Picks from Pulse 2018

Every May, Pulse, described as ‘Where trends are born’, showcases different brands and makers, in one venue, Olympia. Retailers come to see and order for their shops. Some of the items will be available this summer and others will be around for Christmas. Here are some of my favourites.

University of Arts London, show work of some of their alumni. Designer Abigail Burch already holds a degree in illustration and is currently completing her MA at Camberwell School of Art. Her work brings a smile to my face. I adore her fat ladies  with hairy legs.abigailburch

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Another UAL graduate is Shannon Hayes who studied Fashion Jewellery at London College of Fashion. Her bright playful and fun work sells under her grandmother’s name Peggy Beard.

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Graphic and textile designer Elena Scarlata trained at London college of Communication before returning to her native Italy and setting up her company. She hand prints onto sustainable fabrics and then turns these into accessories for the home. Elena Scarlata

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The Jewellery Emporium showed many new designers. I particularly liked the work called ‘Made by Carolinee’. Her work is created from recycled Aluminium . Made by Caroline

The show is divided into sections included are gifts, textiles, home ware, fashion and children. In the Children’s category are  Eat Sleep and Doodle , they have been around for a while and continue to grow. Each fabric  product comes with  a line drawing on it. There are  different themes including Dinosaurs, a world map and much much more. The joy is that each item comes with its own ‘wash off’ pens so your child can have loads of fun. Once completed the design  can be washed off and they can start again. Eat Sleep Doodle

Another inspired Kid’s idea is BKD which comprises baking kits for kids, for time pressed parents,  This company started by a mum, was originally an events company but the kits took over and it  has won so many awards that they have expanded into other kinds of kits.

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Noodoll design are based in London. They produce  quirky cards, note books and soft toys. I like their shelves, which only became a product after they made some for a trade show and everyone wanted to purchase them. noodoll

In contrast to some of the more fluffy designs ‘Block‘ produce a completely different look, clean cut and elegant. At the same time they are colourful and fun and would sit well in an office or home environment. block

There is little to beat  utilitarian home ware when it is presented well. Iris Hantverk from Sweden are a company who do just that. They produce lovely brushes and also textiles.

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As a lover of most things ‘Scandiwegian’ and particularly linen towels, I was delighted to come across the Finnish Company  Lapuan Kankurit. Owned and worked by the same family for four generations, they still do their own weaving on Jacquard looms, although not using the old card system. They kindly allowed me to use their press images  for this feature, so I can’t take credit for the lovely photo shown here. I hope you have enjoyed my visual tour as much as I have done. lapuankankurit_sade_towels

Graffiti

This is purely a visual post. I happened to be in Brighton last week and came across the first and last piece of graffiti, shown here, close by Brighton railway station. I particularly love the Banksy of the two policemen kissing.  This sums up Brighton at its best, alternative, tolerant and inclusive.

Each summer when Brighton has its art and craft festival more and more new pieces of graffiti appear on the walls of the town. The council are obviously very relaxed about this and it is a big tourist draw.

The rest of the images were on both sides of a narrow road down towards the Lanes. It is called Trafalgar Lane. It is narrow and I am astonished that the artists could stand far enough back  to see their work as they were constructing it.

 

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Lora Avedian at Howe for London Craft Week

London Craft Week runs from 9th – 13th May and there are some inspiring designs and demonstrations to be seen. One of the practitioners, with a temporary residency at Howe is, Anglo Armenian, Lora Avedian, multidisciplinary artist who graduated from the RCA with a masters in Mixed Media Textiles. Lora’s process begins with research often looking at historical textiles and ethnographic objects as a starting point. Her work is grounded in history which enables her to create innovative work with a fine balance between the old and the new. Inspired by ceremonies and folk costume: the symbolism of the objects, colours and embroidery techniques used throughout her work are all important to telling a visual story. The work created this week is available for purchase. As you have two days left make sure you get down there to see this wonderful creative work.

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Jehane’s Brighton Artists Open House

Designer, Jehane is having her first open house in five years but in a new location as part of the fiveways Artist group . Each weekend in May, artists open up their homes and studios to the public, to show  and sell their own and other people’s work.

Jehane’s 2018 Open House delivers her signature style, of contemporary artists in her friendly recently refurbished home. At the bottom of her small  garden  stands  a shed with an installation by Phillipa Stanton. As well as running open house Jehane also licences the work of a number of different artists and designers. See the piece I wrote on her on Meet the Maker  Below are a few examples of the work on show.

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Cushions by Cressida Bell
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Take the next step by Eleonora Kolycheva
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Ravilious and Spring Flowers by Debbie George
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A Blade of Grass installation by Philippa Stanton
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Jewellery by Iris de la Torre

Artists open houses run weekends from 5th -28th May in Brighton Hove Coast and Ditchling.  To find out more about Brighton open houses go to aoh.org.uk

 

 

 

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Dunelm Autumn Winter 2018 Press show

I don’t know about you, but I love a bargain. I particularly like to see what goodies the high street stores  come up with each season. It feels strange discussing  autumn 2018 when we have hardly come out of winter 2017. However if you read this now, you will be well ahead of the interiors game by the time autumn comes round.  All the product will be in stores from September. Dunelm have four key trends for this autumn. Zen, Fifth Avenue, Homestead and Auburn plus winter warm for good measure. There is some very good design here much of which I would be delighted to put in my own home.

Many of the trends have been carried over from previous seasons, this makes it much easier to add items to your existing decor. For example metals are still evident in all the collections in the form of copper, brass,rose gold and gold. Textures are still strong. 7 metallic cushions

The colours chosen for winter are called auburn and are inspired by the catwalk. A warm pallette of rich claret, red and rust are highlighted with metallic gold foil for a contemporary finish.

