Posts Tagged ‘Crafts’

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’11

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

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Ken Eardley ceramic jugs and spoons on display

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2011 is being held this weekend in Manchester city centre – we went to the preview night on Thursday.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves

It was great to see designer-makers whose work we’ve long admired – there was also the thrill of seeing fresh, new exhibitors.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves with a recent article about him in BBC Homes & Antiques magazine open on a table

We featured Ken Eardley, whose ceramics are shown above in last year’s GNCCF blog post – once again, his stand had real impact. Things are going really well for him with magazine features such as this recent one in BBC Homes & Antiques.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden artworks, lampshades and jewellery

Another striking space belonged to Jane Blease who works primarily with bentwood & reclaimed plastic often with her characteristic hand worked thread detailing. A recent artist residency in India has clearly inspired some of Jane’s new pieces. It’s interesting charting artists’ new developments & influences.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden jewellery

The Radiance stand belonging to Hannah Nunn always delivers the goods – her hand cut paper light shades look great when displayed en masse…

a display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance mini lamps

…and we loved her new seed pod window hangings.

detail of the display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanging a display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanging

Ruth Green, who we’ve seen at GNCCF in previous years, also had some lovely new works…

display of Ruth Green's limited edition framed prints

…and she’s also branched out into illustrated books, notebooks & note cards.

display of Ruth Green's limited edition prints, posters and illustrated books & notebooks

With autumn setting in, Andrea Lord’s &made display offered some warm seasonal comforts…

display of &Made's cream coloured hand knitted mug cosy with grey felt cushion in the background

…such as these gorgeous cushions & cosies.

display of &Made's yellow ochre hand knitted tea cosies

As we mentioned earlier, it’s really exciting to discover new makers and their work…

Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

…we’ll highlight just a couple who made an impact on us.

The first was Gemma Truman, whose hand-blown glass & seagrass hangings and vases are absolutely exquisite – they’re inspired by South African weaverbird nests. We also thought they were very reminiscent of those old fashioned glass fishing net floats.

detail from Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

Second was Louise Hibbert.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

Her pieces have a natural feel and use subtle, earthy, yet striking colours.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

As you can see from her salt & pepper mills, they’re organic, tactile and oh so beautiful – they just cry out to be picked up, handled and caressed.

display of Louise Hibbert's coloured wooden salt & pepper mills

The show runs till this Sunday, so visit if you can! We’ve only featured homewares in this post, but there’s also lots of jewellery and fashion on display… and all of it’s for sale… so go on, get your Christmas shopping done early!

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

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collection of postcards and business cards from artists & craftspeople exhibiting at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We spent Friday evening at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Spinningfields, Manchester city centre…

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…and a very pleasant evening it was too.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The fair expanded into two pavilions for its second year.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A great mix of ceramics, glass, metal, paper and textiles… from both new exhibitors and favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were so many great stalls – we’ve just selected a few that caught our eye.

We’ll start with Jane Blease Design.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lamps and artwork by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She uses plywood and threaded cotton to produce artworks, light shades and jewellery.

detail from a handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lampshade by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

It’s striking from a distance, then fascinating in the detail.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton jewellery by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A piece of Jane’s work was temptation number one and we’d only been in the marquee for a few seconds!

Moving along to &made,

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Andrea Lord produces lovely hand-sewn pieces…

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…her items simply & beautifully displayed.

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Cushions, wall hangings and rows of gorgeous cacti pin cushions in their little terracotta pots!

cushion and cacti-shaped pin cushions in terra cotta pots from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We mentioned Derek Wilson Ceramics in our post from last year’s fair.

handthrown functional porcelain tableware by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His stand, filled with his beautiful and delicate porcelain, stopped us in our tracks again…

handthrown porcelain jug by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

….elegant, understated simplicity.

Ruth Green Design has proved another favourite with our blog readers – and a shot of her prints always rides high in our Flickr photo viewings.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We lingered at her stall for a good while.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her prints, sold in limited edition runs, look fabulous hanging all together.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The Pear Tree, one of her  new designs, was another strong temptation!

You can always guarantee a striking display from Hannah Nunn’s Radiance Lighting

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the warm cosy glow of her beautiful, nature-inspired shades…

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the designs hand cut from paper and then laminated.

Adelle having a pit stop in the bar area at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Phew… time for a pit stop… a sit down with a glass of wine!!

