Pretty Nice Places

Pretty Nice Places: Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Welcome to our first post in a new section we call Pretty Nice Places.

We aim to bring you all those hidden crafty places throughout the north, and showcase the wonderful people behind them.

This post focusses on the beautiful Manchester Craft & Design Centre.
Located in the city’s Northern Quarter, the former Victorian fish market building is home to 18 design studios. The centre offers a unique experience for shoppers, with resident designer-makers working within their studios as well as selling their crafts.

We went for a look around in search for hidden gems by northern indie craft talent….

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Kaper – Paper Sculpture

Kate Kelly from Kaper makes the most wonderful animal paper sculptures. Every creature is one of a kind and mono printed by hand to create its own individual texture, pattern and colour palette. Kate is also available for commission if you have a particular woodland critter you would like bringing to life.

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Wonderhaus – Jewellery

Sharing a studio with Kate Kelly from Kaper is Julia Roy-Williams at Wonderhaus. Julia has been based at Manchester Craft & Design Centre for 6 years producing bold, colourful jewellery with a hit of art-deco modernity about it.

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Linzi Ramsden – Ceramics

Linzi Ramsden was busy in her studio when we visited making the distinctive porcelain wall art she is known for. Linzi uses various underglaze colours, oxides and printing techniques to produce her textured work. Her ceramics take inspiration from nature and fine art, with her most recent collection “Origami” influenced from the repetitive folding of her baby’s clothes.

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Clare Hillerby – Jewellery

Sharing a studio with Linzi, Clare Hillerby complements the ceramics with her distinctive jewellery. Her pieces are made from antique ephemera such as stamps, letters and maps. Clare likes to reappropriate discarded items to make us question their original owner, and in doing so, treasure once more.

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Lee Page Hanson – Ceramics

Lee Page produces both functional and decorative ceramics using earthenware and Porcelain. This white clay provides a light background for Lee’s vivid wildlife illustrations. The ceramics are then embossed with paper doilies, and finished with iridescent and reflective precious metals.

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&made – Various Crafts

Andrea Lord from &made is a woman of many talents. A costume designer in a previous life, Andrea turned her hand to many techniques whilst working in animation. When you step into her studio it is hard to think that all the products are made by the same woman. From peg-people to stuffed cacti pin-cushions, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy at her shop.

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Northern Scapes – Mixed Media Painting

Jessica Owen of Northern Scapes, paints, stitches and splatters to create vast impressionistic landscapes of the Peak District. Her current pieces of art are painted directly onto ceramic tile. Jessica then uses the flow of the paint to replicate the ever changing skies of the countryside. The artwork is then left unfired for a textured, earthy finish.

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Quite Contrary Designs – Textiles

Husband and wife team, Mary & Dave Shears, make lovely accessories and homeware from vintage fabric tidbits. The pair try to reflect their British and northern roots through the use of tweeds and patterned cotton in their products. We took a particular shine to their up cycled scarves and pillows.

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Sausage Dog – Textile Plush

When you step into studio 12 its like you’ve arrived onto another planet colonised by cute yet slightly disturbing plush people. Harriet Goddon of Sausage Dog is the wonderful brains behind these cool creatures. From tiny “Poo Pins” to colourful caterpillars, Harriet is bound to have made a squishy friend for everybody. We had a good chat with Ethel & Wilbert during our visit. You can read about their touching story below….

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The Magpie’s Daughter – Jewellery

Rachel Saunders aka The Magpie’s Daughter, makes gorgeous vintage inspired jewellery. A Mancunian, she incorporates the “Manchester Worker Bee” into many of her designs. Have a look at her wonderful Etsy shop below…

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Jane Blease Design – Lighting

Jane Blease combines carpentry and embroidery to create unique and effective lighting and accessories. Jane describes her work as “organic” – either in form, pattern or materials used. She was particularly inspired during her 2011 artists residency in Gujurat, India.

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Lily Greenwood – Mixed Media

Lily Greenwood’s art is more than just paint on a canvas. Through the use of a collage effect, each of Lily’s butterflies are individually hand painted and cut out into a composition. Washes of ink and hand painted detail are then added to the canvas, before being varnished with a clear gloss. This technique creates a eye-catching, layered quality.

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Make a Visit…

Mon – Sat 10:00am – 5:30pm
Sundays – 11:00am- 5:00pm


One thought on “Pretty Nice Places: Manchester Craft & Design Centre

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