Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2014: Textiles and Surface Design

Zoe Murphy
Yes yes it’s been 6 months since the 2014 edition of Tent London but straight after the show I became ridiculously busy with my 10th anniversary Kickstarter project, That Which We Do Not Understand. I have always wanted to share my finds properly, some of whom I have already profiled at length on this website, and I’m sure this little collection will offer some refreshing and exciting inspiration.

Zoe murphy cushions
From Mexico to Margate was inspired by Zoe Murphy’s summer travels, and is the perfect vehicle for her zingy colour ways. Used to great effect on these cacti fabric designs on cushions. Spot also the Snarfle ghost hand.

Seven Gauge Studios
I love the new geometric woven fabric designs by Seven Gauge Studios.

Room 39
This wonderful new bedding and cushion collection is by Room 39. Designer Petra was also very helpful on the subject of crowdfunding, having funded the fragment bedding range through this method herself.

Sian Elin
Sian Elin excels in the creation of upbeat geometric designs such as these wonderful duotone cushions.

Louise Wilkinson
Louise Wilkinson cushion
As always I adore the designs of Louise Wilkinson, whose new fabrics are a touch folkloric, a touch Scandinavian and a touch of chintz: lots of fruits, vegetables and strange little animals.

Louise Wilkinson hedgehog
I think this gold hedgehog wall decal is out of this world, but she only made them as one offs for Tent. Don’t you reckon they would sell like hot cakes?!

Lorna Syson
It was great to see new designs by Lorna Syson mixing up birds and geometric designs: I’ve since discovered her new Broom and Bee design, which is absolutely magic – check her website to see it.

Otago Design mat
We spent some time admiring coir circle mats made in Africa for Otago Design.

Sonya rugs
Amazing crazy cool bright rugs are by Sonya Winner.

Rose sharp jones
I adore the subtle crochet cushion designs of Rose Sharp Jones: one of a new wave of crafters bringing this traditional technique into the 21st century.

occipinti textiles
Embroidery hoops are a wonderful showcase for fabrics by Occipinti. Find out more about the designer in my recent interview.

Tracey Tubb
These very clever and original origami wall coverings are by Tracey Tubb.

Natalia Yanez
Natalia Yanez utilises a combination of crochet and local Chilean basketweave techniques in her beautiful and unusual structures. Very clever!

candid fabric
These fabulous tropical fruit fabrics are by Hannah Rampley for Candid Fabric – a new project to support emerging graduate textile designers.

Beldi rugs
Beldi rug vintage
I am just a little bit in love with vintage Moroccan Beldi Rugs. These rag rugs cost a fortune but are ever so glorious.

Parris Wakefield additions
Paris Wakefield Additions has released a stunning new fabric design. Since last September I have had the honour of working with Sarah Parris, who produced a beautiful print for my special That Which We Do Not Understand 10th anniversary gold leaf range, available here.

Fanny Shorter
Fanny Shorter skirt
As always I love tropical loveliness by Fanny Shorter, looking wonderful in a pencil skirt made with her fabric.

Kitty McCall
Last but not least, I am enthralled by the colourful abstract designs of Kitty McCall. This fabric looks like a surreal mountainscape.

Read about furniture, lighting and other odds and sods here! All of these images were first shared on my instagram feed.

Categories ,2014, ,Beldi Rugs, ,Broom and Bee, ,Candid Fabric, ,craft, ,crochet, ,Fanny Shorter, ,From Mexico to Margate, ,Hannah Rampley, ,instagram, ,Interior Design, ,Kitty McCall, ,Lorna Syson, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Natalia Yanez, ,Occipinti, ,Otago Design, ,Paris Wakefield Additions, ,review, ,Room 39, ,Rose Sharp Jones, ,Sarah Parris, ,Seven Gauge Studios, ,Sian Elin, ,Snarfle, ,Sonya Winner, ,surface design, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Tracey Tubb, ,Truman Brewery, ,Zoe Murphy

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Amelia’s Magazine | Prints and Furnishings by Fanny Shorter: An interview with the talented Textile Designer

Fanny Shorter Passion Pair Blue
I first discovered the beautiful designs of Fanny Shorter at Cockpit Arts in 2013 and have since met her at Home London (twice) and Tent London. Last year she was a deserving recipient of the COADG bursary. Fanny trained as an illustrator at Brighton University but has since turned her skills to the joy of textile design, building an immediately recognisable brand that features beautiful bold designs inspired by a childhood growing up in the beautiful City of Winchester and family trips to museums and National Trust properties.

