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Fishink In Manchester. City Art Gallery, Fig and Sparrow and Manchester Craft Centre

June 26, 2013

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Today I had a quick two hours to spend on Manchesters’ sunny streets and certainly managed to pack some new findings into the morning trip to town. I headed to the Manchester City Art Gallery where to my delight I discovered an exhibition called ‘ Between the Wars’ featuring beautiful watercolours by some of my favourite artists.

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How wonderful to be able to walk into a gallery in Manchester and view original artwork by the likes of Paul Nash and Eric Ravilious all for free !

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This piece by Christopher Wood caught my eye, as did the Stanley Spencer painting.

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From there I headed over to the Northern Quarter and came across a beautifully designed cafe and gift shop called ‘Fig and Sparrow’. It’s run by two photographers who certainly have an excellent eye for design and detail. A wonderful new addition to Oldham Street. It had an air of calm and tranquility mixed with the smells of warm coffee and cakes from their cafe who could ask for more ? Well worth a stop off to refuel.

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Around the corner I found some sunny graffiti art pieces.

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From there I dashed over for a quick visit to Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Where I met Harriet Godden whos’ business ‘Sausage Dog‘ was quick to bring a smile to my face. There’s a whole array of friendly and ferocious (well maybe a little scary) monsters, animals and soft toy creations. I did feel like I was being watched by all those eyes whilst in the shop !

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The next stop was to see Susan Kane and her lovely hand drawn illustrations Calico Angel at Holm which will soon be known as Fir and Wren. Susan trained in Manchester as a Textile Designer and after a period of selling designs to companies in the UK, Japan and Europe she has diversified into delicate linear illustration prints and broaches.

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Another artist working just across the floor from Susan was Jessica Owen who paints from the local landscapes for her company ‘Northern-Scapes‘. Striking skies and moody outdoor scenes fill the studio walls.

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Finally I came across the beautiful and tranquil surrounds of Andrea Lord’s Studio space and business ‘&made‘. Andrea makes everything by hand (as the business name suggests) and has a love of all things green and grey. I discovered that Andrea used to work as a costume designer & maker in the model animation department of Cosgrove Hall Films.

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Andrea has created such a serene space to work and think in, it was like time stopped still for the period I was in there. She has made some wonderful items and it really is the place to find something unusual as a gift for someone who appreciates things that are just that little bit different. Whether it’s a cactus pin cushion or a home storage box I’m sure you won’t leave empty handed.

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I loved these cut out cards.

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Andreas’ eye for colour and design continues all around her shop, no area is left uncared for : )

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For anyone wondering where the Craft Centre is it’s on Oak Street in the Northern Quarter (see below for map)

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Thank you to everyone I spoke to and photographed today, and even though I managed to get back to the car 3 minutes after the car parking ticket had expired , somehow the £25 fine was worth it ! So thanks to Manchester City Council for that too !

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2013 11:35 am

    Sausage Dog, Fig and Sparrow and &made are my favourites 🙂

    • June 27, 2013 1:25 pm

      I’m certain they’ll be delighted to hear that. Thanks for sharing.


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