Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’09

We spent a splendid few hours at the launch of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. This year, it’s being held in Manchester city centre at Spinningfields.

There are almost 150 stands featuring the work of top class designer-makers from as far afield as Cornwall, Bristol, Argyll, London… with a strong representation from Greater Manchester and the North West. There was a huge turnout of visitors – many bagging themselves some fabulous early Christmas presents (for friends, family & themselves!).

We couldn’t blog about absolutely all the craftspeople there, so here’s a bit about some of the ones who especially caught our eye…

We were both really taken by these delicate and tactile hand-thrown porcelain vessels from Belfast-based Derek Wilson Ceramics. His display was the epitome of pared back, understated loveliness!

Adelle has a soft spot for colourful & playful jewellery like these felt pieces from Lynsey Walters

…and a well-known penchant for vintage and vintage inspired handbags & purses!

These ones above are from Monica Boxley who, as well as using original vintage fabrics, makes beautiful handmade leather handbags inspired by a 1950s one belonging to her mother. It’s named the Marianne in homage.

As we’re on the subject of bags & purses, here are some lovely natural linen examples below from Teresa Green who makes an array of goods using textiles that she designs & hand prints.

If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, you’ll know that we love pottery. The timeless slipware made by Hannah McAndrew is just the kind of thing that gets us excited.

Her pieces would sit equally comfortably in both an ultra modern pad as well as well as an antique furnished country cottage.

There’s another Hannah exhibiting who’s work we’ve known & loved for a very long time. She’s Hannah Nunn, a lighting designer based a 10-minute drive away from us in Hebden Bridge.

If you’re ever in the area, her shop Radiance is in Hebden town centre. If not, she also sells online.

Ruth Green Design had a lovely display of eye-catching silk screen prints.

In addition to screen prints she has a lovely selection of linocuts and oil on paper works available on her website.

Tricia Needham is another screen printer whose work caught our attention. She makes these tea cosies as well as cushions, bags, scarves and ties (seen adorning the neck of Jon Snow no less!).

One stand that was getting a lot of attention from visitors on the night was Ingrid Wagner‘s…

Ingrid was encouraging people to try their hand at knitting with her giant needles and huge balls of wool & fabric. Ingrid in fact broke the world record last year for ‘extreme knitting’ – using needles three and a half metres long!

The Fair’s on until Sunday 25th October so get down there, it’s well worth a visit!

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