Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2013: Babies and Toddlers

Slugs and Snails tights for boys blue

Slugs and Snails tights for boys.

So, what do you do if you need to buy something for the little person in your life at Christmas? We buy very few new clothes for Snarfle (and are very grateful for the many hand me downs that he wears) but when we do buy new we often buy from smaller independent designers who create unique looks that you will not find on the high street. These wonderful pieces are more often that not designed with love by someone who is a mum themselves. They know what little people like, and they create with passion.

Mini Magpie London upcycled wool gilet

Mini Magpie clothes are all created from upcycled adult garments by mum Kimberley. I am particularly hankering after this little knitted waistcoat that is adorned with plentiful pompoms… but do take a look at all her clothing for little ones… such cute stuff, including little denim jackets, leggings and much more.

Slugs and Snails tights for boys

It is no secret that Snarfle lives in his Slugs and Snails patterned tights (see my instagram feed). After a summer off (during which he grew out of his last selection) I literally don’t know what we would do without them during the cold weather. Nothing is as snug and cosy as tights – socks always seem to crumple off in little deposits all over the house to leave behind freezing cold tootsies (not that he seems to mind, they bother me a lot more). I was a bit worried about how he might ‘style’ them (don’t laugh) now he is a fully grown walking mini person, but actually they look bloody great under baggy pants, or peeking out from under leggings (which he also lives in, most of ours come from Oh Baby London). My new favourite design is Storm, featuring clouds and rainbows on a steely grey background. Utterly fab: these really are the best gift you can give a little one, boy or girl. You can read my interview with creator Kathleen Redmond here, she’s an inspiration to all us mums.

The Bright Company - Knapp Blanket for babies

When Snarfle was smaller he was always tucked up (in our bed) inside a sleeping bag. How did we ever manage back in the old days, before these genius inventions? Ours were all second hand, but if I was looking for a very sweet and unique version I’d go for one by The Bright Company, all handmade and printed in the UK. Their Kipp Sleeping Bag for £38 is covered in a very retro modern hexagon design in their signature bright blue and orange colour way. Or how about the Knapp Blanket for £30 in unisex colour ways, a great gift for little people that can be used to swaddle them in the Moses basket (if yours will sleep in one that is, our basket was passed on very quickly) or to keep them warm in a buggy or in the carrier. Later on it could even become a fantastic den maker!

Day Job Katie Johnston hobby horse toys

Hankering after a toy that’s not garish and over the top, that will allow your child’s imagination to run free for many years to come? Then why not consider a Hobby Horse. These ones are by Katie Johnston of the Day Job collective, and come in a host of possible colours. You choose! It’s just like the good ol’ days…

The Baltic Baby Leggings by Modéerska Huset

Kyna Boutique specialises in organic children’s clothing and many of the brands are sourced from Scandinavia, which seems to specialise in the kind of bold patterned clothing that I love so much but which English designers shy away from. I really like The Baltic Baby Bodysuit and Leggings by Modéerska Huset, covered in islands, ferries, waves and swans. Swedish designer Jenny Modéer works in a slightly more subtle but nonetheless unusual colour palette. Kyna Boutique offers free delivery within the UK, and free returns too!

Ruff and Huddle varsity jacket with zakee shariff

Ruff & Huddle has had a super busy year, with successful launches in Selfridges and great press all over the place. Their collaboration with ace illustrator Zakee Shariff has produced some wonderful clothing, and I am particularly in love with this London Varsity jacket that has ROAR embroidered on the front and a lion on the back (see left in the photo above). Why should the Americans have all the fun? At £50 it’s a considered purchase, but one that is bound to be a practical favourite with your little one.

Sian Zeng - Blue duvet set and sew your own bear

Sian Zeng is a Cockpit Arts based designer who creates a variety of objects and homeware items that span the generations. Her classic bespectacled Office Bear comes as a kit you sew up yourself for £25, and here they are seen in a variety of colour ways lounging against a duvet set, also designed by Sian. Snarfle has one of these, but it did have to be sewn up by an adult (his dad!) – so this is a fun gift that could kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).

Lil Beans red baby fringe moccasin booties

Lil’ Beans is a new online kidswear retailer that was set up with the aim of selling brands that offer high quality design, uniqueness, comfort and durability. Due to their American connections they have also brought some lesser known brands to these shores and I am just a little bit in love with these adorable red fringed moccasins for babies for £35. Adorable. Also look out for their Thrifted section, featuring second hand loveliness for bargain prices.

Lastly, I’ll be bringing you my ideas for the prettiest and most unusual homemade decorations that I’ve found on my travels around the web. Here’s hoping that I get time to make a few myself as well.

Categories ,2013, ,Babies, ,Babywear, ,Christmas, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Day Job, ,gifts, ,Hobby Horse, ,Jenny Modéer, ,Kathleen Redmond, ,Katie Johnston, ,Kipp Sleeping Bag, ,Knapp Blanket, ,Kyna Boutique, ,Leggings, ,Lil’ Beans, ,London Varsity jacket, ,Mini Magpie, ,Modéerska Huset, ,Office Bear, ,Oh Baby London, ,Ruff & Huddle, ,Sian Zeng, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Snarfle, ,Storm, ,TBC, ,The Baltic Baby Bodysuit, ,The Bright Company, ,Thrifted, ,Toddlers, ,Zakee Shariff

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with jewellery designer and gemologist expert Milena Kovanovic

Milena Kovanovic by Laura Hickman
Milena Kovanovic by Laura Hickman.

