Hello and a warm welcome to you! Thank you for visiting my blog where I love to share a little of my life and my passion for textiles, I hope you will enjoy what you see and read here...do also visit me on Facebook and say hello...or check out my workshops and come and get creative...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair...did you go??

cos I did! I am so pleased with myself as I booked a train and headed to Manchester all by myself...I used to travel everywhere alone when I was younger and have got out of the habit...and I love Manchester...scene of youthful exploits and adventures when I was at uni in nearby Liverpool...it seems that they are constantly adding new buildings to the city and digging bits up...but I love it all! Coming from a small village in Cumbria these days means any city is always a buzz...


 

I walked the street to get the full atmosphere and headed for the old Granada Studios...and no, not to see Coronation Street but something much more exiting to me...

first off, an exhibtion called Ornament...to see Alice Kettle's work in 'person' is always so exiting, her stitching is amazing...





 and then Michael Brennan-Wood ditto, they both push boundaries...

 

and I love this piece by Junko Mori, part of a larger group, metal but could be textile or even ceramic

 then room after room filled with handmade textiles, ceramics, jewellery to admire and desire...

 
the talented work of Bella Leonard, challenging traditional stitch with bright colours and unusual threads on perspex



Early on I came across an old blogging 'colleague', Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park...showing her wares and my how she's grown her business, she's even written a fab looking book on printing fabric at home...


I just fell in love with the simplicity of these ceramics by David Worsley (and the beautiful hand quilted mat!)


and with Dione Swift's beautiful drawn or heavily stitched landscapes, which she translates into print and stitch onto scarves and lampshades...


Of course I just had to buy a couple of pieces from Julie Jowett..handstitched and exquisite work, and who should be there but Hannah Lamb...and two fellow makers Viv Sliwka of Hens' Teeth and Marna Lunt...how's that for a textile lovers party!! I just love the power of the Internet, Facebook and the Universe in organsising such wonderful synchronicities!!



I was delighted to find another old friend, feltmaker Lindsey Tyson, who usually has a stall nearby me at Woolfest... her light filled stall had a beautiful range of felt creations...I could have bought them all!


Some amazing colourful work by Louise Gardiner caught my eye...again some of her stitched textiles were translated into beautiful printe fabrics which I do find exiting...



and I spent ages at Kate Whithead's installation of textile art around the subject of identity, hand woven fabrics created from thrown away materials made into bags and purses and seat covers , intriguing stitched pieces on paper and fabric, tucked away in drawers like layers of clothes or a life, so much to delight the eye and create connection to the thought and emotion behind the work, just loved it all!


there was just so much to see and take in, I went round three times with stops for lunch and cups of tea and abit of a sit because after a while your brain fuzzes over, I talked to makers and bystanders, to the guy on a stall selling The Simple Things magazine, who turned out to be one of it's founders...and I had the most interesting conversation about taking the leap and reading E2 (E Squared by Pam Grout) one of my current favourite books on how The Universe works!

this is just a tiny taste, there was so much more!



back out on the street, dazed but happy I set off to walk back to Manchester Victoria railway station and enjoy the views as I go, irrestible photogenic buildings all around, with exiting lines and colours and textures...











I love the way old and new juxtapose and mingle, one off setting the other...



Having set out at 7.15 am, feeling pretty tired but determined to make it to the fair I was so thrilled with my day...I came home uplifted, exhilerated and inspired...indeed just as I had requested at the start of my journey as I stood on Penrith station...
already I am planning my visit next year...or maybe I will take the leap and apply for a stall, who knows?!

and now back onto the train and wend my way home, past my favourite  iconic map in the station...




back to my studio next I think, inspired by my trip out...
wishing you an inspiring week too!


Emma xx
 

4 comments:

  1. Super post Emma. I think we really got a lot from the show in many ways. Thank you for the mention and pic too. xxx

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  2. You have inspired me to go next time!

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  3. Sounds like a great day out. Do it, book a stand!

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  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Wish I could have seen it, but I got to see it through your lens....one day I'll get over there!

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