We took a camera along and hope our snaps capture the atmosphere.
Todmorden sits in in a steep-sided valley so you could stand above the town and watch the parade as it meandered through the streets which was very pretty.
We then moved in for a closer look at the creations and their operators, listen to the drummers and view the more stationary installations.
The festival seems to combine quite an ancient tradition with a futuristic feel too – a bit Blade Runner!
It’s only the festival’s second year, but we think it’s got real potential for a long term future. It’s perfect for a dark winter evening and seems to suit the winding streets and old stone buildings of Todmorden.
Both kids & adults were having fun. In addition to the parade, there were various food stalls and the local bars were doing a roaring trade.
Ancoats is an interesting part of Manchester – the steady process of regeneration is ongoing. There are some wonderful buildings – unspoilt, Victorian gems – brick terraces, old pubs, churches and former industrial sites.
Hallé St Peter’s is one such building with it’s magnificent sense of space & light.
It really came to life with all the amazing homewares on display – and exhibitors were the perfect mix of familiar faces and new talent.
Heather Linnitt aka Eclectic Chair is someone whose work we highlighted at last year’s Independent Interiors Show. We love her soft furnishings & upholstery work – using coffee sacks, vintage and retro fabrics. The Stig Lindberg-style fabric chair was a stunner – and we’d happily give house room to the Papua New Guinea coffee sack sofa too!
We also saw the mosaic art of Amanda McCrann at that same event last year. Her stall was very eye-catching once more. The artwork is available in the form of original pieces or alternatively, prints & stationery incorporating her distinctive designs.
Her fabric designs are a real joy – full of life, colour & vintage charm.
Anthony Hughes‘ work was new to us. We had a nice chat with him about the influence of industrial architecture & detailing on his work – finding beauty in the mundane & neglected… and our shared love of a good pylon!
His range of stationery, wallpaper & fabric uses the photographs & artwork he produces at his Leeds base.
The cotton fabric is made in Edinburgh & cushions feather-filled – temptation was rising!
Blooming Balconies was a very friendly & approachable team – and their display provided a real blast of colour in the hall.
They design a range of containers & tubs, some with clever fittings for railings & drainpipes. Their stall looked perfect next to a sunny window.
Her work incorporates braiding, crochet, paper-cut & collage. She had some very striking mirrors, artwork & lighting on view. She’s fresh out of university, so we hope her future is as bright as her creations!
Grey Moose Designs only had a small display, but their vintage industrial lights grabbed your attention from all over the large church space.
Skill, imagination & high quality craftsmanship were clear to see on Richard’s recycled & re-purposed lighting.
One of our favourite exhibitors on the day was Kate Bufton.
She manipulates the shape & form of old books to produce her artwork – framed pictures and these stunning glass domes.
Katherine Lees also had a very photogenic display. Her exquisite, hand-decorated ceramics in the form of old bottles & keys to form vessels & jewellery were getting lots of attention.
It was very hard to walk away from the orange & grey quilt produced by Lisa Watson and pictured below. She incorporates traditional Harris Tweed & sumptuous velvet fabrics into her creations. Gorgeous!
This time it was the bold, monochrome, graphic quality of pieces that made the display stand out.
We loved this table produced by Oh, Bother. It’s made from recycled wooden palettes. They had all kinds of interesting, quirky pieces to buy.
Rachel Britch is another recent graduate – her lighting surprised us when we touched it. We thought it was soft & fluffy from a distance, but it actually had a stiff, bristly feel.
Rachel Johns is a near-neighbour from the Calder Valley – Hebden Bridge to be precise. She uses ink & thread – producing much of her artwork with a big stick. Yes, that’s a big stick. It’s very distinctive – whimsical & playful.
There were practical workshops taking place throughout the day…
…with sewing machines whirring and paintbrushes twitching.
They had the perfect cushions for Justin & Fudge. In addition to their ready to buy products, handmade fabric items can be custom made to capture favourite buildings, street scenes, people or pets.
This has been quite a lengthy post and we’ve only mentioned about half the exhibitors! Keep an eye out for the next event – whether you’re a potential exhibitor or customer. Hopefully we’ve given a flavour of this well run & well attended show. We have a camper van fund that we’re trying really hard to build up, otherwise we would have left Home is in the North with a car packed with goodies. Tripod light, eight cushions, large quilt, table, glass dome, some tea towels, two pictures, box of stationery, set of mugs, three flower tubs – and a sofa!
The Radiance stand belonging to Hannah Nunn always delivers the goods – her hand cut paper light shades look great when displayed en masse…
…and we loved her new seed pod window hangings.
Ruth Green, who we’ve seen at GNCCF in previous years, also had some lovely new works…
…and she’s also branched out into illustrated books, notebooks & note cards.
With autumn setting in, Andrea Lord’s &made display offered some warm seasonal comforts…
…such as these gorgeous cushions & cosies.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s really exciting to discover new makers and their work…
…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.
Her pieces have a natural feel and use subtle, earthy, yet striking colours.
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.
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!