Shop early for Christmas

Plenty of opportunities at this unique craft fair.

Yes, it does start earlier every year but at least you can get much of your Christmas shopping out of the way  when A Gorgeous Christmas Contemporary Craft Fair will be held at Enginuity near Ironbridge, on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November. With a range of new and returning artisans exhibiting this year, there will be items to suit all pockets, from magnificent designer made pieces, to affordable handmade goods and locally produced food.

Building on the Gorge’s rich heritage of creativity the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, in association with the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft, is holding this exhibition of locally produced foods and fine designer made craft items to showcase the wealth of creative skills in the region. In the festively decorated main hall, local designer-makers will exhibit hand-made pieces of fine furniture, ceramics, glassware, textiles, jewellery and metal work while talking to visitors about their craft. Among the returning exhibitors is Shropshire based sculptor and ceramicist Caroline Bennett with her unique range of figurative and free-flowing sculptures for the house and garden. Much of her inspiration is drawn from observations of the environment and the gentle shapes and re-occurring patterns that occur in nature.

A new exhibitor for 2013 is Stevie Walker who lives and works in the picturesque village of Cardington in the heart of the Shropshire hills countryside. These fantastic surroundings inspire her range of textile panels, pictures, jewellery and accessories, which are made using a variety of both traditional and contemporary textile techniques including hand and machine embroidery, weaving, dying, felting and printing.

During the day visitors can watch demonstrations by Sara Piper Heap, who makes contemporary jewellery, Sue Christian, designer and maker of fine hand-woven wraps, and Nicola Haigh, who creates silk batik scarves, fascinators, brooches and quilts.

The exhibition will also feature local food and drink producers selling tempting goodies including cakes, chutneys, meats and sweet treats.

Exhibitors will include the producers of Mahorall Farm Cider, which is made on a small farm situated in the beautiful rolling hills of South Shropshire. The King-Turner family have been making cider on the farm for nearly 40 years using 100% fresh apple juice and wild natural yeast to achieve a wonderful taste. A perfect accompaniment to the cider would be a delicious Coopers Gourmet Sausage Roll. Bigger and tastier than their mass-produced namesakes, these sausage rolls are made in Shrewsbury with the best possible ingredients, all with a local provenance.

Everybody attending Gorgeous will also be able to explore Enginuity free of charge. Here, with the help of giant interactives, they can pull a locomotive, generate electricity from water, challenge the robotic arm and have a go at making their own Christmas decorations.

Entrance to Gorgeous is £2.50 per person, under 5s free, which includes admission into Enginuity. Museum Annual Passport Ticket holders have free admission. Gorgeous will be open from 10am-5pm on Saturday, 16 November and Sunday, 17 November.   For details Tel: 01952 433424 or visit