First-time exhibitor Ken Eardley made the long drive up from Brighton where he has his studio.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His range of striking pottery with stylised trees, flowers & leaves was a real show stopper.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Functional and beautiful – always a winning combination.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

No doubt his work will be starring in lots of interiors magazines in the future!

The natural landscape strongly inspires & influences the work of enameller Janine Partington.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Trees, flowers, seed heads, birds and animals.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She produces enamel panels, small sculptures and jewellery.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired jewellery by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’d love to stroll through a magical forest of her making.

Kent-based Maxine Sutton plays with imagery of familiar everyday domestic objects and the natural world.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Incorporating them into embroidered and printed textiles to produce a range of interior products.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were lots of eye-catching items on her stand.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve got a standard lamp that would happily accommodate one of her large shades… and we just loved the coffee pot/cafetiere cosies with their Scandinavian feel.

The work of Sarra Kate is bright and effervescent – just like Sarra Kate herself!

colourful textile banners, cushions and greetings cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her stand called out to us from a long way away.

detail from a colourful textile banner made from original collage by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She starts her pieces by making colourful collages which are then laser printed onto textiles and paper…

colourful  greeting cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…which go into making wall hangings, cushions and cards.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Hannah McAndrew, another of our favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This is where we finally gave into temptation.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We admired her stand last year, filled with its mediæval-inspired slipware pottery.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This year we just had to take a few of her pieces home!

detail from slipware pottery jug by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve concentrated on featuring homes and interiors products, but there was also lots & lots of fantastic fashion & jewellery – and if we featured any more this post would turn into a novel!

All the makers will be packing up and making their way home as we write this… so be sure to put the fair in your diary for next year!

West German Ceramics

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Collection of West German vases

We recently posted a photograph of two lava glazed vases on our Flickr page which has proved very popular. So we thought that we’d write a few words and share a few more photos about West German ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a period of time being generally ‘out of fashion’ these amazing ceramics are being appreciated once more for their style and eccentricity. They are now regularly seen gracing the pages of design and interior magazines.

The range of colours, shapes, textures and sizes is mind-boggling!

Collection of West German vases

Some pieces are hand-thrown, others are mass-produced, stock shapes. However, as with the Poole Delphis Pottery range, even these stock shapes can be transformed by the textures and the individual glazes in every colour imaginable. Pieces range in size from 3 inches to well over 20 inches tall for the larger floor vases.

West German vase with impressed detailing

Impressed ‘thumbnail’ detailing

Lava glaze detail

Frothing lava glaze

Incised West German vase

Incised decoration

Colourful West German vase

No rules with colour combinations!

Base detail of West German vase

Typical base markings

A number of factories produced these characteristic ceramics – Baykeramik, Carstens, Dumler & Breiden, Jopeko, Roth, Ruscha and Scheurich to name but a few. Much has still to be learned about which company produced what. Some factories produced pieces with distinctive base markings such as the crossed swords of Dumler & Breiden, however the majority of pieces simply have serial number markings (often accompanied by ‘German’ or ‘W. Germany’). You may be lucky enough to find a piece with the original paper label, otherwise you’re in for a bit of detective work. Fat Lava book by Mark Hill

There hasn’t been a great deal published on West German ceramics from this period, however Fat Lava, by Mark Hill (from Amazon UK)is a good starting point – it outlines the main factories and is packed with good quality colour photos.

In fact, the book was written to accompany an exhibition of German pottery from this period held at King’s Lynn Arts Centre in 2006.

Another place to find out more is the GinFor’s Odditiques website. Also Outernational, fat-lava.com and An Seta Pottery.

The pots work well displayed in groups of either similar or contrasting colours. The larger floor vases look great as stand-alone pieces.

Our particular favourites are the fiery oranges and reds, particularly ones with the bubbling lava glazes. We’ve built up quite a collection but good examples are getting harder to find and prices are rising steadily.

Trio of West German vases

Trio of small, red and brown West German vases, 4-6 inches tall

Trio of 1950s West German vases

Trio of incised vases – classic 50s shapes

Blue West German vase

Blue vase with original Scheurich paper label

Huge floor vases

West German vase with rustic stool and knitted cushion

Provides striking accent colours

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of our collection. Have a look at our West German Pottery Collectors group on Flickr to see some more examples from us and other members. If this blog has inspired you to start your own collection, then happy hunting!!

Vintage West German pottery & ceramics currently available at our H is for Home online shop

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