love, intimacy and an erotic charge, celebrating body positivity. A range of pieces are available and can be browsed at Lisa’s Etsy shop.  

 Lisa Rose Illustration
 

Kasasagi Jewellery 

Lovingly handmade jewellery that combines traditional skills with cutting edge technology, leading to elegant and unusual designs that make an impact. Kasagi Jewellery is the creation of Claire Cashman, who often works in sterling silver to craft nature-inspired work that is distinct – the symbol is a magpie, after all! Examples from her ‘Land, Sea and Sky’ collection include a beautiful silver spinning ring inspired by trees, a swallow pendant and even mini Vertebrae dangling earrings. With other collections including ‘Play’ and ‘Simplicity’ as well as bespoke options available, browse the website to discover the varied range of Claire’s work.  

Kasasagi

Fragrantly Magickal 

Your one-stop-shop for all things fragrant, pagan and magical! A huge selection of products are available online, whether you are looking for something to aid relaxation or to add some comfort to your home. The selection incudes aromatherapy, herbs, incense and oil burners, ideal for those wanting a wonderfully fragranced experience! Other items explore a more spiritual element, such as cauldrons, spell candles, ritual packs and more – with all available to browse, along with further information, online.  

 
Images provided by/with permissions of the traders/artists 

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Alternative independent traders and artists you can buy online from!

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