Monday, 31 October 2011

Great Northern

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair was the weekend of 20th-23rd October in Spinningfields in Manchester (sorry for the late post but this last week has been super super busy catching up after the show)! My sister Julie Mellor who is a great contemporary silversmith with a background in fashion and textiles was exhibiting her work and I was helping her with her stand and learning a bit more about the event, along with my other sister (and another brill jewellery designer!) Roz Mellor.

here's the stand as a blank canvas

designers setting up

and here is Julie's collection of bangles and earrings in combinations of resin and metal and natural inclusions like crushed up seashells.

These lovely silver brooches of Julie's were mounted on the wall in reference to the cave art and early mark making they were inspired by. Each is a complete one off and her use of resin incased in the silver introduces subtle colour.
Natural pigments like ochres and woad-ish blues can also be seen in her bronze earrings incorporating more patterns and bringing out the contrast of the rich colour of the metal.

The weekend had a real mixture of styles and products, whether you wanted a piece of art jewellery or a nice pressie or something for your home.

these rings by Sheffield based jeweler Chris Boland make the most of lovely gem stones in unusual cuts and were right up my street.

Grace Du Prez had an eye catching neon take on Christmas with her flouro decs as well as embroidered AND glow in the dark jewellery, (would make a great gift for a style conscious winter cyclist). I might have to pay a visit to her stall on Brick lane next time I'm in London to get myself some leopard print initials to customise my ever growing collection of vintage cases.

Sue Lowday's leather belts could be customised with such a variety of colours and sizes of belt and buckle I was spoilt for choice.

Sue Lowday's sturdy cube bag.

Louise Walker was showing her angular jewellery made up of simple lines of metal, as well as her contemporary silverware. I thought this cake knife was a very practical piece as it looks like it would deal with even the squidgiest brownie.

Hazel Thorn's sculptural metal vessels had been causing intrigue during the show. This was due to the original form being made in ceramic that was destroyed when transformed into the final one-off metal piece. This gave them the surface texture from a more easily manipulated material but combined with the weight and durability of the metal. They reminded me of remains of
derelict buildings where fragments of rusted metal and traces of paint are mingled with the growth of mosses and lichens as the man-made structure crumbles back into the earth.

Caroline Kirton's lovely embroidered illustrations drew upon her experiences and family and friends combining quotes and collected fabrics to capture moments in life. The way she's shown the reflection in this mirror is a brilliant angle. I think a fashion house should snap her up to do a campaign as I'd love to see her interpretation of some wild couture fashions in exotic settings.

Ness Donnelly was another great embroidery artist, using painstaking patterns and colours with an influence of South American culture. If I had the room I would love to hang one of her bright embroideries on a wall of monochrome geometric wallpaper for a mesmerising optical experience.

In contrast the coastal inspired glass work by Ruth Lyne was a slice of nature, crashing waves and moody blues.
My love of outer space made this piece called Aqua Trace catch my eye after a peep on her website, very much a turbulant reflection of a giant milky moon.

And here is a quick vid I took showing how Victoria Walker's flower pendant magically opens up.
Really was a great weekend, with loads of really nice and interesting people and things to look at meeting the artists who make the work.

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