There was no time to pause for breath after NEOS ended.  I was also exhibiting with South Aberdeenshire Abstracts during the week, and we had a lovely end of NEOS get together on Sunday evening.

Then yesterday morning I took the train to Glasgow to visit Scotland’s Trade Fair at the SECC

The Armadillo at the SECC

Finnieston Crane

I’ve been to many trade fairs at the SECC since long before Starfish Studio existed, and this was by far the most enjoyable one to date.  There’s often an overwhelming number of huge stalls of imported goods and agencies promoting tat, but this had a refreshing balance of the better quality big boys and the, far nicer, individual handmade goods. 

Great Scottish-made stuff on the left, good quality imported stuff on the right.

Having a badge with a big red stripe that says BUYER means that you’re a magnet for the more pushy salespeople, and there’s a knack to avoiding them!  The pushy ones are generally working on commission for someone else but the people I’m interested in seeing are the ones who make the goods themselves and their enthusiasm comes across in everything they say – no need to be pushy!

Kirst talking to Kathryn of Lazy Daisy Glass

I took my very good friend Kirsteen with me for the experience and I think she really enjoyed herself – particularly as the ‘Visitor’ badge I’d requested for her actually said that she was ‘Manager – Starfish Studio’ (she’s a teacher in Glasgow!!).

 There was so much excellent quality handmade stuff that I got a bit carried away and I dread to think how much I’ve spent in total.  There are lovely, new things on their way to Starfish from existing suppliers such as Lazy Daisy, Earthen Images, My Baboo and Snapdragon plus a few brand new surprises.  I just love it when parcels arrive here and am like a big kid when it comes to opening them up!

Occasionally there are breakages, which is particularly upsetting when you consider the amount of work that goes into making a one off piece.  This arrived today from Frank Neikes Glass, and his dishes are really thick and substantial – must have been mishandled in transit.  It’s horrible having to phone someone to tell them that something they’ve made has arrived in pieces.