WHAT with Buy Art Fair this weekend, the world’s biggest drawing festival launching on Thursday and Design MCR coming up next month, Manchester is already being spoiled in the art stakes at present. But there’s yet more to sate the city’s creative appetite in October, with the return of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.
Visitors will be able to both buy and commission pieces directly from the makers
Now in its ninth year, GNCCF has become renowned for cutting-edge design and craftsmanship: gathering over 160 of the UK’s most talented designer-makers, curated by an expert independent panel, in Old Granada Studios from 6 to 9 October.
The award-winning not-for-profit event is the North’s largest; promising a Home & Gardens-worthy range of interior and fashion textiles, glass, jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, furniture, print-making and more. Visitors can peruse both established and emerging talent, while the Great Northern Graduates - held in edgy new exhibition space Studio 6 - will showcase some of the most gifted alumna region-wide, also promising an opportunity to pick up uniquely affordable pieces.
One Year On will see 2015 graduates return with fresh new portfolios while, further along the spectrum, the Hothouse Showcase has early/mid-career artisans demonstrate just why they’ve been selected for the Craft Council’s Maker Development Programme. The Makers Dozen collective, meanwhile, assembles local artists working across mediums as diverse as product design and fine art.
It’s not all browsing (and buying) that GNCCF has to offer, however. Craftworks - a programme of workshops, pop-up ateliers and talks by leading designer-makers - offers a glimpse into materials and methods, with the likes of celebrated ceramicist Zoe Lloyd (Artist in Residence) and mixed media artist Harriet Lawton (Installation Artist), who will return to share the artwork she created with visitors’ help as part of last year’s event.
Also returning, for the third year, will be the Ornament exhibition: for which curator Michelle Keeling has worked with artists and institutions across the North West to bring together critically-acclaimed makers, some of whom can be found in the craft collections of leading museums and galleries.
The full list of UK designers can be seen here. Manchester will be represented by Sam Andrew ceramics, Pioden prints, V & Urchin clothing, Kira Meyer glass, Ella McIntosh pewter, Juliette Hamilton willow sculptures and Houda Kaddouh furniture and lighting. Local textile artists include Kate Whitehead and Lydia Mary whilst jewellers comprise Jane Dzisiewski, Jo Lavelle and Alena Kudera Johnson. As with all exhibitors, visitors will be able to both buy and commission pieces directly from the makers.
Kudera specialises in fashion and jewellery
Angela Mann and Ann-Marie Franey founded the GNCCF in 2008. Now a calendar staple, it twice won ‘Small Tourism Event of the Year’ at Manchester's Tourism Awards and was a finalist in the Northern Design Awards 2013.
Ann-Marie said: “There is something extremely powerful about bringing so many talented people who design and make the beautiful and unique under one roof, and we feel very privileged to work with them to put on such a fantastic and inspiring event. Over 40% of this year’s designer-makers are exhibiting with us for the first time so there will be lots for regular and new visitors to discover, as well as new work from established makers.”
Angela Mann said: “The GNCCF plays a vital role in championing and promoting contemporary craft and designer-makers at all levels. This is a great opportunity to meet the makers and hear about their work. With features such as Craftworks, visitors can engage in craft as it happens and learn about process and inspiration.”
The event will commence with a special preview evening on Thursday 6 October from 6pm-9.30pm. Thereafter it will be open from 10am to 6pm (Fri-Sat) and 10am-5pm (Sun).
More info at www.greatnorthernevents.co.uk , www.facebook.com/GNCCF and @GNCCF