Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Bit of Northern Soul.

Last Sunday but one Helen Backhouse and I popped over to Manchester to the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. It's a week long shindig funded by The Arts Council and is a veritable hotbed for new talent. Although we have seen some of the exhibitors before, there are always lots of new Arts graduates fresh out of university, bringing their ground breaking ideas with them! Some of them are a bit whacky for my taste - but always worth a look.

Helen always heads for the ceramics (she's mad on pots and bowls) and the jewellery, of course, grabs our attention. Lots of it - and I mean lots. Seemed like every other exhibitor was a silversmith this year. Some very unusual work too - modern and edgy.  Lots of black. But I head for the textiles. They always spark my imagination and I like translating the colours and textures I see into jewellery.
I also bought some hand made buttons from one of the mixed media artists, Shirley Vauvelle.
My first pair of earrings this week uses Shirley's buttons; the inspiration was the colours from a piece of textile work by Sara Tommins.  Sarah is one of this years graduates. Always collect the business cards!

I really liked the effect of the grey shell layered over the links of elongated black chain with the ebony spikes, so while I was on a roll a couple more pairs took shape. Again, Shirley's buttons but this time in aqua. 

The third pair have baby enamels by Kimberly Rogers in yellow, with a tiny hint of pink. The lampwork is by Patricia Ritchie, with pink enamel earwires by Lucy Haslam. Normally, I hate pink and yellow together but with the black these work really well!

See how one business card sparks the flame? Next time you  are in a creative slump, bypass Pinterest (am I the only person who saves hundreds of pins only to never look at any of them ever again?) and look around you - buttons, cushions, woollies, fabric of all kinds can provide the spark you need. 
See you in two weeks time
Lindsay x


  1. That sounds like a wonderful and interesting fair! I wish I was in the neighborhood. The earrings are beautiful. Hmmm pink and yellow, very interesting color combo. I agree, it definitely works together with the black.

  2. I love fabrics and textiles too,I love these chick,you really are so talented xx

  3. Sounds like a great craft fair to visit, I also love textiles and ceramics as well as jewellery and think your earrings are fabulous, love the buttons x

  4. Oh Lindsay - I want them all! wow!

    1. The best compliment - thanks Jeni (but they are all gone already , sorry )x

  5. Sounds like so much fun!! I love every single pair of earrings!!! :)

  6. Another excellent read... amen to Pinterest too! And... your earrings are inspiring & superb xo

  7. Oh, the fair sounds like such fun! I love the buttons you used in your earrings, and each pair turned out gorgeous, Lindsay! Beauties, all. 💗

  8. Thanks Meridy - and fun it was x

  9. Love that you get your inspiration from so many places! These are beautiful x

  10. Lindsay, all are fabulous! Super imaginative. You are absolutely right on the textiles. Great reminder to just look around.