About Hedingham Fair
Hedingham Fair is a very small family business set up by Karen and Colin Cater of Sible Hedingham, Essex in 1997, as a design studio and publishing company, principally a vehicle for Karen’s artistic skills and talents. Over time Karen has developed a substantial body of work: greetings cards, prints, T-shirt images, bookmarks, window stickers, jewellery and posters, as well as illustrating the books they both have written and published, and the annual Hedingham Fair Calendar of Traditional Customs.
Hedingham Fair occupies a very specific corner of the illustration spectrum, quintessentially English, but standing at the crossroads where folklore and historical culture intertwine with mysticism and the Old Religion. In the background there has always been the land, its creatures and the passage of the seasons. Early offerings concentrated on folk customs, particularly at May time and the Turn of the Year. A vision of The Green Man was to transform Karen’s cultural perspective revealing a much deeper mystical heritage underlying contemporary folk customs, and in a world often running parallel to the folk world, coming together in the re-emergence of Paganism through Druidry, Wicca and other Pagan pathways.
Karen’s greetings cards began to celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, the Eight Festivals of the Pagan year, the Ogham Celtic Tree Alphabet, the Green Man, and British Gods and Goddesses. Her best-known T-shirt designs have included the Tree of Life, Pentagrams, The Wheel of the Year, Ravens, Herne the Hunter, John Barleycorn and several designs featuring the mystical Hare. More recently Karen’s work has evolved to reflect her interests as horizons recede with advancing age, with love of the countryside outside her door taking centre stage. Seasonal hedgerow plants and creatures of the woodland, farming landscapes viewed from local walks and the pet cats she has lived with over the years, all executed with her trademark lino cut and watercolour style and displaying her great love of the English country environment that she calls home.
Apart from running the business side of Hedingham Fair single-handed, it is not often realised that Colin is the mastermind behind the annual Calendar of Traditional Customs, with research and writing keeping him occupied for many months each year.
Many years ago, we realised the need for mutual support and interdependence. Much of our quality rests on the skills and friendship of our card and book printer and our T-shirt printer. We met our new web designer at a time of great need. We’ve been blessed and privileged to work with other very talented, imaginative and insightful craft workers whose work we admire tremendously and whom we are pleased to count among our friends.
As well as on this website, products offered by Hedingham Fair can be seen in our annual Mail Order Catalogue. Hedingham Fair cards, books, bookmarks, T-shirts and Window Stickers are available in a select number of shops. We used to exhibit regularly at folk festivals and Pagan events, but advancing age has forced us to retire from those exertions, but we are still happy to accept invitations to sing or to perform one of our ‘shows’ with songs and readings (The Spirit of the Hare, Wassailing, or the Ogham Celtic Alphabet) at folk or Pagan events; conferences or festivals, Folk Clubs or Moots.