I was blown away by the unusual jewels of Milena Kovanovic when I first discovered her at The Craft Market last year, curated by Megan Taylor as part of Tent London during the 2012 London Design Festival. It’s taken me awhile to catch up with this Central Saint Martins graduate, gemologist and self confessed hoarder, who explores ideas of science and antiquity to create her unique designs – but I didn’t forget her. Her new Ursula’s Hoard Collection features rough precious gems such as Lapis Lazuli, Carnelian and Baroque Pearls set in swathes of bubbled gold, all inspired by the potential spoils of a sunken galleon: forgotten gems that Milena Kovanovic imagines lie encrusted in coral reefs on the depths of the ocean floor. Customers with a very healthy budget can commission from her high end Luxe Reef collection, featuring even more exotic jewels. I spoke to Milena about her inspiration, design process and knowledge as a qualified gemologist.

Tent London Oct 2012-Milena Kovanovic gem
Tent London Oct 2012-Milena Kovanovic
Spessartine Garnet and Smokey Quartz necklace from the Krystalline collection. Discovered at Tent London 2012.

When did you first realise that you wanted to be a jewellery designer, and what has been the best thing about following this career path?
I came across jewellery design whilst doing my art and design foundation course, really enjoyed working in metal and decided I’d apply to the degree course after my tutor convinced me I’d be perfect for it. It must have been fate as I used to make jewellery as a teenager and sell it at Greenwich Market to earn some extra cash, though I never considered it as a career at the time. The best thing about following this career path is that it encompasses all the things I love – making and gems and minerals.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard red gems
What was the best bit about studying at CSM?
For me the best part about studying at CSM was the freedom you got to explore and experiment within your degree course. It also have one of the best libraries for books and materials that is an invaluable resource for any designer.

Milena Kovanovic Jewelry by Veronica Rowlands
Milena Kovanovic Jewellery by Veronica Rowlands.

The Ursula’s Hoard collection features gems that are encrusted with molten gold that looks like coral – how did you achieve this effect?
I enjoy exploring new processes and techniques in my work, so for my last two collections I have been doing a lot of electroforming. This is a process which uses an electrical current to take metal in a solution and deposit/grow it onto the surface of whatever you want. This method was perfect for the Ursula’s Hoard collection as I wanted the pieces to look like they’d been under the sea for centuries, becoming encrusted in barnacles and corals.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard La Belle Ring
La Belle Ring.

Where do you go for inspiration when you start designing a new collection?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, it’s all around us. I’m very visual and take a lot of photographs of things that catch my eye, especially focusing on the details. Sometimes it can be from something I’ve read or an exhibition I’ve seen. I also love to travel which is a great influence for new ideas.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard Golden Hind Necklace
Golden Hind Necklace.

Where did you study and how long did it take you to become a qualified gemologist?
I trained as a gemmologist at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain in Hatton Garden. They have a fast track course which combines the foundation and diploma into a 1 year full time programme, which is what I did.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard rings
What amazing and little known gemological fact can you share with us?
The gemstone Tourmaline is pyroelectric – meaning that when it is rubbed or heated, it will develop a static charge that attracts lightweight particles to its surface like dust. This effect could be one probable source of it’s name, which originates from the Sinhalese word Turmali which means both “coloured stone” and “attractor of ashes“.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard Mayflower Ring
Mayflower Ring.

What are your favourite kind of gems to work with?
That’s a tough one, there are so many it’s hard to choose! I’m really drawn to vibrant coloured gems such as Rubellites, Spessartine Garnets and Emeralds to name but a few. The gems are always the starting point from which I will create a piece of jewellery as they usually inform the design.

Milena Kovanovic Ursula's Hoard earrings
How and when are you able to use your gemological expertise these days? (apart from in jewellery design)
I regularly utilise my gemmological knowledge to source and supply gemstones for clients and trade, as well as offering specialised training in gemstones and jewellery production to staff in retail businesses.

I can’t wait to see what the talented Milena Kovanovic designs next. Visit her website here to explore her wonderful world of gems.

Categories ,2012, ,Baroque Pearls, ,Carnelian, ,Central Saint Martins, ,electroforming, ,Emerald, ,Gemmological Association of Great Britain, ,Gemologist, ,Gems, ,Golden Hind Necklace, ,Greenwich Market, ,Hatton Garden, ,jewellery, ,Krystalline, ,La Belle Ring, ,Lapis Lazuli, ,Laura Hickman, ,London Design Festival, ,Luxe Reef, ,Mayflower Ring, ,Megan Taylor, ,Milena Kovanovic, ,pyroelectric, ,Rubellite, ,Sinhalese, ,Spessartine Garnet, ,Spessartine Garnet and Smokey Quartz necklace, ,Tent London, ,The Craft Market, ,Tourmaline, ,Turmali, ,Ursula’s Hoard Collection, ,Veronica Rowlands

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2011 Review: Best Furniture Design

Tent London 2012 review -anthony hartley
Furniture by Anthony Hartley.

