Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

This post is by Christine Kaltoft, one of our regular DJG members.

Like many DJG members I exhibit at several major craft fairs, and last weekend I was at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, in Manchester. This is a large fair with over 160 top makers from all over the UK (and some from further afield). All craft disciplines are covered, including ceramics, glass, furniture, millinery, and of course jewellery!

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As well as being a great opportunity to showcase and sell a far wider selection of work than is normally possible in a gallery, I find craft fairs like this an invaluable opportunity to get feedback on new work, meet previous customers and new galleries, and network with other makers. What was particularly nice at this show was the opportunity to meet up with several DJG exhibitors, past and present.

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Elizabeth Jane Campbell was exhibiting as one of the specially selected Great Northern Graduates. Her enamelled jewellery looked stunning! Elizabeth is one of the six New Designers we’ve invited to show with us this winter in the Barbican.

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Ciara Bowles – who we selected from the One Year On section at New Designers – had a stand too, with a great selection of her uber-colourful jewellery. Again, she’ll be exhibiting with us this year.

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It was great to see Stacey Bentley again, with her wonderful contemporary enamels. Stacey exhibited with us as a New Designer in the Winter of 2009, and has really established herself in the intervening years.

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Sarah Hutchison first exhibited her jewellery with the DJG in the Barbican in 2005, again as one of our six annual New Designers. She went on to become a DJG member and regular exhibitor. Sarah has moved back to Scotland now and has opened her own gallery in Edinburgh, the SH Jewellery Gallery. It was terrific to see Sarah win the ‘Craft and Design’ Award from the Craft and Design Magazine too: she’ll get a 3 page feature as her prize!

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I imagine that many of our regular Barbican customers won’t have seen Sarah’s silversmithing range, which includes these highly covetable, hand pierced and hand raised fine silver bowls, so I’ll show them here – I think they’re gorgeous!

All in all it was a great show, with an amazing range of work, and thoroughly enjoyable!

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