Future Makers: a few of my favourite things…

BY Manchester Craft and Design Centre


by Christine Hitchins, Marketing & Digital Manager

I love working at Manchester Craft & Design Centre. My bank balance, not so much. I often joke that I need a second job to fund my craft habit, so when  Future Makers rolls around each year my purse groans, along with my belly, which goes hungry when my lunch money goes towards a new pair of earrings.

And this is year is no exception. Working at MCDC means I’m always tempted but our Future Makers are only here for six weeks so I have to make the most of them while I can.

Future Makers is part of the work we do here at MCDC to support new craft and design talent. Our Resident Makers visit university degree shows up and down the country and choose new graduates to share their expertise and studios with. Read on to find out more about them and my favourite pieces from their collections.

Francesca Lobb (hosted by Studio 1)

1_francesca-lobb_image-3There’s something intriguing about Francesca Lobb‘s small intricate designs. Her fascination with pre-owned items and the way we interact with everyday objects has inspired her collection – Enticement of Everyday Objects

Many of her pieces are designed so that you can choose how to wear them, explore and engage with them, and develop a personal connection to them.

I love her Watchmaker’s Necklace (pictured). Conceal it (along with your secrets) beneath your jacket, or pique curiosity by showing it off.

Michaela Murrain (hosted by Colette Hazelwood, Studio 4)

michaela-murrin-chunk-xl-2-blogTextiles and jewellery is a winning combination for me and these brightly coloured cotton necklaces by Michaela Murrain are stunning.

Inspired by the bold characteristics of neck adornment within African culture, each piece in Michaela’s Chunk & Loop collection is hand dyed and sculpted to create these tactile and vibrant wearables.

I’ll take one in every colour please!

Sam Smith (hosted by Tracey Birchwood, Studio 6)

img_7406-blogLife can be stressful. We all need a reminder to stop and smell the roses every once in a while.

Sam Smith‘s Senses collection draws on the principles of mindfulness and introduces grounding techniques to encourage awareness, not just of the beauty of the pieces, but the beauty in the world around us.

My favourite is the Smell bangle which cleverly decants the scent of lavender to calm and relax the wearer.

Felicity Lynden (hosted by Clare Hillerby, Studio 20a)

20a_felicity-lynden-image-3Felicity Lynden‘s work really captured my imagination. She draws inspiration from places that have fallen into a state of disrepair and places like that fascinate me too.

Felicity translates the textures and forms that are created through the natural process of weathering and encases fragments of transient objects to capture a moment in time.

I fell in love with her delicate resin earrings (pictured) and am already proud owner of a beautiful pair.

Molly Coldicott (hosted by &made, Studio 21)

I love storage. You could say that I own so many storage bags and boxes that there’s no room in my house to put anything else!

Molly Coldicott‘s knot bags are heavily inspired by Japanese textiles and  prove that storage can be stylish as well as useful.

She also makes beautiful scarves – if I buy them all at least I’ll have somewhere to keep them!


Wanshu Li (hosted by Eve Redmond, Studio 22)

wanshu-li-floating-ii-pendant2016-acrylic-seed-beadssequins-nylon-wire-fluorescent-plastic-tube-uv-reactive-paint-8-5-x8-5x4-5cm-photo-by-shannon-toftsIf you prefer your jewellery understated then Wanshu Li‘s Go with the Glow collection is not for you. But I love it when my necklaces spark conversation and these most definitely do.

Inspired by the moving moments in the natural world, her collection is wonderfully tactile and sensuous to wear. I’ll be expecting lots of people to ask me where I got mine from.