This year I once again visited Tent London hot on the heels of London Fashion Week. At the end of September the creme de la creme of the product design world held court at the Truman Brewery, look and I’m here to bring you the best of the bunch. First up my favourite bits of furniture design.

Tent London 2012 review -anthony hartley
Beautiful and very unique furniture from Anthony Hartley; waves of colour splashed across drawers and curved around walls in long shelving units.

Tent London 2012 review -jan plechac
Czech designer Jan Plechac showcased versions of his favourite chair designs in wire.

Tent London 2012 review -senufo
The A & Z Design furniture stand was attracting people with a very cute dog. I liked their senUFO side table the most. It would be very cool in a kid’s bedroom.

Tent London 2012 review -squint
Furniture makers Squint were showcasing a collaboration with the London Transport Museum – using classic hardwearing Moquette fabrics (familiar from the tube) within their trademark patchwork upholstery designs.

Tent London 2012 review -nobody and co
What a brilliant idea for a chair cum bookcase from Italian company Nobody&Co. Obviously inspired by the same problems I have: an overwhelming number of books with no home.

Tent London 2012 review -ercol
What a hit: bold 50s influenced textile designs on simple modernist furniture from the well established brand Ercol.

Tent London 2012 review -nobody and co
Tent London 2012 review alex garnett
Oversized household objects become kitsch furniture thanks to Goldsmiths trained Alex Garnett.

Tent London 2012 review -shell thomas
Tetronimoes by Shell Thomas were created by invitation from JJAM Curators’ Collective – what an ace idea for a kids’ playroom. Visitors were encouraged to use the velcro strips to rearrange the cushions and create new shapes of furniture.

Tent London 2012 review -rex chair
My new favourite new chair comes from the Rex range, straight out of Slovenia. So comfortable, I want this rocker now.

Tent London 2012 review -spellner milner
Alison of Speller Milner design is a RCA graduate who makes elegant furniture topped with pretty graphic decoration.

Categories ,2011, ,50s, ,A & Z Design, ,Alex Garnett, ,Alison, ,Anthony Hartley, ,Chair, ,Czech, ,design, ,designer, ,Ercol, ,Furniture, ,goldsmiths, ,Jan Plechac, ,JJAM Curators Collective, ,London Design Festival, ,London Transport Museum, ,Moquette, ,Nobody&Co, ,Oversized, ,Pillhead, ,review, ,Rex, ,Rocking Chair, ,senUFO, ,Shell Thomas, ,Slovenia, ,Speller Milner, ,squint, ,Tent London, ,Tetronimoes, ,textiles, ,Truman Brewery, ,Upholstery

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2011 Review: Best Lighting Design

Tent London 2012 review -Curiousa & Curiousa
Hand blown glass lighting by Curiousa & Curiousa.

I have been collecting fabulous lamps since I first started to scavenge second hand stores as a teenager. Here’s what caught my eye at Tent London this year.

Tent London 2012 review -Curiousa & Curiousa
Tent London 2012 review -Curiousa & Curiousa
Tent London 2012 review -Curiousa & Curiousa
I adored these jewel-like blown glass lamps by Curiousa & Curiousa from the Derbyshire town of Wirksworth. Each lampshade is traditionally blown without moulds so that any shape, check size or colour can be achieved according to a client’s wishes.

Tent London 2012 review -Kaspa REthinkthings
I was immediately attracted to the Kaspa glow-in-the-dark lamp by REthinkthings on the 5ml stand. What fun, viagra and a great xmas present for kids, both small and slightly larger… The 5ml Design Collective is a partnership between Ilsa Parry, Michael Cloke and Tom Sutton that aims so support and nurture up and coming design.

Tent London 2012 review -Rachel Powell
I first spotted Rachel Powell‘s clever wood veneer lampshades at the New Designers graduate showcase this summer. Since then her business has been growing at such a rate that she was able to take part in this much more professional industry showcase.

Take a peek at my review of the ceramic design at Tent London, the surface design at Tent London and the best furniture at Tent London too.

Categories ,2011, ,5ml Design Collective, ,Curiousa & Curiousa, ,Derbyshire, ,Ghost, ,Glow-in-the-Dark, ,Ilsa Parry, ,Kaspa, ,Lamp, ,Lampshades, ,Laser Etched, ,Lighting, ,London Design Festival, ,Michael Cloke, ,New Designers, ,Rachel Powell, ,REthinkthings, ,review, ,Tent London, ,Tom Sutton, ,Wirksworth, ,Wood Veneer

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2011 Review: Best Surface Design

Kate Usher wallpaper
Wallpaper by Kate Usher Studio.

The printed textile designer in me will always be a sucker for great decorative surface design. Here’s some fabulous stuff that I found at Tent London this year.

