Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Three events to strengthen North West Craft

Louise Gardiner, You Blow Me Away DETAIL for COLLECT 2013
Three fantastic events are coming up that will help to boost contemporary craft in the North West: A symposium, plus two events for emerging makers and curators

In October 2014, The North West Craft Network will invite key players in national and regional craft to come to together for a symposium to explore; 'Building the market for collectors in the North West' at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in partnership with Great Northern Events.

And that's not all. In February 2015, an event for emerging makers will be hosted by the newly re-furbished Whitworth Art Gallery and in May 2015 the Network will organise an event for curators in conjunction with COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery.

For more details about these events as they emerge, get in touch at craftnorthwest@gmail.com and we will send you the information when it is ready.

For more about the North West Craft Network, click here.

Image: Based in the North West, maker Louise Gardiner created the 'You Blow Me Away' series of Embroidered and appliqued tumbleweed for COLLECT 2012 at the Saatchi Gallery. Check out her website here, or follow her on Twitter @Loulougardiner
Louise is an opening speaker for the NW Craft Network's symposium 'Building the Market for Collectors of Contemporary Craft in the North West' at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, above.


Introducing the North West Craft Network

Touchstones Rochdale, a NW Craft Network member. Photo Vincent James
In 2012, a group of people met to discuss the state of play with contemporary craft in the North West.

Ranging from top galleries and museums to individual makers, arts agencies and advocates, the group set out to see what could be done to strengthen high quality contemporary craft in the region.

Out of this was born the North West Craft Network, a gathering of curators, galleries, museums, Arts organisations, collectors and makers based in the North West of England, UK.

Aside from their involvement in directing and managing museums, galleries and creative businesses, these people can be identified by their huge passion for craft, their desire to see it thrive in the North West, and a willingness to put their considerable energies to work to build a collective identity and health ecology for the sector as a whole in the North West region.

New Glass, Jan-May 2013 at Blackwell House, Cumbria
Once up and running, the group set out to understand the lay of the land with Craft in the sector, and have identified four key areas to explore. Check these out here. In April, we were successful in gaining funding to take some significant first steps.

For more about the North West Craft Network, who is involved and how you can stay connected with what we do, click here.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A boost for contemporary craft in the North West!

  • Developing the market for collectors
  • Maker development
  • Perception and advocacy of the craft sector
  • Curatorial development

Four things the North West Craft Network set out to tackle in a recent funding bid that aims to boost the contemporary craft sector in the North West.

We're delighted to tell you that we were successful! Now we have some work to do....

The award, which comes from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts scheme, will enable the Network to look at four key goals: market development, including developing the collectors market; maker development in the region - improving access to funding, studios, equipment and support; perception and advocacy of the craft sector within the region and curatorial development including critical writing.

The funding will enable us make significant inroads into addressing these issues. We will be organising three events that support maker and curator development as well as employing a part time coordinator to administer these events, help build the Network and support the next stages of the network's activities.

For more about the North West Craft Network, click here.