Have Yourself a Crafty Little Christmas

In the age of austerity, it's still much easier if the experts do the work

Christmas is the perfect time to indulge your inner craftsperson (or artist/designer/maker, as the canny PR experts would have it). Just ask national treasure Kirsty Allsop. She loves Christmas. She wishes it was Christmas every day of the year. For her publisher, it is.

Most of us, however, don’t have the time, the compunction or the patience to spend weeks or even months knitting a Christmas jumper or crocheting a festive pillowcase. Most of us, if we were honest, would much rather spend the same amount that it would cost on materials to buy a pillowcase and have done with it. The Age of Austerity? Bah, humbug!

Which makes festive exhibitions like that currently running at the Space Craft art gallery and shop in Belfast’s Fountain Centre all the more appealing. There are handmade baubles for the tree, scarves, brooches, prints from collage, textiles, ceramics and other crafty creations all in want of a good sheet of wrapping paper.

You could give it a go yourself, of course, but it’s unlikely that your miniature silver story book would be anywhere near as good. After all, they’re the experts. Space Craft was founded by members of the Craft & Design Collective three years ago, and has cemented its place in the crafty consciousness as a primary purveyor of bespoke homeware and fashion accessories ever since.

Work in their annual Christmas exhibition is from the likes of Red Earth Designs, otherwise known as Belfast-based twins Claire and Karen Gibson; Mr Papers, aka Sue Cathcart; and Jim Parish, whose mechanical metalwork installations would not look out of place in Martin Scorsese’s fantastical feature, Hugo. George Méliès would be proud.

There are, of course, plenty of other stores and galleries located across Northern Ireland selling works by Northern Irish artist/designer/makers, either festive or otherwise: the Craft Village in Derry~Londonderry, the Butter Market in Enniskillen and many more.

And what better time of year to buy an original work for you or yours? Watch the video below, with commentary from Space Craft volunteer Rachel McKnight for a sneak peak of that which has and has not been mentioned above. Merry browsing, dear consumers!