Kate Usher Meerkat wallpaper
At the Designed and Made stand I was immediately drawn to Kate Usher‘s marvellous wallpaper designs with names such as Sharkbait and Hang About. She has set out with an admirable mission to shake up the tired old cliches that appear on most children’s bedroom decor, story so expect bold designs, thumb all printed to order on FSC approved base papers… and with the possibility to add a bespoke Swarovski crystal topping. Wow-wee.

Tent London 2012 review -kate usher and sarah blood
Also at Designed and Made I liked the neon Duck lights by Sarah Blood which offer a fun updated version of this kitsch classic.

Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Brookyln’s Flavor Paper had flown to the UK to showcase their unique wares. What fun! I particularly loved their hot air balloon display and given their provocative name I couldn’t help asking if any of their designs were actually scratch ‘n’ sniff – to my delight I discovered that indeed the cherries were. All their designs are created to buyer specifications, either digitally or via traditional screenprinting.

Tent London 2012 review -bluebellgray
Digital printing was used to great effect by Scottish designer Fi Douglas of Bluebellgray, retaining the feel of pretty hand painted floral watercolour textiles.

Tent London 2012 review -happy happy bows
I am not sure which section these Happy Happy oversized bows fit into since they are essentially an entirely useless bit of decor. Made by RCA trained designer Stephen Johnson, these kitsch creations are intended to bring a bit of happiness into the world.

Tent London 2012 review -3form tiles
Tent London 2012 review -3form tiles
Gorgeous (but very expensive) irridescent sculpted bespoke tiles were on display from 3Form solutions.

Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
And then I chanced upon Lisa Grue, who I last met in Copenhagen a year ago. She was taking in part in Tent London with a group of artist/designers working in multiple disciplines under the name avantGarden.

Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Titled Beautiful Mortality, all of avantGarden‘s work was inspired by the beauty of life, death and decay and all the designs were rendered in a limited colourway of cream and browns – quite a departure from Lisa’s usual colourful work. I loved her moth and fox designs and her huge hand-appliqued wall hanging.

Tent London 2012 review -Meyer-Lavigne
Tent London 2012 review -Meyer-Lavigne
Bulbous painted ceramic plant pots from Meyer-Lavigne were also particularly wonderful.

Tent London 2012 review -Louise Gaarmann
Louise Gaarmann presented some tactile ceramics in imaginative combinations of shapes. Together with textile designer Tina Ratzer she had created Mr.Craftsman, a huge tribal coat in pure wool accessorised with hanging ceramic talismans.

Our Man_ratzermeetsgaarmann mr craftsman
Don’t forget to take a peek at my pick of this years furniture design too.

Categories ,2011, ,3Form, ,avantGarden, ,Beautiful Mortality, ,Bluebellgray, ,brooklyn, ,ceramic, ,copenhagen, ,Danish, ,Designed and Made, ,digital, ,Duck, ,Fi Douglas, ,Flavor Paper, ,Happy Happy, ,kitsch, ,Lisa Grue, ,London Design Festival, ,Louise Gaarmann, ,Meyer-Lavigne, ,Neon Lights, ,rca, ,review, ,Sarah Blood, ,scratch ‘n’ sniff, ,screenprinting, ,Stephen Johnson, ,surface design, ,Swarovski, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,Tiles, ,Tina Ratzer, ,Underwerket Projects, ,Wallpaper

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Preview: Best of Tent London 2012

Tent London Oct 2012
It comes on hard after London Fashion Week, but I always make sure to get along to Tent London at the Truman Brewery: for this huge and sprawling exhibition is a great place to find the best in design, from homeware and lighting to furniture, wall art, rugs and beyond. Even though I have run individual blogs on some of my favourite discoveries I was most remiss in writing up our usual review last year, so as the 2013 edition rolls around I bring you a further selection of the best things I found in 2012. Make sure you check out my listing for more details of this year’s event.

Tent London Oct 2012 Jon Male
Upcycled lights by Studio Jon Male.

Tent London Oct 2012-tamasyn gambell
Cushions by Tamasyn Gambell.

Tent London Oct 2012-rug
Tent London Oct 2012-lights
Fab rug and lights, not sure by whom!

Tent London Oct 2012-Anthony Hartley
Furniture by Anthony Hartley. Read my interview here.

Tent London Oct 2012- Zoe Murphy
Cushions by Zoe Murphy.

Tent London Oct 2012-wallpaper by Rachel Powell
Wallpaper by Rachel Powell.

Tent London Oct 2012-beautiful wooden object
Sadly I don’t have any information for this beautiful wooden object, but I think it could be used as a decorative wall hanging or as a pot mat in the kitchen.

Tent London Oct 2012-Claire Anne O'Brien
Knitted furniture by Claire Anne O’Brien.

Tent London Oct 2012-venus by cupertino
Scott Eaton‘s Venus of Cupertino ipad docking stations.

Tent London Oct 2012-Laszlo Tompa
Sculptural wooden furniture by Laszlo Tompa. Read our interview here.

Tent London Oct 2012-Réka Molnár, Moringa, Hungarian
Heat sensitive mug designs by Hungarian designer Réka Molnár of Moringa.

Tent London Oct 2012-Magnetic rings by Grace Hancock
Magnetic rings by Grace Hancock.

Tent London Oct 2012-Front rug monster
Front rugs: monster.

