Saturday, 31 May 2008

Mass production out, folk art and mechanics in

Nadia Sparham

Folk art, nature….and mechanics. Nadia Sparham’s inspiration comes from an unlikely mix of sources, but her handcrafted cushions and ceramics have earned her an international following.

Now, this young designer-maker has been selected to show her work in the main exhibition of this year’s Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Sparham uses drawing, collage and CAD to create beautiful, quirky pieces that manage to be both playful and sophisticated.

Her decision to develop her career as a designer maker is based not only on a belief in the value of craftsmanship but, she says, is also an ethical stance against the inevitable economic inequities and environmental impact of mass production.

“It is of utmost importance to me that my products are contributing to the preservation of handcrafts and not to the escalation of unethical and bland mass production,” she says. “My products offer something luxurious and unusual for the home. Original designs are either digitally or hand screen-printed, appliquéd and embroidered onto silks, wools and cottons.

Sparham studied Surface Design at the University of the Arts in London and, since graduating in 2006, has created commissioned pieces for London Fashion Week and a number of boutiques. Her work has also featured in style bibles such as Elle Decoration, Design Week and Vogue Living.

The exhibition runs from Saturday, June 14 to Sunday, July 13 at the Festival Gallery, Albert Street, Hebden Bridge, and is open from 10.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 5pm on Sundays.

The Arts Festival is in its 15th year and features a packed programme of theatre, music, comedy, art and entertainment. More information can be found at


Postal booking for the 40-plus performances and workshops is now open. The box office on Albert Street opens on June 14.

The 2008 Festival runs from Friday, June 27 to Sunday, July 13.

If you’d like to be kept in touch with what’s planned, e-mail or visit

Hebden Bridge Festival


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