Winchester Richard Shorter
Winchester school Richard Shorter
Winchester views by Richard Shorter.

Your upbringing in Winchester with teacher parents sounds idyllic, what are your fondest memories of childhood?
We were just very lucky. We were housed in the school grounds where my father taught in Winchester and it was just an absolutely beautiful environment in which to grow up. I appreciate it more now even more than I did then. We were just outside most of the time. My mother was quite traditional but very creative and we were always encouraged to draw, sew, make things and write (although I’ve probably let that slip somewhat).

Why did you decide to study illustration and how did you end up specialising in surface design? (where did you learn the practicalities of printing for instance?)
I originally wanted to study painting but got cold feet about the enormity of possibility within fine art. I felt I needed some practical guidelines and illustration seemed the perfect compromise. My first surface design was in response to a brief at university and I just felt really comfortable designing with a very specific application in mind. Screen-printing followed quite naturally as a way of applying pattern to a material. I had an induction in screen-printing at Brighton but got really into it after I left and still love it as a way of working. It’s really physical and very satisfying.

Quince_Cushion_Small_Buttercup_Front_Fanny_Shorter copy
What was the most useful thing you took from your illustration degree in Brighton?
Having the freedom to explore different mediums and finding the confidence to develop your own style. I’m not sure I have it quite yet but I know now when I’ve done something I’m pleased with and when something is truly awful.

Fanny Shorter at work
How did you get involved with the COADG bursary and what has been the best outcome from winning the prize last year?
I was familiar with the Confessions of a Design Geek blog and read about the bursary winner, Jessica Hogarth the year before. It seemed like a great opportunity and I decided to apply the following year. The mentors and sponsors I met through the bursary have been so supportive. It’s a very daunting experience, setting up your own business, and they were very free and friendly with advice and time.

Why did you take a studio in Cockpit Arts and why would you recommend it to fellow creatives?
Cockpit provides seminars and one to one business advice as part of your rent. I felt if my business was going to get off the ground I needed all the help I could get. Being at Cockpit Arts has been invaluable. It’s great to tap into the professional support available but also to be part of a community where there’s always someone just ahead of you in business whose brains you can pick. We have an open studios event twice a year and it’s a brilliant way to get comfortable with talking about your work and meeting your customers – something I was nigh on allergic to beforehand.

Where do you look for inspiration when you start designing a new range of patterns?
Dorling Kindersley has always been an easy go to. Much of my work is inspired by natural science and it’s a quick, very visual source. I regularly visit National Trust properties, the V&A, Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens, Hampshire and Wiltshire all of which formed a major part of my childhood. Google is there too in times of crisis although daunting if you’re unsure where you’re even going to start. I’ll always use it to find facts and figures about the plants and birds I plan to use in a design.

Your brand is continually developing and you are about to add hand printed furnishing fabric by the metric. What do you hope for in the future?
If time I would like a range of furnishing fabrics, prints and wallpapers. I would ultimately love to bring screen-printing fabric by the metre back in house but I’d need a very long studio for that and in London it simply isn’t feasible at the moment. There’s the dream I suppose – having a workshop somewhere in the countryside with a printing dream team and a studio dog.

Categories ,Brighton University, ,COADG Bursary, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Confessions of a Design Geek, ,Dorling Kindersley, ,Fanny Shorter, ,Home London, ,Jessica Hogarth, ,National Trust, ,screenprinting, ,Tent London, ,Textile Design, ,Winchester

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Amelia’s Magazine | Home London at Olympia, January 2015: Review

WOW lighting from Pad Home.

This year I attended the January Home London show with toddler in tow, since needs must. He was very, erm, helpful, on the first leg… then promptly fell asleep in his buggy after lunch (something he never ever does) – giving me a good few hours to see more of the show and actually chat with the designers.

