Malta Inside Out went to Patches Artisan Market in Valletta yesterday. It was the perfect antidote to a cold, wet, blustery Sunday morning in spring. Patches, now in its 5th edition, is the brainchild of Denise Scicluna, and co-helper print and web designer Jimmy Grima. A year or so back, Denise thought that crafts people like her needed a bit more of a showcase for their wares. Quiet, passionate hobbyists and budding entrepreneurs in the creative field generally can’t afford shop units and don’t have the funds for much marketing. Patches gives them a chance to stand up and be counted, and appreciated. Judging by the crowds there when it opened at 10.30, it’s become a calendar event.
It’s been held so far in Valletta – winter months in the 19th century undercover market in Merchant’s Street; in summer, you’ll find it in Upper Barrakka Gardens. Patches has caught the imagination and is also spawning business ideas. Several stall holders today were there having gained inspiration from previous Patches to try their hand at making a hobby into little earner.
The founding duo also want to make sure Patches isn’t only about home-baked goodies and jewelry, which were well represented this time, and all selling well. Jimmy says that it’s still evolving and that future Patches might include more from the arts’ scene like amateur film makers; so expect some installations or entertainment perhaps. No doubt the next Patches, probably in June, will have more to draw the crowds. It’s heartening to see Malta’s crafts forging ahead and being about more than just traditional filigree, pottery, lace and glass. We hope some small businesses do get going on the back of it.
This short clip will give you a feel for the atmosphere and crafts on sale today.