A reflection on GNCCF

At the start of October I went to Manchester and exhibited for the first time at the wonderful Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. It was a fantastically organised event with plenty of marketing and a fantastic line up of amazing contemporary craft from designers and makers from across the country.

Amazing line up

I was delighted to be exhibiting anyway, but when I arrived for the opening night and had a look around once everyone had set up, I was blown away by the quality of the craft on show and thrilled to be exhibiting amongst some really inspired artists. Everyone’s work was very different and there was great variety and not too much of one type of craft.

I had a wonderful weekend, I was surrounded by talented and hilarious neighbours. We all kept each other going when our feet were sore and we needed a break!

Resin and silver brooch on a white background

Frequently asked question

This brooch garnered the most attention at my stand in Manchester and it was one of my most frequently handled and enquired about pieces with many people wanting to know how it was made! This brooch is one of my degree show pieces and as you can see from this recent photo, it hasn’t aged a day! I printed photographs I took of the view from my childhood home on the West Coast of Scotland onto acetate and set them in layers of resin. This gives the brooch an almost holographic or 3D effect which is most clearly seen in person. It looks like the landscapes are moving over each other and like the sun is really shining out of the brooch.
The phrase captured in the brooch,”The clouds are hiding”, is inspired by a moment when I was on my way over to Arran and saw the island shrouded in clouds. I said “the clouds are hiding something” and once we got over there, we discovered they were indeed hiding a beautiful sunny day.

My reflection

Unfortunately the show was not successful for me, sales were slow and I didn’t cover the cost of exhibiting or even my travel down. I had decided due to the amount of preparation that went into the show (lots of late nights in the studio!) to take a few days off after. I spent the day after the fair travelling back north, and immediately went to the west coast to have a few days away from work.

It took me a couple of weeks to really recover from the exhaustion I felt from working myself so hard. It’s difficult to talk about these things, people often only get to see the good bits and presume that you are making a decent living from what you do, living a fun, carefree life when the reality can be so far from that. Putting yourself and your work on show everyday is also nerve wracking impostor syndrome and “what if people don’t like it?” thoughts can creep in.

I’m finally back to some sort of normality and I’m excited about what the next couple of months hold for me. I have some amazing commissions to sketch up right now, and on the bench I am making some beautiful rings which I hope to show you soon.  Sign up for my newsletter here to keep up to date with my events, commissions and other exciting things. To support my work in other ways, you can buy from the online shop, tell your friends about what I do, even following me on Instagram and liking and commenting helps! If you’re keen to have something handmade for Christmas, get in touch now!

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