The Contemporary Craft Festival
The Contemporary Craft Festival was founded in 2003 and is a non-profit making company and we celebrated our 10th Year in 2013. The Contemporary Craft Festival has grown from 4,000 to 8,000 visitors since it started and has become one of the most prestigious and highly acclaimed craft events in the UK. In November 2013 we hit a new milestone by opening our first permanent shop on Bovey Tracey High Street. We are a short walk up the hill from the Devon Guild and we are open Thursday-Saturday every week.
The Contemporary Craft Festival came about when three Bovey Tracey craft businesses joined forces and formed a non-profit making company with the aim to bring a large craft Fair to Bovey Tracey. The aim of the Fair was to showcase the very best in British craft and the create a new, sustainable and strong market place for contemporary craft but also to bring greater prosperity to the town of Bovey Tracey. The town has a long history of making and at one point up to 15 commercial potteries were running in the area.
This year festival will also feature The Festival Pottery Showdown, inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down, with special guest potters winner Matthew Wilcock and his fellow finalists Tom, Sally-Jo and Jim.
Interestingly, the House of Marbles, one of the founding companies is located at the former site of the Bovey Pottery which closed its doors in the mid 80’s.
The other founding partner was The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, a registered educational charity based in Bovey Tracey. They celebrated their 25 anniversary at their Riverside Mill Headquarters in Bovey Tracey in 2010. Though the original group of businesses that formed the board of The Contemporary Craft Festival have changed, The Devon Guild remains an integral part and is a vocal and vital advocate of the Festival. She show is led by Sarah James, she has been there from the beginning. She was originally employed as a freelance project manager to start the Fair in 2003 and was made a board member in 2004. Nina Fox joined the team in 2006, becoming project manager and had been a key element in the success and development of the event.
The Contemporary Craft Festival is still a non-profit making company and prides itself that it receives no regular funding from any government agency but does enjoy the sponsorship and support of many prominent regional and national businesses. It is however, occasionally supported by small grants from various sources including Teignbridge District Council, The Dartmoor Sustainable Fund and the Ernest Cook Trust. Our aim has always been to be self funding, and we manage that most the time!
We are regularly sponsored by Bovey Castle, British Ceramic Tile, Homes & Antiques Magazine, Devon Life & madebyhandonline.com and are supported by Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Devon County Council and Bovey Tracey Town Council.
We couldn’t, however, run The Contemporary Craft Festival without the support of a loyal group of volunteers who stuff envelopes, sell tickets, steward the event and work in the Children’s Craft Tent. Many of the volunteers come from the Friends of the Devon Guild and students from Plymouth University and Plymouth School of Art. We’ve also attracted volunteers from our Facebook campaigns and our visitors also return to volunteer.
Parking & Transport
- On site parking
- Parking (free)
Map & Directions
Bovey Tracey is only 2 miles off the A38 Exeter to Plymouth Expressway. Exit the A38 at Drumbridges Roundabout and follow signs to Bovey Tracey town centre. Follow the AA signs to The Contemporary Craft Fair. There is free parking on site and public car parking on Station Road.
Public Transport Directions
Nearest train station Newton Abbot. Regular buses from Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay and Newton Abbot stop at Bovey Tracey.
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