Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Exhibtion stand at GNCCF

GNCCF 2023

Manchester School of Art exhibit at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

28 November 2023

MA students take their final projects to acclaimed craft exhibiton

Recently a cohort of Manchester School of Art master’s students exhibited their work at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.

The annual event hosted at Victoria Baths is a showcase of jewellery, textile accessories, print, furniture, lighting, ceramics, glass, wood, metal and more. All exhibitors are hand-picked by an independent panel of craft experts and attracts hundreds of visitors who are all eager to find the best in new craft items.

Graduates from our design department supported by Deputy Head of Design David Grimshaw, attended the 2023 show to exhibit pieces created on their postgraduate courses.

We caught up with four students who attended their event to hear about their experiences:

Gail Jones

Gail Jones from MA Textiles: “GNCCF was an exciting opportunity to exhibit our synthesis unit work and be part of the contemporary craft community. We received such positive feedback and valuable advice for the future.It has been an amazing experience being a student at Manchester School of Art and in particular on the master's course. I always enjoyed the lecturers as they challenged me and I came away with more questions than answers, which is always a good thing. The technicians were exceptional with their knowledge and understanding of what I wanted to achieve.”

Nicola Bolton

Nicola Bolton from MA Craft: “Exhibiting at the GNCCF gave me the chance to find out what the public thought about my work – the positive reaction I received was overwhelming. The show allowed me to chat openly about my work. Chatting to people who I didn’t know about my work has given me the confidence and boost I needed and the self-belief that my work belongs at such a prestigious event. Studying at MSOA has been 2 of the best years of my life. One of the main highlights was the chance to meet and study with students from other countries such as Malaysia and different parts of India, I have made amazing friends for life. Another highlight is the workshop facilities – I have utilised many workshop facilities within the art school – this has helped with the progression of my work.”

Kirsty Marsh

Kirsty Marsh from MA Textiles: “I took a vintage sofa and two cushions to the GNCCF, which I had upholstered in fabric designed by myself. These pieces formed part of my final Synthesis unit which explored no rules design, challenging the traditional pattern repeat and going against the grain of all my prior knowledge and industry experience. Having the opportunity to exhibit my work alongside my peers at the GNCCF was a positive experience, and a great way to end my MA. Representing the Manchester School of Art, in such beautiful historic surroundings at The Victoria Baths was a highlight for me, as was networking with other creatives who have established their own practices, some of whom are also graduates of the Manchester School of Art”

Li Hsuan Chen

Li Hsuan Chen from MA Textiles “Although it seems like an art trading fair for some people, I think the most valuable parts of this event is to get chance to have some feedbacks from the visitors. By seeing the reactions of people who sees your works has been very helpful for re-think your works. As an artist, you often have some blind spots for your own works, since you ‘ve been working and thinking about it in the same ways for a reasonable among of time. That is also why I think it’s privilege to be part of this even, because you happened to have chance to meet other artists/makers, so that you can exchange ideas with your peers when artists visited each other’s stalls during the evens. Furthermore, it is a great exposure for building your artis appearance. For me, personally, I felt this whole experience is very special to me. Thinking of last year of myself, I was just a volunteer for the GNCCF crews, but being so lucky to re-enter into this even as an exhibitor. It means a lot to me."

Click here to find out more about Postgraduate study at Manchester School of Art 

Follow Gail Jones at

Follow Nicola Bolton at

Follow Kirsty Marsh at

Follow Li Hsuan Chen at