One of my contemporaries from my student days at Winchester School of Art, and best friend, is Nick Ozanne, maker of  beautiful hand woven silk scarves, ties and woollen blankets, amongst other things.

Nick on his stand at GNCCF

In 2009 Nick set up his own label called Leto & Ariadne, and he now spends many weeks each year travelling up and down the country exhibiting at Craft Shows & Fairs.

This weekend it was the turn of GNCCF in Manchester.

My sister Victoria and I decided to go up for the day for a look around, a bit of market research and a chance to speak to fellow designer makers, and also to meet up with a school friend (who I haven’t seen for about 4 years!).

There was lots to see at the fair, ceramics, glass ware, leather goods, basketry, millinery  textiles, and lots and lots of jewellery!

The standard of the work was very high, we found ourselves tempted by home and fashion accessories, and indulged in some Christmas shopping!

We stopped and chatted to Sarah Cant, a milliner whose work I admire and would love to own….but until I can save up enough money I will just have to settle for putting her book Hats! Making Classic Hats and Headpieces in Fabric, Felt and Straw into action and have go at making my own!

It was great also to meet leather maker Wolfram Lohr, a very charismatic chap based in Brighton who makes fabulous but practical bags in brightly coloured veg tan leather.

One of the many jewellers that caught my eye was Maneggi, founded and run by Nikki, whose background in textiles means her approach to making is slightly unusual and her ribbon jewellery pieces are like soft origami pieces, pleated and inter-spaced with beads or pearls.


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