BCTF 2022

It was a delight to finally visit a trade show this week and meet so many talented artists all under one roof…gosh it’s been such a long time (look how excited I was to go OUT OUT!)

BCTF asked me to judge the Newcomers section again, which we have been doing for a number of years, so even though it is now managed by Kerrison Exhibitions it still felt as though I was returning to do something I loved in familiar surroundings.

I met up with the very lovely Hayley from Design Nation to start putting some plans together for our forthcoming collaboration for a September Showcase with emerging artists itching to get their work on display.

It was also great to catch up with current, past and future artists and have a good old natter!

Having done a lot of homework before arriving I still changed my mind with the winner of the Highly Commended Award after wandering around the 57 stands chatting to all the artists.

Amy at CAHM and I made a connection when chatting about her business and new brand and both shed a few tears with the stories we had to tell. This really resonated with me and her plans for her website are ambitious but from the heart with a desire to help others. We have all struggled mentally the last few years with things we never thought would affect us so if we can all find some CAHM in our fragile world then it can only be a good thing.

Look out for these gorgeous new, eco products arriving with us later this year as we were delighted to present Amy with her Highly Commended Award at the BCTF ceremony when the show closed to the public at 5pm.

I did manage to stick to my original decision for my overall Winner Best Newcomer 2022. Beverley Sommerville’s wheel thrown ceramics take inspiration from the land and I loved the storytelling in her pieces that we can pass on to our customers.

The ash she gathered from a volcano in Iceland, brick dust from a building she fell in love with on her travels or ashes from a fire gathered whilst they were still warm and burning a hole in a carrier bag as she transported them to her room!

Beverley’s nomadic experiences brought back to her Cheshire Studio and emotionally intertwined with the clay to create unique forms that capture a story stole my heart!

Quite a tiring trip all in all but a very fruitful one with lots of new goodies booked in for 2022 and beyond from fabulous British jewellers, ceramicists, woodworkers, textile artists and more.

We know you will love what we have chosen and we know how much you trust us to chose the very best of what the UK has to offer. It’s shows like this one that help to make our job just a little bit easier by curating carefully selected artists, designers and makers all under one roof.

Until next year BCTF! x