Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester: 8-10 October 2021

We were delighted to revisit GNCCF this month after a gap of a couple of years. Luckily I’m on the mailing list or we might not have gone (subscribe at ).

The venue had changed – from Campsfield Market in the heart of Deansgate to the amazing Victoria Baths, Chorlton. What a confident, inspiring Edwardian building, now well under restoration. It’s one of the city’s favourite heritage attractions and cultural venues. We were fascinated by the original tilework, stained glass and mosaics.

There was an impressive range of 160 makers but I’m always on the look-out for other printmakers. So it was great to see Sarah Cemmick, James Green and Ben from The Owlery. Most inspiring of the names that were new to me was Lubna Din, whose exquisite printed textiles were woven from very personal journeys. The free machine embroidery with print and insertions in narrative work by mature MA student Vivienne Beaumont also caught my attention.

My partner loves ceramics and has a collection we both enjoy. I have come to appreciate links between printmaking/mark making and pottery decoration. We met two very different potters – Emilie Taylor and Evelyn Albrow – who both use illustrative techniques to great effect in their work. Only when we chatted to them did we learn that they work in the same artspace in Sheffield!

It would have been easy to have spent thousands of pounds; we were captivated by a stunning zoomorphic ‘eagle’s wing’ bookshelf by Daniel Lacey. However we restrained ourselves and came away with a charming jug by Evelyn Albrow.

Next Manc event that we’ll be attending will be White Circle’s Manchester Art Fair on 19-21 November at Manchester Central.

Check out:

Evelyn Albrow @evelyna86  ceramicist / illustrator

Emilie Taylor @emilietaylor__  ceramicist / illustrator

Lubna Din @studio2qq  textiles / prints

Vivienne Beaumont @vivienne.beaumont  textile artist / illustrator

Daniel Lacey  heirloom sculptural wood furnitur