We never did come up with the host of interesting articles we promised after visiting the triple-whammy of shows at the NEC…
- Art Materials Live
- Crafts for Christmas
Unfortunately, this was because there wasn’t much there that inspired us. If you’re into card making, or needlecraft, there would probably have beena lot more of interest, but these aren’t things we’ve really got into at all. There were a few presentations going on on techniques, but relatively little on materials and tools.
The whole thing was a bit overly crowded for our liking, too, and a bit of an expensive experience. Entry was fairly cheap (Â£8 each for all three shows, I think), but parking was another Â£7, and a small bottle of water was Â£1.40. It all added up to a fairly expensive day. Not something that would have worried us when we were both working, but now that I’m a layabout 😉
We did meet one splendidly interesting artist, making creatures from hubcaps, but more about him in another post.
On the whole, it wasn’t a bad show, but we enjoyed the Patchings Art Festival a lot more, which was just down the road from us. There were more materials and tools, and more interesting artists showing off what they could do.
The one point the NEC had over Patchings though – they didn’t ban photography – so at least if the stallholders were ok with it, we could get snaps to share with you – just a shame there wasn’t as much we wanted to share.
One stallholder we did want to do a little feature about wouldn’t allow any photographs of his work – he was worried that if photos of his art appeared on the web, it would be copied by “someone in China”, and he wouldn’t be able to make money any more. Seemed a bit short-sighted to us – if we can’t show people what he does, there’s no point in talking about it, so no free publicity. If he can’t put pictures of his work on the web, he can’t explain to anyone what he does, so the only way to sell is face-to-face.
Anyway, for another time, we won’t be returning. If you’re into card making, or needlework, it might be worth a visit, but there’s probably better options. If you’re just looking for a Christmas market, it’s not at all bad, but the costs would be a bit much.
If you went along, let us know what you thought in the comments – especially if you found it more useful than we did.