Tent London Oct 2012-Ginger and Jagger
Stools by Ginger & Jagger.

Tent London Oct 2012-CYMK lamp by Dennis Parren
CYMK lamp by Dennis Parren.

Tent London Oct 2012-Candlesticks by Victoria Delaney
Candlesticks by Victoria Delaney.

Tent London Oct 2012-Architectural miniature by Chisel and Mouse
Architectural miniature by Chisel and Mouse.

Tent London Oct 2012-Milena Kovanovic
Necklace by Milena Kovanovic. Read my interview here.

Tent London Oct 2012-Lars Beller Fjetland for Discipline
Wooden birds by Lars Beller Fjetland for Discipline.

I wonder who I will discover this year? Make sure you follow me on instagram to share in my favourite finds first.

Categories ,2012, ,2013, ,Anthony Hartley, ,Chisel and Mouse, ,Claire Anne O’Brien, ,Dennis Parren, ,design, ,Front rugs, ,Furniture, ,Ginger & Jagger, ,Grace Hancock, ,Hungarian, ,Lars-Beller Fjetland, ,Laszlo Tompa, ,Lighting, ,London Design Festival, ,Milena Kovanovic, ,Moringa, ,Rachel Powell, ,Réka Molnár, ,review, ,Scott Eaton, ,Studio Jon Male, ,Tamasyn Gambell, ,Tent London, ,Truman Brewery, ,Upcycled, ,Venus of Cupertino, ,Victoria Delaney, ,Zoe Murphy

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Soft Furnishings and Homewares

plate by Louise Wilkinson
Bone china plate by Louise Wilkinson.

As usual there was a plethora of new and exciting designers to discover at Tent London 2013, showing alongside some familiar favourites that I look forward to catching up with each year. Here is my round up of the best soft furnishings and homewares brands I found. Wall art, furniture and lighting will follow in my next blog, though this delineation is pretty arbitrary since many brands happily encompass all aspects of interior design.

Tent London Cushions Melanie Porter
This outrageous outsize knitted cushion is by Melanie Porter, who was trained at Central Saint Martins and turned her hand to soft furnishing design after ten years working as a designer for international fashion brands. Melanie became a mum in July, so good on her for staying up to speed and putting on such a great show at Tent this year. Those of us running our own brands don’t get much time off!

Chocolate creative cushions Tent
Geometric prints were everywhere at Tent London this year. I love these cushions by Chocolate Creative.

Tent London Melody Rose plate boxing
Tent London Melody Rose plates
I spent some time chatting with Melanie Roseveare of Melody Rose ceramics whilst Snarfle marvelled at her new collection of printed plates. Melody started out upcycling vintage fine china – adding her own designs on top of vintage ones such as the blue plate above (which features a picture of her dad, an amateur boxing champion). Now she has launched her own bespoke range that includes this artfully placed classical nude. I love the way she has arranged these plates to make the most of the design.

Honeycomb geometric print cushions from Room 39
These honeycomb geometric print cushions are by Petra Green of Room 39, a Slovenian designer now settled in the UK who excels in the use of bright colours and eye catching prints on unusually shaped cushions. Some of her designs are made up in a family run factory in Slovenia, some are made up by the Working Well Trust (which provides opportunities for those with mental health difficulties) and some are manufactured in her East London studio space. She aims to marry craft techniques and modern technology in as sustainable a way as possible – I like her production style!

Tent London Sian Elin Thomas abstract cushions
Tent London Sian Elin Thomas cushions
I first admired work by Sian Elin at New Designers this year, but didn’t cover it at the time because my photographs did not do the collection justice. Her wonderful cushions feature abstract designs (and the fab peacock patterned design above) in a range of luscious colour combinations.

elephant print cushion Rachel powell
Since I discovered her at New Designers in 2011 Rachel Powell has gone from strength to strength, and it’s so nice to see a recent graduate doing well commercially within a few years. My favourite thing in her new collection is this bold retro inspired elephant print that would look lush in a kid’s room. The design also comes on fabric that can be purchased by the metre – what a brilliant idea for all those crafters out there!

Magnetic porcelain train - Reiko Kaneko
What fun – this magnetic porcelain train for eggy soldiers is by the Japanese born designer Reiko Kaneko. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 she set up her own studio in London’s east end, but has since relocated to Stoke-on-Trent in order to integrate design and production in the home town of English bone china.

The Staffordshire University Flux ceramics
Speaking of fine bone china, the Staffordshire University student collaboration Flux Stoke-on-Trent continues to impress with beautiful ceramic designs. This project is an example of collaboration between a teaching establishment and industry – forging new bonds that will lead to viable careers in an industry which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate successfully.

Brushes by Swedish brand Lofstrom
These beautiful brushes by Mikael Lofstrom of Lofstrom skilfully make use of the natural shape of tree branches, which are paired with upcycled thistles.

Etelka Meixner of Hungary; pearl embellished chinaware
Etelka Meixner of Hungary has tapped into a very current theme with her luxuriously decorative pearl embellished chinaware.

