Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown

Made In Clerkenwell returns for Spring

Certain areas of London are renowned for their qualities and quirks be it cultural, aesthetic, architectural or demographic. One such area that stands out for its strong creative roots is Clerkenwell. Sandwiched in part by The Barbican, on the edge of the City, and also close to both Islington and Shoreditch, this small district has been a hub for designers of all disciplines for many years.

With Vitra plotting its London flagship here, as well as Clerkenwell Design Week growing in popularity yearon year, Craft Central have a relatively quiet spot in the heart of EC1. Perched on the corner of Clerkenwell Green, with a larger Victorian building on St. John’s Square just across the road, it offers not only short-term, (and affordable) gallery spaces for its members, but also a larger support network for new, emerging and established designers/makers.

One of it’s main events is Made In Clerkenwell, a bi-annual showcase that celebrates the 100 resident designers and members across its two spaces, opening their doors to the public for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ wander around the studios, and the opportunity to buy directly from designers before pieces reach stockists and retailers.

Forest + Found

This Spring the focus is on all things new, so expect to see pre-launch collections as well as work-in- progress prototypes, and a glimpse at designers’ processes and inspiration.

Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown

‘We are extremely excited to offer visitors the chance to view new collections and prototypes by our designer makers, try out specialist crafts through Bezalel Workshops as well as learn more about the history of Clerkenwell through our guided walking tours. A particular highlight will be awarding one of our talented members £500 to develop their new collection’  says Louisa Pacifico, Chief Executive, Craft Central

Megan Collins

Expect to see an array of talented designers including our very own hand-picked jewellery designer Megan Collins, Forest and Found and Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown.

Made In Clerkenwell: Spring 2016 is on from 18-21 May.
Further details can be found at: www.craftcentral.org.uk

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What A Time To Be Alive

Last week I took a trip to High Wycombe for the launch of illustrator CM Carter’s exhibition, ‘What A Time To Be Alive.’

Under the name, Breakfast Champion, Claire’s irreverent comic-inspired illustrations actually signalled the launch of Look Like Love, when she featured in our very first blog post back in 2011, and I’ve been following her progress as an emerging graphic artist and illustrator ever since.

The Snug Gallery, a space within the The Belle Vue pub in High Wycombe, was the setting for her first solo exhibition, showcasing a variety of prints from her growing collection of stand-out illustrations.

Alongside were a selection of her limited edition comics, t-shirts and a large statement print. The muted tones off-set the dark comic humour she creates in a world of quirky characters which exude rebellion.

‘What A Time To Be Alive.’  is on until mid-March at;

The Belle Vue Snug Gallery
45 Gordon Rd,
High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire
HP13 6EQ

Can’t make it? We have a selection of prints, comics and t-shirts available from CM Carter, with new pieces coming soon!

London Design Festival…

After roughly eight months of planning, and with our red Shoreditch Design Triangle sign blowing in the breeze, we opened our one-night only exhibition on the 16th September.

It's our second year of being involved with London Design Festival and 'Hand-Picked' brought together twelve talented graduate and emerging designers under the roof of 5th Base Gallery in East London.

We had ambitiously decided to host the exhibition to celebrate the launch of our new website, something we've been working on for some time, and bring a 'Hand-Picked' creative force off the pages of design blogs and Instagram feeds, to the forefront of one of the most important design events in London.

It was important for us to not only show work from graduates we had spotted at New Designers and D&DA New Blood, but also emerging designers we had come across either via social media, networking or simply from an email saying hi, this is what I do.

A huge thank you to all the designers who took part, Shoreditch Design Triangle and everyone that made it down to support us and the designers on the night. Oh and the impromptu interview with London Live on practically no sleep and wearing no mascara, (something that dawned on me the following day!) It was a fantastic night and we couldn't have done it without you all...

Work by Lucinda Ireland greeted people as they came in with her collection of Hello's in her signature bold, graphic style. This sat next to the monochrome work by illustrator CM Carter, who had a range of prints, comics and screen-printed tees on display.

Domesticity ruled in the central space with a clash of not only cultures, but colour and pattern with work from House of Arike, Rose Honick and Jessie G showing that textiles needn't be drab or traditional.

Hand-drawn illustrations from Kayleigh Hadley gave a truly personal touch and sense of humour from her latest collection of typographic twists and twirls.

For the first time we included fashion in our selection, and the craftsmanship from Reece Curtis-Walwyn has to be seen first-hand. Her strong tailoring in muted, autumnal tones contrasted with the loose layered pieces and tassel detailing and the explosion of colour from Lisa McConniffe.

Screen-printed silks by Holly Eden added a softness to proceedings with her own hand-drawn designs transferred directly onto fabric.

Our selection of homeware has also extended this year with two designers we found at New Designers last year, Tom Hutchinson, who has recently, and successfully completed a Kickstarter project can now put his beautifully crafted Obtineo Range into production. And Sophie Cobb's ceramic collection Pick and Mix, shows the subtleties you can achieve in glaze for a fresh approach to the craft.

Last but not least, Max Lyne our first eco-product designer showcased his hand-crafted and stand-out light designs, sensitively using timber to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

We're off to start planning for 2015, see you then!

 

Coming Up…

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The last few weeks have been a little bit of a whirlwind for us. We've secured our gallery space just of Brick Lane in East London, confirmed the designers taking part, and been accepted to be part of Shoreditch Design Triangle for a second year running!

With a mere 6 weeks to go until London Design Festival kicks off, (we cannot believe how fast the time is flying by) here's a snapshot of a few of the designers you can expect to see on the 16th September to celebrate the launch of our new online shop.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be telling you a bit more about each designer, the new website and what to expect on the night itself...

Walk Out On The Beach With Me…

Last weekend we took a trip down to Brighton, the sun was shining, it was jacket-free weather with the seafront bustling with people, local and from further a field soaking up the sea air, and to-date a rare glimpse of Summer.

A great weekend on its own, but we were there to support some close friends who were raising money for their beautiful daughter Rosa who was born with Cerebral Palsy just over two years ago.
The aim was to be able to take her to the private clinic in London, The Bobath Centre. The centre specialises in working with children with various degrees of the illness and works with one-on-one therapy focusing on mobility and speech.

We were honoured to be be part of their fundraiser entitled 'Walk out on the beach with me', and with the generosity of our designers, CM Carter, Jessie G, Roisin Connolly and Natalie Hough, we had some amazing donations too.

The evening was a combination of a silent auction, live auction and raffle, with some incredible pieces on offer from artists including Tom Hammick and Dom McGill, as well as local contributions from Karen Potter and Ta King.

And what a response, from the top floor of The Mesmerist Bar in the heart of Brighton, the crowd did not disappoint with bids coming thick and fast for all the pieces on offer. The buzz from the auction certainly didn't stop there with the silent auction equally as competitive. Bids and counter-bids were placed up until the last minute, with eager bidders lingering around the works they really wanted, to stop anyone from putting in a cheeky offer in the final seconds!

Any disappointment was short-lived as the raffle had plenty of amazing pieces up for grabs, from the classic bottle of champagne and spa treatments to autographed cards from One Direction!

The final figure raised on the night is still being totalled up, but early predictions show they have doubled the original figure they were hoping for.

It was an emotional and overwhelming evening for Rosa's parents Alice and Will, and a fantastic show of kindness and generosity from friends and family who came from near and far to show their love and support for their little girl...