British Society of Enamellers exhibit in Northampton 4th October – 14 December 2014

This multi- award winning venue deserves a brief introduction since it attracts a large number of visitors and is situated in the recently designated Culture Quarter of Northampton. 78 Derngate was a small Georgian terrace house dramatically remodelled by the Glasgow designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1916/17.Commissioned by the thoroughly modern model railway maker and manufacturer W.J.Bassett- Lowke, 78 was Mackintosh’s last major commission and the only house he designed in England. At the end of 2003, numbers 78 and 80 Derngate opened to the public as a trust run museum with reception , shop and offices, followed in 2007 by number 82, the visitor centre, consisting of restaurant and The Gallery Upstairs, which was the space in which 19 members of BSOE exhibited their work. Although not large, photos show a well-lit space and the three glass display cases which the BSOE committee invested in.

As there was no gallery fee the exhibition was a selling one with 78 taking commission. Selection was a necessary part of the process and some pieces of work were held back as replacements for sales. Twenty seven pieces were sold worth £2600 in total. The content of the show was varied in genre, technique and quality. The best- whether object, panel or jewellery- showed an appreciation of the necessity for rigour in the design and making process. This shone through in many of the silver pieces. A number of panels caught the eye for their very sensitively conveyed images. The exhibition was planned, organised and set up by a sub- committee, assisted on the day of dismantling by further members who travelled considerable distances. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Alison Sutherland -Kay, director, expressed pleasure in showcasing our work and would be very happy for us to return.

Evangeline Long