The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

So so busy here, that I’m only just now getting a chance to finish my blog post about the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. It was my first time in Manchester, and this is the only the second time I’ve tried taking short videos on my phone and uploading them in a blog post, so I’m just hoping it’ll work! 

The first video is of the stand of Gillian Harvie, a jeweller I’ve never met before but who’s work I love. I also REALLY admired the way she’d decorated her stand! Anyone who dares draw or paint directly onto that scary white surface gets brownie points from me, but Gillian had gone a step further, with whole scenarios befitting her creations. Raindrops, clouds and birds: some drawings, some wearable, ladders that travelled on dreamlike journeys around little stage sets of beautiful wearable scissors, tables etc. Just great, and really imaginative. And I’m so pleased that searching out her website to give you a link now, I find that her work is actually based on dreams! 🙂

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While I’m still on the theme of imaginative jewellery, I loved the work of Lucy Elsie Harvey, who displayed several collections using re-appropriated objects which were so beautifully made that they were fascinating and appealing despite also being quite spooky. 

The other jeweller I just HAVE to mention is Yu-Ping Lin – also known as Rainey – who makes fantastic flowing and wonderfully tactile jewellery from fabric. Using origami techniques gives the work great volume although it’s wonderfully light, and watching her play with and transform pieces is just mesmerising. Hence the second video! 

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Moving on from jewellery, I always love Cathy Miles‘ wire work, and this wall of shoes was no exception. Although I must admit I love her birds more, but the shoes were just so photogenic, and you can see plenty of her birds on her website!

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I suspect this post’s getting a bit too long and I’ll never get it finished, so I’m going to combine a few more images in a gallery here. Do click through them to get a bit more of a flavour of what was there: hats from Katie Mawson, textile accessories beautifully presented by Rosie’s Armoire, lampshades by Hannah Nunn (I fancy some of her hanging pods but my photo of them wasn’t so good), ceramics by Tone Von Krogh and Katie Almond, cute little cactus pincushions by &made, intricate scenarios by Kate Lulham and cutlery and dishes by Latimeria.

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My final mention is for amazing wooden clocks by Bruce Aitken, which I tried to video but sadly I didn’t really do justice to the meditative effect that seeing these clocks in action has. Or maybe mediation and videos just don’t go together?

Anyway: great fair, well selected, well run and much enjoyed. 

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