Townscape design by Maxine Sutton
I had a long chat about the joys of living in Thanet with Ramsgate based designer Maxine Sutton, who has recently overhauled her shop in the centre of the newly vibrant Margate to become a stand alone store for her homewares range. This graphic townscape design perfectly showcases her style.

Kristine Five Melvaer -Norwegian design showcase
Over at the Norwegian design showcase I was most taken by these jewel coloured stripe pots from Kristine Five Melvær. Kristine works in glass and china to produce objects of exquisite beauty.

Fine china by Louise Wilkinson
Ceramic jug by Louise Wilkinson
Finally, I am just a little bit in love with fine china by Louise Wilkinson, an illustrator and fashion textile designer turned homewares designer who is inspired by Japanese design. I think her unique creations also owe a slight debt to the cute animals so often featured in 40s and 50s children’s book design: no wonder I find them so delightful. In fact we promptly bought a jug and matching mugs for some soon to be married friends and I am just a little bit envious.

You can share my discoveries as I find them by following me on instagram here.

Categories ,2013, ,Bone China, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chocolate Creative, ,Etelka Meixner, ,Flux Stoke-on-Trent, ,Homewares, ,Hungary, ,japanese, ,Kristine Five Melvær, ,Lofstrom, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Margate, ,Maxine Sutton, ,Melanie Porter, ,Melanie Roseveare, ,Melody Rose, ,Mikael Lofstrom, ,New Designers, ,Norwegian, ,Pearls, ,Petra Green, ,Porcelain, ,Rachel Powell, ,Ramsgate, ,Reiko Kaneko, ,review, ,Room 39, ,Sian Elin, ,Slovenia, ,Snarfle, ,Soft Furnishings, ,Staffordshire University, ,Stoke-on-Trent, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,Thanet, ,Upcycled, ,Working Well Trust

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Soft Furnishings and Homewares

plate by Louise Wilkinson
Bone china plate by Louise Wilkinson.

As usual there was a plethora of new and exciting designers to discover at Tent London 2013, showing alongside some familiar favourites that I look forward to catching up with each year. Here is my round up of the best soft furnishings and homewares brands I found. Wall art, furniture and lighting will follow in my next blog, though this delineation is pretty arbitrary since many brands happily encompass all aspects of interior design.

Tent London Cushions Melanie Porter
This outrageous outsize knitted cushion is by Melanie Porter, who was trained at Central Saint Martins and turned her hand to soft furnishing design after ten years working as a designer for international fashion brands. Melanie became a mum in July, so good on her for staying up to speed and putting on such a great show at Tent this year. Those of us running our own brands don’t get much time off!

Chocolate creative cushions Tent
Geometric prints were everywhere at Tent London this year. I love these cushions by Chocolate Creative.

Tent London Melody Rose plate boxing
Tent London Melody Rose plates
I spent some time chatting with Melanie Roseveare of Melody Rose ceramics whilst Snarfle marvelled at her new collection of printed plates. Melody started out upcycling vintage fine china – adding her own designs on top of vintage ones such as the blue plate above (which features a picture of her dad, an amateur boxing champion). Now she has launched her own bespoke range that includes this artfully placed classical nude. I love the way she has arranged these plates to make the most of the design.

Honeycomb geometric print cushions from Room 39
These honeycomb geometric print cushions are by Petra Green of Room 39, a Slovenian designer now settled in the UK who excels in the use of bright colours and eye catching prints on unusually shaped cushions. Some of her designs are made up in a family run factory in Slovenia, some are made up by the Working Well Trust (which provides opportunities for those with mental health difficulties) and some are manufactured in her East London studio space. She aims to marry craft techniques and modern technology in as sustainable a way as possible – I like her production style!

Tent London Sian Elin Thomas abstract cushions
Tent London Sian Elin Thomas cushions
I first admired work by Sian Elin at New Designers this year, but didn’t cover it at the time because my photographs did not do the collection justice. Her wonderful cushions feature abstract designs (and the fab peacock patterned design above) in a range of luscious colour combinations.

elephant print cushion Rachel powell
Since I discovered her at New Designers in 2011 Rachel Powell has gone from strength to strength, and it’s so nice to see a recent graduate doing well commercially within a few years. My favourite thing in her new collection is this bold retro inspired elephant print that would look lush in a kid’s room. The design also comes on fabric that can be purchased by the metre – what a brilliant idea for all those crafters out there!

Magnetic porcelain train - Reiko Kaneko
What fun – this magnetic porcelain train for eggy soldiers is by the Japanese born designer Reiko Kaneko. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 she set up her own studio in London’s east end, but has since relocated to Stoke-on-Trent in order to integrate design and production in the home town of English bone china.

The Staffordshire University Flux ceramics
Speaking of fine bone china, the Staffordshire University student collaboration Flux Stoke-on-Trent continues to impress with beautiful ceramic designs. This project is an example of collaboration between a teaching establishment and industry – forging new bonds that will lead to viable careers in an industry which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate successfully.

Brushes by Swedish brand Lofstrom
These beautiful brushes by Mikael Lofstrom of Lofstrom skilfully make use of the natural shape of tree branches, which are paired with upcycled thistles.

