Just home from Clerkenwell Design Week. I have a stack of business cards and brochures in front of me, but I’m going to reduce my report down to one name to watch: Ceramic and glass designer Owen Wall. He’s showing just four different plates at Craft Central‘s Design to Serve (until 25 May), which to my overworked eyeballs made a deliciously simple sight. See two of them on our instagram page, here (I forgot to use my proper camera – top work).
Owen’s website doesn’t do enough justice to his creations, but the piece below, with its lovely speckled glaze, is akin to what he’s currently showing.
Obviously this plate should be paired with farmer’s market-bought food served from a hewn-wood chopping block and wiped from your mouth with a natural linen napkin. Obviously.
Owen mainly works to commission for swish restaurants, including The Clove Club in Shoreditch Town Hall, and smaller runs of his pieces are individually made from his studio in Haggerston. I can’t get the green one’s out of my head.
Where to start in this two-pronged story…
Have you seen this lovely online shop A Rum Fellow? It’s run by Dylan O’Shea and his partner Caroline Lindsell who have (respective) backgrounds in charity and fashion. This is their first shop venture, which they started at the end of last year. It’s full of colourful and unique, vintage and new homewares from around the UK, France and South America, among other places. Here are a some of the things catching my eye.
The duo has a strong interest in travel and supporting and promoting the livelihoods of small communities – for example, they commissioned a remote tribe in the Amazon for a collection of hand embroidered tapestries that they later had made into cushions in the UK. ‘The plan is to work with a new culture / country every year,’ says Dylan.
Dylan, in fact got in touch with us on a different matter – part 2 of this story, which is summed up in this picture he sent.
Folks, that’s one broken Smeg. Here’s what Dylan said about it:
‘This is my partner’s 3 yr old Smeg fridge freezer, in mint green, being taken to its final rest place (Hackney recycle centre). I punctured the freezer compartment whilst giving it a rushed defrost with a hammer and chisel. In my (meagre) defence it was late evening just before Xmas and heavy rain had blown the electric supply to our house which would take 5 days to fix, so a last minute candle lit evacuation was in motion. The tiny puncture hissed out a smelly gas which I later found out is highly flammable. Luckily the candles didn’t cause an explosion! One tiny little puncture killed the whole thing. She very nearly killed me.’
Dylan has since replaced the Smeg, which he notes, was ‘expensive’. Dylan, we feel for you but also salute your reaction to the event.
A quick alert to all south east Londoners – this Saturday sees a ‘makers market’ in Forest Hill, with artisan food stalls, craft and art for sale. It’s part of the excellent SEE3 scheme which is bringing pop-up shops to empty spaces in Forest Hill and Sydenham. There’ll be much more to tell you about SEE3 later in the month, but for now I urge you to get on down to Forest Hill swimming baths and have an organic sausage butty for me.
I definitely did not empathise enough when Ros broke her tureen, Tom broke his cup and Madeleine broke her plate. I know that now, because today I broke my favourite, favourite cup and I’m in a right mardy about it.
We’ve said it before, but if you do break something, make yourself feel a tiny bit better by snapping it and sending it to our secretary (email@example.com) so we can pay our respects to your item here. I’m even going to start a special file on our facebook page for the support group so far.
A cute community website today. I Love Chatsworth Road was set up by photographer Jorn Tomter in 2007 to document the residents, shop owners and market traders of Chatsworth Road, Hackney. It’s similar to Tom Leighton’s portraits of Camberwell shop owners which we covered last year, but this project has expanded to include a magazine and print shop. Makes you wish someone was doing the same thing for the familiar faces in your road? Find out more here…
Here’s a tumblr shop to bookmark. Abel Sloane who is, incidentally based close to Penge (the place is full of surprises), is a furniture maker / restorer who sells a bunch of stuff I’d love to buy. He has a particular knack for photographing chairs…
I want a new office chair. Now.
A recent English and American lit graduate, Abel has only been working with furniture for nine months and as well as selling his own stuff, also does some restoration work for Retrouvius.
‘My absolute passion is Dutch modernism, De Stijl, Gerrit Reitveld, and that whole group of Dutch designers from the inter-war period. Something about the simple lines, and an absolute erradication of superfluity, just really gets my boat floating,’ he says. It’s floating mine too.