The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is back for its third year in Manchester on October 22-24. Bringing 160 designer-makers to sell their wares, the event is like an Aladdin’s cave for those of us who are attracted to beautiful things like magpies are to shiny stuff.
The emphasis here is very much on the contemporary – with not a knitted tea cosy in sight. There is a huge variety of ceramics, glassware, jewellery, interiors and fashion textiles, all made by professional designer-makers. All makers have to apply to show their work, which is viewed by a panel of contemporary craft experts, and have only a 40% chance of getting through.
This year the event – going back-to-back with the Buy Art Fair the following weekend – has expanded and there will be a second pavilion housing the Great Northern Graduates.
Continuing their quest to support new designer-makers, the organisers have also trawled through all the graduate degree shows north of Birmingham and have created a mini-collection of the best up-and-coming craftspeople.
This is a great opportunity to browse degree show work from MMU, Birmingham City University, Glasgow School of Art, University of Huddersfield and Staffordshire University. Snap up some of these young uns work and one day it could become a collector’s item.
The event is handily placed right near Christmas so you can avoid mass-made-by-orphans-in-the-developing-world tat and get your other half to buy you something completely unique.
Organisers Ann-Marie Franey, from Heaton Moor, and Angela Mann, from Didsbury, used to travel to shows such as the Chelsea Craft Fair (now called Origin) every year and say, “There needs to be something like this in Manchester.”
And so one day they just decided to get on with it. The event has grown in popularity and last year’s event saw 6,400 visitors from all over the UK.
Admission on door: £6 (£5 concession)
Visitors can get a 30% discount on NCP parking at Spinningfields, by getting their tickets validated on the door.
For directions and further info visit greatnorthernevents.co.ukor email here.
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