Monday, 22 October 2012

Manchester a cultural wonderland...crafty too!

Having not long returned from the sunny climbs of Manchester, yes is was sunny I promise, I felt it only fair to share my thoughts on a two great visits I made. One was to an exhibition, the other a contemporary craft fair. Now that you have heard all about the exhibition now I am compelled to speak about the fine line between the art & the craft. Both are just as appealing to me. Consumption is the answer, small numbers & editions versus the mass produced. However, most of what I saw & loved came in small numbers but was much more affordable & really worth blogging about.

Andrew Oliver's crooked tables & lamps were amazing, with more practical   abilities than you would think. This table for example held up our wine glasses just fine with a vase of flowers on there too! The recycled element is what appealed a lot too, without sounding preachy, well worth re-using old for new works well when re-furbished so professionally. 

Taupe Camomile large brooch on silver and titanium scarf.

Corrine Evans was also at the stand & I admired her jewellery & was thrilled to find out that she made it herself. My favourite by far are these wonderful titanium scarf with a brooch. No worries on the allergic reaction front with this stunning & intricate work. 

Shivani Jewellery also struck me as notable as her architecturally inspired ideas jumped out.

Katherine Lees designs are charming Victorian inspired objects & jewellery, notably keys are a favourite emblem.  

Ceramic artists like Zoe Lloyd also had some lovely works including this, her first drawing of her cat. Each plate is unique & the rough nature of them adds to the appeal of her aesthetic. Not easy to stack though, definitely one for the wall. The mark making she uses have a childlike charm, but are injected with a wry sense of humour. 

Then after seeing such a great show about paper we were thrilled to see Jennifer Collier's work. Her camera had been the image that had sparked an interest to go in the first place. Her other cameras are wonderful also. I love this Roliflex, especially the details she incorporates into them. 

This one Collier seems to have used an old letter. I think these would look amazing under bell jars. Prices start at £120, a snip!

Then came Katherine Richmond with her Victoriana works using threads & collage together to narrate her own Alice in Wonderland-like stories.

Constallation brooch

This work is inspirational binding both the art history & fictional ideas of the period with contemporary designs. I'm sure this is not the last I will see of her work.

Kate Kelly designs paper sculptures which are great additions to the wall as well. Her owls are especially good. I loved the squirrels as well. It really is perfect for this time of year, woodland creatures & birds are very 'this season' it seems.
Hello Sunshine print

Ruth Green Design I have come across before in London. I'm not sure what her editions are but i would love this to add to my 'orange' favourites. Her retro style here really works. The 1950's/60's feel reminds me of a lot of design on fabrics & crockery of the period.

Bekx Stephens  paper sculpture is so beautiful, the urge to touch them is insatiable too. Ruffs came to mind when I saw her work. Lots of patience & an eye for the folds no doubt. Issey Miyake would love these. 

I know this is a short blog, but it will keep you going till the next photography wonders tucked in my belt! 

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