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Metallic cushions are paired with pinched  velvetDunelm and  warm, marquetry patterned furniture.

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Homestead  is a contemporary take on vintage. Sheep skin rugs are combined with pale oak wood to create a warm homely feel. floral cushion

This collection has the most muted colour range of the four trends. A delicate pink and grey palette is complimented by dried flowers and lace inspired glass.

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The collection called 5A or Fifth Avenue  replaces millennial pink this season with statement golds and monochrome throughout. There is lots of mirror and other highly reflective surfaces. 2 Art Deco

The fabrics  reek  of glamour with sequins, velvets and faux furs and metal details on dark bed linen.  They have introduced  leopard markings with their iconic style and geometric prints to help carry on the glamorous Art Deco theme.

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Rustic Japanese influences the flow through the Zen collection. A clean simple palette of black white and indigo is highlighted by lush greens and fresh blues. Water colour prints are  complimented by  materials and accessories inspired by  nature.1 zen

There is some very good design here at very reasonable prices, much of which I would be delighted to put in my own home. Not all the collections are to my taste, but what I like may be horrendous to you, and visa versa.

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What is hopeful and inspiring is that as things  get more difficult for retailers, they are really pushing out the stops and coming up with some well thought out  product at affordable prices.

I love this way of displaying faux flowers so, without wishing to start a trend, I suggest you remove all the saucepans that are hanging in your kitchen and replace them with something like this.

faux flowersSo well done Dunelm.

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Make your own colour block dipped art

I love the dipped effect, so when I was trying to find an interesting way to give old paintings and portraits a modern twist, dipping them seemed like the perfect project, making pretty much anything look like expensive quirky art.

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What you will need:

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1. Remove the glass and picture from the frame. Take the frame and Rust-Oleum spray paint (we used Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold) and shake thoroughly. Hold the can approximately 30cm from the surface of the frame and spray. Apply several light coats a few minutes apart. Once fully dry, pop the painting back into the frame.

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2. Take a strip of masking tape and press the tape against some fabric to test that it isn’t too sticky (otherwise you may have trouble getting it off the photo without damaging it). Place the tape across the photo and frame and press down lightly.

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3. Using a sponge, dab the paint across the painting and the frame, building up the paint until the lower half of the painting and the frame is covered. Once fully dry, peel off the masking tape and hang!

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Meet the maker Martine Camillieri

Martine Camillieri is a French installation artist, author and teacher. Her own work takes precedence over all her other activities. It is based round waste and the fact we make, and own too much stuff.

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She lives with her Dutch husband in what was, at one time, their art gallery. It is a large industrial space with big windows metal beams and wide oak floorboards. It is built round a courtyard with a metal spiral staircase at its center. Everything is of an industrial scale.

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When I went to interview her she was creating some very stylish lamps. Asked about them, she said they are made from very tacky old lamps that are taken apart and the components reassembled with other items such as bamboo steamers. The lamps are all ‘one offs’

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Did you go to art school and if so what did you study?

Yes I went to the decorative arts school in Nice and studied advertising. I was top of my year.

What did you do after art school?

I worked in advertising for twenty years but I always wanted to be an artist.

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What made you change direction ?

In the year 2000 I was 50. I wanted a life change. I left advertising and set up the gallery with my husband. We were victims of its success. It took over our lives so that neither of us had enough time to practice our own work.

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My husband works with wood, creating bespoke pieces. Eventually we closed the gallery and I worked full time on what is my life’s passion. To stop waste and to stop filling the planet with objects.

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 Describe your work

 

My work is created out of found objects, rubbish,the flotsam and jetsam of everyday living. I hate waste of any kind. I take the tacky and put it with other items to make it pleasing. I use what is there and I do not change the final destination of the item. For example if I am using a bucket, in an installation, I will not put a hole in it. If I do that it can no longer be used as a bucket.

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Eiffel Towers created from waste

I make installations that are exhibited all over the world. I had work in Expo 2004 and at Creative Lab in Milan. My work has been exhibited in shop windows such as Bon Marche.

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Lamp made from discarded bits and pieces

 

Tell me about your books

I have had over fifteen books published. I do all the work on them from original concept, photography, art direction lay out and typography. My first book was on making tables from ephemera. It was a huge success and so I wrote more books based round the same topic of not wasting and re-using resources.

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You also produce children’s books

Yes I take toys from childhood and mix and match them give them a new life. I have written and created a series of traditional fairy tales using found objects and old toys to make the pictures.ready to shoot 1

 

Do you run workshops?

I work with children in schools. I will work with a class for a whole year. One of the projects we are currently working on is taking the waste from vegetables. For example we grow the tops off carrots and create something new. For example the fronds from the carrot may become trees in a forest scene. We also use grow from pips and seeds.

 

Who or what inspires you?

I am militant about a no waste agenda and that we should stop filling the planet with objects. My motto : Do not waste, do not throw away, give new life to things and stop producing.

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What advice would you give to a designer or artist starting out today?

Make things. Don’t worry if you are copied. Just keep doing. If you are copied it doesn’t matter as if you are truly original you will come up with more and new ideas.

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You have written a book called ‘Never without my Van’ which is about Frugal traveling. Tell me about it.

Each year  we  leave France in September and travel in our van for about two months around various European countries. We have a particular fondness for Greek islands.

We live very frugally and simply, in a van we converted ourselves. The book gives inventive ideas of how to transform a van to live in as simply as possible. We eat food we find growing by the roadside and attempt to have as small a carbon footprint as is possible.

What are you working on next?

I have been asked to do a 3D project based on my children’s books. They are going to be a TV program and I am art directing it.

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