Highlights: London Craft Week 8-12 May 2019

A few days ago I treated myself to a trip to Southbank – one of my favourite places in London. It was all happening at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. The place came alive when I discovered the beautiful displays of ceramics, textiles, furniture, wirework art, mosaics… The artists mingled around proudly like the signature of their work. You could feel the energy and excitement from installation to installation. I met some wonderfully creative people and these artists caught my eye…

Lucy Porte – Wirework Artist

Her wirework art is produced freehand, she usually works from photos or drawings, but sometimes she will go directly to just “drawing” with the wire. She produces 2D illustrations and 3D wirework “sculptural wire drawings”. She uses copper enamelled wire – as it is malleable and easy to work with and iron binding wire – for larger sculptural pieces. She gets most of her inspiration from her 70’s and 80’s wildlife books and pictorial encyclopaedias collection. The essence of her inspiration is from natural forms: a pattern, climbing foliage, human and animal skeletal forms. She also follows the current fashion trends, home styling ideas and the latest interior colours. She creates sculptural illustrations. Her work is intricate and the attention to detail is superb. Her large scale wirework sculptures are created to interact with the space around them, creating shadows and movement. Her displays are inviting and intriguing.

“Within my work I aim to create a dynamic contrast of solid three-dimensional line and the negative space in between, creating captivating pieces which posses intricate detail and tactile qualities”. Lucy Elisabeth

Website: http://Www.lucyelisabeth.com

Judy Mc Kenzie -Ceramic Artist

I had a lovely chat with Judy about her work. She is genuine, down to earth and has an inspiring personality. She recently graduated from the Royal College of Art’s Ceramics and Glass course and has already found success through her talent. Her contemporary hand – built artworks are exquisite and have led her to win international awards and the attention of numerous galleries. She works with clay and explains to me how clay is a beautiful substance, malleable, compliant and sensual. Her latest body of work explores the processes of Nerikomi and Kintsugi for the creation of unique and decorative ceramic objects. Nerikomi focuses full attention on the manipulated porcelain clay. Coloured with stains and oxides, and using hand-building techniques, patterns are created within the material of the object. When manipulated, the plasticity of the clay encourages movement, forming naturally soft lines, which appear to drift in and out of focus within the designs. Kintsugi becomes the precious scar, reminding us that strength and beauty exist in fragility. The colour combinations form beautiful patterns and the matt polished finish is as smooth as silk. Her pieces are exquisite.

Website: http://www.judymckenzie.com

Julie Vernon – Mosaic Artist

Julie Vernon’s is an award-winning artist creating one-off pieces for sale, exhibition and commission. She works with a mix of materials from vitreous glass, ceramic and vintage porcelain through to natural marble and slate. ​​​​I can relate to some of her work. A few years ago I did a range of mosaic pieces in a similar style. I love the mix of materials and the colour combinations; creating fascinating texture and pattern designs.

Website: http://www.julievernonmosaics.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/solairesdesigns

Claire Coles – Wallpaper & Artwork

Claire designs and handcrafts couture wallpaper murals and artworks; working closely with her clients to produce bespoke works that reflect their vision. Combining a range of textures and materials with the use of stitch. Claire has developed an innovative textile process. Leather, silk and papers are collaged and intricately embroidered to create a range of decorative surface patterns inspired by flora and fauna. She offers a contemporary take on chinoiserie wallpapers, producing unique and luxurious embroideries that transform walls into works of art. All her designs are handmade in her London Studio. Claires’ collections have led her to collaborate with leading luxury brands such as Pierre Jouer, Missoni, Liberty, Paul Smith, the V&A shop… She is energetic and passionate about her work and has a good balance between family life and her studio. We talked about her work and the fashion & interior design industry. Her designs are luxurious and textural with an interesting harmony between light and shade.

Website: http://www.clairecoles.co.uk

Gina Pipet – Textile Designer

Pipet Design is a London design studio specialising in printed fabric and accessories for fashion and interior. The studio designs, manufacture and retail their own collections – proudly working with specialists printers and artisanal manufacturers in the UK. Explore the latest collection of modern, decorative designs in a range of luxurious natural fabrics including heavy cotton, fine silk and sumptuous velvet for an elegant interior finish. The studio offers a custom design service for high-end residential projects. Gina is dynamic and very knowledgeable in her field. Her textiles are bold & distinctive with a striking colour combination and an adventurous pattern – her craftsmanship is flawless. You can upholster and transform a tired armchair with any of her fabulous textiles, or add colour to a sofa with a few scatter cushions from her collection. If you are looking for a statement textile for your living space – Pipet Design is your answer.

Website: http://www.pipetdesign.com

Barnaby Goode – Artist

His artwork has a captivating and distinctive style driven by process and materials. He prepares the canvas applying several layers of paint to obtain an uneven surface; uses unfamiliar and randomly sourced materials mixing acrylic and oil paint. His composition is intuitive and each artwork tells you a story that relates to his life experiences. There is a synergy between colour, texture and pattern. He studied Design & Art Direction at Manchester Metropolitan University and has an MA in Interdisciplinary Art and Design from Birmingham City University. Barnaby’s artworks have been exhibited across the UK and Spain. He is attentive, soft-spoken and he proudly talked me through his art collection – a fascinating experience.

Website: http://www.barnabygoode.com

Jacky Puzey – Embroidery

Jacky is a digital embroiderer of new fabrics, textures and stories. She does embroidery design and commissions for interiors and fashion. She combines traditional embroidery with digital technology using fur, feathers, tweed and organza with drawings, laser cutting and digital embroidery. She offers bespoke embroidered pieces for interiors, including wall and room screens. She has created an exotic embroidered peacock wallpaper amongst other luxurious commissions. One of a kind in embroidery design.

Website: http://www.jackypuzey.com

Michelle House – Textile Artist

Michelle House is an artist and designer working predominantly with print and textiles. She finds inspiration in patterns and geometry within architecture and landscape; mixing and layering of the colours, the texture of fabrics, and the printing process. She usually creates her work as a group, to be displayed together or independently. Two or more pieces will be worked on side-by-side and viewed as one composition. She uses imagery and colour in an abstract way to create focal points, balance and space.

Website: http://www.michellehouse.co.uk

Yodomo.co

Yodomo.co is a platform for creative workshops from carefully selected instructors. They offered an array of workshops during London Craft week: Make a Rope Knot Necklace, Introduction to Bookbinding, Make a Paper Pajaki Chandelier and many more. I had a brief chat with Katy Beale, Chief Content Officer. Yodomo.co has a vast selection of free online workshops. Once you register you can have access to any of their courses. I signed up for “Make a concrete succulent planter”. I will give it a go and post some pics on my Instagram. They are also collaborating to Mental Health Awareness Week.

Instagram: https://instagram.com/solairesdesigns

Website: https://yodomo.co

Margot Selby – Textile Designer

In my previous blog https://thevisualaficionado.com/bauhaus-anni-albers-margot-selby/(opens in a new tab) I wrote about Margot Selby. Her studio is focused on pushing boundaries of weaving to create beautifully crafted, contemporary fabrics for a range of textile applications. Her designs are recognisable for their complex structure, striking colour and geometric. I chatted to her on Thursday afternoon whilst she was doing a demonstration in her loom. Her studio is based in Whitstable and runs loom weaving courses in June, August and November. I got a taste for loom weaving two years ago in London Craft Week at Heal’s flagship store in London. The workshop was run by the fabulous Juliet Bailey, from Dash and Miller. I had a relaxing afternoon creating random patterns using different colour and type of yarns. There is a magical connection between the loom and oneself; the motions are harmonious and repetitive – the perfect therapeutic pastime.

Margot Selby’s latest cushion collection is decorative and beautifully made. Her online store offer silk & lycra scarves, bathroom & beach accessories, rugs, Kozo & Sakuru lambswool throws, handwoven artworks and furnishing fabrics. She is the “Queen of Geometrics”.

Website: http://www.margoselby.com

Bargehouse was an exciting new destination for London Craft Week 2019 amongst others, celebrating the innovation in craft and makers’ stories. Carefully curated by Oxo Tower Wharf, in collaboration with Design-Nation and Future Icons. I had the chance to meet, Louisa Pacifico, the director of Future Icons and Emily Eby who kindly invited me to join the talk on “THE IMPORTANCE OF CRAFT WITHIN INTERIOR DESIGN” with interior designer Dan Hopwood, Chara Gandhi, Caroline Milns and furniture maker, Kevin Stamper.

Website: https://www.oxotower.co.uk http://www.futureicons.co.uk http://www.designnation.co.uk

I thoroughly enjoyed my two afternoons at Bargehouse. I was surrounded by talented and inspiring high-end craft people and their exquisite work. Each of them have their own distinctive style and are knowledgeable in their trade. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and for those who were at Bargehouse, I would love to hear your thoughts. For the ones who missed it, I hope I inspired you. London is a wonderful cultural destination.

Style inspiration through my eyes…

Sol Aires Designs – The Visual Aficionado

  • Some images and content were sourced from Google and Instagram.

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