Etelka Meixner of Hungary; pearl embellished chinaware
Etelka Meixner of Hungary has tapped into a very current theme with her luxuriously decorative pearl embellished chinaware.

Townscape design by Maxine Sutton
I had a long chat about the joys of living in Thanet with Ramsgate based designer Maxine Sutton, who has recently overhauled her shop in the centre of the newly vibrant Margate to become a stand alone store for her homewares range. This graphic townscape design perfectly showcases her style.

Kristine Five Melvaer -Norwegian design showcase
Over at the Norwegian design showcase I was most taken by these jewel coloured stripe pots from Kristine Five Melvær. Kristine works in glass and china to produce objects of exquisite beauty.

Fine china by Louise Wilkinson
Ceramic jug by Louise Wilkinson
Finally, I am just a little bit in love with fine china by Louise Wilkinson, an illustrator and fashion textile designer turned homewares designer who is inspired by Japanese design. I think her unique creations also owe a slight debt to the cute animals so often featured in 40s and 50s children’s book design: no wonder I find them so delightful. In fact we promptly bought a jug and matching mugs for some soon to be married friends and I am just a little bit envious.

You can share my discoveries as I find them by following me on instagram here.

Categories ,2013, ,Bone China, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chocolate Creative, ,Etelka Meixner, ,Flux Stoke-on-Trent, ,Homewares, ,Hungary, ,japanese, ,Kristine Five Melvær, ,Lofstrom, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Margate, ,Maxine Sutton, ,Melanie Porter, ,Melanie Roseveare, ,Melody Rose, ,Mikael Lofstrom, ,New Designers, ,Norwegian, ,Pearls, ,Petra Green, ,Porcelain, ,Rachel Powell, ,Ramsgate, ,Reiko Kaneko, ,review, ,Room 39, ,Sian Elin, ,Slovenia, ,Snarfle, ,Soft Furnishings, ,Staffordshire University, ,Stoke-on-Trent, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,Thanet, ,Upcycled, ,Working Well Trust

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Wall Art, Furniture and Lighting

SPW additions lampshade
Lampshade by Parris Wakefield Additions.

I’ve already brought you the best soft furnishings and homewards from Tent London 2013 at the Truman Brewery, and now here is a round up of wall art, furniture and lighting, with a toy and notebooks thrown in for good measure.

Parris Wakefield Additions sofa
Parris Wakefield Additions is a new brand from husband and wife team Howard Wakefield and Sarah Parris, busy graphic designers once based in central London and now living in rural Norfolk, where they have enough space for an in-house studio. They are inspired by a combination of colour palettes found in the natural world and those of favourite paintings (a huge pastel rug design is based on a famous Hockney painting), resulting in eye catching pattern and colour combinations. Their computer generated abstracts appear on lampshades, wallpaper and fabrics. I love the ethical side to the Parris Wakefield Additions business – this upcycled 20′s armchair (above) was reupholstered by Out of the Dark, a charity that trains youth in new skills.

Rebay lighting installation
This super fun lighting installation by Rebay attracted a great deal of attention on instagram, though I still haven’t figured out it’s purpose since all attempts to Google information bring up ebay.

Geometric prints on lampshades by tamasyn gambell
Cockpit Arts based textile designer Tamasyn Gambell has been busy expanding her decorative offering: her geometric prints now appear on fabulous big hanging lampshades.

Blown glass pendant lights - curiousa and curiousa
Once again I was wowed by blown glass pendant lights from Curiousa and Curiousa.

Tent London Furniture Magpie lighting
The Furniture Magpies breathe new life into discarded items. This year they have turned their attention to old lampshade frames to create these pretty knitted lights that come in a range of jewel colours.

Lizzie mcullen at work on a mural
Illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen was at work on a chalk mural when I walked past. This prolific artist creates bespoke imagery for many big brands.

Designer KSW studio
Kristjana S Williams has launched a new range of wallpapers featuring her instantly recognisable patterns; combinations of bold natural imagery and stark colourings.

Bear wall art by Kosmos Project from Poland
This 3D bear wall art is by Kosmos Project of Poland, a design studio set up by Ewa Bochen and Maciej Jelski.

Fibre glass stool inspired by an apple juice bottle, by Sit furnishings
Snarfle inspects a fibre glass stool that features tactile nobbles inspired by those on an apple juice bottle. Sit Furnishings is a new brand from Katherine Blamire and established designer Timothy Sheward, creating industrially forged products with a distinctly human touch. I was most impressed by their offering.

wood seat by Ruskasa from Taiwan
At the Taiwanese showcase we both loved this super smooth woven wood seat by Ruskasa.

Wooden magazine stand and stool by Moissue of Taiwan
This tactile wooden magazine stand by Moissue was also a winner: it neatly doubles as a stool.

horse shaped toddler stools by tamasine osher
What a clever idea; I so want one of these ergonomic easy-to-mount horse shaped toddler stools for Snarfle when he gets a bit older. Multi talented designer Tamasine Osher trained in architecture before taking an MA in furniture design whilst also working as an art director at a gallery.

Norwegian wooden toy by Permafrost
On the subject of things for children, this wooden toy by industrial designers Permafrost is utterly Norwegian and bloody brilliant: an oil rig with helipad and detachable helicopter: oil tankers also available in this prototype collection.

