Image by Yeshen Venema Photography

Turning Over a New Leaf

January means the to-do lists come out in earnest, (as if they ever really get put away!) and all ideas seem renewed, looking at them with fresh eyes. After a busy and productive 2014, my mind is literally fizzing with the prospect of the coming year and all the plans, ideas and projects waiting in the wings.

Always at the top of my list is to find new talent from across the U.K, and with the recent release of the independent biannual magazine Fiera from Confessions of a Design Geek founder Katie Treggidan, there is a fresh crop of design talent brought to the attention of the masses.

Having read the first issue from cover to cover, here are a few of my top U.K-based picks…


Rhian Malin

A recent graduate from Camberwell College of Art, Rhian has a unique approach to her ceramic designs. After throwing the simple vessels, she invites people to shape each one with their hands to create one-off distorted, tactile pieces.

Using a classic blue and white willow pattern following the unique contours, Rhian has created a bold collection with its roots in individuality and expression.

The strength of her work really shines through when viewed together, with each piece having its own unique story to tell.


Beatrice Larkin

Having finished an MA in Textile Design at the Royal College of Art, Beatrice has crafted a collection of beautifully simple, yet bold designs.

Based in London, she uses traditional weaving techniques alongside her hand drawings to create soft-focus contemporary, geometric designs.

Beatrice works closely with a mill in Yorkshire through each stage of production, to manufacture woven blankets and throws not only maintaining a strong link with traditional techniques and methods, but sees the importance of working with a U.K based company. This personal touch is evident with each throw using the finest wools for the ultimate soft and cosy finish.


Jodie Watts

Wanting to follow her passion, London-born Jodie went from Law to Furniture design, learning her craft at London College of Furniture.

Jodie’s designs combine traditional craftsmanship with simplicity to create quality contemporary pieces, and she has been lucky enough to work with some of the U.Ks best manufacturers including Benchmark and Parker Knoll, forming a strong portfolio of work.

I’m loving her Nymph occasional table in particular with modern lines and contemporary detailing combining both solid oak and ash.


Tiipoi

Founded in 2013 by creative partners Spandana Gopal and Andre Pereira, Tiipoi is based on a less is more approach, with their simple and beautiful designs inspired by the Indian subcontinent ethos, where nothing is wasted and where improvisation come from a lack of something rather than an abundance of it.

Living in a world of built-in obsolescence and a throw-away attitude, their material approach to design focuses on quality and longevity, something that grows and changes, ages and becomes more precious over time.

Using predominantly copper and brass combined with wood and glass their timeless collection is luxurious, yet humble, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.


These are just a few of my favourite designers from the first issue of Fiera. Katie’s new approach to putting all her discoveries from across the globe in one place, is a great way to celebrate new design talent that may have otherwise been overlooked. This now permanent record now brings them to the forefront, to be appreciated and celebrated.

“New designers still believe in the impossible - a crucial trait if design is going to help solve the problems, large and small, that we face today.” - Katie Treggiden

To purchase your own copy of Fiera click the link below...
http://shop.magculture.com/products/fiera-magazine

From Part One to Part Two…

One of the favourite parts of our job is scouting the degree shows for new talent, and 2014 has proved to be another hugely talented year.

New Designer's held at Islington's Business Design Centre every Summer is the hub for the UK's Universities, coming together to showcase the very best of their creative talent. This is our third year of attending and here are a few of our favourite finds over the last two weeks…

Part One

Amy Pegler

We starting following Amy Pegler, a graduate from Hereford University, a few weeks before New Designers as we loved her graphic, urban environment inspired textiles. There's a freshness to her designs that caught our eye, and were lucky enough to meet her and have a chat about her collection too.

 

Melody Vaughan

 

Melody Vaughan from Nottingham Trent University had an interesting take on ceramics, and her pieces were more of an interactive, visual tool as well as a sculptural one. We loved the moulded shapes and colour combinations that formed the stand-out collection.

 

Aimee Bollu

 

Also from Nottingham Trent University, Aimee Bollu's final collection was based around collecting and hoarding, with a touch of her own OCD. Mixed with her beautifully simple ceramic pieces, she combined found objects from the streets of Nottingham, otherwise deemed unloved, or uninteresting, and puts them at the forefront of what makes her work elegant, understated and modern.

 

Francesca Stride

 

A graduate from Glasgow School of Art, Francesca Stride had a very different way of displaying her wares. Using 2D card cut-out figures to drape her creations, the collection aptly titled 'Compositions for a Cardboard Cut-out' showcased industrial knitting techniques with fine wool to create a bold and colourful collection.

 

Part Two

Daniel Lau

Daniel Lau, a graduate from Nottingham Trent's Product and Furniture Design degree was on-hand to show us his chair collection, and chat about his future plans. Already successfully in production in the UK, an important aspect for Daniel, his Kai collection of wireframe chairs were striking, and finished impeccably. Available in a range of colours to suit the user, we loved the simplicity of the design and Daniel's passion for British-based design and manufacture.

 

Joshua Townley 

Joshua Townley's playful illustrative style caught our eye with his monochrome piece perched amongst a sea of colourful examples. We loved his work with just enough charm mixed with the right level of dark humour.

Alice Greatrex

The soft green hue used in Alice Greatrex's ceramic collection was stunning. We both loved the simplicity of the crafted pieces by the Loughborough graduate as well as the display itself. Without having to shout look at me, it was one of our stand-out collections from this year's crop of new talent.

Charles Parford-Plant

One of our final spots was by product and furniture graduate Charles Parford-Plant. His Tension collection showed how it is possible to create beautifully crafted, elegant and functional furniture without using a myriad of fixings to construct it. One top, four legs and four rubber tension bands are all it takes to put this table together, no assembly instructions required.