Brilliancy and splendour
NOTTINGHAM'S contemporary craft makers' market, Lustre, combines culture, aesthetics and retail in one place.
From the hundreds in the UK who apply to exhibit at Lustre, just 55 get to take part. A panel of experts goes through the selections carefully before making the final decision. It keeps quality high and the variety interesting for the visitors.
This choosiness is also why it's become one of the renowned events of its kind outside London, and must for anyone who wants to find the best original work in jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glass, wood, leather, furniture and metal.
Taking place at Lakeside, the University of Nottingham's public arts centre, it's now in its tenth year.
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Individually and collectively the participants have to live up to the definition of the word lustre – that is, brilliancy and splendour. The event promises: 'Beautiful things for you and your home.'
Lesley Beale, Lakeside's craft co-ordinator, says: "We have some really exciting first time Lustre exhibitors this year, whose work I can't wait to see.
I really get a buzz on the Friday when the first makers start to arrive and set up and then a sense of anticipation just before the doors open to the public.
"Working with the Young Meteors – graduates from Nottingham Trent University, Loughborough, Leicester and Derby – is very rewarding and great fun, the enthusiasm they have is infectious."
There are, as usual, a wide range of must-see 'makers' in 2009, including figurative sculptors Abbott and Ellwood, dynamic textile maker Craig Fellows and his chic silk scarves, and jewellery makers John and Jane Moore return with their innovative and highly wearable work.
Also present will be the well known Yungi range, which includes knitted throws, cushions and scarves, made from 100% pure lambs wool, giving the products an irresistibly cosy and soft feel.
Debut 'maker' Simon Mount, who works from his studio in Worksop. He runs Doistrinta, a furniture and product design company, creating furniture, lighting, fabrics and smaller accessories, using sustainable materials.
Simon says: "I visited Lustre about five years ago and have been visiting ever since. I am really looking forward to participating as an exhibitor this year!
"It's great to be part of an event in our own back yard. The quality of exhibitors is as good as any of the high profile London shows so it's a really exciting opportunity.
"For national and local makers, I think visitors to Lustre appear to have a real passion for craft, there always seems to be a buzz when I visit."
Shona Powell, director at Lakeside, believes the fair is growing in popularity each year.
She said: "Over 4,000 people attended last year, and in 2009 we promise another opportunity to discover a wealth of original design from talented makers across the United Kingdom. We firmly believe that you'll find something that you like, need, or would really love to give."