Amelia’s Magazine | The Secret Emporium at The Secret Garden Party Festival 2012


The Secret Emporium by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

This year The Secret Garden Pary, which took place between the 19th and 22nd of July, had chosen for its 10th birthday celebrations the theme ‘Standing on Ceremony’. More than ever before this famously flamboyant festival encouraged all kinds of rituals, ceremonies, initiations and carnivals to be abundantly created, attended and enjoyed by the gardeners. As the charming Secret Garden Party guide from this year explained, the aim of the above, and of the Garden as a whole, was to ‘bind us together’ and ‘emphasise matter over mind’. I felt that both these aims were most certainly achieved not only by the colourful activities, but also the huge amounts of mud which challenged us, bonded us as if with gooey, brown glue and made sure that ‘matter’ took centre stage indeed…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Bannersphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

I found myself part of this mud world because I was one of the designers taking part in the Secret Emporium. For a few years now The Secret Emporium has been sourcing independent, underground and out of the ordinary designers during the winter and taking them to festivals over the summer – as well as organising various other pop up events during the year, such as The Secret Emporium Christmas Market, featured previously in Amelia’s Magazine. The often theatrical pieces by The Secret Emporium designers are especially suited to a playful festival, like The Secret Garden Party, and it was most fun witnessing people all around being at their most willing to dress up and give in to a bit of embelishment. Below are just a few of my favorite looks and designs from The Secret Emporium festive marquee…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party EABURNS photo by Maria Papadimitriou

A wonderful shoulder piece, headband and pendant from EABurns by the very talented Lizzie Burns.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Veronique wearing SJSSTYLE and Every Cloud has a Silver Lining photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I think a few jaws dropped when the beautiful Veronique – a Secret Emporium intern – modeled this onesie by SJSSTYLE and long statement necklace by Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Key-Lime-Pie cape+bow photo by Maria Papadimitriou

A lovely festival look consisting of cape, bow hairpiece and bum-bag by Key Lime Pie.

Secret Emporium Tell Tails by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Tell Tails by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Hapuska photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Hapuska’s headpieces were perfect for a bit of drama – and notice the cute red bows make up by In Your Dreams mentioned below!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Feathersmith photo by Maria Papadimitriou

More feathery, tribal headwear by Feathersmith.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Camille Walalaphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

The super lovely Camille Walala, whose colourful stall I had the pleasure of having immediately opposite me, dressed glamorously every day in her own designs.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party The Poundshopphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

I totally loved the forces behind The Poundshop, Sara and George, who were, like myself, recipients of one of the very generous Secret Emporium scholarships. From their greatly designed wooden kiosk on wheels they represented a host of designers via their super affordable and witty products.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Plastic Seconds photo by Maria Papadimitriou

This lady was very excited about just purchasing this headpiece made from found objects by Plastic Seconds – which is my jewellery line.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Hathor photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Elegant and sparkly one-off headpieces by Hathor.

Secret Emporium BangBangCrash by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Bang Bang Crash by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Of course The Secret Garden Party is very clear about its desire to bring out the animal side in a Gardener so Bang Bang Crash were there to provide various animal suits…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party JobeeJo Creations photo by Maria Papadimitriou

And felted animal ear hats by JoBee Jo Creations were helping along.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party In Your Dreams photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In Your Dreams catered for all our ‘out there’ make up needs and were deservedly very popular.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Tell Tales 2 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Tell Tails photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Also very popular – both with kids and adults! – were the fabulous tails from Tell Tails.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Merrimaking

The Merrimaking stall, as always, was full of cleverly designed and fun promoting items.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party SJSSTYLE photo by Maria Papadimitriou

SJSSTYLE made sunglasses with all sorts of weird and wonderful additions to them!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Lucy Peacock photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Lucy Peacock, who is helping to run The Secret Emporium, also displayed her geometric jewellery.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Grace Du Prez photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I have long admired Grace du Prez’s jewellery design and at The Secret Emporium she was also my delightful neighbour.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Gilbert Grotto and Grace Du Prezphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

Here is one of Grace du Prez’s hair pendants worn on a Gilbert Grotto tee!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Fuudhoods photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The cockerel in me loved these head turning hoods by Fuud Hoods.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Leftover photo by Maria Papadimitriou

