The annual Alnmouth Craft Fair returns this Saturday, and for the first time, the event includes stalls offering food from local producers in the Lower Hall. Upstairs in the Main Hall, there will be a range of local craft workers including this year, also for the first time, the talented Northumbrian jeweller, Diane Stewardson of Seaglass Jewellery.
The design of the silver settings Diane makes for each of the earrings, necklaces, and pendants she produces is individually inspired by the shape and colour of the seaglass pieces she collects from the beaches of the North East, each of which has been uniquely transformed by the action of waves and tides over very many years.
Diane does not alter or even polish the pieces she uses – each is exactly as it was when it came from the sea.
The North East has a rich heritage of glass working, from the important bottle factories at Seaton Sluice to makers of more decorative domestic glassware like Sowerby and Davidson, and those glassworks near to the coast would often use the sea as a handy place to deposit waste.
Many years later this can be found smoothed into coloured glass pebbles on the beach for those with sharp eyes and the patience to look.
Diane’s designs are not only a connection to our beautiful coast but also commemorate an important industry from the past.
A self-taught silversmith and jeweller based in Holywell, Diane was a regular exhibitor at the Alnmouth Arts Festival for many years.
Diane said: “I am really delighted to coming back to Alnmouth and am looking forward to meeting up with old friends and regular customers again.”
This annual event is now called the Alnmouth Craft and Food Fair, and it is held in the Hindmarsh Hall, Northumberland Street, in Alnmouth, from 10am to 4pm this Saturday, and it is free of charge.