I went to the contemporary design and craft fair, MadeLondon, yesterday. It was its inaugural event in the capital and describes itself as, "...an exciting and fresh showcase and marketplace for the very best in contemporary craft and design...an enjoyable, eclectic fair featuring the most original makers in this country and beyond."
|by Louise O Neil|
I was not disappointed, in fact today my brain is still buzzing with the wealth of incredible design and craft talent I was lucky enough to see yesterday, and the whole place had a wonderful energy and excitement that I feel has been lacking from some other shows I have been to recently. It is still on for the rest of the weekend, so if Great Portland Street is within striking distance for you, I would really recommend a visit if the highest quality, handmade craft and design is your bag.
There was a breath taking array of jewellery, from the highest end, exquisite wearable art (swooned over the pieces by Henrietta Fernandez, Tamara Gomez and Louise O'Neill), to more affordable, sometimes quirky pieces incorporating interesting materials, text and designs, (I loved the retro brooches by Port-Bonheur de Wollie, porcelain pendants by A Milner and C Kersten and intriguing enamelled jewellery embellished with handwritten scraps of text by Buddug Wyn Humphreys). It was interesting and vaguely unnerving to see that many jewellery designers play with such similar shapes and combinations - and that where nature-inspired shapes are chosen, I could see many are working on similar forms as I am, so that really everything under the sun has already been done, but we are all bringing our particular flavour and style to similar themes. Instead of feeling uneasy about that (would they think I am copying, am I being unoriginal?), I am beginning to appreciate that if you know your work is not copied then actually the myriad ways artists find new ways of distilling inspiration from similar sources should really be a wonder and a joy, not something to feel defensive about!
|by Buddug Jewellery|
I did come away with a few treasures, not expensive purchases, but things I that I will adore using and are super functional as well as beautiful. A soft, hand knitted pair of fingerless gloves by Tangent Accessories caught my eye for their cosiness, delicously subtle colours and pattern and also that they have no individual finger spaces, so easy to keep on and still be able to take photos when I have my camera with me on winter walks. My find of the show though was Dover Street Pottery by David Worsley. All handmade, David makes and glazes these gorgeous pots and vessels in the most beautiful and calm shapes and colours - they are quietly perfect and I love that they are all small and fit in the hand so comfortably.
There is something so pure and yet confident about them, and the subtle textures intrigue me - an unglazed rim around the base of the pieces remains where David holds on to the pots as he dips them in the glazes. Sigh. The whole stand fitted into this ethos of no fuss, no bells and whistles just simple, fine design that spoke, so quietly but with such resolve, for itself.
Have cosy moments this chilly, blustery weekend! Bxx