BCTF 2019 Award winners

The winners of the BCTF Awards 2019 were revealed at a ceremony held on the afternoon of Monday April 8 at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, where the very best designer-makers are presenting their latest collections to the trade. The winners are as follows:

Form & Function Award sponsored by The Platform Gallery: Joint Winners – Ellen Monaghan (jewellery picturd here), Helen Eastham Studio, Kevin Hutson, Sarah Saunders Ceramics, Rebecca Perry Ceramics and Cinda Clark Design.

BCTF Award for Excellence sponsored by the Pyramid Gallery: Winner – Melina Xenaki Ceramics (pictured); Highly Commended – Ugly Jewellery and DW Glass

Best Newcomer Award sponsored by the Heart Gallery: Winner – Faye Hall Design; Highly Commended – Betsy & Els.

Post Newcomer Award sponsored by ACID: Winner – Sandra Vick
The Giftware Association Award for Excellence: Winner – Rachel Thornton

The NAJ Award for Excellence: Francesca Marcenaro

Greeting Card Award sponsored by Greetings Today magazine: Winner – Citrus Bunn (pictured); Just Because – Betsy & Els; Highly Commended – Claire Baxter Fine Art; Commended – The Three Foxes and Jill Ray Landscapes

Wow Factor Award sponsored by DesignGap/ArtGap: exhibitors selected Kate Toms as the winner from a short list of three, which also included Melina Xenaki Ceramics and Jack McGonicle Ceramics.

Show organiser, Margeret Bunn said: “BCTF is a real celebration of all things British and handmade, and our award winners represent that brilliantly and I am delighted to congratulate them all for their well-deserved accolades. We are very fortunate that our awards are supported by important industry associations, prestigious galleries and trade press, so a big thank you to them all for getting behind the show and supporting the best of British here today.”

BCTF 2019 has proved to be a success, with visitor numbers up and many exhibitors reporting that trade has been exceptional as retailers lined up to place orders on their stands.

“It has shaped up to be a fabulous edition of BCTF,” Margeret confirmed. “Buyers are aware that demand for handmade British products has increased over the years and they are keen to offer something new and unique to their customers. We have some incredibly talented designer-makers from all parts of the UK who are creating the most beautiful crafts, so it’s well worth the visit for gallery owners, gift shops, tourism destinations and other discerning retailers”.

Alison Bartram and Helen Russel from The Heart Gallery said: “It was fabulous to see the usual high standard of work at BCTF; this is our favourite Trade Show and pretty much on our doorstep. There was a nice mix of newcomer and established maker and the calibre of stand display made the event a visual delight.

“There seemed to be a renewed buzz at this year’s show, and many exhibitors we spoke to said they had been approached by both new and established venues and had gained good orders. Hopefully this is an indication of a turning tide and good things to come for the retail sector as exhibitors were very positive and upbeat this year. It was interesting to note an obvious trend for homeware and surface pattern led products, and very textural, geographic jewellery collections.

“We felt that Faye Hall (pictured), whom we awarded the Newcomer award to, was aware of these trends but addressed them in a very unique and exciting manner; always lovely to see innovative and exciting work. We can’t wait to showcase Faye’s work at Heart Gallery for our textile exhibition, FIBRE, launching 26th May 2019.

“Our Highly Commended award went to Helen Gillepsie, Betsy & Els, for her clean and fresh laser cut creations which are also very current and on-trend. Her stand was beautifully designed and well thought out so we weren’t surprised to see her so busy. Helen will be part of our group Christmas Exhibition 2019”.

Andrea Westall of The Platform Gallery commented: “The Platform Gallery were delighted to be part of the BCTF event and to be able to offer a prize at the 2019 show. We were astounded by the high quality and range of work on display. The event was brilliantly organised and there was a lovely atmosphere on the day. The layout of the event really helped the flow of the visitors and ensured that we were able to interact with the makers easily and effectively, overall it was a really lovely positive atmosphere and we are looking forward to returning in 2020”

Rebookings for BCTF 2020 are currently running at a ten year high as the show organiser prepares to unveil an exciting new format for next year’s event. Watch this space for more details.