cambridge contemporary crafts


Christmas at cambridge contemporary crafts

Cambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

Here at cambridge contemporary crafts we've transformed the gallery ready for Christmas and the annual Independent Christmas window competition.        


This year we've decided to go colourful and get cosy under the Christmas tree for a real festive celebration. Inspired by the amazing crafts surrounding us everyday we've chosen to get crafty ourselves and created some paper decorations to adorn our window. 

We really enjoyed the creative experience of making our window display this year, from planning the idea right through to two of days putting up the display and choosing the perfect crafts from the shop to bring the window to life. 

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

Our mini origami tree's are being joined by Amanda Banham's Raku houses and Kathryn Mitchell's festive themed ceramics to create a wintry village scene. Glass snowflakes by Caroline Raffan's are falling down our window onto the heads of our village occupants, the ever popular Clare Nicholl's snowmen. All accompanied by succulents grown by our very own Gonda Sanders.

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

Peering under the Christmas lights drawn on our windows, you can see what treasures are bursting from the presents under the paper Christmas tree. Glittering bowls from Sophie Smith and Luna Lighting, Cambridge themed ceramics from Daniel Wright and tea towels by Angela Harding

Inside the shop Claire Kendon has created wreaths and candle centers for the shop and our Christmas tree is overflowing with decorations. Each year our artists go all out for Christmas hand making decorations from a wide range of materials including glass, metal, and felt. Its a great way of getting a piece of handmade craft into your home. 


Photos by Zuza Grubecka





Interview with Sarah Myatt

Glass, Interview, ExhibitionCambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

We've had a chat with the lovely Sarah Myatt about her work. Sarah is the featured artist for our current exhibition. If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, make sure to come in soon. Sarah's beautiful glass work will be in our window display until 9th August.


How did you get started with your art career?

I always loved Art at school and had a fabulous teacher who just brought out the best in every student, I was completely hooked and I really wasn't interested in any other subjects. I continued my studies doing an art foundation course at a local college, fully intending to go on to do a degree course in Wood, Metals and Plastics (this was a long time ago and I have no idea what they call that type of course now!). On my way to the open day for the course at the University of Wolverhampton I dropped into the glass department. That was that – I was hooked straight away. Something just felt right... I never chose glass – it definitely chose me. I graduated way back in 2000 with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in 3D Glass Design. It feels (and is) a very long time ago. We learned many different glass techniques, from stained glass and glass blowing to kiln forming, which I loved and that’s what I use now in my practice.

What inspires you? 

The countryside that surrounds us inspires me – I live on the edge of the Peak District and it’s simply stunning. A natural theme has ran through my work from the very beginning, but it's been lovely to really push my work further for this new collection at cambrige contemporary crafts.

How do you go about making a new piece?

Sometimes I sketch out ideas, but usually I make a sample piece out of glass straight away, fire it and then make adjustments from there. Because I attend three regular artisan markets every month throughout the year, I need to keep my work fresh so I need to make new pieces quite regularly. That helps to keep it interesting. I’m lucky to have a following of customers who collect my work and look out for new pieces. The new collection has taken a long time to develop, I tend to work quite small, so it's been good for me to work a little larger and create the bigger panels. 

What are the qualities you enjoy about the medium you work in? 

I love everything about glass: the huge number of colours and patterns, the feel of glass and the way light can completely change a piece. The possibilities are endless. It can be quite an unpredictable material but it keeps you on your toes! Sometimes the pieces that don’t come out of the kiln exactly as you planned can spark an idea for something else.
Which other artists do you admire? 

There are so many glass artists that I love who work in all aspects of glass making: Amanda SimmonsDavid ReekieBert Frijns to name just a few. But the most inspirational work, which I could look at for hours, is by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Their work is simply beautiful –mostly large scale pieces that are created from the most sublime colours that change in hue as the light passes through them. My favourite piece is Arcus 1 which is in the V&A glass collection – I get goosebumps every time I see it. I was lucky enough to visit their studio on a group trip with university. It was very special and something I’ll never forget.

Can you describe a typical working day? 

Usually checking emails and doing a bit of admin first thing in the morning with lots of cups of tea to get the brain going! Then off to my studio which is based in my garden at home. It's a brick out-building which was refurbished last year with new windows and work surfaces, it's become a lovely light space to work in. 

I always have many to-do lists on the go for the week ahead but most days I am cutting out glass, cleaning and assembling the pieces in the kiln. I try to fire my kiln three times a week if possible, but sometimes it can be up to five times once I start making for Christmas. I load up my kiln and fire towards late afternoon, at this point I will finish work in the studio as the fumes from the kiln are not pleasant to breathe in. Then, it's back to the house for more admin, checking orders and packing parcels...oh and more tea of course!

How do you see your work evolving in the future? 

I have lots of ideas, but I am really pleased with the new collection for this exhibition. I can see this side of my work evolving more and it's very exciting!

Colour Exhibition 11th June – 30th June

Cambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

At cambridge contemporary crafts, we are diving into summer with a serious splash of colour. For our June exhibition we have selected a number of artists working across different media for whom colour is a central part of their work.

Karen Atherley creates decorative tableware that is both practical and beautiful to look at. Her pieces are decorated with eye-catching vivid colours and curvy figurative nudes inspired by Greek antiquity. Karen uses bright ceramic slips painted onto white earthenware with transparent glaze to give a lustrous finish.

Rachel Foxwell’s handbuilt earthenware vessels have simple cylindrical forms, but display a particularly intricate use of colour. Whilst the vessel’s exterior has subtle graduations of pastel hues, the interior is marked by a singular bold colour. Colour creates both harmony and contrast within the same piece.

Karen Atherley

Two Vases


Silver Aqua Heart

Rachel Foxwell

Rainbow Vessels

Also on display are some bright and cheerful prints by Mr. PS, ready to be popped into a frame and liven up your living space. The colourful prints feature bold graphics and line drawings. Screen printed and finished by hand, they all have a touch of personal charm.

For glass artist Anna French, colour is not only essential, it is primary. Anna always decides on a colour scheme first and then on the shape. She rhythmically builds up her design in layers of one colour at a time.

Ima Pico creates beautiful luxurious silk scarves with bright colours and original designs inspired by her travels around the world. The designs for the scarves have been created from photographs of graffiti and publicity found in the streets of Indian and European cities.

Jeweller Karen McMillan makes bold colourful resin and acrylic earrings, necklaces, bangles and cufflinks. Karen enjoys using resin as a material as colour and pattern are very important aspects in her work. Her designs are inspired by linear shapes found in nature and she has a love of Japanese patterns.

Karen McMillan

Green Fern Studs

Anna French

Two Glass Dishes

Ima Pico

Skinny Graffiti Scarf


This free exhibition runs from 11th June – 30th June 2016. We are open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Come and have a look!