Category Archives: Makers

Makers seen at Made London

Artists and designers have and always will be, inspired by nature. These two makers, seen at Made London, are a case in point.

Bridget Bailey’s  exquisite interpretation of bird eggs made from textiles and feathers caught my eye, quite a change from her earlier insects and moths (see a previous post)

Bridget Bailey. Photo by Caroline BanksBridget Bailey. Photo by Caroline BanksBridget Bailey. Photo by Caroline Banks
Bridget Bailey. Photo by Caroline Banks

as did the work of another textile artist, Amanda Cobbett, who is completely obsessed with nature. Her highly reflective display boxes didn’t permit decent photos of these fungi so please visit her website for better imagery
Embroidery by Amanda Cobbett. Photo by Caroline Banks Embroidery by Amanda Cobbett. Photo by Caroline Banks Embroidery by Amanda Cobbett. Photo by Caroline Banks

And those red dots below are from my camera, not some aberration on the mushroom.

Embroidery by Amanda Cobbett. Photo by Caroline BanksTo see more of Bridget’s work, visit Clockwork Studio’s Christmas Open Studios 8th – 10th December

New Designers Part 1 – Katy Gillam-Hull at One Year On

It always surprises me when I see work at this show that I never noticed at a previous New Designers exhibition which just shows what visual overload can do.

Katy Gillam-Hull is one such maker whose loving recognition and restitution of old fragments and tools were, for me at least, quite moving. Her interventions encourage us to look again at items which have been forgotten and discarded, and she gives them a new incarnation whilst retaining a connection with their previous life.These ceramic fragments are a case in point.The top to this old bottle has been made taking into account all the irregularities, ensuring a perfect fit.as does this stopper Apologies for some of the slightly blurred shots here, my macro setting went a bit weird on me.

Gosho No Niwa: No Wall; No War Japanese garden at Chelsea Flower Show

Given the weather I thought an outdoor post would be appropriate for this week.

Nestling under the mature trees we discovered this gem designed by Ishihara Kazuyuki, a regular gold medal winner in the Artisan Garden category (plot sizes 5 x 4m or 7 x 5m) at the Chelsea Flower Show.

This year he kept his gold medal record and deservedly so with his inspiration the Kyoto imperial garden which has no defensive moat or wall as it was inconceivable that it should ever be under threat.What I found staggering here was the level of detail with all sides of the plot carefully considered. Here is a photo of the back

and the sides

Known for his trademark use of moss seen here in a detail on the sides

and along the front.The scale is deceptive, giving an impression of generous and mature landscape within such a tiny space

Korean Craft & Design Foundation KCDF at Collect

Korean craftsmanship is deservedly famous throughout the world and you can see why from some of the ceramics shown on the Korean Craft & Design Foundation stand at Collect, the annual international makers’ show in London.

Lee Jong-Min can produce no more than 10-12 of these delicate pieces per year. To be honest that sounds like a lot to me given the complexity of the work.

Park Sungwook hand moulds, glazes and fires each element to create these composite pieces of great subtlety. I couldn’t find a weblink so for more info please contact the Foundation.

Silver from Bishopsland at Collect, the Saatchi Gallery.

Bishopsland Educational Trust provides silversmiths with an opportunity to develop their practice with their post graduate residential course. The resulting work is always worth seeing and this time included necklaces by  Lucie Gledhill


and this silver wire piece by Nan Nan Liu.Some of my work includes silver leaf gilding and I’m currently experimenting with the tarnishing process so would be keen to see these after a year or so.

Glass by Heike Brachlow at Bullseye Projects seen at Collect, Saatchi Gallery

I was blown away by this stand from first -time US exhibitor Bullseye Projects and interested to learn that the sculpture shown was by UK -based Heike Brachlow.

I keep returning to the adjective of purity when describing work that I am drawn to. Her sculpture is anything but simple however it has a clarity of intent that is unwavering. Heike makes her own colours as she is not satisfied with the ones readily available on the commercial market; doesn’t that show.

If you’re interested in anything to do with glass and are in the US then visit the Bullseye Project website as well as the Bullseye Glass Company. If it’s to do with glass, they’ll know about it.

Purity and minimalism at Collect, seen at the Saatchi Gallery.

Yes, I know it’s circles again but bear with me.

This textile piece by Shihoko Fukumoto at ARTCOURT Gallery is, for me at least, an exercise in meditation

The french word épuré (uncluttered) captures for me the pure nature of these pieces. Stripped down to the simplest elements they are exquisitely made with nothing intruding as a distraction.  It may look easy but just try doing it.

Brooches and rings by Junwong Jung shown by the ever impressive Marzee gallery illustrate my point. 

The jewellery containers are designed with the same rigour as their contents.

It’s not only Asians who excel in the discipline of minimalism and purity though it can sometimes feel like it.

Andrea Walsh whose work I last featured back in 2013, showed these containers with Officine Saffi

I couldn’t live with such purity exclusively (my tastes are too catholic) but it definitely fills a need in my life.

Traces at Fenton House, a National Trust property in Hampstead – 2 of 2

It almost became a game, not only learning the family’s story through documentation, but also spotting the contemporary interventions, way too many to list here. You could easily while away a half day poring over letters, looking through books and peering into cabinets in a densely conceived experience.

Here is a shot of one of the desks in the study with fabric swatches and maps (the Gees were textile merchants). Linked cups & saucer and candlestick by David Clarke. Even the curtains were created for this project.

To think I took these photos at 11.30 in the morning.

Embroidered Gee family tree by Anita Bruce, one of many embroidered pieces by a wide range of artists.

Cushions by Daniel Heath on a half-landing shared space with letters from Elizabeth Gee, one of the daughters.

The dressing table in a bedroom with hats by Sahar Freemantle

A small dressing room packed with clothing and accessories including jewellery by Christopher Thompson-Roydsand this straw hat by Thomas von Nordheim

And this is only a fraction of what was there. Many pieces from the show are for sale so visit the Traces online shop for more information. I’d also like to congratulate the National Trust for developing more collaborations with artists and designers to create quite magical experiences. May this continue.

Traces at Fenton House, a National Trust property in Hampstead – 1 of 2

Fenton House in Hampstead is a National Trust property in London. Walking up there doesn’t feel like being in a large city, especially on the foggy morning I visited.

The occasion was to experience Lives, Loves and Loss, an immersive project by arts organisation Traces London involving artists, curators and designers exploring the lives of the Gee family, inhabitants of the house in the 18th century.

Entering through the kitchen we were greeted with specially made sweets then escorted through the rooms where objects, letters, sounds and odours told the family’s story.

Pots by Jo Davies in the kitchen

with chopping boards by Haidée Drew on the dresser

The dining room contained tableware by Imagery Code with ceramic food by Anna Barlow.

A dinner set for six with a scented napkin at each place setting; open the acrylic drawer to smell each of the courses – I managed to identify the lobster and pork and roast chestnuts but wasn’t great at the others and was utterly stumped by tea and biscuits. 

On the other side of the room was a house of cards and

a bust by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, who I’ve previously featured in an earlier post.

More to follow…