Tuesday, 29 April 2014

BCTF, The British Craft Trade Fair 2014

The British Craft Trade Fair is an annual event that has been running for 35 years, giving designer, makers and artists a platform to showcase their work to galleries and shops wishing to stock all manner of interesting things including jewellery, homeware, illlustrations, ceramics and sculptures for the garden to name a few.

This was my fourth year sharing a stand with Samantha Robinson Ceramics.  We work well together and always have a well turned out stand. 'The show was the quietest I've seen it.  In general there seemed to be less people at the show and a definite decline of students.  Of course this is only my opinion.  It depends on who you talk to and what wares they are showcasing.

My stand was devoid of my usual array of books sculptures and this was a decision I'd made so that I could display more of my jewellery. This year I took a new range called Be-laced; a combination of lace tatting, pearls, jet and paper beads with oxidised sterling silver and and extension of an existing range called Organic Repose.

Barinder Gahir on her stand
My work is always well received and the welcome orders and the promise of future exhibitions keeps me going for another year in my practice as a designer and maker as I continually build relationships with galleries and shops.  I did noticed that there were a lot of Design Factory members this year including some that were making their appearance for the first time.

One such maker had a stand opposite me.   Her stand Barinder Designs was a colourful display of silk scarves which would delight any outfit. I noted that her stand was well thought out, but she had the same problem as most stand holder this year.  Due to the change in shell scheme, it was very difficult to adhere display items in the stand, this mean periodically items fell to the floor.

Katie Almond on her stand
Another first timer was Amelia Kirk who creates intricate sewing themed silver and copper jewellery.  I hope to write a blog post on Amelia, she has come through the ranks of the Prince's Youth Trust and eventually became an ambassador for them for a while.

Then there were regulars such as Katie Almond.  There is a
universal appeal to her work and each piece is essentially a canvas for decoration and collage which is combined with drawings and found ephemera.  And Rachel, from Facets of Avalon, this is her second year at the event.  Last year we did an exchange of work as we were mutually taken with each others creations.

This year my exchange was with Suraya from Mahliqa Knitted jewellery.  She will be featuring in a future blog post about my favourites from the show and there were quite a few.