If you know Manchester, I'd hope that you'd know of 'Manchester Craft & Design Centre' but I'm often really surprised that some people have never visited. 'The Craft Centre' as it is more widely known, is tucked away in the Northern Quarter, on Oak Street.
The building was originally a Victorian fish market, in 1982 it was transformed into a place for artists and designers to work and sell. Now, instead of fish inside, you will find over 25 shops and studios, all housing the very best of Manchester's craft and design pieces. From jewellery, to artwork, to handbags and ceramics, there is so much to see, so much to be tempted to part with your cash for, and so much to be inspired by!
Many of the shops double up as workshops, so if you're lucky you can get the chance to see some of the artists at work, and have a chat with them too!
KAPER - Studio No. 09
LILY GREENWOOD - Studio No. 25
SAUSAGE DOG - Studio No. 12
LAURA RICHARDSON - Studio No. 01
THIS IS PEWTER - Studio No. 20
WALL OF ART - Studio No. 18
Alongside the permanent studios, The Craft Centre also shows a changing exhibition of work in the main foyer area. From now until the 21st April, the work is that of Laura Jane Blake, who has created a range of textile sculptures, which make use of wind to inflate and animate them.
From time to time, they host workshops that you can join, with artists teaching you to make things from jewellery and fashion, to art and installations! Check the website for the full listings of wokshops.
If that's not enough to encourage you to take a visit, there is also a really lovely cafe with an ever changing menu including soups, sandwiches and salads, along with coffee, tea and homemade cakes! So next time you are in Manchester, pop in, sit down for a light refreshment and take a look around. If you pop into studio 22, you will find some of my work too!
The craft centre is about to celebrate its 30th birthday, which will include an exhibition celebrating the building's history, along with the cafe specialising in 1980s food, and selling cups of tea at 1982 prices! (Around 20p, we hear!)
For more information, head to http://www.craftanddesign.com or check out the facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/manchester.craft