Craft And Design Graduates Make GNCCF Grade

Fourteen of the UK’s top creative graduates are exhibiting their degree show collections at the north’s leading craft retail event, the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF), which is now in full flow until the 13th October in Manchester.

Selected for their outstanding work, by GNCCF’s curator, Grace Whowell, the emerging designer makers, working in textiles, ceramics, glass, metal, jewellery and mixed media, are showcasing their work in the Great Northern Graduates section of the show.

For many of the selected graduates, the GNCCF presents their first commercial opportunity since graduating this summer. The young designers are displaying an eclectic and accomplished set of work featuring found and reclaimed objects, precious metals and state-of-the-art materials which are made using traditional and experimental techniques. Visitors to the show will find the graduates’ work fresh, exciting and original with a strong emphasis on good making skills and a playfulness with materials.

Speaking about this year’s Great Northern Graduates line-up, Grace said: “It’s a real privilege to curate this part of the show, bringing together the best new talent from this year’s degree shows and New Designers.  It’s fantastic to see such a strong representation from northern universities: let’s hope that the show sees the start of many a promising career.”

Ann-Marie Franey, one of the organisers of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, commented: “The work of the Great Northern Graduates is always a highly anticipated part of the show. Their work is hugely inspiring and as this is their first foray in the commercial world, we are all really excited to see how well their work is received.”

For further information on the GNCCF, visit or follow on Facebook at and Twitter @GNCCF.



Showcasing their degree show collections at this year’s show will be:

Sarah Crosby, Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Preston – Sarah uses fragile materials, like porcelain, along with recognisable objects to capture the essence of every day life.

Rob Grundstrom (t/a KR Grundstrom), Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Manchester – Bringing disparate materials and techniques together, Rob uses mixed media in an amalgamation of the narrative.

Emily Hughes, Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Surrey – Emily combines found objects on the beach with precious metals to create one-off jewellery pieces.

Jessica Swallow, Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Burnage, Manchester – Jessica explores the development and design of honest and simple products with beautiful materials, qualities and clear function.

Hannah Quinn, Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Birkenhead – Taking industrial and often mundane repair materials, parts and fittings, Hannah develops new pieces that explore the interplay between the ready-made and hand-made object.

Lydia Williams, Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, based in Southampton – Lydia creates high quality handwoven fabrics and 3D maquettes through pleating, folding and manipulating paper.

Alex Flood, Sheffield Hallam University graduate, based in Suffolk – In a nod to Sheffield’s craft heritage, Alex uses brass and stainless steel in a playful metamorphosis of the traditional pocket knife.

Joshua Coupe, University of Wolverhampton graduate, based in Preston – Joshua’s ceramics works involve various techniques on a potter’s wheel that explain how much control goes into creating ceramics pieces.

Alice Clarke, Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate, based in Harrogate – Alice has produced a collection of jewellery named ‘Sunday Best’ inspired by her rural roots and driven by a narrative sensitive to her surroundings.

Frankie Lever, Sunderland University graduate, based in Sunderland – Frankie creates geometric glass works which explore the reality of relationships.

Frances Bayliss (t/a Tea-Green Design), Bath Spa University graduate, based in Somerset – Frances produces a range of contemporary leather and wool fabric handbags and purses which are digitally embroidered with simple motifs.

Elizabeth Jane Campbell, Edinburgh College of Art graduate, based in Edinburgh – Elizabeth creates bold modernist designs using traditional and experimental enameling techniques.

Melanie Kew, Bath Spa University graduate, based in Bristol – Melanie works on the surface of cylindrical, stackable vessels which are slip cast with semi porcelain and decorated with bright earthenware glazes.

Georgia Leung, Edinburgh College of Art graduate, based in Edinburgh – Combining silversmithing techniques with nostalgic memories, Georgia recreates inanimate objects within the kitchen.

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