Tag Archive: events

  1. The Great Northern continues to champion new makers!

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    The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary when it opens its doors this weekend. Amongst the 150 exhibiting makers, there’ll be some familiar faces – some of whom have supported the show since it launched back in 2008 – and a host of new-comers. Once again the Great Northern Graduate Showcase will feature some of the best emerging talent to come out of the summer’s degree shows (see more about this below!).
    We love the inspirational atmosphere of the GNCCF for visitors and exhibitors alike – the standard of makers exhibiting is always exceptionally high, and of course we always love catching up with familiar makers as well as learning about new makers, in particular those selected by the GNCCF team each year to receive the invaluable opportunity to exhibit in such a respected setting.
    We’re very keen to support new businesses too and have been pleased to sponsor the Best New Business award at the show for the past 7 years. This award is given to a maker who has only been in business for up to 5 years. We’re excited to see the range of new talent taking part this year, with eye-catching and inspiring work by Anna Lisa Smith (textiles) and Alice Heaton (glass)

    as well as Rosie Deegan (metal) and Amy Elizabeth Design (glass)

    just these four show what a difficult decision we have to make! Do visit the GNCCF site for a full and very tantalising list of exhibitors: http://www.greatnorthernevents.co.uk/homepage-gnccf/2017-exhibitors.aspx

    Great Northern Graduates
    Twelve new designers, who are amongst the UK’s best up-and-coming creative graduates, have been selected to exhibit in the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair’s Great Northern Graduates showcase.
    This handful of talented graduates, from seven different universities around the UK, were selected by curator and lighting designer Claire Norcross from their degree shows and from this year’s New Designers event in London, enabling them to showcase their work to the GNCCF’s audience of around 6,000 visitors across four days.
    Commenting on the selection, which includes furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles and jewellery, curator Claire Norcross said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring together this diverse and exciting group of new graduates, whose work demonstrates that the traditional notion of craft, through recognised forms, handmade techniques and material experimentation, is as relevant to the commercial design world, as it is to the contemporary craft market.”

    There are several ‘home grown’ graduates from Manchester School of Art, including furniture designer Jesse Cracknell, who has created a stunning body of hand made and CNC manufactured furniture inspired by the tradition of Japanese rock gardens.

    Jesse is joined by MMU ceramic artists Ryan Gauge and Marged Owain. Ryan has developed a ceramic and film installation for the show, which is a physical visualisation of the correlation between modern youth cultural identity and their involvement with brand and marketing. In contrast to this, Marged’s collection of handmade objects commemorate and celebrate traditional Welsh craftsmanship, specifically the craft of the butter maker and the quarryman.

    The GNG showcase also includes the work of two textile designers from Manchester School of Art, Florence Pinsent and Sarah Tommins. Florence will show one of her many quilts which are an abstract interpretation of everyday life in glorious pattern and colour, while Sarah has created a collection of knitted clothing exploring the scale, textures and minimal structures within architecture and urban living.

    Also within textiles are two further graduates, Emma Boyd-Madsen from Glasgow School of Art and Tor Ewen from Edinburgh College of Art. Emma’s collection of sculptural knitted objects, inspired by Scandinavian architecture, suggest functional seating solutions, while Tor has created a body of printed and three dimensional textile objects, which take their inspiration from the urban architecture of Indian cities.

    Pushing the boundaries of jewellery design are Ruth Elvira Gilmour from Glasgow School of Art and Hayley Grafflin from Sheffield Hallam University. Ruth’s cross disciplinary approach exhibits wearable objects made from porcelain, steel, plastic and gold that explore our relationship with the earth. Hayley creates highly tactile jewellery which communicates the hidden beauty within gritty urban landscapes.

    In contrast to the urban environment Tara Squibb is influenced by her surrounding landscape of the Powis Castle estate, to create ceramic forms which are snapshots of sedimentary erosion, created by water or the wind and its effects on surfaces.

    The work of two talented furniture designers completes the GNG showcase in the form of Mark Laban, a graduate of the MA from Central St Martins and Alexander Hay, a graduate in 3D Design at Northumbria University. Mark creates digitally crafted rustic furniture, exploring the relationship between the natural and artificial through a hybrid aesthetic, while Alex takes inspiration from nature and Scandinavian design influences, to create simple, functional and beautiful pieces that will stand the test of time.