First stop, vintage toy car wallpaper by Ella Doran went down especially well with Snarf.

Åry Trays is a Scandinavian manufacturer of birchwood trays who work with a host of designers including many UK based ones. I particularly liked quirky designs by RCA alumni Michael Angove.

Snarfle made a beeline for this Minecraft inspired beanbag by furniture designer turned artisanal textiles designer Nazanin Kamali. She had made it for her own son and was very tolerant of his desire to kick his shoes off and pretend sleep, and even helped bribe his removal with a handy chocolate coin. Her unusual embroidered shrimp cushion got a huge amount of love when I posted it on instagram – a sign, perhaps, that people are growing weary of the ubiquitous owls and foxes that still dominate current decorative designs. Find her cushions stocked in SCP.

I discovered Otago Design at last year’s Tent London (about which I still planning some kind of review… unfortunately my Kickstarter campaign to produce a book got in the way of an earlier blog). I really love the way they marry African design sensibilities with contemporary design.

One of my absolute favourite finds was this amazing iridescent flat pack lighting by the relatively new TOBYhouse from London based designer Toby Sanders. Having already wowed the world with super fun Beach Ball lights, this is his latest innovation.

Arabia make a whole host of Moomin ceramics that are just so darn cute… can’t wait for Snarf to get better with china!

Klaus Haapaniemi does it again for Iitala with these gorgeous dancing foxes. His designs are out of this world, if only I could afford to own some.

Lush Designs_Beekeeper_Snarfle
Snarfle gave the thumbs up to the new Bee Garden fabric design by Lush Designs, and we were both enamoured with their lovely new range of melamine tableware for little ones, inspired by requests from customers with kids who frequent their East Dulwich shop. The unisex designs feature a unicorn and a lion, and Snarf promptly set up a play kitchen to make us cups of tea with the beakers. Also new to the range: these ceramic kitty money boxes.

This year the COADG curated area had grown, with some old names joined by new finds. Fanny Shorter textiles are always a winner, and I’m looking forward to her new collection, due for release later this year.

I am in no way surprised that designer Laura Slater has created a bespoke collection for Heals. Love these painterly designs!

These awesome hot pink flamingo lampshades are by Anna Jacobs.

Thorody is the brain child of fine artists Vicky Putler and Theo Sykes, who are inspired by a combination of Modernism and South East London life. The resulting graphic designs are super slick and wearable for the home.

My Top Drawer review is coming up next!

Categories ,2015, ,Anna Jacobs, ,Arabia, ,Åry Trays, ,Beach Ball lights, ,Bee Garden, ,COADG, ,Ella Doran, ,Fanny Shorter, ,flamingo, ,Heals, ,Home London, ,Iitala, ,instagram, ,Kickstarter, ,kitty money boxes, ,Klaus Haapaniemi, ,Laura Slater, ,Lush Designs, ,Michael Angove, ,Minecraft, ,Moomin, ,Nazanin Kamali, ,Olympia, ,Otago Design, ,Pad Home, ,review, ,SCP, ,Snarfle, ,Tent London, ,Theo Sykes, ,Thorody, ,Toby Sanders, ,TOBYhouse, ,Top Drawer, ,Vicky Putler

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Amelia’s Magazine | Best New Designs for the Home: Home London January 2014 Review

Royal Doulton mug

Ceramics designer Louise Wilkinson was kind enough to invite me along to Home London, one of the premier trade shows for people in the homewares business. An off shoot of the infamous Top Drawer gift trade show, in just a few short years this has grown to become a must visit stop off for anyone interested in great design for the home. In the spacious environs of the soon to be razed Earls Court, I took a deep breath and headed up and down the aisles in a methodical manner. It is impossible to do more than scratch the surface at an event like this, but it was really super to catch up with familiar designers, as well as making some fab new discoveries. Go on, feast your eyes! You will soon find some of these designers on my brand new market place…

Adore the new Fable collection by royal doulton

One of the first things that caught my eyes was the new (ish) Fable collection by Royal Doulton, which was designed by the talented illustrator Karolin Schnoor, featured in my first book on illustration. I love her work so was well chuffed to get a Fable Garland mug (at the top) in my goodie bag: it’s the perfect size and shape and is my new favourite vessel for tea. They retail for only £7 each which is an absolute bargain.