More found objects headpiece action by Leftover.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Umbrellas decorations photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The Secret Emporium team had made these bright and colourful umbrellas to decorate the interior of their euqally bright and colourful marquee.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,BangBang Crash, ,Camille Walala, ,EABurns, ,Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, ,Feathersmith, ,festival, ,Fuud Hoods, ,Gilbert Grotto, ,Grace Du Prez, ,Hapuska, ,Hathor, ,In Your Dreams, ,JoBee Jo Creations, ,Key Lime Pie, ,Leftover, ,Lucy Peacock Jewellery, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Merrimaking, ,Plastic Seconds, ,Secret Emporium, ,Secret Garden Party, ,SJSSTYLE, ,Tell Tails, ,The Poundshop, ,The Secret Emporium, ,The Secret Garden Party

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Amelia’s Magazine | Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Week One Review

Free Range show 2013
The graduate shows are upon us and that can only mean one thing… I’ll be heading down to the Truman Brewery on a weekly basis to discover the most inspiring new designers graduating in 2013. Due to the fact that I was off camping in rural Sussex last week (bliss) I only just made it along in time to view the first week’s showing at Free Range Graduate Shows. Sadly Somerset College was already packing up, but here’s the best of what I found elsewhere.

Suzanne Kugler at Coventry Uni
Fashion students from Coventry University had created an innovative display out of cardboard boxes, with exciting over-sized ceramic jewellery by Suzanne Kugler taking pole position in the window.

Perverted Penguins at Greenwich Uni
Next door University of Greenwich was showcasing the best of it’s new designers in multiple disciplines – I liked huge creative typography by Ben of Perverted Penguins.

African beads by King's Edogiawerie
In a dark corner an intriguing laser cut description of African beads had been made by the brilliantly named King’s Edogiawerie.

Stunning beaded accessories by Sophia Denny
Goldsmiths had taken over the largest area in the basement to display a plethora of different design ideas under the This is War moniker. I was attracted to stunning beaded accessories inspired by history by Sophia Denny Design.

Tools to build emotional intelligence by Fanny Bissa
With children and friends aplenty frolicking around her stand Fanny Bissa‘s clever and colourful tools to build emotional intelligence warranted a closer look: I can imagine small people in particular would love to play around with her chalkboard shapes, but their usage could also be adapted to adult situations – find out more on her elegantly designed blog, Learn to Solve, here.

Emily Sutcliffe at Southampton Solent
Finally, I was drawn to Emily Sutcliffe‘s 80s tastic fashion alphabet at Southampton Solent University, which runs a course specialising in Fashion Graphics.

If you have just graduated and are wondering what to do with the rest of your life, why not check out our inaugural Amelia’s Award, the winner of which will receive a sponsored place to sell creative goods with the Secret Emporium at the Wilderness Festival this summer.

I look forward to discovering much more talent in the weeks to come – don’t forget to follow me on instagram (where all the above images appeared first) if you want to discover it in real time with me. My listing for Free Range can be found here.

Categories ,2013, ,Amelia’s Award, ,Emily Sutcliffe, ,Fanny Bissa, ,Fashion Graphics, ,Free Range, ,goldsmiths, ,Graduate Shows, ,instagram, ,King’s Edogiawerie, ,Learn to Solve, ,Perverted Penguins, ,review, ,Secret Emporium, ,Somerset College, ,Sophia Denny Design, ,Southampton Solent University, ,Suzanne Kugler, ,The Secret Emporium, ,This is War, ,Truman Brewery, ,University of Greenwich, ,Wilderness Festival

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Yasmin Dilekkaya of Yas-Ming Ceramics

Yas Ming ceramics by Lauren KellyYas -Ming by Lauren Kelly

I’m a big fan of collaborations and the wonders they can produce, and Yas-Ming Ceramics is no exception. Begotten from a project between Yasmin Dilekkaya and Ming Wai Sun during their time at University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, these animal mugs, bowls and other items could give the Urban Outfitters homeware section a run for its money. Talking-pieces as well as beautiful kitchen thingymabobs, their handcrafted ceramics are slip-cast, with press moulding and hand building also used in their creation.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming  (1)

Fun is vital part of the brand and the product lines are named accordingly: Moo Cups, Rawr Bowls, Oink, Squeak and Nay. The mugs are my fave, available with an animal head or a bum on the mug instead of a handle, you can choose from a delicate giraffe, fierce lion, stern horse, cute pig, grumpy cow and majestic ram. There’s all sorts of other stuff too including bowls with animal faces and posteriors, dishes with adorable characters patiently watching you munch down your nosh, and even little ceramic chopstick holders that let your eating implements have a quick rest.