    This 10th anniversary show promises to be an unmissable landmark in a history of presenting inspiring work by the country’s finest makers, and is open to the public on:
    Friday 13th October, 10am-6pm
    Saturday 14th October, 10am-6pm
    Sunday 15th October, 10am-5pm

    In the heart of Manchester at Upper Campfield Market, Campfield Arcade, Manchester M3 4FN.
    For further information on the show, visit http://www.greatnorthernevents.co.uk/homepage-gnccf.aspx
    Facebook www.facebook.com/GNCCF
    Twitter @GNCCF

  2. The Contemporary Craft Festival: A festival of fun, quality and inspiration!

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    From the archives…

    We can’t believe that 2 weeks ago today we, along with 200 makers from all around the UK, were packing boxes, checking lists and heading to the beautiful riverside park of Bovey Tracey to set up for the Contemporary Craft Festival. There’s no event quite like it – for makers and visitors. Renowned for it’s professionalism and high quality craft, it’s also a place to meet friends, share ideas, be inspired, get involved and have fun. We’re sad it’s all over! We loved having a stand again. It was a great opportunity for us to show a selection from our website, promote our makers and meet customers. We also loved spending time (and having a dance!) with our makers.


    We were very proud to have two of our makers presented with awards – Helen Noakes won the Best Maker in the South West award and Anne Morgan won the award for Best Stand. We also presented an award to jeweller Tracey Falvey for the Best New Business award and she’ll be joining us here on madebyhandonline very soon. There was so much to see, and here are just a few of our favourite pictures of our makers to give a little taster of the weekend…

















    Huge thanks to Sarah James and her team for organising such an incredible event. Thanks to Sarah DrewHannah McAndrew and Esme Cooper for all your help, and for demonstrating on our stand, and thanks to everyone who came to visit us. We met makers, existing customers and new ones too. One lady said “The lovely thing about your website is that you have lots of different designers and styles, but it feels like a whole – a collection.” These words meant such a lot to us and after such an inspirational and fun weekend, we’re already excited for next year!

  3. Jennifer Collier’s work featured in Milan Design Week!

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    From the archives…

    A few weeks ago we were approached by a multi disciplinary design studio from Germany in charge of designing an exhibition stand for furniture makers Walter Knoll. This wasn’t a stand like those we’re used to at the Craft Festival, or any of the other big UK craft events – this was a 370 square meter display for Salone Internazionale del Mobile for Milan Design Week! Walter Knoll is an internationally renowned furniture company who are passionate about high quality craftsmanship and design, and they were looking for artwork to compliment their furniture and capture their ethos.


    The artwork and furniture together needed to tell a story to the visitor, and the design studio – Ippolito Fleitz Group – and the team at the German office of Walter Knoll had fallen in love with the work of one of our Makers – paper artist Jennifer Collier. They ordered several pieces for Milan, including a paper telephone, typewriter, stilettos, teacups and saucers and binoculars. More than 350,000 people attended Milan Design Week and we’ve just received these fantastic pictures from the show…






    Jennifer’s work has now been put on permanent display in the Walter Knoll showroom in Germany and we’ve just heard that they’d like more of her work to add to their collection. You can browse and order Jennifer’s work here.

  4. The GNCCF and Unit Twelve: A guest blog by Hens Teeth

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    Another popular post from the archives from Autumn 2014…

    We thoroughly enjoyed catching up with lots of people at The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair last week, including lovely Viv of Hens Teeth. We’re really grateful to Viv for writing this guest post for us. She shares some of her pictures and thoughts about her visit to the GNCCF, followed by an inspirational trip to the Unit Twelve Gallery near Stafford…

    “I am rather embarrassed to admit that until last Friday, I have never visited the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and what a treat I have been missing.

    I caught the train to Manchester and joined other ladies who were obviously visiting the Fair on the Shuttle Bus to Old Granada Studios.


    Inside, the building was fascinating and I thought of all the programmes that had been made there over the years.


    To make the day even more special I met up with Katie who’s director of madebyhandonline and fellow madebyhandonline maker Marna Lunt.  It was lovely to catch up with each other and share the experience together. Marna and I headed over to see another mbho maker Julia Jowett and as if by a stroke of fortune Julia just happened to be chatting to Hannah Lamb, who was delivering a workshop at Unit Twelve in Staffordshire the following day, which I had booked to attend.



    Here, I want to share with you a few of the very talented makers’ work, that caught my eye… Emma CockerSue GregorFir + Wren, Amy Lawrence, Louise Dawn Wilson and Anya Keeley:







    It was a true pleasure to wander around this fascinating Contemporary Craft Fair.   I found the way the individual makers had built their stands and arranged their pieces just as interesting…so much time, effort and money invested in this show. I left with a spring in my step, feeling invigorated and inspired with renewed energy to create.

    As mentioned, the next day I attended Hannah Lamb’s Cyanotype Workshop at Unit Twelve. Myself and other students were shown how this early photographic process using UV light can be used to make exciting negative blue prints.

    Here’s Hannah’s work, achingly beautiful:


    And here’s work made by students at the workshop:



    And one of my prints:


    What a weekend!   I will certainly be visiting the GNCCF again and I can’t recommend booking one of Hannah’s workshops enough if at all possible.”

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