Thursday, 5 January 2017

Creative Twinning comes to an end

For the last five years Creative Twinning has been developing links between designers on a local, regional and international level. Over that time we have been involved in opportunities in Karlsruhe, Germany and New York, more locally Nottingham and in the county of Nottinghamshire.

We have worked with over 50 U.K. based designers and creative students and 12 outside the U.K. We have exhibited in New York and five times in Karlsruhe. Designers brought together by Creative Twinning have collaborated on award winning designs, exhibited together and created new work.

As partners, our own creative practices have been enriched by our own Twinning experiences. We have developed new work in response to international visits, influenced  by designers with whom we have worked. However, due to the increase in our individual workloads, Creative Twinning is no longer able to accept new projects and now this journey has come to an end.

We began Creative Twinning to establish links with designers outside our home city of Nottingham and to expand our horizons beyond the U.K. So although we are sad to bring our Creative Twinning activities to an end, we are immensely proud of what we have achieved. The friendships we have made will last a lifetime and the influence on us will inform our creativity for years to come. We would like to thank our partners both in the UK and Germany for their support.

We have updated the website to reflect this change. You will still be able to read previous posts on the blog, but for any other information you will need to contact us individually. Our Creative Twinning email will no longer be monitored.
-Debbie Bryan can be contacted through her website
-Jayne Childs is J.C. Middlebrook, you can email her via the contact page
-Hannah Lobley can be found at

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Creative Twinning’s 5th trip to Karlsruhe

 We're off to Eunique again! Here's a reminder about what we're up to...

Each year in late spring Nottingham’s twin city, Karlsruhe, hosts the prestigious Applied Arts Fair Eunique. Creative Twinning’s Jayne Childs (J.C. Middlebrook) and Debbie Bryan return for their 5th visit, this year accompanied by Design Factory members Phiona Richards and Hayley Beckley. The groups hope to wow Eunique’s international visitors with their British take on jewellery, textiles and accessories.

Jayne said ‘We love exhibiting at Eunique and were delighted to be selected again. The standard of work at the show is quite outstanding and it’s such an inspiration to be surrounded by such gifted designers. The range of talent on show is a real eye opener and we hope that Phiona and Hayley will get as much out of the visit as we do. We are made so welcome by the local creative community and look forward to meeting up with and exchanging ideas with our ‘Creative Twins’ in Karlsruhe’

More reading at:
Creative Twinning 
Debbie Bryan
J.C. Middlebrook
Hayley Beckley
Phiona Richards

With hearty thanks to our sponsors One Nottingham and Design Factory!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Eunique opportunity 2015

Calling Designers!
Creative Twinning are pleased to be attending Eunique in 2015 and invite you join us! Read on for more info on the show and how to apply.

Eunique is the Applied Arts Fair in Karlsruhe, Germany. It has been running for 6 years and attendance has been increasing year on year. The show runs for 3 full days (Friday- Sunday) plus an invitation-only private view or 'vernissage' on Thursday evening (5-10pm)

Set up is all day Wednesday and Thursday morning. Although it has previously been billed as a trade fair, it has become a retail fair, attended by trade buyers. Each of the Creative Twinning partners has created trade relationships from attending the show. There is a dedicated gallery area, so you can see what galleries are selling locally

Anecdotally, the buyers are really high quality and we have all done well at the show. The German buyers seem to like our 'British' look! There is a fashion showing running 2/3 times Daily which Jayne took part in last year, this had a positive impact on her sales.

It's not all easy sales however, jewellers have found it very competitive and there is definitely a local German 'style' which differs from the UK aesthetic. Ceramics have done well in the past, as have textiles, but as always past performance is no guarantee of future sales!

Additionally we try to use the time to to expand our creative networks and would encourage other designers to do the same, inviting any contacts to the PV or main event, and circulating free tickets to buyers. Chat to local designers and gallery stands for insider info. We try to spend at least one evening with our Karlsruhe designer friends. They have knowledge of places to sell in locally in Baden-Wurtemburg and across Germany

Costs you should consider include: Travel, accommodation and subsistence, display and shipping. We can help you think about those but you need to be realistic about what they may be.

The organisers are really friendly and speak excellent English. Applications to the show are decided on a jury basis and their decision is final.

So, are you interested in coming with us? Talk to Jayne on 07932 591964 (please don't call Debbie's shop as it a really busy time of year for her) or email us info(at) There are two short forms to fill in, and we'll need 5 hi-res images via Dropbox. The closing date for you to contact us is 23rd January 2015

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Greetings

It's been a busy year here at Creative Twinning HQ. One of our partners, Hannah, had her second son Ethan a few weeks ago. Congratulations Hannah, John and Isaac! Debbie has been expanding her shop in Nottingham's Lace Market, making more space to include more items from our Karlsruhe twins. And I (Jayne) have just moved house, so the Creative Twinning correspondence address has changed, check it out on our Contact page.

We are delighted to have Creative Twinning showcased in Karlsruhe right now. 2014 twin Jutta Becker invited us to show work in her small but perfectly formed shop on Marienstrasse in Karlsruhe.

We are delighted with how it looks and can't wait to develop this relationship further- in the meantime check out Jutta's work online

In 2015, we plan to return to Eunique and to invite some more Karlsruhe 'Twins' to Nottingham. if you are a designer and would like to get involved in either trip, please get in touch. See you soon, have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Creative Twinning designers are off to visit German ‘Twins’

Only weeks after waving farewell to Karlsruhe design visitors, Creative Twinning designers Debbie Bryan, Hannah Lobley and Jayne Childs prepare to exhibit their work in Germany for the fourth year running.
The team are heading off in mid-May to Eunique Applied Arts Fair. The annual fair is held in Nottingham’s twin city of Karlsruhe, Germany and welcomes around 13,000 visitors over three days.

