GNCCF online Christmas edition
Buy exceptional craft without getting up from your sofa through this online edition of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. 60 designer-makers offer unique handmade gifts, with numerous a-n members taking part, including Wren Leather (a-n member Thomas Wren), who creates traditional hand tooled leather wallets with a colourful twist (from £120).
GNCCF online, 2-3 December 2023 greatnorthernevents.co.uk
House of Voltaire
Shop while supporting Studio Voltaire’s arts and education programme with House of Voltaire’s array of limited editions, homewares and clothing designed by artists.
Scottish artist Leanne Ross has the perfect print for the dog-lover in your life with her Dogs on the Sofa risograph (£120), while you might prefer to keep your pets off painter Hurvin Anderson’s 100% cashmere blanket, designed by the artist and made by master craftspeople using traditional weaving methods (£1,650).
Meanwhile, Supergroup – a collaboration between artist and illustrator John Booth and ceramicist Ian McIntyre – celebrates a more overlooked animal, with an embroidered print featuring a psychedelic snail gliding up a flower (top image, £50). The joyful range also includes a brightly coloured sticker sheet (£12), limited edition wallpaper (£60) and a hand-built stoneware ceramic snail (£750).
Studio Voltaire, London and online houseofvoltaire.org/
Buy beautiful books
Shop with specialist art bookshops in person or online. From the established to the pop up, here are a handful of our favourites across the UK:
Founded by a-n Arts Organiser member Aimee Bea Ballinger, Burning House Books in Glasgow promotes books with a focus on art, experimental writing, counterculture and queer history. Cardiff’s Yellow Back Books, currently housed in G39, centres on artists’ books, while Newcastle’s NewBridge Books offers international contemporary art publications, zines, magazines and gifts.
Bristol’s well-stocked Arnolfini bookshop has got you covered for everything from art journals to contemporary fiction and brilliant books for kids, while London’s Donlon Books has an impeccable selection of new and rare titles with a focus on photography, art, critical theory, fashion, LGBT+ literature and music.
Village bookshop and gallery has locations in Leeds and Manchester, packed with art and design publications, plus self-published and small press zines from artists around the world.
Made is Yorkshire Sculpture Park shop’s showcase of contemporary craft and jewellery. Among the makers exhibiting their work in the run-up to Christmas are 12 a-n members from across the UK.
Choose from Beverly Bartlett’s silver and gold pieces that are inspired by natural objects seen under a microscope; Clare Hillerby’s cufflinks made from metal and reworked vintage wooden rulers; Clare Lloyd’s colourful dot stud earrings; or Jane Moore’s enamelled necklaces.
Glasgow-based Lyndsay Fairley’s Polished Silver Chain Bracelet (£240) is hand-formed, based on sketched abstractions of the Scottish coastal landscape that inspired her collection ‘Na Mara’ (meaning ‘of the sea’ in Gaelic).
Until Sat 6 Apr 2024, Yorkshire Sculpture Park Centre ysp.org.uk
Endless Love Creative Makers Market
With 30 art, design and craft stalls, this winter market brings together established and emerging makers from across the UK, offering ceramics, jewellery, textiles, print, illustration and homewares.
Several a-n members take part including illustrators Joanna Blémont and Max Machen and print studios Own Way and Ploterre. Abby Sumner makes bold risograph greetings cards and paper goods; Cath Pots uses stoneware clay to create functional and decorative homewares; Freya Mabel Makes will be offering Scottish landscape tapestries; and head to Clare Elizabeth Kilgour for minimal brass bracelets and earrings.
Lucy Freeman will be selling her nature-inspired embroideries and leading an Introduction to Embroidery workshop, while Sophie Charles’ hand painted puzzles (from £145) are artwork and creative game in one. The birch plywood pieces, which are inspired by architecture, can be taken apart, made into temporary collages, then reassembled in their frame and displayed.
3 December, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh https://www.fruitmarket.co.uk/event/endless-love-creative-makers-market/
Tracey Johnston ceramics
Based in Newtownards, a-n member Tracey Johnston makes ceramics that respond to the landscape of the Ulster coast.
Salt (£600) is a vessel originally inspired by an abandoned, rusting boat on the shore of Ringhaddy, Strangford Lough. The work draws on the corrosive nature of salt, which has “healing properties and although it turns metal to rust green and eats into boat hulls, it is necessary for taste and for life”, explains Johnston.
Her work engages directly with the northern Irish landscape through her use of local clay and her own exploration by walking the coast and swimming its waters. She seeks to create ceramic vessels “that can connect people to the Irish coastline, not just as an image but as a living representation of history, memory and locality.”
Winter Ceramic Pop up
Triangle Ceramics Collective hosts this pop up shop featuring the work of 11 ceramicists based in SPACE Studios in Hackney, London.
Among the makers presenting their most recent collections of handmade ceramics is a-n member Diana Ambida, who creates planters, bowls and drinkware with vibrant glazes and intriguing textures.
With prices from £20-£200, expect to find a wide range of affordable homewares, including functional, decorative and one-of-a-kind pieces.
2-16 December 2023 a-n.co.uk/events/
Top image: Supergroup: John Booth and Ian McIntyre, Untitled, 2022. Exclusive to House of Voltaire