For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) is the place to head this October (conveniently coinciding with Manchester Art Fairweekend, held just around the corner).
Now in its 11th year, the four-day takeover of Upper Campfield Market marks one of the biggest craft events in the UK; bringing together over 150 talented designer-makers from around the country selected by a panel of craft experts. Think beyond over-priced earthenware pots, cute purses and feather earrings – the emphasis here is on the breadth, diversity, quality and ambition of affordable contemporary craft, spanning the fields of jewellery, ceramics, interior and fashion textiles, metalwork, furniture, print-making and more.
As well as experiencing one of Manchester’s finest Grade II listed Victorian buildings packed and reanimated as the covered-market venue it once was, the true highlight of GNCCF is meeting the artisans and learning about the materials, processes and ideas behind their work. Alongside the artist talks and demonstrations that run throughout the weekend, make sure you also check out the ‘Great Northern Graduates’ showcase which gives a platform to the promising new talent emerging from the UK’s leading creative courses – this is your chance to get ahead of the curve in terms of spotting the trends and patterns that will shape tomorrow’s world of design.
2018 is an important year for GNCCF as it’s mounting popularity led to the highly-successful launch of two sister events in Newcastle and Sheffield earlier this year, the organisers expressing their pride and commitment to “flying the flag for Northern craft” as the movement continues to grow.