Amelia’s Magazine | London Design Week 2011: The Best of the Independent Jewellery Fairs

Sian Bostwick Forget Me Not Necklace by Tilly

Sian Bostwick Forget Me Not Necklace by Tilly Wright

The first of my visits was to Gabriel’s Wharf on the South Bank. Nestled amongst a handful of gift shops and cafes is the Jianhui London jewellery shop. However, from 17th – 25th September, the shop was also home to the Jewellery Designers Collective, or JeDoCo, and featured the work from independent jewellers including MODICA, Jessica De Lotz, Zelda Cave and some amazing statement, tubular cuffs from Rosemary Lucas.

The small shop was crowded with jewellery, and felt like a treasure trove. A super friendly attendant turned out to be Sian Bostwick – a JeDoCo designer. She was a brilliant tour guide around this Aladdin’s cave, but her work also deserves merit. Sian produces her jewellery from a workshop in Kent, and has a feminine and soft signature style.

Forget Me Not Ring by Sian Bostwick

Forget Me Not Ring by Sian Bostwick

It was her Forget Me Not pieces that caught my eye. A combination of brightly anodised Titanium in dazzling blue, paired with delicate silver, in elegant and simple shapes. The Forget Me Not pendant is delicate, yet striking, as the vibrancy of the blue Titanium catches the eye. When I first spotted her work, I thought instantly of Alice of Wonderland – the blue of Alice’s dress, the ever-present background of nature, the flowers. I later read that the story was an inspiration for the collection.

Linnie McLarty’s silver rings caught my attention before I entered the shop, displayed in the front window cabinets. Linnie comes from a fine art background, which I think you can see quite clearly from the collection Take Me I’m Yours, to which her layered silver wire rings belong. The silver wraps beautifully around your finger, but the individual sterling silver strands add depth and interest. Linnie is also comitted to working ethically and responsibily, using 100% recycled silver and gold that is officially certified as fairtrade, which is fantastic.

Take Me I'm Yours Rings by Linnie McLarty

Take Me I’m Yours Rings by Linnie McLarty

Running from the 21st – 25th September was Composite, at the superb Two Columbia Road furniture shop, and on the same road that hosted another great independent jewellery show. I was invited along by designer Bethan Laura Wood, whose work I have been avidly following for a while now.

Bethan Laura Wood Pivot and Push Rings by Janneke de Jong

Bethan Laura Wood’s Pivot and Push Rings by Janneke de Jong

Bethan deserves her own post on Amelia’s Magazine (which I hope to provide one day soon), but briefly she studied at the RCA, and has since set up her own practice, WOOD London, designing and producing a range of beautiful creations from jewellery to furniture. Her work is based on the idea of rediscovering and exploration of aspects of the usual and everyday objects – focussing particularly on colour and pattern.

Bethan Laura Wood Particle Bracelets by Miranda Williams

Bethan Laura Wood Particle Bracelets by Miranda Williams

Bethan was showing her new Pivot and Push ring collection. I was really happy to see that Bethan was on show space duty that day, and she passionately talked to me about the new collection, from conception to the final product. The rings are like delicate snowflakes, in shades of metallics – gunmetal, gold, bronze and rose gold.

Bethan Laura Wood's Pivot and Push Rings

Bethan Laura Wood’s Push and Pivot Rings, photo courtesy of Ella Dror PR.

The rings shimmered below their glass case, tempting me to try them on. Bethan explained the ‘push’ and ‘pivot’ technique was to create interaction between the ring and it’s owner. And as Bethan kindly let me have a trying on session, I found myself enchanted with their movement and design. They are stackable, versatile and for me, utterly desirable.

Push and Pivot Ring by Miranda Williams

One of Bethan’s Push and Pivot Rings, photo by Miranda Williams.

The weekend was over, but enjoying a day off in the week, I went along to see the work of another familiar face. I have been aware of Ros Millar’s work for about a year and half now – finally getting to meet lovely Ros at this year’s Treasure exhibition. Ros was showing her work at 2 different spaces – the Pitzhanger House in Ealing, and also as part of the Bobbles & Bling Pop Up Shop in Clerkenwell, from the 27th September to 1st October. I really like Ros’s work, specifically because I’d wear it. The rings from her Nugget collection are like natural rock formations – rich in colour, and really cool. She was showing these at the Bobbles & Bling shop, where for one week, Modica Jewellery, Amanda Li Hope and Ros, had created a mini boutique. It was based in the Craft Central Corner shop, and showcased new work, aswell as some other special pieces. Ros was showing both her Nugget and Black & Rose collections.

Ros Millar Necklace by Cathryn Nicholson

Ros Millar Necklace by Cathryn Nicholson

Over at the Pitzhanger exhibition it was great to see some diversification in her range with the specially produced One Off pieces. Originally the home of Sir John Soane, who the saw the Pitzhanger manor as an architectural ‘portrait’ of himself, and the house as a reflection of his personal style, from the 21st September – 12 November, it was home to Portraits in the Making. It featured the work of 17 designers, Craft Council award winning artists, who were invited to find new ways of making portraits in their fields of glass, textiles, woodwork and jewellery, with the influence of the design and architectural details in the Pitzhanger Manor. Ros’s large necklace, made from lichen, sponge, rope, silver and bronze, was a great contrast to the work of hers that I had previously seen.

This exhibition was in conjunction with the Hothouse scheme, run by the Crafts Council, which provides a programme of skills and creative development for designers starting out in their careers. It is a fantastic programme, similar to that run by Camden Council which I wrote about a few months ago here. I hope that these schemes, and those similar to them, continue to nurture and develop the talents of these designers, so that I can explore and enjoy the creations of our local designers as I did that weekend a few months ago.

