The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair returns to Victoria Baths, showcasing over 200 makers and designers

Featuring free demos and workshops, interactive sculptures and innovations like solar-powered heated mats for refugee communities.

By Manchester's Finest | 2 August 2023

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The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) is returning to Victoria Baths from 19th to 22nd October 2023, where over 200 makers and designers will be featured in one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious craft shows.

Now in its 16th year, this award-winning event will include printmakers, ceramicists, jewellery makers, textile and glass artists, metal workers, silversmiths, as well as furniture & lighting designers. The exhibitors, known for their outstanding craftsmanship and talent, will provide a unique opportunity for the public to view and buy original handmade pieces.

The Victoria Baths, a remarkable venue with sunken swimming pools, balconies, and changing booths, will once again host the GNCCF. Organiser, Ann-Marie Franey, expressed her excitement about the venue, stating that visitors enjoy exploring the space as much as the craft on display.

Co-organiser Victoria Scholes also spoke of the stunning interior and the inspiration it provides, as high-quality craftsmanship from all over the country will be exhibited under one roof.

The GNCCF aims to highlight the value of craft in a world often focused on fast fashion and disposable products. It offers a chance to purchase something made with care, skill, and quality materials.

This year’s fair includes several highlights:

  • Green Graduates with ideas to support the planet, including a solar-powered heated mat designed for displaced refugee communities.
  • Work selected for The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.
  • New work from the Birmingham Institute of Jewellery, Fashion & Textiles and MA graduates from Manchester School of Art.
  • Free maker demos and workshops, and bookable masterclasses led by skilled makers.
  • Various artists, including a mother-daughter ceramic art duo.
  • Interactive animal puppets and sculptures by Laura Mathews.
  • Table-ware by Sue Pryke, known from TV’s Great Pottery Throwdown.
  • An initiative to showcase Northern businesses in the craft industry.
  • A collaboration with the Manchester-based Oasis charity featuring mugs that tell individual stories of those facing challenges such as homelessness or mental health conditions.
  • An onsite café with a menu of local produce.

The event begins with a special preview evening on Thursday 19th October, and then opens to the public from Friday to Sunday. Tickets are available online, with a prize draw for early buyers.