For the past 38 years we have been championing contemporary craft in the vibrant city of Leeds to shine a spotlight on independent makers and their small businesses from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. Through an exciting seasonal exhibition programme we highlight the skills behind handmade and share their inspiring stories. Bringing these amazing collections of contemporary craft together under one roof has created a haven for many visitors to escape the stresses of daily life & create mindful experiences. Please help us keep the gallery and the hundreds of small businesses we support alive by donating what you can so we can continue to keep bringing the very best of contemporary craft to you and help us and these creative industries thrive.
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Happy birthday to New Designers this year who celebrate a remarkable 30 years! Bringing you face to face with some of the most talented graduates from the UK's leading art and design courses, this year’s show was brimming with excited designers eager to share their processes and techniques and most of all their passion for their chosen discipline.
Being able to talk about your work to get viewers sharing your passion can be a powerful tool and it was great to hear first-hand about the inspirations behind the work on show. Curator of this year's One Year On show Rheanna Lingham (a jeweller herself and she also runs the East London store, Luna & Curious) commented that it was the enthusiastic response to her own work at New Designers that encouraged her to establish her own jewellery business. Jewellers who caught our eye this year from this section were Emma MacFarline, Karen Elizabeth Donovan, Viki Pearce, Esme Parsons and Emma Habbeshon. We'll be looking at where their collections might fit in with our exciting exhibition programmes for the years ahead so watch this space.
Jewellery Graduates from Glasgow and Edinburgh School of Art were incredibly strong notably Tina Macleod and Amy Dunnachie with intriguing collections. Maisie Welch's colourful jewellery exploring light, texture and colour with elements of dyed 'snowcrete' cement and slices of textured wood offering a unique and tactile quality to the work was also very inspiring.
Another strong show came from De Montford University Leicester, with beautiful ceramic collections by Hannah Townsend, Rebecca Armstrong and Thomas Mann. It was also great to catch up with Hollie Waite who completed a work placement with us last year too. Hollie was showcasing her beautiful laser cut decorative collection having graduated from the University this year. We wish her all the best as she pursues a career as a designer maker.
We also met the lovely Hyu-Jin Jo (completing her MA in Ceramic Design from Staffordshire University) who we'll be introducing as part of our winter exhibition programme this September. You can find out more about her work on our website soon.
So here's to us nurturing and encouraging another fresh group of brilliant individuals for you to see showcased here at the Craft Centre. Well done New Designers for another enjoyable show.