New York visit proves inspirational for designer Debbie Bryan

Debbie Bryan's shop on St Mary's Gate

If you have ever visited Debbie Bryan’s Studio and Shop in the Lace Market you will know that it is full of hand-crafted jewellery and beautiful items of homeware and ceramics, not to mention luxurious scarves made from lambswool, cotton and mohair.

Designer Debbie Bryan

Designer Debbie Bryan.

Debbie, who set up her studio practice in 2006 followed by her shop in 2009, draws many of her ideas from heritage craft techniques, particularly Nottingham’s lace-making tradition, and she was recently given the chance to showcase her work during a trip to New York.

Not only that but she also came back brimming with new ideas for her St Mary’s Gate shop.

Debbie travelled to New York with a group of designers who are all part of the Creative Twinning project, an initiative which helps like-minded creatives to network, share ideas and start collaborations. The group has previously visited Nottingham’s twin city of Karlsruhe in Germany to meet other designers.

While in New York Debbie took part in a seminar called the Global Craft Conversation at the prestigious Parsons New School for Design in Manhattan. The debate, which gave designers a chance to talk about their work, was organised by Debbie’s former MA tutor Yvonne Watson, who taught her at Nottingham Trent University before taking up a post at Parsons. It was also screened live at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema.

As well as taking part in the event, the designers were able to exhibit their work alongside her counterparks from the US at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn.

Some of the items for sale in Debbie's shop.

Some of the items for sale in Debbie’s shop.

But for Debbie, the most inspirational part of her visit to New York came from the time she spent exploring the Slope Hill area of Brooklyn.

She said: “I discovered this amazing creative community in Slope Hill. There were lots of independent shops and I wanted to find other makers for the shop and to be inspired.

“In every shop I went into there was a creative person behind the till. It was all quite exciting.

“It would be amazing to make this an annual trip. I have already contacted all the people I met and said that I would be interested in working with them.”

Debbie and the other designers and artists she works with will be at the Nottingham Craft Marathon which takes place at Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday. Visitors will be able to enjoy speed craft and a free Saturday night event. For further details visit Debbie’s website.

You will also be able to purchase her items from the new Creative Quarter pop-up shop which is currently in the former Dwell building on Fletcher Gate until 23rd December.

Posted on 15 November 2013
Featured author: Catherine Allen Marketing Assistant

Arts fan, runner and cyclist who has been living in Nottingham for more than a decade. Loves real ale, craft beer, good food, travelling and sausage dogs.

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