Sukie recycled books
Rescued paper notebooks made an attractive wall display at the Sukie stationery stand. The designer behind Sukie is a man, which goes somewhat contrary to expectations. Apparently most people expect him to be female and Japanese.

Next up: my review of the Three Four show further up Brick Lane. Read it here. Follow me on instagram for a first sneak peak at the design discoveries I make.

Categories ,2013, ,Brick Lane, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Curiousa and Curiousa, ,Ewa Bochen, ,Furniture, ,Furniture Magpie, ,Howard Wakefield, ,Katherine Blamire, ,Kosmos Project, ,Kristjana S Williams, ,Lighting, ,Lizzie Mary Cullen, ,Maciej Jelski, ,Moissue, ,Norwegian, ,Out of the Dark, ,Parris Wakefield Additions, ,Permafrost, ,poland, ,Rebay, ,review, ,Ruskasa, ,Sarah Parris, ,Sit Furnishings, ,Snarfle, ,stationery, ,Sukie, ,surface design, ,Taiwan, ,Tamasine Osher, ,Tamasyn Gambell, ,Tent London, ,Timothy Sheward, ,Truman Brewery, ,Upcycled, ,Wall Art

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2014: Lighting, Furniture, Jewellery and Interior Design

melanie porter sheep
Continuing my very late review of the 2014 edition of Tent London, here is some wonderful furniture, lighting, jewellery and other finds.

Melanie Porter
First of all, Snarfle astride a knitted rocking sheep (top) by Melanie Porter, who is also responsible for these sophisticated shadow lights woven with metallic thread.

Haidee Drew
These lovely ceramic ducks are by Haidee Drew.

Sevak Zargarian
Sevak Zargarian made these beautiful porcelain bowls, and has recently completed some awesome pendant lights for Heals.

turner furniture
These stunning inlaid wood cabinets are by Turner Furniture.

Christine Meyer-Eaglestone
More amazing marquetry in a mirror surround by Christine Meyer-Eaglestone.

Dan Heath studio
Daniel Heath created this Memphis inspired printed wood coffee table using a new printing process. I just love the pattern and what an innovative idea!

Nicholas Collins
And now for something pretty unique: Tumbling Blocks glass plates by Nicholas Collins.

Korinna Mei Veropoulou
The London Met University took a stand at Tent, and I particularly liked this fluoro illustration by Korinna Mei Veropoulou.

Melody Rose
Flying acrobats featured on the new range of Melody Rose china mugs.

Chromatic jewellery
Chromatic jewellery by Inca Starzinksy gives a new twist to perspex.

Kolormundo
On a similar tip are these colour wheel balls by Kolormondo, created to help designers.

Summer will be back
I first met the lovely Lisa of Summer Will Be Back when I visited her studio in Copenhagen. These origami mobiles are a beautiful addition to her print based ranges. I am very impressed by how prolific Lisa is.

Manufract
Manufract jewellery from Germany features some unusual broken maple and resin pendants.

Andrew Luddick
At the Irish showcase I was drawn to playful ceramics by Andrew Luddick.

Woodenleg
These fun ‘Chalet’ tables are by Woodenleg.

Louise tucker
Cardiff based Louise Tucker makes gorgeous woven lampshades.

Clare Millard
This geometric optical jewellery is by Clare Willard, currently stocked in the Design Museum.

Claire Loderheads
Humorous ceramics by Claire Loder stood out as hand made craft objects in a more design orientated show.

From Africa
These stylish monochrome woven lampshades (I sense a theme) are From Africa.

Glassmania czech
glassmania
Glassmania was a fun stand featuring unusual and playful designs by students from the Academy of Arts in Prague.

Korean metal gongs
These giant metal gong balls were an eye catcher at the Korean showcase.

Alfred and Wilde
Finally, I absolutely love the Platonic Solids inspired collection by new brand Alfred and Wilde from designer Simon Mitchell. These mugs come in 5 designs and are fired with dishwasher safe 9ct gold. I had a great chat with Simon, who still works two days a week in a marketing job to support his dream to run his own design brand. Simon contributed writing about the Platonic Solids for my 10th anniversary book That Which We Do Not Understand, and I recently interviewed him here.

All of these images were first shared on my instagram feed.

Categories ,2014, ,Academy of Arts, ,Alfred and Wilde, ,Andrew Luddick, ,Christine Meyer-Eaglestone, ,Claire Loder, ,Clare Willard, ,Daniel Heath, ,From Africa, ,Furniture, ,Glassmania, ,Haidee Drew, ,Inca Starzinksy, ,Irish showcase, ,jewellery, ,Kolormondo, ,Korinna Mei Veropoulou, ,Lighting, ,London Met University, ,Louise Tucker, ,Manufract, ,Melanie Porter, ,Melody Rose, ,Nicholas Collins, ,Platonic Solids, ,Prague, ,review, ,Sevak Zargarian, ,Simon Mitchell, ,Summer Will Be Back, ,Tent London, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Truman Brewery, ,Tumbling Blocks, ,Turner Furniture, ,Woodenleg

Similar Posts: