Thursday, 27 November 2014

Buy authentic handmade craft gifts this Christmas in the North West!

Ring by Chris Boland at Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Christmas is a wonderful thing, but it can feel a bit, well.....commercial.  Duck out of it all and you risk being branded an Ebernezer. Embrace it wholeheartedly and you feel a bit like a part of your soul is sucked into a black hole with every purchase.

But there are ways to negotiate the line between abstention and submitting totally to the siren call of the beautiful but treacherous consumer monster.

Buying handmade crafts is one way to do that. Crafts offer some of the most gorgeous and original gift ideas at any time, from jewellery to toys to gifts for the home. Plus by buying locally you support an artist, boost your local economy and pump energy into your community.

So circumnavigate the Christmas gift trap by buying local craft. What could be lovelier than buying something unique, handmade and buzzing with authenticity for your nearest and dearest? I think that's what you call a win-win situation.

The North West has many brilliant makers and plenty of places to buy their work. Here are just a few:

Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, 7 December 2014 at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
An off-shoot of the wonderful Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Available at the Atkinson, Southport
The Atkinson, Southport
Their shop sells a range of delightful crafts for all ages

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

The Craft Shop at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool

Blackwell House - Cumbria
Sells lovely crafts in their shop  - all in the setting of a brilliant Arts and Crafts House. Part of Lakeland Arts

Gawthorpe Textiles Collection - Padiham, near Burnley
Closed for winter at the moment, but they sell fabulous knitting patterns inspired by the collections online via their Ravlery shop at any time. Great for the crafters in your life!

Harris Museum and Art Gallery,  Preston
Features a selection of small-scale craft pieces in their shop, usually by Preston-based makers

The NW Craft Network aims to promote and strengthen high quality craft in the North West. For more about the Network, click here.