I don’t know about you but I have very fond memories of the Corn Exchange. As a teenager, the heady mix of incense, vinyl and creaking floorboards was almost too much to bear. In fact, I almost did myself a mischief when I spent an afternoon trawling the stalls with a lad I fancied like mad – I remember that Saturday afternoon even now, some 20 years later. Oh my.
And so it is with baited breath and open arms that I welcome the Crafty Exchange. Billed as “The Corn Exchange is back!” (a lovely sentiment but, given the glass monstrosity that was/is The Triangle, a lofty claim), artisan goods, crafts, trinkets and nik-naks will be in abundance this weekend.
In anticipation of the return to halcyon days, Northern Soul caught up with the founder of Crafty Exchange, Ann Fomukong. This is what she told us.
NS: Why has the fair been set up?
AF: I’ve been trading at arts and craft fairs over the past year, where I showcase my skincare and beauty products, as well as jewellery and homewares. I realised there was a need for a good interior artisan fair in Manchester and so took the opportunity to start my own. With its special history and place in people’s hearts, I thought Corn Exchange would be the perfect place to hold Crafty Exchange.
NS: What will be sold there?
AF: This artisan fair will be packed to rafters with bespoke jewellery, quirky home pieces and skincare and beauty products. To chose but a few, Dandelion Aromatherapy is showcasing its natural skincare products, using only the finest essential oils, and Muffin Ceramics will be showcasing its creative handmade pottery pieces. If you want to learn more and expand your skills, then the workshops and demonstrations will be perfect for you. Why not take part in a jewellery workshop and learn how to make your own jigsaw puzzle necklaces, key rings and bracelets?
AF: The great thing about Crafty Exchange is that it is aimed at everyone. We’ve got lots going on to keep the whole family entertained, it makes a great day out. It’s really encouraging to see more young people getting into arts and craft – there’s seems to be a real buzz starting – which is fantastic.Preview by Helen Nugent
What: Crafty Exchange
Where: The Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester
When: May 18 – 19, 2013
More info: www.craftyexchange.co.uk