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Origin 2011: The Contemporary Craft Fair.

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What an amazing show!

At the start of 2011, I decided (after years of deliberating!) to finally take the plunge and apply for Origin; the most highly regarded of Contemporary Craft Fairs.

Knowing how hard it is to be selected (Origin has a huge number of applications each year to say the least!) I thought I would give it a go and see what happens…

Well, a few weeks after I submitted my application, I got THE email. Titled ‘Selection result’, I took a deep breath and opened it to read ‘I am delighted to inform you that your application has been approved by the Selection Panel’. Jumping with joy I started to get plans and preparations underway straight away. I knew immediately it was going to be a successful and amazing show…

September came round quickly and before I knew it (after months of planning how to display my work, all the new pieces to make, promotion of the show etc.) set up day had come round. With the help of my wonderful friend Mirei, the plinths were assembled, the graphics put on the walls and the jewellery displayed for all to see (thank you so much for your help on the set up days Mirei! :-)).

And then the doors opened…

To say that I am so happy with the way the show went would be an understatement. The number of sales, commissions and contacts made at Origin was much higher than I had expected (and I was expecting a lot given this is the most highy regarded craft fair in the UK!) and I was amazed to meet a number of people wearing my jewellery who I had not met before! Clients who had bought my work from galleries I have worked with over the years suddenly appearing in front of me! Such a wonderful and exhilarating experience, especially after all of the hard work, dedication and long hours I have put into my designs and business.

Seeing my old jewellery tutor Jenny was (as always) also wonderful. She is always such a pleasure to talk to and catch up with. I value her opinions and feedback so much… Thank you Jenny 🙂

I was surrounded by amazing fellow craftsmen who were a joy to meet and exhibit with for the week long show. The lovely Sarah Pulvertaft, Lok Ming Fung, Claudia Phipps, Jessica Turrell, Alison Macleod, Susan Beale, Anna Wales, Victoria Coleman, Rachel Eardly… the list could go on forever! It was also fab to catch up with fellow makers I had previously exhibited with.

I absolutely have to say a few thank yous…

I would like to say a big, big thank you to the Crafts Council and the Tent London team (especially Nadine and Polly) for an amazing show and all of their hard work in bringing it all together so wonderfully. The atmosphere of the show was filled with positive energy and was such a thoroughly enjoyable event to be part of.

A massive thank you also to the Selection Panel (Brigid Howarth, Henrietta Thompson, Lee Broom, Michelle Alger and Yvonna Demczynska) for selecting me and my work to be part of such an amazing show. Thank you so very much! Thank you for this amazing opportunity that was SUCH a huge success.

Thank you to Emily Gosling of ‘Design Week’ magazine for her kind words and interest in my work. I was incredibly flattered to be the only jeweller she included in her blog article about the London Design Festival on the Design Week web-site (you can read this article here) and also to be described as a ‘highlight’. Thank you so much Emily.

Also, Anna Zeuner of Arts Thread/Little Goytre for her interest in my work and inclusion in her blog article once more about ‘highlights’ at Origin (you can read this here).

Thank you to all the galleries and exhibitions (current and new) for taking the time to come and see me at Origin… Jo and Adele of @ Work Gallery, Diana Porter of Diana Porter Gallery, Kath Libbert and Ruth of Kath Libbert Gallery, Lesley Beale of Lakeside Arts, Jess of Byard Art, Tracey of New Brewery Arts, Joanne of New Ashgate Gallery, Angela Mann from the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Tony and Christine of Dazzle exhibitions and of course the wonderful Craft Central team who are just amazing in all they do for us at Craft Central.

Thanks to my wonderful and supportive clients (again, both old and new) for coming to visit me at the show and for buying and commissioning me to make lovely bijoux for them… I am still working on the orders after wonderful days spent buying the jewels (always an enjoyable and fun part of the the making process). 🙂

Origin has left me filled with even more pure positivity and inspiration to go forth with my new plans/designs for 2012 that I know will be just wonderful. I have many new, never-seen-before ideas for the New Year that I know will not disappoint and I will be applying for Origin 2012 without a doubt… in fact, I am making some very special plans already…

Watch this space… this is only the beginning! 🙂

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