Water Butts and wellies by Hemingway

Wayne Hemingway oversees a vast self made empire that includes festivals, designer goods and much more (check out his Land of Lost Content website). The Hemingway Design stand included this intriguing combination of Water Butts and wellies.

Multicoloured Pots by Broste of Copenhagen

This multicoloured display of pots is by Broste of Copenhagen, a large interiors brand with that special Scandinavian touch.

ekobo home bowls

I have a lot of love for bamboo Biobu dishware – Snarfle uses some of these beautifully made products by the French company Ekobo Home when he visits Grandad and they are beautifully made using a very clever eco friendly technique in Vietnam. One for the homeware wish list in our own abode.

Acrylic colourful cutlery sets by the French brand Sabre Paris

Taking acrylic to another level: these colourful cutlery sets are from the French brand Sabre Paris.

Beast In Show Daphne Padden coaster set

The couple behind Beast in Show have closed their shop in Oxford and relocated back to Yorkshire, the better to concentrate on their own brands. Their latest additions include a new range featuring work by the iconic 50s designer Daphne Padden, who died in 2009 leaving an amazing legacy of graphic design work.

Beast in Show cockapoo teatowel

I’ve always wanted a cockapoo (cocker spaniel poodle cross breed) and this new tea towel design would be great for other hybrid dog fans.

Lego skull storage box

You know those cool Lego storage boxes? Now available as skulls. So fun.

owl cushion by Heart Zeena

Elegant simplicity comes in the form of an owl cushion by Zeena.

Fanny Shorter cushions

It was ace to catch up with talented Cockpit Arts designer Fanny Shorter – her unique textile designs are based on kidneys, brains and tropical leaves, and she had a whole stand to herself as the winner of the COADG bursary.

Hop and Peck hedgehog toys

I am sad that Snarfle is just a tiny bit too old for these lovely hedgehog baby toys by Hop and Peck – who make gloriously tactile handmade wooden things. Founder Elaine has combined expert knowledge of the industry (she used to work with Mamas and Papas) with a love of toys that are worthy of being passed down the generations.

Thornback and peel squirrel cushion

Another inimitable surface pattern print by another Cockpit Arts design company, Thornback and Peel: cushions and deck chair fabric feature bold line drawn squirrels and acorns.

Sian Elin wallpaper

This super surface pattern is by Sian Elin.

cushions by seven gauge studios

These beautiful knit cushions are by self taught designer Joy Bates of Seven Gauge Studios, and they sell in Heals (and hopefully on my new market place too).

louise wilkinson teacups

My photo does not do these lovely teacups by Louise Wilkinson justice! It was lovely to catch up with this talented designer, whose illustrations currently adorn the shop windows at the V&A. Here’s hoping she’ll produce more of these images as prints because the ones on her stand looked wonderful.

cushions by iozzolinodesign by Gabriella Strano.

One new discovery I made at Home London was this brand new cushion range by Iozzolino. Italian Irish designer Gabriella Strano trained at De Montfort where she discovered her signature technique, marrying the designs of antique lace and crochet with 21st century technology. Her subtle use of dusty pastels makes a refreshing change to the slew of brights currently splashed across homeward.

Jenny Duff placemats

I am a massive fan of melamine coasters from Ramsgate based designer Jenny Duff – these ones are created from 1950s illustrations that appeared on the Country Fair magazine.

Snarfle with mini Jansen co mug

This tiny Snarfle sized Jansen co mug is a perfect mini version of the iconic Dutch crockery range and I knew he would love it.

Mini Supoon by Dreamfarm

Finally, amongst the goodies found at the bottom of my VIP bag (thanks to Seen PR) I found the Mini Supoon by Dreamfarm, an Australian company that creates clever products for the kitchen which are distributed in the UK by Forma House. The Mini Supoon is especially designed to act like a spatula and a spoon in one, and is perfectly designed to get those last dregs out of jars. Genius.

