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Leather craft making showcases at Guildhall Craft Fair

15 November 2018

Quality locally crafted leather produce will feature strongly at this year’s Guildhall Craft Fair when shoppers will be spoiled for choice with a wide range of quality leather products available for purchase with the inclusion of local Celtic Leather Art and Co Down based The Journeyman Saddler in this year’s exhibition.

The Guildhall Craft Fair is organised every year by Derry City and Strabane District Council and marks the start of their extensive festive programme of events. Celtic Leather Art and the Journeyman Saddler are just two of over 40 exhibitors taking part in this year’s event that is scheduled to take place in the historic Guildhall from next Friday 23 until Sunday 25 November.

Inspired by her local environment and her love of Celtic art, local Derry designer Siobhan Corr from Celtic Leather Art says the Guildhall Craft Fair is the perfect platform to showcase her unique range of hand-sewn, hand-dyed and hand-tooled embossed leather products.

Following on from her inclusion in the event last year, Siobhan is looking forward to returning this year with her bespoke designs. The event is an opportunity for her to showcase her new products to existing customers and to avail of the opportunity to tap into a new market.

Siobhan is really looking forward to trading at this year’s event and showcasing her work in the historic Guildhall venue.

She said: “I am really looking forward to be part of the Guildhall Craft Fair and showcasing my collection of leather products such as bags, purses, pendants, belts, keyrings, earrings, bracelets and pouches, that are all made with natural vegetable tanned leather.

“I am currently working on a new range of lovely bags and purses and jewellery with gemstones set into the leather. They are really appealing and are selling really well in the craft shops and I am confident they will prove popular at the Guildhall Craft Fair as they are idea gifts for Christmas.”

James Adair from The Journeyman Saddler is really pleased to be part of the event and showcase his products to audiences in the North West. He has been working for over 20 years making and repairing all types of equestrian and leather goods and also creating a range of fashion items such as keyrings, purses, wallets, handbags, dog collars and leads, shoes and drinking vessels.

He explained: “All of my materials are sourced as locally as possible. For example, much of the leather we use is English leather and most of the lorinery is English. I use Irish linen threads and Irish material and make a lot of my own patterns, cut all the leather by hand and either hand stitch or machine stitch, hand-dye and hand-finish. I do not have a production line and every piece is bespoke.

“Being part of the Guildhall Craft Fair is a great opportunity for me to get my products on show and to expand my existing customer base. I have always heard fantastic reports about the event and I’m delighted to be part of it,” he added.

Now in its 24th year, the Guildhall Craft Fair continues to be one of the most loved retail events in the run up to Christmas. This year’s event runs from 23 - 25 November with the opening times as follows -  Friday (12 noon to 7pm), Saturday (10am – 6pm) and Sunday (11am – 6pm).   Admission fee is £1 per adult and free for children under the age of 14. The event will feature 45 craft stands on the upper floor of the Guildhall, and an artisan food hall in the ground floor with seven stands selling bespoke products and tasty treats.

For more information about the Craft Fair visit – www.derrystrabane.com/craftfair

The Craft Fair marks the start of the city’s Festive celebrations and full details are available at www.derrystrabane.com/christmas