Mar 142013

Woolweek Its All Woolly Good

Yesterday saw the opening of this year’s Wool Week by Campaign For Wool at Wool House, Somerset House. I first got excited by Wool Week two years ago with their Wool Modern exhibition, which I loved for all its crafty exhibitors but found disappointing due to its heavy fashion emphasis and a lack of homewares. This year, they’ve totally turned it around with more interiors and homewares than you can shake a sheep at. Which is only right, when you think about how much wool is a major player in homewares; from cushions, carpets to sofas and blankets. Very nicely curated, with an extensive exploration across all interior styles and colours. Go in with open eyes and prepare to be amazed. You’ll never look at a sheep in the same way again. It’s a cracker.

Photos from left to right, top to bottom:
Infinity carpet runner by Christian Zuzunaga for Brintons
Arran jumper armchair by Champ Upholstery with Vintage Clothes- seen in the Natural Room by Josephine Ryan.
Fabric walls in Wool Sateen Glace Indigo by Holland & Sherry- seen in the Classic Drawing Room by Fox Linton Associates
Wool lettering detail
Curved Laine, three-dimensional acoustic sound absorbing panel, 100% wool felt, made to order, designed by Anne Kyyrö Quinn- seen in Modern Room by Anne Kyyrö Quinn.
detail of the cloud mobile, custom made for Wool House, by Donna Wilson- seen in Nursery by Donna Wilson.
Leaf, pink acoustic sound absorbing panel, 100% wool felt, made to order, designed by Anne Kyyrö Quinn- seen in Modern Room by Anne Kyyrö Quinn.
Chain carpet, designed by Ashley Hicks, woven to order by Alternative Flooring- seen in Study by Ashley Hicks.
knitted vessels by Hilary Anderson-Barr- seen in the Natural Room by Josephine Ryan.

The Campaign for Wool’s WOOL HOUSE
Wool House, West Wing, Somerset House, London
13 – 24 March 2013
Open daily
Free admission

Feb 152013

Pattern foundry Half drop, Brick, Tossed

You lot sniggering in the back row those are names of types of pattern and the formulation repeat of those patterns, nothing naughty or rude. This website is worth a quick squizz for a variety of nice printed textile design on The Pattern Foundry website, it won’t take you long as it’s not very comprehensive, but still nice. It’d be great if it had been extended and updated, it appears that it hasn’t for a number of years, which is a shame for it has great scope for hours of visual pleasure. Alas, this is our lot, still, some lovely patterns and a good mix. Enjoy them.

Feb 052013

Chinoiserie Nature, Woven

We’ve all been interested in all things Chinese at some point or another and no more so than the French in the 18th century. Chinoiserie emerged in the mid 17th century and could be seen influencing all areas of art and design; from your common porcelain plate to large architecture pagodas in gardens, and whilst it may not have maintained its popularity throughout time, like all good trends, it keeps coming back. And here it is, and this time also embracing the other current popular trend, pastels. This Chinoiseries collection of rugs is designed by Ramy Fischler for Tai Ping, the custom carpet company. Inspired by natural forms, these rugs conjure up romantic ideas of moving water, pebbles and earth in delicate pastel hues all of which are handmade from wool, silk and flax. Like the nature these rugs seek to emulate, their design is raw and natural, escaping the norm (squares and rectangles) to break new ground and escape parameters allowing the design to include unusual shapes and edges reflecting the modulating personality of the world around us.

Rugs featured: 1.) Orléans, 2.) Condé, 3.) Berri I, £POA, Tai Ping

Jan 162013

SincerelyLouise A Modern Day Periwig

Your eyes do not deceive you. These are indeed knitted wigs. London-based photographer and creator of these marvellous wooly hairstyles, Louise Walker, has beautifully crossed over craft, fashion, art and photography into this series, called ‘Woolyhead’, of glamorous yet practical headwear. All in delightful pastel hues, choose a different glamour-puss to suit your mood thus rendering bad hair days a thing of the past. The best addition to any wintery day. Fabulously creative and a lovely idea, this is sure to be a hit and deservedly so. Beautiful photography too.

Nov 162012

Cush Puppies Aint Nothing But a Hound Dog

No one is more surprised than me that I’m listing cushions with dogs on them. If you’d told me, I would have laughed you all the way to Battersea, but no, here I am and yes, there they are. Dogs. On cushions. For some reason these I like. It’s got to be said, I do like an animal ornament, and I confess, I have parakeets as part of the design of the fabric on my cushions, but strictly speaking I’m not one for ‘cutesie’ renditions of animal, domestic or wild. Patchwork cushions made from a variety of fabrics both old and new, each with a patchwork pictorial of much loved pooches. Made by British designer and maker, Carola Van Dyke, in the village of Firle, and on sale shortly at Liberty, London, for £89 per cushion. At least they won’t pee on your rug, eh?

Nov 072012

Lindsey Lang A Sweet And Sour Palette

Zingy and zangy, fresh and clean, these colours are colours of popping candy, of sweet and sour, they’re bright and dark, pastel and moody. So many contradictions and yet in the midst of all the fighting there is peace and tranquility, and here resides Lindsey Lang’s products. Her little stall at this year’s Design Junction, was in a little corner at the back, but has stayed on mind since. It’s not every day that I get to sing the merits and joy that a trivets brings me but today, I do. Lindsay’s trivets (second row down) are her pièce de résistance. The colours and patterns come together in this simply designed and oft overlooked piece of kitchen equipment, in such a way to be quite a thing of pure joy. As you can tell, I’m a fan. She does other stuff too, for those that aren’t such ‘riveting’ triveting enthusiasts.