Categories ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Bethan Laura Wood, ,Black & Rose, ,Cathryn Nicholson, ,Composite, ,Craft Central Corner, ,Crafts Council, ,Ella Dror PR, ,ethical, ,fairtrade, ,Forget Me Not, ,Gabriel’s Wharf, ,Hothouse, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Jessica De Lotz, ,jewellery, ,Jianhui London, ,Linnie McLarty, ,London Design Week, ,Modica Jewellery, ,Nugget, ,One Off, ,Pitzhanger House, ,Pivot and Push, ,platform, ,Pop-up Shop, ,Ros Millar, ,Sian Bostwick, ,Take Me I’m Yours, ,Titanium

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review: Designs of the Year 2012 at the Design Museum

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood ethically produced bags.

The Design Museum‘s flagship exhibition, Designs of the Year, has returned for 2012. I went along to the preview to check out the experts’ choice of the best from multiple design disciplines; including fashion, architecture, product design, digital and graphics. Here’s my pick:

Design Museum designs of year 2012  noma bar
Design Museum designs of year 2012  noma bar
Outline Editions have brought along designer Noma Bar and his Cut It Out dog machine, which is able to cut through all sorts of materials. His artwork is inspired by negative space – he gleefully told me how he has taken to trawling charity shops for interesting things that the dog can chomp through. As well as the wonderful simplicity of his bold imagery I am particularly attracted to the upcycling side of this clever project.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Photolettering
Photolettering by House Industries allows users to create usable type from vintage American fonts. As something of a font fiend I love this idea!

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -GF Smith
GF Smith create beautiful papers (they were used in the first two issues of Amelia’s Magazine in print) and their colourful display was inspired by the microscopic detail of paper fibres. Designed by SEA Design with Field.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -De Designpolitie
Using bold yellow with red and black typography, De Designpolitie of the Netherlands have created a brand identity for the two day What Design Can Do! conference in May 2012. I love that they are not afraid of making a statement!

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum‘s High Arctic display to highlight the fragility of the environment was represented with a tiny model. This immersive gallery installation must have been quite mesmerising in situ.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Mary Katrantzou
Representing the very best of British fashion was an outfit from Mary Katrantzou‘s seminal A/W 2011 collection: great to see the digital detailing and remarkable cutting up close.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Suno
Suno of New York was a new ethical fashion discovery: they work locally with artisans to create highly desirable collections – the first one used vintage Kenyan textiles but more recently they were inspired by the subtle colours and abstract designs of Art Deco illustrator George Lepape.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Vivienne Westwood
And then there’s Vivienne Westwood grinning gleefully from beneath her bird’s nest hair. Her Ethical Fashion Africa collection is created out of scrap materials by marginalised women in Nairobi. The outcome? Typically colourful designs with outrageous slogans embroidered out of Masai beads.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Bethan Laura Wood
I was most intrigued by Bethan Laura Wood‘s incredible Moon Rock table, made using colourful kitchen laminates. Her Totem lighting was also on display. Miranda Williams previously spotted Bethan‘s beautiful work at London Design Week, for this talented lady also makes jewellery.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Thixotropes by Troika
Thixotropes by Troika are huge spinning LED sculptures that combine art and science. Hypnotic!

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Studio Bertjan Pot
Heracleum is a hanging light by Studio Bertjan Pot – designed to imitate the branching form of a plant.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -The Comedy Carpet
The Comedy Carpet in Blackpool is a huge 2,200 sq metre granite installation designed by Gordon Young with Why Not Associates. It features jokes and catchphrases in glorious decorative fonts of all sizes. I am very impressed that such a thing was commissioned!

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Hovding Invisible Cycle Helmet
Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Hovding Invisible Cycle Helmet
The Hovding Invisible Cycle Helmet is designed for stick in the muds such as me who refuse to wear a bike helmet. It contains an airbag that sits around the neck and is only activated should an accident occur.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Orb-It
The Orb-It is a small hand held rechargeable vacuum hoover by Black & Decker. It looks very cute, but I’d like to see it in action.

Design Museum designs of year 2012 -Kokoro & Moi
Stockmann packaging by Kokoro & Moi has a delightfully playful Finnish quality.

The panel of judges encompasses a diverse range of artistic talent, which explains the chaotically eclectic nature of this exhibition. Despite some arbitrary choices (I mean, there’s so much good design out there, where do you start?!) Designs of the Year offers a great chance to discover some exciting new design from a wide range of fields. My one wish would be that more designers begin to incorporate sustainable practice into their work: one of the wall infographics depressingly stated that only 19% of projects on show have been designed to be sustainable. It will take more than that to sort out this mess we are in.

Find out more information at the Designs of the Year 2012 website.

Categories ,2012, ,Bethan Laura Wood, ,Black & Decker, ,Blackpool, ,Cut It Out, ,De Designpolitie, ,Design Museum, ,Designs of the Year, ,digital, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Ethical Fashion Africa, ,fashion, ,Field, ,Fonts, ,Furniture, ,George Lepape, ,GF Smith, ,Gordon Young, ,Granite, ,Graphics, ,Heracleum, ,High Arctic, ,House Industries, ,Hovding Invisible Cycle Helmet, ,Laminates, ,Lighting, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Moon Rock, ,National Maritime Museum, ,Noma Bar, ,Orb-It, ,Outline Editions, ,Photolettering, ,Print Design, ,Product Design, ,review, ,SEA Design, ,Stockmann, ,Studio Bertjan Pot, ,Suno, ,The Comedy Carpet, ,Thixotropes, ,Totem, ,Troika, ,typography, ,What Design Can Do!, ,Why Not Associates

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