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Fishink and the LNCCF

December 19, 2016


I heard that the Christmas Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair was on a few weeks ago, so I popped along to Altrincham Town Hall to take a view.

This isn’t the Town Hall (below) by the way, just a beautiful building I spotted en route, and the lower shot was taken in the Market Hall, which hosts a variety of craft, design, vintage and food stalls, alternating the theme most weekends.


The LNCCF show was in a great location in the Town Hall, with plenty of new work to catch my eye and interest. I stopped to chat to a couple of exhibitors, the first of which was Von Allen and her amusing Heartfelt Dogs. Von says ” All dogs are individual one-offs. They are needle felted from 100% wool with glass eyes. Their clothes are selected from various vintage ranges from Paul and Sindy, Ken, Action Man, G. I. Joe, and other action dolls.”


“I’ve always been creative; my mum had me down as a Blue Peter presenter due to my ability to produce something out of nothing even when I was a kid. Those of you of my generation might remember the Blue Peter Book of Teddy Clothes with an extensive range of costumes you could make, including a pirate, a cowboy and a pilot’s outfit; I made them all. Growing up, I was a little obsessed with puppets and stop frame animation; Hector’s House, Pogles Wood, Noggin The Nog and Topo Gigio were all very real for me. ”


I spotted a few faces I was sure I’d seen running around the fields earlier that day ! Beautifully made and I’m always drawn to work that makes me smile.


The second stall I really admired, was the work of Linda Baxter from The Black Fish Press.


Linda says ” My interest in lino block printed textiles began back in the 1980s while studying for a History of Design degree at the then Manchester Polytechnic, where I came across textiles designs by 20th century artists and sculptors like Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth who, in the 1930s, had designed and printed lino block fabrics for their own use, some of which were later produced commercially. Researching and reproducing these textiles was a great way of learning and understanding the design disciplines and printing techniques involved.
Now retired from art and design teaching, I have started designing and printing again, returning to my favourite printing method. “


I also wanted to catch up with a friend I had made a few years ago when exhibiting previously with LNCCF, Jeweller Heather Fox. Heather was selling her Jewellery and new range of unique christmas decorations at the fair this year… aren’t they great !


I had long been inspired by a ring I bought for my partner back in the early 90’s, from a Jeweller in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, who’s name I don’t remember and has since moved. (If anyone knows this designer’s name, please let me know).


It’s a fun silver ring called “Anteater, Two Lizards and a Fish” and I decided that I wanted to create something similar for myself, using my own drawings and the skills of a Jeweller who’s work I liked. I had a chat with Heather about my idea, and the collaboration was accepted. Heather had already created work which involved layering silver upon silver, and had a sense of humour (with her ‘Chris Moose’ below) that I could also relate to. I’m excited to see what happens.


Of course I will be using some of my illustrations as a starting point…. watch this space for more news !!!



I also couldn’t help but buy one of these lovely glass birds by maker Heather Gillespie. It will sing loudly from the tree this year : ) Lovely skies we are getting lately too.  How are your Chrismas plans going so far ?


As this is my last blog post for 2016, there’s just one last thing to say…..


Happy Holidays Everyone! Let’s all catch up again in a couple of weeks… bye for now.














14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2016 2:11 pm

    Happy Holidays! I love the idea of commissioning jewellery to your own artistic vision. I look forward to seeing how that turns out. I love that glass bird. So beautiful. The felted dogs made me smile. So much personality and wit.

    • December 20, 2016 9:07 am

      Thanks Laura, fingers crossed it goes well too : ) Have a great Holiday also and thanks for your comments throughout the year.

  2. Elaine Wrightson permalink
    December 19, 2016 6:08 pm

    Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and thank you for all the lovely posts in 2016! And give Boo a hug from me 🙂

  3. susancarolineday permalink
    December 19, 2016 10:12 pm

    Happy Christmas FishinkMany thanks for your recommendations for lovely things ,have bought 4 Angela Harding T towels . Sue x

    Sent from my Samsung device

    • December 20, 2016 9:08 am

      Great to hear Sue, mine are going as presents but I’m hoping there’s a spare lurcher inspired one with my name on lol. Happy Christmas

  4. December 19, 2016 10:52 pm

    OOohhh I think your designs will look fab-u-lois as jewellery!! I can’t wait!!! And in the meantime have a wonderfully happy christmas and a peaceful new year m’lovely!! xxxxx

    • December 20, 2016 9:09 am

      Ahh thanks Lizzie, have a sooper one yourself and may your sniffles disappear very soon : ( Catch you in the new year .

  5. December 20, 2016 3:38 pm

    Oh those wool dogs are crazy fun! I love the detailed coats, reminds me of the quality clothing Mattel made for Barbie back in the ’60’s, now it’s just junk. Love the graphic quality of Linda Baxter’s work, the colors too. Art is so much fun. Merry Christmas Craig.

  6. Vivianne permalink
    December 21, 2016 1:08 pm

    Thanks for a year of lovely posts.

    • December 21, 2016 9:32 pm

      Spot on Joy, some of the clothes could well be Barbie cast offs. Thanks for your smiles and comments throughout this year. Have a great time yourself, hope you get ‘ just enough ‘ snow 😀. Catch up next year

    • December 21, 2016 9:34 pm

      Thanks Vivianne, so glad you enjoyed them. Please come back for more next year and enjoy your festive break in the interim.

  7. Jo Clutton permalink
    January 2, 2017 10:38 am

    Hi Craig! I’m Jo, artist, writer, traveller, wild west nut and renaissance soul. I’ve recovered from thirty years of depression and anxiety and I’m now writing on my blog about the rebuilding of my creativity. I’m hoping to reach people with mental health issues and creatives in general to give encouragement, inspiration and hopefully some enjoyment. Been looking on your blog and really enjoying it. Packed with great stuff! Keep it up. Anyway, have a look at mine and see what you think. 🙂

    Jo Alton, Hampshire.

    • January 9, 2017 9:37 am

      Many thanks Jo for your comments, so pleased you’re enjoying the blog, all the best of luck with your creative work too. Have a great start to your year.

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