Having bumped into Yas at the Ohh Deer Pop-Launch and spent an evening with her talking about ceramics, I can confirm that not only are the products from this exquisite little brand lovely, but the people behind it are too. I spoke to Co-Founder Yasmin Dilekkaya about mugs with bums and getting a creative company off the ground.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming

Can you tell me a little about both yourself and Ming?
We met while we where studying on an Applied Arts degree, Ming Wai was born in Hong Kong and is now living in the UK with her husband and daughter. I have a Turkish Cypriot background, but born and grew up in England. Our multicultural backgrounds were a stimulus and inspiration to us while designing and making at university.

Yas Ming by Lilly Allen
Yas-Ming by Lilly Allen

How did you get the idea for the mugs? 
In our final year at uni, as a year group, we had to raise money for our end of year Graduate Show. At this point I was making a set of Turkish coffee cups and Ming Wai was making beautifully elaborate 3D ceramic picture frames that had animals coming out of them.  We had the idea of attaching the animals to the cups so we had a product that we could sell around university.  The cups were really popular so after Graduation we decided to see how much further we could push the idea.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming ceramics by Lauren Kelly
Yas -Ming by Lauren Kelly

Why did you start making the mugs with ‘bums’?
In the beginning we experimented a lot with cutting the animals in half and seeing where they worked on the cups/bowls and we thought it was a fun idea to have bums as handles as well as the heads.

Which events have you been at in the last year, and what do you have planned for future?
In the past year we have been part of lots of great events from trade shows to markets and pop-up shops. We have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic organisations. Highlights include being selected by The Secret Emporium to be part of their Christmas Market and their Boxpark Pop-Up. Also, exhibiting in Launchpad at Pulse, getting to meet lots of new potential stockists and being part of the Ohh Deer Pop-up where we have been asked to run a ceramic workshop. We have another pop-up with Crafty Fox and Brixi next month, with lots to look forward to in the coming months.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming

What kind of reactions do the pieces usually get? 
They generally get a great reaction, sometimes it takes a while for people to register what they are looking at, and you can watch as their face goes from confused to a smile. There are always lots of smiles, laughter, and people love to pick them up and try out holding them.

Can you explain the process that goes into making the mugs?
We use moulds to cast the animals and moulds to cast the cups/bowls/dishes, once they are out of their moulds the two pieces are carefully attached together by hand and put into the kiln for the first firing. They then get glazed and put into the kiln for a second time.

Yas Ming by Lilly Allen 2
Yas-Ming by Lilly Allen

Is handcrafting your products important to you, or do you think in future you would consider mass-production? 
It is important to us, we use traditional techniques and are proud that each piece is touched and crafted by the hand of a skilled craftsperson. It gives the work personality and quirks that you would not get from factory mass-production.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming

Do you have a favourite animal?
That’s such a hard question, I have favourite animals for different products. I like the Rat Oink because I like the way he looks when he has sauce in the dish. The Cow Rawr is also a favourite, I use it for my cereal most days. The Giraffe Moo I also love as it’s is beautifully elegant.

What’s the greatest challenge of setting up a business? 
Like a lot of new businesses we have had a huge amount of challenges, ours were mostly kiln problems and production issues at the start. Now we have some great people in Stoke helping us produce the products, the challenges have changed.

How do you take your tea? 
Two sugars and not much milk.

Yas Ming
Yas Ming by Nikki Miles
Yas-Ming by Nikki Miles

To get your hands on these Baa-utiful ceramics, check out the Yas-Ming website at

Categories ,animals, ,Applied Arts, ,Boxpark, ,Brixi, ,cast, ,chopsticks, ,Clay, ,Crafty Fox, ,glazed, ,Graduate Show, ,graduation, ,Homeware, ,jessicasrcook, ,Lauren Kelly, ,Lilly Allen, ,moulds, ,Mugs, ,Nikki Miles, ,Ohh Deer, ,Pulse, ,The Secret Emporium, ,trade shows, ,workshop, ,Yas-Ming, ,Yasmin Dilekkaya

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