Thanks to support from Design Factory, One Nottingham and the Creative Quarter, the Creative Twinning team are determined to keep a good presence at the fair, which has been an important networking opportunity for Nottingham designers since Creative Twinning’s first showcase in 2011. Even though there are financial pressures on designers here in the UK, the show has led to many successful opportunities for the trio. Jayne has developed a successful jewellery collaboration with Karlsruhe goldsmith Brigitte Adolph, Debbie has sold her products in Karlsruhe and welcomed German designers to stock their work in her Lace Market shop, and Hannah has received a trade order for Korea and sold work to the President of the World Craft Council!

This year the team’s ambitions continue to develop: for Debbie the visit will be a buying trip, researching new designers and collections for her shop. Hannah has been selected to take part in the 'Just Paper' showcase within Eunique. Jayne will show her contemporary lace textiles as part of the daily fashion show for the first time this year.
Jayne said ‘Eunique has always welcomed our British design contingent and we are delighted to return this year for the fourth time. We hope that next year we will again be joined by other Design Factory members to continue our strong British presence.’

Nottingham and Karlsruhe have been twinned for over 40 years and over that time many good friendships and working relationships have been forged between residents. Design collaborations include Jayne’s lace made into solid silver by with goldsmith Brigitte Adolph, and Kit Anderson’s work with street artist Juli Foos. This year’s visitors were ceramicist Jutta Becker, and jewellers Susanne Högner and Leonore Jock.

The visitors had a privileged tour of the Lace Archive at Nottingham Trent University, a chance to chat with Kathy McArdle of about the Creative Quarter and met with Creative Greenhouse members at Rufford Abbey Country Park. They also toured Harley Gallery and Studios on the Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire. The trio’s design work is currently showcased at Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop 18 St Mary’s Gate, in Nottingham’s Lace Market area.

Creative Twinning are looking to make new opportunities and spark collaborations, so if you’d like to be involved in next year’s activities or would like to find out more about Eunique, do get in touch

Monday, 10 March 2014

Gearing up to welcome our Creative Twins!

At the end of March we welcome our Creative Twins from Karlsruhe: Jutta Becker, Leonore Jock and Susanne Högner. We have some exciting events planned where you will be able to meet and exchange ideas with them.
Leonore Jock
Susanne Högner

Jutta Becker

In association with Projector at Broadway, on the afternoon of Thursday 27th March we will be deep in Conversation with designers on the Projector programme, discussing 'Challenges'. 

After that at 5.30pm we'll be hosting the private view of the Creative Twinning Showcase at Debbie Bryan Studio and Shop on St Mary's Gate. All are welcome, but please do book your place!

On Friday we're off to the Craft Centre at Rufford Abbey and Country Park, where Creative Greenhouse will be hosting a 'Kreativ Kaffe' networking session. Refreshments are provided by Creative Greenhouse, you bring the conversation! All welcome, simply book here.

The designers are then being whisked off to have a guided tour of Harley Gallery and Studios, before we return to Nottingham for a more relaxed Friday night in Nottingham.

The designers will be Nottingham based on Saturday with visits to Nottingham Contemporary, the Castle and other art venues across the city. 

Please let us know if you would like to be involved with the designers visits or if you would like to chat to them. They are really excited about visiting Nottingham- so let's make their stay a warm and welcoming one!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Creative Twinning Design Showcase Opportunity

Creative Twinning Design Showcase - deadline extended to 25th Jan!

View and download the Information Document here
View and download the Exhibition Application Form here

Nottingham, Karlsruhe & New York March 2014

Creative Twinning  invite applications from designers based in Karlsruhe to join Nottingham and New York Designers for a showcase of their artwork and to share experiences of running a design business. The successful applicants will be invited to make a visit to Nottingham, UK in which they have the opportunity to:

 1.Take part in a Creative Twinning Showcase with an agreed selection of work at:
Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop, 18 St Mary's Gate, Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1PH
Showcase dates Saturday 1st March – Saturday 3rd May 2014
Work to arrive at venue by Tuesday 24th February and any unsold work will be returned to Karlsruhe by the end of May 2014.
With a Private view, Drinks & canapés during your visit to Nottingham on 27th March

2. Showcase an agreed selection of work alongside Creative Twinning Designers in the Apsidal Gallery, Rufford Abbey Country Park from March-May

3. Share your story with an invited audience of like-minded designers, entrepreneurs & creative industrie

4. Participate in formal and informal networking and awareness raising events

5.Visit retail outlets and introduce your work to build links

Please note: The artist is responsible for all postage costs, including the return of your work

The visit will take place between Thursday 27th – 30th Sunday March 2014, candidates need to be available to visit Nottingham for these dates.

To apply please provide your full contact details, a brief CV and a one page summary (in English) of:

1. Your product;
2. The story of your commercial success and any obstacles you face;
3. Your customers and why they buy your products;
4. Any awards or competitions you have been considered for.

Please also include 5 recent images of your work and any web-links. You must also complete a worksheet with information about the work you would bring for the showcase.(Download above)

The closing date for applications is Friday 24th January 2014

Our contact in Karlsruhe is Angelika Schmidt, City of Karlsruhe, Culture Office - Department of International Relations. E-mail:
She is willing to assist with queries about the project.

But applications must be submitted to: