I made my annual pilgrimage to Lustre contemporary craft fair at Lakeside Art Centre this weekend. As with previous years, I start to walk around, see a few things that I like and then suddenly, wham! I see something that knocks my socks off, that humbles me, that makes me feel too warm. This year I had to touch and feel the beautiful ceramics of Karen Atherley. I loved the colour, the strong figurative drawing and the intense combination of vivid colours and layering of transfers from Chinese ceramics with hand drawn motifs.
I also really liked the felted collages of Katie Mawson. Beautifully finished and presented, their simple symbolic forms and quiet pallette drew me across the room to them.
There was still the Angie Lewin effect very much in evidence, with images of seed heads being produced in all media. I loved the simple rendering of natural forms in silver by Laura Baxter and I love the imagery on her website.....that tiny kiss of red.
The other trend was for spoons. Vanessa Larmond combined wood and textiles to subvert the function of the spoon whilst creating something tactile and beautiful. Checking out her website, I was amused by the description of her conceptual craft as "whittled spoons in woven socks"! Magie Hollingworth's paper spoons also subverted their function. Made of paper they had a quiet vulnerability that commanded a reverence for their form.