Next up: my favourite finds at Craft and Top Drawer shows.

Categories ,2014, ,Baby toys, ,Beast in Show, ,Biobu, ,Broste, ,COADG, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Country Fair, ,Daphne Padden, ,De Montfort, ,Dreamfarm, ,Earls Court, ,Ekobo Home, ,Fable, ,Fable Garland, ,Fanny Shorter, ,Forma House, ,Gabriella Strano, ,Hemingway Design, ,Hop and Peck, ,Jansen co, ,Jenny Duff, ,Joy Bates, ,Karolin Schnoor, ,Land of Lost Content, ,Lego, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Mini Supoon, ,Ramsgate, ,review, ,Royal Doulton, ,Sabre Paris, ,Seen PR, ,Seven Gauge Studios, ,Sian Elin, ,Snarfle, ,Thornback and Peel, ,Top Drawer, ,Wayne Hemingway, ,Zeena

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Amelia’s Magazine | Cockpit Arts: Christmas Gift Ideas 2013

Camilla Meijer bunny cushion

Bunny cushion design by Camilla Meijer.

This weekend we made our annual trip down to Cockpit Arts to catch up with old favourites and discover new talent. As always there was a wonderful welcoming Christmassy atmosphere, with the designers on hand to discuss their work. Unfortunately – due to one very clingy child that I could not put down – I didn’t make it the entire way around, and missed out on some of the wonderful jewellers in the west corridor. Nevertheless we did find lots of great work, so here’s my suggestions for Christmas gifts that will stand out from out the high street clutter.

Laura Gravestock ring

Jeweller Laura Gravestock goes from strength to strength. I particularly love her new range of subtle pastel coloured gemstone rings, combining modern decorative pattern with timeless settings.

row pinto knitted reindeer

This cute knitted reindeer Christmas decoration is by Row Pinto, who are based at the Deptford studios.

Gallery Bobbin cushions

These very cute prints on cushions are by designer and fine print maker Maria Hatling, owner of the Gallery Bobbin website. I especially love the repeat pattern featuring a snail.

Susan Horth snail

Susan Horth creates amazing bejewelled wire sculptures that catch my eye whenever we visit Cockpit Arts. Loving the snail again!

Annabelle Lucilla

These sliced agate necklaces are by the lovely Annabelle Lucilla, who will be joining the new Amelia’s Magazine market place as soon as it launches. I can’t wait to see her new range in the new year.

Julie Kouamo

This beautiful display of spicey coloured textiles is by Julie Kouamo.

Penguins by Laura Long

These adorable fabric hanging birds were created by Laura Long, who was entertaining her incredibly cute and well behaved baby niece when I came past her stall.

Camilla Meijer

Swedish designer Camilla Meijer looked fab in a big knit scarf that matches the colours she uses in her lovely textiles

Yamey Designs cut out figures

Ultra fabulous cut out creatures are by the brilliant Craig Yamey, now striking out on his own as Yamey Designs. He too will be featured on my new market place.

Terri Leahy

You can’t go wrong with this pair of wrestling bears, by toy maker Terri Leahy, who specialises in humorous anthropomorphic creatures.

Kingfisher by Abigail Brown

This pretty fabric kingfisher is from a collection made by Abigail Brown.

Fanny Shorter cushions

Fanny Shorter has recently won the COADG Bursary for her beautiful textile designs. Just check out this tropical lushness!

Jen Rowland lampshades

Finally, I have a lot of love for these hanging lampshades by Jen Rowland. She also does a beautiful range of gold foiled animal prints.

Follow me on instagram to see my pick of designer maker goods first.

Categories ,Abigail Brown, ,Annabelle Lucilla, ,Camilla Meijer, ,Christmas, ,COADG Bursary, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Craig Yamey, ,Fanny Shorter, ,Gallery Bobbin, ,Jen Rowland, ,Julie Kouamo, ,Laura Gravestock, ,Laura Long, ,Maria Hatling, ,Row Pinto, ,Susan Horth, ,Terri Leahy, ,Yamey Designs

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