Sep 032012

Owl Know How from Isobel Knowles on Vimeo.

Now that the summer is over and the August Break 2012 has come to a close, the new school year begins but I needed to break myself (and you guys) in gently. So what better than a gorgeous and charming video from Vimeo. Owl Know How is a short animation by Isobel Knowles featuring cute-as-a-button characters created by Cat Rabbit, this is quite possibly the cutest thing you’ll see all week (and I know how you all like your cute animal pictures). A bold statement you may say, but just watch the video and then see if you can argue my case.
Felt, sewing and imagination at its best, a lovely indulgence of cute and adorable without an element of twee to be found anywhere. A sort of fairytale that we’d all like to imagine exists up there in the world. It’s not saccharine and pink, it’s real and it’s got integrity, intelligence and humour. And nicely made to boot. I like that you can see how they’ve made the ‘machinery’. It doesn’t pretend to be anything than what it is: charming and beautifully handmade. I love the ‘pouring’ in of the internal organs. It’s funny. Now available in book form too. Happy Monday the 3rd of September everybody.

Jul 182012

Neisha Crosland Bringing The Summer Indoors

I’m on a bit of a collaborative roll this week as this sublime selection of tiles is the result of yet another creative pairing between De Ferranti tiles and textile designer Neisha Crosland. The ‘Florentine‘ collection has been developed from a recent collection of wallpaper and has been inspired by wooden parquet floor patterns and architectural motifs. The range sees a series of four geometric patterns in rich earthy tones, perfect for late summer/ early Autumn redecoration plans. These are handmade encaustic tiles which means that the pattern is formed in the construction of the tile, the design is not painted on, thus it never can wear away. Made from cement these tiles can be used anywhere, indoors or out, floor or wall. The gentle pastel-hued colours are reminiscent of a dusty hot summer in southern Europe or Northern Africa which is something we could all do with a bit of. If the ‘dusty’ look isn’t for you the tiles can be transformed into sleek glossy slabs with an application of wax. This summer truly sees the extension of the make-do-and-mend trend; make your own summer indoors with this latest offering from De Ferranti. Just add a picnic.

Product details: 20cm x 20cm, £6 per tile or £150 a sq metre (not inc. VAT)

De Ferranti can be found on-line and at: 583, King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW6 2EH. Tel: 020 7384 4424

images with thanks to Sheila Fitzjones PR

Jul 172012

Nike x Liberty The United Front Of Unlikeliness

If you’d asked me a year ago, I would have said a collaboration between international sports-wear giant, Nike and London’s favourite trademark, Liberty, the most unlikely thing ever and chortled in your face. This year? Well, I’ll eat my Nikeys. I’m a north-London kid and by that, I mean I went to school in north London and I need not explain the reason I mention this to any other north London schooled kid. For it is legendary that ALL north Londoners worth their salt wear Nikeys. It’s like bread and butter, fish and chips, schools and fashion tribes. It’s not of my doing so don’t blame me. I turned up on a shoot a few years back, in a dreadful panic for I had spilled coffee on a brand new pair. The home economist guessed that I must be one, for I had displayed very similar traits to that of her boyfriend, also north London schooled (yes, it also turned out that we shared friends). But I digress, for this is not a blog for reminiscing, it’s for trumpeting the glory that is Nike and Liberty print. They have, for sure, hit a glorious nail on the head with this ingenious collaborative effort. I just love them. They’ve been out for a while now but since they have released a new range in new fabrics, I need to get a shifty on if I want a pair. I thought that I’d put away the Nikeys for outside of the gym but no, I’m in love.

from left to right, top to bottom: Sport Red Liberty Print Free 5.0 Trainers, £90, Imperial Purple Liberty Print Hyperclave High tops, £75, Yellow Liberty Print Blazer Trainers, £75, Imperial Purple Liberty Print Free 5.0 Trainers, £90, Red Liberty Print Dunk Sky Hi Sport Trainers, £75 (currently out of stock), University Gold Liberty Print Free 5.0 Trainers, £90

Jun 292012

G Plan Reviving The Past

Before you all run off screaming, this isn’t yet another blog post about up-cycling, I promise. This post is a look at the collaboration between three parties, all of whom are iconic in their own right, three British hero brands forming a collaboration which makes them all shine. HemingwayDesign (complete with daughter, Tilly) and G Plan (ultimate furniture maker of midcentury design) have created a ‘capsule’ collection of 5 pieces inspired by previous G Plan designs, recreated using modern fabrics and complimented with accent cushions with HemingwayDesign printed textiles. And to the final guest to this marvellous party is high street favourite, John Lewis, where they are being sold. Handcrafted in Melksham, Wiltshire, you can’t get furniture more British than this (whatever that means considering this splendid little island has been built on eons and eons of invasions and immigrants) and if you were wanting a bit of iconic design but don’t fancy either the early starts of antique fairs or trying your hand at upholstering, this is the answer. A prime example of post-modernism for a generation of modernists. Get me.

From top: The Sixty One, The Fifty Three, prices start from £1,200, and finally, The Sixty Seven, prices start from £1,400. Made to order, with a lead time of 6 weeks. Available in a choice of 17 upholstery fabrics.

pixel Reviving The Past
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