Design Nation put together a lovely exhibition called Head, Hand and Heart with talks and demonstrations during London Craft Week 2018. The exhibition was held in Helen Yardley studio, where she designs and makes her bold, abstract rugs. Curated by Design Nation, Helen Yardley and leading design journalist Barbara Chandler, the show included Harriet Elkerton and Linda Bloomfield ceramics, Anna Gravelle, Angie Parker and Jacky Puzey textiles, Hugh Miller furniture, Christine Meyer-Eaglestone marquetry, Gizella Warburton textile vessels, Ruth Singer textile and found objects, and Clare Wilson glass vessels. There was a panel discussion chaired by Barbara Chandler, a pecha kucha session and demonstrations of weaving, rug tufting, porcelain throwing, marquetry and Japanese textured carving.
All the work was beautiful but the most intricate piece was the ‘In Shadows’ cabinet by Hugh Miller. Inside were beautiful ceramic cups with a crystalline matt glaze by a Japanese potter from Osaka, as well as wooden boxes containing coffee, exquisitely carved spoons and whisks. The slatted doors, outer ones in bamboo and inner ones slatted with thin brass rods, cast shadows to give a dimly lit atmosphere like inside a Japanese tea house. “‘In Shadows’ is inspired by Japanese applied arts philosophy and is made in British elm, Japanese Bamboo and Brass. The timber is stained black with Japanese calligraphy ink. Hidden within is a Japanese coffee set by renowned ceramic artist Saiko Fukuoka. Over 1000 man-hours have been invested in its construction, including the hand finishing of over 150m of solid drawn brass.” Hugh Miller. Photos by Dan Weill for London Craft Week.
The exhibition will be travelling to Eunique trade show in Karlsruhe, Germany, 8-10 June 2018.
In September I exhibited at the London Design Fair in the British Craft Pavilion curated by Hole and Corner magazine. Before the show, photographer Chloe Winstanley visited my studio in West London and took some lovely photos for an interview feature. At the show I met some other lovely potters, including Rebecca Proctor of Modern Craft Workshop in Cornwall, Matt and Catherine of Pottery West in Sheffield, Ana of Kana London and David Worsley of Dove Street Pottery in West Yorkshire. The look in the British Craft Pavilion was modern rustic, with modern furniture and textiles, hand-turned wooden bowls, forged steel knives, cast concrete and jesmonite, a material made from gypsum and acrylic resin. I also met Ali from Francli craftwear, who recently made me a split-leg pottery apron.
The show was very busy and I met many journalists, bloggers, curators, interior designers, restaurateurs and buyers as well as many old and new friends. Interiors journalist Barbara Chandler took a lovely photo and I shared the tube journey back home from East London with her. My stand was in a great location next to the cafe, talks and demonstration area, and a highlight was taking part in a chocolate tasting workshop with Land chocolate. I now have some new orders, commissions from restaurants and new ideas for upcoming glaze articles and books.
I have been exhibiting in Paris at Maison et Objet with the British European Design Group. I took a selection of my Morandi inspired bottles and vases as well as my handmade tableware range. The new collection was very well received by the press and buyers, particularly French and Swiss. Unfortunately, after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the number of visitors was down by 40%, so I did not meet as many American and Japanese buyers as last year.
My neighbours on the British European Design Group stand were the lovely ladies of Lush Designs, Maria and Marie. They design textiles, lampshades and ceramics printed with fabulous creatures and landscapes. On the other side was Laura Spring from Scotland, who I met on the trade mission to Tokyo last year. She designs abstract printed cushions, lampshades and bags in bright, fresh colours. We were all opposite Normann Copenhagen from Denmark who were showcasing their modern furniture, lighting and accessories.