Tag Archives: Old Granada Studios

Ornament: Collecting Contemporary Craft. Visit to Touchstones Rochdale

Ornament: Collecting Contemporary Craft. Visit to Touchstones Rochdale

First stop was Touchstones Rochdale where I met with Art Gallery Officer and Curator Yvonne Hardman and she kindly showed me around the galleries and behind the scenes.

Touchstones Rochdale brings together an art gallery, museum, heritage gallery, local studies centre, education space, shop and café with a dynamic exhibition and events programme. The art gallery collects and regularly shows contemporary craft by some of the UK’s leading artists.

Yvonne and I discussed the story of how this group of objects came to be part of Touchstone Rochdale’s collection and we thought about how we might choose an artist for Ornament. The conversation revealed some interesting themes including the significance of the piece at the time it was made, when it was purchased and now.

The artist we both agreed on is Junko Mori. Her piece owned by Touchstones Rochdale is called Propagation Project: Super Jumbo Nigella, Wave.


Image courtesy of Junko Mori and Adrian Sassoon

Made in 2011 from Forged Mild Steel and then Wax Coated, this is Mori’s largest piece of work to date created at her studio in North Wales. Incorporating the repetition of an organic form, it also echoes the nature of a wave and was created as a response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Mori’s native Japan.

This piece of Junko Mori’s work was awarded to Touchstones Rochdale through Art Fund Collect 2012, a competition for curators at the Craft Council’s international fair for contemporary objects supported by the Art Fund.

The assembling of multiples of forged metal is the key to Junko Mori’s work. Her observations of nature, here the petals of the Nigella plant, are the driving force behind her sculptures which vary in scale from small objects in precious metals such as silver to large scale pieces in steel as in this case.


Propagation Project: Super Jumbo Nigella, Wave will feature in Ornament as part of GNCCF 2014 and then return to Touchstones Rochdale to be featured in an exhibition called A Common Ground from 13 December 2014 – 7 March 2015. This will feature more of Junko Mori’s work alongside ceramics by Ikuko Iwamoto and jewellery by Kayo Saito.

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Junko Mori and Touchstone Rochdale are part of:

Ornament: Collecting Contemporary Craft

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

9th-12th October

Old Granada Studios


Touchstones logo (2)

Link4Life Trading


Granada TV’s New Production : Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2014

Welcome to the GNCCF’s  blog on all things contemporary craft.

We’ll be blogging about our shows, our exhibitors and our travels as well as bringing you news on exhibitions and opportunities. From what we get up to behind the scenes to highlights from fairs and exhibitions, we hope we’ll inspire, inform and entertain along the way.

We’ll also be featuring guest bloggers too so if you’d like to review an exhibition, wax lyrical on your favourite piece of contemporary craft, impart business advice to fellow makers or share your latest addition to your ,for example, please get in touch with us at ann-marie@greatnorthernevents.co.uk. And of course we’d love to hear your comments too.


So first up, we’re very excited to announce that the GNCCF is moving to a new home when it takes over the iconic studios of Granada TV in Manchester from 9-12 October.granada-tv

The studios are really impressive and enormous…that little person is Angela in the middle of Studio 12.



The last time I was in Studio 12 was 20 yrs ago when I worked at Granada TV on the Saturday prime time game show The Shane Richie Experience…and it was quite an experience! Three couples competed to get married at the end of the show by playing stupid games; oh no it’s all coming back to me now…just had a quick flashback of the round Stags & Hens where the bride to be rode a giant hen whilst it catapulted eggs from its rear end which her fiancé had to catch dressed up as a stag. Ho hum… wonder how many of the winners ended up a divorce statistic? Then there was Simply Greek in Studio 2, a FIFTY TWO part series on Greek cooking, better know by the team as Simply Eek when we realized the limited repertoire of the Greek cuisine…here’s Loula,the presenter, poking her fingers into her 51st mousaka of the series…





I hang my head in shame for being responsible for some tacky shows in a previous life! Thank goodness I escaped and found solace in the beauty and calm of contemporary craft.


At least I can promise a quality show this time! We have over 160 designer makers all selected for their exceptional skills and designs in ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery and wood. Over 50% of these are showing their work at the GNCCF for the very first time so I can assure you there will be lots of new work to browse and buy. Over the next few weeks we’ll be blogging our favourite work, but I‘ll leave you to drool over this gorgeous image hot off the press this week from fab embroider Louise Gardiner who will be exhibiting her new collection of scarves and cushions….