Crafted – Five Exhibitions of Contemporary Craft, Art & Design

This week we have chosen to focus on all things Crafted, an exhibition that has had five incarnations so far, an exciting showcase of contemporary crafts makers, artists and designers. The image above is one of Julie Dodd’s nature-inspired delicate paper sculptures from Crafted 2019.

Our first ever Crafted show was in 2010; it contained the work of 26 artists, and the majority of these were from the North West. We have always loved to be able to support local established and emerging artists and to shout about their work. Featured artists included Jackie Brough, Jen Kenworthy, Ruth Moilliet, Sue Jackson, Jose Pinddiyan, Alys Power, Jane Coyle, Kirsty Shaw, Liz Shelbourne and Stewart Kelly. Find out more

In 2012, Crafted went on display at Huyton Gallery, reaching new audiences and sharing our biennial celebration of contemporary crafts far and wide! The emphasis on this show was artist makers with an exceptional (and often quirky) eye for design. Victoria Scholes reimagined household items in her Domestic Gospels series – she used wood and glass to create this dustpan and brush – those ‘brush fibres’ are actually glass!

Image, Simon Bruntnell
Domestic Gospels X 2007 by Victoria Scholes (photo: Simon Bruntnell)

Peter Slight’s colourful 3D paper cut illustrations with clean lines and rounded shapes had lovely narratives and real charm; Catherine Carr’s work combined the crochet skills her grandmother taught her with recycled glass to create seemingly delicate glass vessels.Tom Sutton’s lasercut steel sculptural vessels and wall cells brought elements of sleek designer living, while Jan Egerton and Dino Soterio’s eco-friendly interchangeable garments introduced sustainable fashion to the exhibition. As well as working together as a collaborative on their Brazil to Bucharest project, Jan is the Academic Resource Manager of Liverpool Hope University’s Fine Art, Design and Film and Visual Culture department and Dino is one of the department’s Lecturers. Other artists included Sara Preisler and a group of Liverpool Hope University graduates: Emily Massam, Erin Reid, Noemie Lanos and Lauren Moore. Find out more

Crafted 2014 featured a couple of previously-featured Crafted artists and lots of new emerging makers. As well as the main exhibition at Huyton Gallery, there was also a small satellite display at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, in Huyton (shown above, featuring Alison Graham’s delicate porcelain vessels, Ruth Moilliet’s laser-cut anodised metal flowerheads and insects, and Sue Jackson’s luscious glass pieces. Sculpture featured heavily, in a range of unusual materials – Simon Wolf’s stained glass sculptures appeared like multi-coloured ribbons caught in motion and Susan Beck innovated with wood, felt and textiles to create humanoid statues and dolls. Other artists to feature in Crafted 2014 were Alys Power, Jane Adams, Lisa Walman, Sabine Kussmaul and collaborative artists Ruth Singer & Alys Power. Find out more

2016 saw our most ambitious Crafted yet, with exhibitions in both Kirkby and Huyton Galleries and featured a loan of 10 pieces from The Crafts Council. Our promotional materials featured North-West artist-maker Amy Ridyard’s silver and hardwood acorn pendants. As well as showcasing her wire pictures and installations, Lucy Elisabeth ran wire workshops for schools and the public.

Other artists from Crafted 2016 include: Joseph Ayavaro, Kirsti Brown Ceramics, Peter Castle, Acanthus Art, Raymond Church Ceramics, Chris Edwards, Cherie Grist, Rosy Hammersley/The Folded Page, Wayne Hart, Mandy Hills Print, Sue Jackson Glass, Kim Lawler Finest Imaginary, Tina Leahey, Janine Partington, Nat Rigby/Thrashion, Sarah Silve, James and Tilla Waters Ceramics, Clare Willard, Simon Wolf Glass, Jason Casey/Mint Republic and Helen Dolan. Find out more

Crafted 2019 saw a dominance of contemporary craft and design practices from creatives from Knowsley and Merseyside. Some artists were invited to return, such as Steve Talbot, Kirsti Brown and Mandy Hills (her ceramics feature on the flyer above), and the exhibition also offered a new, professional platform to celebrate emerging talents such as Kate Hill’s innovative gender-free children’s clothing brand, ‘Lola Starr’, as well as two of Kirkby Gallery’s fabulous volunteers, Helen Jones and Gray, both talented artist makers.

Other featured artists included: Kate Hill, Kathrine Anderson, Anne Knight, Kelly Loughlin and Sarah Ryan. Find out more