This month’s featured maker is Boo To a Moose, who creates innovative DIY Cyanotypes kits as well as polaroid art, which can find in the suitcase sale on Catherine Hill on market days. We chatted to Michelle, the maker behind Boo To A Moose about her inspirations, motivations and favourite snacks!

Where do you get your inspiration, what motivates you to do what you do? 

Nature and travel photography are two of my favourite subjects, and I’ll try and take my beloved SX-70 Polaroid camera with me wherever I go to capture these! My husband and I travelled around the world for 8 months back in 2012, and I use a lot of these photographs for my work; my favourites coming from America as the quality of light there is just incredible.

In terms of artists and research for my work, I absolutely love the work of Rhiannon Adams and her incredible polaroid emulsion lift collages, and her book ‘Polaroid: The Missing Manual’ is my bible! Anna Atkins is another favourite of mine for her beautiful botany cyanotypes. She is thought to be the first person to ever produce a book with photographic images in, which is pretty cool.

Why did you choose to come and trade at the Frome Independent?

I visited the market a few years ago after hearing a lot of good things about it, and I was blown away at the scale of it. I was lucky enough to be involved with the market from very early on in my business, and having a suitcase stall here has allowed me to explore new ides and experiment with different products.

What do you like about market trading  – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?

I love getting to know my customers and having a chat with them. Lots of them come back to me after trying out one of my kits to show me what they’ve made with them which I absolutely love! One lovely lady recently told me that she’s in the process of creating a concertina book from the prints she’s made with her Solar Photography kit! It’s very rewarding.

   Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. 

I love introducing others to alternative photography techniques, which is why I produced a cyanotype or ‘Solar Photography’ kit, which is by far my best seller. To make a print, you place an object (like a flower) on the light-sensitive paper, expose it to sunlight and simply wash it under tap water to develop it. It’s a fascinating process and dates back to the 1840’s!

I think it’s so popular because not many people have come across it before so they get to have a go at a new craft; one that’s easy to get to grips with and great for experimenting with. It’s also very popular as a family activity. 

 What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?

That’s a tough one! There’s just so many amazing stalls and I could easily spend a small fortune every time I go! One that sticks out for me is Laura Holden Studio – I just LOVE her unicorn hobby horses!

What are you listening to right now?

I spend a lot of time in my little darkroom which can be very quiet, so I like to listen to comedy podcasts whilst in there. My favourite at the moment is The Andy Field Experience on the BBC, pure genius!

Favourite Film? 
Harry Potter! I’m a massive Potter fan and have been known to binge watch them over a weekend!

 What are you eating and drinking at the moment?
Chocolate…always chocolate. And tea, I love a good cuppa!

Thanks Michelle! You can find Boo to a Moose on Catherine Hill on market days, or check out Michelle’s Etsy shop.