All that glitters. Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.

Kate Feld

Kate Feld gets a sneaky peek at the contemporary jewellery, textiles and designs on offer at Manchester’s finest craft fair


Hang on to your comedy mistletoe hats: The supermarkets are already stacking up supersized tins of Quality Street and decking the halls with Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. It’s not even Bonfire Night yet. Not even Halloween yet, for chrissakes – have these people no sense of the proper order of things?

Sometimes, though, it’s good to think ahead a couple of months. Especially when for a few days only your city is going to play host to the loveliest assemblage of handmade craft goodness around. The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair brings hundreds of stalls-worth of the work of the finest craftspeople and makers to Spinningfields in October. If you haven’t checked in with the world of craft for a while (and perhaps still associate the word with macrame owl plant hangers), there’s no better place to have your eyes opened.

Though the fair features entrants from all over the UK, North West craftspeople are especially well represented. Cast your eyes over Preston-based Elizabeth Chamberlain’s wrap range, Stockport crafter Beth Essex’s delicate links or the Delight collection from Rose Hamilton of Withington. But it’s not all about the jewellery, of course. We love the paper-cut lamps from Hannah Nunn (who has a shop in Hebden Bridge), Isabel Dibden Wright’s colourful textiles, and the quirky stitched collages from Stockport’s Oh Golly Gosh.

Don’t know about you, but some of us are going to be procuring Great Northern flyers and casually secreting them in prominent places about the house. Because, you know, sometimes getting a jump on your Christmas shopping early is a very good thing.

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Spinningfields, 22-25 October.

Image: Hannah Nunn

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