Posts Tagged ‘Jane Blease Design’

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’11

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

"Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair '11" blog post banner

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!

Friday Folks – Jane Blease

Friday, May 6th, 2011

"Friday Folks" blog post banner

Jane Blease receiving her award at the British Craft Trade Fair 2011

This week, Friday Folks features Manchester-based designer maker, Jane Blease.

We first encountered Jane in October 2010, when she exhibited at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. Her stand really caught our eye and we highlighted her work in the blog we posted about the event. Six months on, she’s going from strength to strength!

green dotted horizontal line

Who are you & what do you do?
My name is Jane and I set up my business, Jane Blease Design in 2008. I design & make lighting and homewares which I sell from my shop, my online site www.janebleasedesign.co.uk and from numerous galleries and boutiques in the UK.

I strive to use my materials in both efficient and imaginative ways. In my current collection, I intricately embroider wood veneer using a selection of vibrantly coloured threads to create bespoke lampshades, framed artwork, jewellery and accessories. I came up with the unique & unusual technique in 2009, initially woodburning the holes by hand, which created a very rustic effect. For precision, I now laser cut the elaborate patterns, this allows me to create much more intricate designs which I then finish with spirals of threadwork.

I use mainly wood to create my products but I also use recycled plastics and vintage, imitation tortoiseshell. It was produced in the 60s & 70s, specifically for making glasses frames. It is one of the earliest plastics ever made, which I have re-claimed, re-formed, lovingly restored and transformed into beautiful lampshades.

Jane Blease in her shop in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre

How did you get into the business?
After graduating from my 3D Design course at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006, I was one of 8 artists who gained a place on the Design Initiative 2006-08 Setting Up Scheme, which provided a comprehensive business development programme. This allowed me to transform my product ideas into a functioning business. I now have a shop/studio in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre.

lampshade designed & made by Jane Bleaselampshade designed & made by Jane Blease

Who or what inspires you?
Being based in the Northern Quarter, one of the most diverse and up-and coming areas of Manchester, I am surrounded by inspiration on a daily basis. I also love going for walks in the countryside and take inspiration from the natural world. All of my work is organic, either in form, pattern or materials used.

I love seeing what the craft world is up to so I visit exhibitions up and down the country on a regular basis. This also helps me to decide on the right places to show my work. Plus, the internet is an amazing resource these days, there are so many great craft and design blogs.

Jane Blease sign above her stand at the British Craft Tade Fair 2011

I’ve got an exciting adventure coming up this year! I’ve been handpicked by the renowned industrialist and heritage conservationist Abhay Mangaldas to take part in an artists residency in India this summer. For six weeks I’ll will be working alongside the local crafts people of Ahmedabad to develop products for the modern market. I will be combining their more traditional skills with my modern approach to design.

My existing product range should evolve beautifully by taking inspiration from some of the local skills. India’s culture and scenery will inspire me immensely I’m sure.

illuminated wood veneered cube designed & made by Jane Blease

What has been your greatest success?
After two years of hard work, my business is going from strength to strength. In Summer 2010, I was chosen by executives at Manchester Airport to create 22 pieces of framed artwork for the Escape Lounge in Terminal 1. The embroidered artwork covers three, 4-metre walls and is the focal point of the contemporary ‘snug’ area. This was my biggest and most prestigious commission so far.

framed threadwork designed & made by Jane Blease

In April this year, I took part in the British Craft Trade Fair, and was delighted to receive The Bluefin Insurance Award for Excellence. It was my first trade show and I was overwhelmed by the response to my work. There was a definite buzz around my stand with attendees commenting on the uniqueness of my products. I had a fantastic show, I took lots of orders and I have got some great exhibitions lined up as a result, Similar Threads or Edau Tebyg at the stunning Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno next month, MADE at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Nov-Feb and a few others later in the year too. I am extremely proud of my achievements and feel like it is the beginning of a great future for my business!

Jane Blease standing beside her stall at the 2011 British Craft Trade Fair

Have you got any advice for someone wanting to break into the business?
Make the most of all the opportunities that come your way! It takes a few years for businesses to establish themselves so you will need patience (and a part-time job), but if you think you have a niche then go for it. Also, in terms of your work, there are no mistakes when it comes to design. I always say that the best ideas come through experimentation, so don’t be afraid to just have a play.

To see more of Jane’s work, please visit www.janebleasedesign.co.uk

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010 blog post banner

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!