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The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2013 Part 2. Caroline Rees, Robert Ingham, Anya Keeley, Stuart Jenkins, Katharina Klug and Juliette Hamilton.

October 18, 2013

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Welcome back to part two of my last friday visit to the GNCCF 2013 event in Spinningfields, Manchester. First of the work to be revealed is that of Caroline Rees. Caroline originally trained as a textile designer and then worked with glass and now also cut paper. Her work is bold and yet decorative and simple yet humorous. She even created some paper cuts inspired by L.S.Lowry because she was coming to Manchester, what a great idea. You can see more of her beautiful work with glass on her site.

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From paper to wood and beautifully inlaid too. Robert trained at Loughborough College, and at Leeds College of Art, followed by a degree at Leeds University. After several years teaching, he set up a workshop designing and making furniture in partnership with his younger brother George, who had arrived at this point through the more design orientated route of the Royal College of Art. In conjunction with his teaching, Robert has his own business, Robert Ingham Designs, and wearing this hat he makes one-off pieces to commission and for exhibition both in this country and abroad. Several of his pieces have been awarded Guild Marks. I get the impression that he is quite a perfectionist, who must also have the patience and creative eye of a very skilled man.

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For a little more ‘wacky’ creativity, I smiled at the fun sculptures by Anya Keeley. She has long been a collector of edwardian and victorian ephemera and with a joy of making objects and bringing things to life… her combined interests turned into a business. I thought her Billy Milton sculpture reminded me of the Monty Python collaged animations.

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Stuart Jenkins has followed a creative path in both the fine and decorative arts. His designs are have a bold and masculine flavour to them. They are form and function, ornate and decorative and sometimes even combined with ceramics to become whole new objects altogether. There’s an air of mystery about his work, the past blending nicely with the future and they often set off questions in the mind as to their purpose and meaning. Exciting and textural pieces.

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I was strangely drawn to the ceramics made by Katharina Klug as her delicate shapes reminded me of the work of Lucie Rie whom I had written about for my A level Ceramics examination. When I mentioned this to Katharina, she confessed that not only were her and Lucie both originally from Austria, but that she actually uses one of lucie’s glaze recipes on her work today and also admires her ceramics too ! How funny. Katharina was great to chat with, warm, engaging, and very knowledgeable about her discipline. Coming from a family of ceramists, I imagine it’s practically in her blood !

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Again I smiled warmly when I turned the corner and came across the woodland menagerie, skilfully woven by Juliette Hamilton. Another artist who began as a textile designer, specialising in weave. It’s clear from this that woven structures in one form or another we’re the way to go and after a few ‘diversions’ in her career path, weave has won her heart again.  Happy to undertake commissions like ‘Joey‘ a War Horse for Tameside Council and special garden pieces which are mentioned on Juliette’s Blog, you can also enrol on a course and learn how to make your own wicker bird for just £50 for the day…. great Manchester value. More details here. Beautiful work Juliette.

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There were many other talented craft makers and skilled designers at the GNCCF but sadly I couldn’t get around to see them all. I’d like to give a quick mention to Sarah MaloneLinda MillerFir and Wren at holnTessutiDavid Ashby and Kate Kelly who’s faces I passed on the evening. A big thank you to everyone who kindly gave of their time to answer my questions and let me photograph their work to show to you all. Much appreciated.

I shall be taking part in the GNCCF’s little sisters’ event in Altrincham Grammar School for Boys on December 8th so put it in your diaries now and I’ll look forward to seeing more of these crafty folk then. I hope you enjoyed this years show, do pass it onto your friends and family.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mandy permalink
    October 18, 2013 8:54 am

    fantastic blog as always, we visited on the Thursday evening & had a great time, saw some work from Ella of whom you have blogged about in the past .. 🙂

    • October 18, 2013 9:48 am

      Hi Mandy, that’s when I was there. Ella has some pieces on the MCDC stand I believe, lovely work. Glad you enjoyed the post and the show.

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