WIN tickets to Cornwall Design Fair at Trereife House


- Credit: Archant

Designers and makers will be joining forces at this year’s Cornwall Design Fair Penzance’s Trereife House for what organisers describe as a festival of design to celebrate the best of contemporary and traditional Cornish workmanship.


- Credit: Archant

Stalls featuring makers of everything from jewellery to cookware, furniture to glassware will be on show with makers also demonstrating their craft against the beautiful backdrop of the formal gardens, orchards and woodlands of the Queen Anne ancestral home of the Le Grice family in West Penwith.


- Credit: Archant

This year visitors can peruse the stalls and chat to designer-makers, attend creative workshops for adult and kids led by local artists, watch demonstrations, browse food stalls, music and site art installations, as well as access to the house and estate.

A whole week of events is planned, culminating with the Design Fair itself 16 – 18 August. Penlee Gallery and the Exchange Gallery in Penzance are also joining together to present a week of workshops and activities leading up to the fair in their ‘Art Week’ on 12-18 August. The world-famous Leach Pottery will be hosting a marquee at Trereife with workshops and demonstrations of their unique techniques, and offer an insight into the past, present and future of ceramics in Cornwall.

Also new this year are a series of site art installations by students at Penwith College in Penzance, who will be creating sculptures to signpost different attractions and bring an extra dimension of fun and wonder to the whole experience.

Hebe Vaizey, a freelance metalwork artist who’s creating a sculptural woodland backdrop’ says: “I am currently designing my showpiece for Trereife. I am thinking of making a wishing tree similar to the ones you find around this area, often next to holy wells. I thought it would be nice to make some things to hang from it too so that people can make wishes and become part of the artwork. I also hope to make lots of creatures and flowers from scrap metal.”

Entertainment includes storyteller John Brolly, singer-songwriter Johnny English, Gwelhellin Goth, a three-piece act from the Lizard who conjure up a mix of jazz, Gypsy, country, Russian and boogie-based rock and roll, The whole focus is on the best that the locality has to offer, including the food, with Trereife’s own café serving home-style hot and cold food, and numerous stalls offering fresh dishes and local produce, including cheeses, cakes, crepes, vegetarian specialities and burgers.

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There will also be interactive workshops include storytelling, pot throwing, treasure trails and paper play to keep younger visitors entertained and allow them to really get their hands dirty.

The Cornwall Design Fair attracts national and international interest and competition is fierce for those few places allowed for work from outside the county. Organiser Rob Lewis attributes this increased attention to the benefits for designer-makers chosen to take part. “Not only do designers get to exhibit the best of their work in a historic setting, the design fair also gives them access to a huge network of galleries, buyers and marketing to boost their businesses,” he says.

Falmouth-based ceramicist Tim Lake, who uses the fabric of Cornwall itself to bring character into his work, using local clays and silt from the river that runs into the sea at Godrevy to create rich colours redolent of the county’s mining history. He will be exhibiting a new range of ceramics, including rice bowls, lidded caddies, store jars and serving platters.

Bark Furniture is a collaboration between husband and wife Jonathan Walter and Lakshmi Bhaskaran, based in Bude. Their furniture is made with traditional cabinet-making and upholstery skills, while offering a playful, confident and above all natural take on aesthetics. Look out for their art-deco-influenced Kustom Armchair with its black walnut arms, low-backed Acorn seating, lampshades and cushions featuring their distinctive Bark motif, and their Jr. range of scaled down pieces of furniture for kids.

The fair is open 11am-5pm 16 and 17 August and 11am-4pm 18 August 2013. Tickets are priced at £6 and include free entry to Trereife House and Curated Design at Trereife. Accompanied children under 16 go free. There is free parking and disabled access. ?

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