5 Craft fairs you should definitely be at

Craft Fair

1. Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) Annual Exhibition

The Annual Exhibition takes place every Spring at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy. Multi-disciplinary work by visual and applied artists are exhibited, promoted and importantly available for sale. Applications to the selected exhibition are open to members and non-members. It’s a great opportunity to showcase and offer for sale more experimental or collaborative work that fits in a gallery setting and intrigues the viewer.

2. The Contemporary Craft Festival

It has established itself as one of the most prestigious and highly acclaimed craft events in the UK. Taking place under canvas in Bovey Tracey, Devon, the fair showcases the very best in contemporary British craft. It’s an established market for craft buyers who are attracted to the fair to buy from 200 plus craftspeople but also to experience demonstrations and to have a go at making themselves. You need to apply (make sure you have great images!) for a stand or to take part in the One Year On programme. With a Contemporary Craft Festival shop on Bovey Tracey’s High Street there is also an all-year-round opportunity to sell.

3. Craft

Located alongside established trade shows Home and Top Drawer at Earls Court, London in January, Craft launched in 2014. The trio of events kick off the craft fair calendar and attract serious buyers. Taking a stand at Craft (and its sister shows) is relatively expensive due to it being in the capital and all the costs that entails. Before applying it’s worth doing your research. Speak to makers and designers who have been before or visit the show and get a feel for the stands, set up, buyers and price points.

4. British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF)

A strictly trade-only event for buyers of British craft and giftware. Taking place in Harrogate over three days in April, the fair attracts thousands of buyers from galleries, retailers, boutiques, museums, department stores and interior designer/architect studios. 500 plus makers and craftspeople exhibit at the fair each year with the opportunity to feature in the edition of BCTFonline, again exclusively accessible to trade buyers.

5. Art in Action

People’s fascination with and interest in making is what makes this a unique fair in the UK craft calendar. 25,000 visitors head to Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire to see 400 plus demonstrating craftspeople, designer-makers, musicians and performers. There are two opportunities for craftspeople to participate at the event – either in the demonstration area or as a stallholder in The Market. As with most craft fairs the opportunity is by application with some demonstrators being invited. Visitors attend to buy or commission direct from the maker and also to learn and celebrate all that is craft.

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