Crafts magazine recommends the best fairs around the country for original gift ideas
Cockpit Arts London
For its celebrated winter Open Studios, Cockpit Arts opens up both its Holborn (29 November – 1 December) and Deptford (6 – 8 December) buildings, giving the public the chance to meet some of the best craftspeople in the capital and support Cockpit’s work in fostering creative talent. Its residents include leather artist Fflur Owen, who featured in our Talent Spot (Crafts no. 279, July/August 2019), jewellery maker Ella Fearon-Low, and textile artist Richard McVetis, who was nominated for the 2018 Loewe Prize.
Make 2019: Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Handmade pieces by up to 50 designers and makers will feature at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s annual contemporary Christmas craft fair in Bovey Tracey (16 November – 5 January 2020). Housed in a Grade II-listed 19th-century mill, the members’ organisation supports makers in the south-west.
The Christmas Fair at Waddesdon (16 November – 22 December, Wednesday to Sunday) is housed in a series of 80 wooden chalets, against the backdrop of the 17th-century manor house. Exhibitors hail from across the country, and include Vikki Lafford Garside, who will show off her textile ornaments, and Hazel Williams, with her festive laser-cut designs in paper and wood.
British Crafts: Blackthorpe Barn, Suffolk
For six consecutive weekends from 9 November, the medieval Blackthorpe Barn will bring together a shifting selection of British makers working in a variety of media amid the woodland surroundings of Rougham Estate near Bury St Edmunds. Meet craftspeople working with wood, textiles, ceramics, metal, leather, jewellery, basketry, and take part in workshops.
National Glass Centre, Sunderland
The National Glass Centre celebrates Sunderland’s rich heritage of glassmaking, and its craft fair (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November) will put that on show, bringing together handmade work by local and regional artists working in the medium.
Billed as a ‘down to earth, Village Hall, one day, table-top selling event’, MADE Brighton (Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November) takes place in St Bartholomew’s, a late Victorian Byzantine-inspired church, said to have been built to the same dimensions as Noah’s Ark. Some new ranges will be launched, including colourful kiln-formed glass pendant lamps by Aline Johnson and jewellery by Gabriella Casemore.
Northern Star: Platform Gallery, Clitheroe
Platform Gallery shows off contemporary craft from Lancashire and beyond, and its annual winter market (5 October – 24 December) gives you an opportunity to buy some of that work. It will also present awards to exhibitors, which visitors can vote for during the event.
Some of the UK’s most significant designer-jewellers and silversmiths will show work in the Elements fair, held at Lyon & Turnbull auction rooms in the heart of Edinburgh (8-10 November). Around half of the 50 exhibitors will be from Scotland, with work ranging from £45 to £15,000, including one-off pieces.