Celebrating Craft

2021 is the Crafts Council’s 50th anniversary year. Museums, galleries and festivals across the North West, including the Bluecoat Display Centre, will celebrate the Year of Craft with events and displays throughout this year.

‘Celebrating Craft’ is a series of curated displays highlighting the diverse, emerging and established makers working in studios across the North West. The Bluecoat Display Centre will present new displays including ceramics by Halima Cassell, Jacob Chan, Stephen Dixon, Attila Olah, Emma Rodgers and Paul Scott, glass by Verity Pulford, mixed media by Michael Brennand-Wood, metalwork by Ruth Ball and Francisca Onumah, and wood by Hugh Miller.

Many of these makers’ work is on display now at the Walker Art Gallery in the exhibition ‘Past Present Future: Celebrating Craft’ until March 2022, and the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum throughout 2021/22.

A selection of work by the featured makers is available through our Online Shop.

Images: ‘Wild Rose Cutting’ by Paul Scott (Above) and ‘Gravity Dropped Bowl’ by Verity Pulford (Below).

‘Celebrating Craft’ Displays, February 2021 – March 2022


The Bluecoat Display Centre reopens in April 2021 with a curated display featuring talented craft makers who work from studios across the region. This supports a new series of displays planned throughout the year with our partners the Walker Art Gallery and the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, which have developed from an Art Fund Professional Network Grant that has supported a collaborative research survey of makers working across the region.

The Bdc will present new displays including ceramics by Attila Olah (In the Window, September 2021), Halima Cassell and Emma Rodgers (1 October – 13 November 2021), glass by Verity Pulford (In the Window, November 2021), mixed media by Elizabeth Willow (In the Window, December 2021), ceramics by Jacob Chan (In the Window, January 2022), Stephen Dixon and Paul Scott (4 March – 30 April 2022) and metalwork by Francisca Onumah (In the Window, March 2022). Group displays will be curated throughout the year, including a display featuring emerging and early career makers across disciplines (12 January – 26 February 2022).

Images: ‘Nuages’ by Halima Cassell (Left, photography by Jonathan Keenan) & ‘Sky God’ by Emma Rodgers (Right, photography by Gina Kirby).

Samantha Rhodes in Conversation with Emma Rodgers


In March 2021, Bdc Gallery Director Samantha Rhodes was joined by sculptor Emma Rodgers over Zoom to discuss her work during lockdown, including pieces currently on display at the Bdc for the Year of Craft and a public sculpture commission for Bexley Square in Salford.

Watch the interview

Images: Emma’s public sculpture commission for Salford under construction in 2020. Horse’s head sculpted in clay (Left) & Emma Rodgers with the horse framework at Castle Fine Arts Foundry (Right).
Images © Emma Rodgers.

LightNight: ‘Play’, 21 May 2021


For LightNight 2021, Samantha Rhodes continued her series of recorded conversations with three of our featured local makers from their studios.

Watch the interviews

A curated selection of works by Attila, Jacob and Emma are currently on display at the Bdc.

Images: Ceramic bowl, ‘The Seventh’, by Attila Olah (Left) & ‘Foo Dog’ by Jacob Chan (Right).