For 43 years the British Craft Trade Fair has showcased the best of British Craft and Art from the inspiring setting of the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, a wonderful exhibition space with onsite parking.
Some 8,000 British designer-makers are registered with BCTF, which focuses solely on unique, handmade work from the British Isles, cross categories that include jewellery, ceramics, fashion accessories, original artworks, greetings cards and beautiful, original gifts.
Here we take a look at some of the lovely greetings designers who’ll be taking their latest creations to the show in April. Many of these artworks are lovingly rendered tributes to the flora and fauna of the British Isles and family pets, classic subjects for greeting cards and perfect for spring seasons. (Top, Hannah Longmuir)
Artist, Catherine Kleeli (above), started her greetings card company in 2013. Her inspiration comes from her love of animals, birds and nature, from which she makes her collages. The characterful creatures of the ‘Stick and Stitch’ range are designed using magazine cuttings and a ‘free-stitch’ sewn outline. All cards are proudly printed in the UK onto beautiful FSC board made in the Lake District. Designs are also available as double-mounted giclée prints.
Jane Crick uses her colourful and contemporary illustrations to produce beautiful high-quality gift wrap and greetings cards – printed to high environmental standards using paper from well managed sustainable sources. With a background in graphic design, Jane is able to work with clients to provide bespoke illustrations for specific locations or historic buildings – she has worked with both The National Trust and Ness Botanic Gardens.
Jacqueline May Designs offers distinctive, affordable and giftable pieces, with broad appeal. Using graphic pens for their tone and vibrancy, artist Jackie Freer creates images that take inspiration from nature found in places special to her. Making her own prints is integral to her creative process. Each one individually printed onto St Cuthberts Mill inkjet watercolour paper. Her work is stocked in a variety of outlets and galleries in Britain including prestige locations such as Pensthorpe Natural Park.
Lucy Alice Designs is a family run creative studio based on the Kent coast offering paper-goods, gifts and contemporary jewellery, all inspired by a love of the Great British outdoors and the animals that surround us. All products are lovingly handmade in Britain using sustainably sourced and reclaimed materials. British animal silhouettes, delicate geometrics and a fresh colour palette are combined to create strong timeless animal illustrations and eye catching jewellery.
Natalie Laura Ellen creates patterns that capture stories and moments that are dear to her heart. She is a devoted balcony gardener and a lover of baking, making and exploring, all of which have a way of popping up in her hand illustrated work. She offers printable patterns for homewares, gifts and stationery from her home in Manchester.
The DM Collection is a fast-growing publisher of exquisite premium art greeting cards. Daniel Mackie is the artist behind the collection. His animal watercolours are inspired by Japanese prints, the striking motifs of Art Deco and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The designs celebrate the harmonious accord between highly stylised forms and flowing lines of nature creating decorative art that lifts the spirit and warms the heart.
Savannah Storm cards have an illustrative style that is detailed yet has a hand-drawn feel, and is very decorative. Specialising in surface pattern design, Savannah loves designing and making things! I create products such as greeting cards, homewares, stationery and gifts. Some of her design inspirations includes objects, collections, nostalgia, places and nature. BCTF 2018 will be her first trade fair.
Joanne Wishart is an artist form the North East of England. Together with her husband Ross she has been running an art business selling original paintings, limited edition prints and greetings cards for over 10 years. She returns to BCTF with brand new collections of greetings cards for 2018, which will especially appeal to lovers of the British coast, seabirds and wildlife. Cards are blank inside, FSC certified and suitable for many different occasions. and there is free carriage on all orders.
Rebecca Christian creates pretty cards featuring peacock feathers, flowers, butterflies, horses, squirrels, owls and the birds and bees. Based in Crosby, Rebecca is an illustrator, artist and designer who is passionate about nature and loves to apply her artwork to gift, fashion & home ware items. She has a degree scientific illustration and 20 years experience in the design industry.
Bath-based illustrator, designer and children’s writer, Ruth Thorp, will bring her beautiful new Journey Collection to BCTF in April, with all new designs available as cards and art prints. Alongside her own illustrated ranges Ruth has published three picture books, created cover art, book illustrations and editorial artwork for a range of publications, also designing websites and branding for a number of small independent businesses.