english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Happy craft shopping in Manchester

Manchester is a bit of a haven for craft shopping. The absolute best shop (in my humble opinion) is Fred Aldous, a three story craft shop. It’s a local business and has been in business (in one form or another) since 1886. We made two trips there in two days. They also sell online, so i’ll be able to get my Fred Aldous fix between trips to Manchester. I restricted myself to stocking up on linocut printing supplies, but they have supplies for a wide range of crafts as well as lovely gift items.

Also particularly interesting is Manchester Craft & Design Centre which houses various small studios populated by local artists. There’s a nice mixture of crafts on show, including jewellery, textiles and painting. Pictures below:

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Both shops (as well as numerous others) are located in the Northern Quarter, which also houses a multitude of independent boutiques, vintage shops and cafes.


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Chen Man exhibition at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

Me and Phil spent the weekend in Manchester, visiting galleries, shopping & generally wandering around. One of the reasons we made the trip was to see the Chen Man exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre. Chen Man is a leading fashion photographer within China, but this is her first solo exhibition in the UK. I wasn’t previously familiar with her work, but knew it as for me when I saw the exhibition advertised! Chen Man’s work has a very kitsch, stylised look – with her images heavily edited in post-production. I found some of her work, in particular the second image below, reminiscent of Liu Ye. The exhibition is only small (as is the gallery as a whole) but includes a mixture of early and more recent works, including the following:

From the Double Mickey series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

From the Young Pioneers series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

From the Vision magazine cover series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester