• Lauren Grace’s Design Story

    On: October 28, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 389
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    London based jeweller Lauren Grace creates beautiful, stylish and often playful designs. Using traditional tools and techniques, each piece of jewellery is designed and created by hand in Lauren’s studio, using recycled precious metals wherever possible and ethically sourced gemstones. Lauren’s jewellery is inspired by childhood memories, art and decorative pattern and she creates jewellery for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship with a quirky edge. We caught up with Lauren to find out more about her jewellery and inspirations.

    If  you  weren’t  a  designer-maker,  what  would  you  be  right  now?
    As  a  child  I  alternated  between  wanting  to  be  a  fighter  pilot  and  a  lawyer.    I  suspect  lawyer  is  the  more  realistic  option!

    When  did  you  realise  you  wanted  to  be  a  designer?
    I’ve  always  been  creative,  but  it  was  a  jewellery  class  run  by  our  woodwork  teacher  in  the  sixth form  that  made  me  realise  that  working  with  metal  was  my  thing.

    Describe  your  work  in  three  words.
    Playful,  timeless,  ethical.

    Are  there  any  other  designers  whose  work  you  admire,  and  why?
    So  many!  Jewellery  by  Jenny  Llewellyn  (I  love  her  unique  style  and  use  of  coloured  silicone),  furniture  and  woodwork  by  Gavin  Coyle  (beautiful  craftsmanship  and  wonderful  bespoke  designs),  photography  by  Steve  Brown  (wonderful  combination  of  lighting  expertise  and  post-production  technique),  and  ceramics  by  Abalon  Star  (I  love  the  delicate  porcelain  with  gold  detail).

    What  do  you  do  in  your  free  time?
    On  my  rare  days  off,  I  enjoy  photography  and  hanging  out  with  my  cats.    Yoga  and  running  get  me  away  from  the  workbench  and  keep  me  sane.

    What’s  one  thing  you  like  to  do  everyday  without  fail?
    I  like  to  get  some  fresh  air  by  commuting  to  the  studio  and  running  errands  on  my  bicycle.    Well,  as  fresh  as  the  air  gets  in  London  anyway!

    What  brings  you  the  greatest  satisfaction?
    Finishing  a  bespoke  piece  for  a  client  and  having  them  tell  me  I  totally  nailed  the  brief  and  they  love  it.

    What’s  the  best  advice  you  have  been  given?
    If  you  want  to  be  good  at  something  you  need  to  practice  it.  That  or  life  is  too  short  to  stuff  a  vegetable.  Both  pieces  of  advice  have  been  equally  useful  during  my  life!

    What’s  the  best  gift  you  have  ever  received?
    For  my  18th  birthday,  my  friend  Kate  gave  me  a  photo  album  that  she  had  made  with  photos  of  me,  my  family  and  friends  from  throughout  my  life.  She  had  been  through  all  my  baby  and  school  photos  with  my  mum  and  written  little  notes  about  each  one. My  mum  also  recently  made  me  an  album  of  childhood  photographs  for  my  40th  birthday  and  I  love  them  both!

    What  is  your  favourite  quote?
    Pour  yourself  a  drink,  put  on  some  lipstick  and  pull  yourself  together͟ –  Elizabeth  Taylor

    What  is  in  your  bucket  list?
    Conquering  my  fear  of  flying  (and  giant  spiders)  enough  to  get  on  a  plane  to  Australia.  I  have  family  there  so  would  love  to  visit.

    What  is  the  best  piece  you  have  bought  and  from  whom?
    Whilst  I  don’t  often  have  the  chance  to  buy  lovely  things  (all  of  my  money  goes  on  jewellery  tools  and  sparkly  gemstones!)  my  favourite  is  a  glass  pendant  light  which  hangs  in  my  hallway.  I  bought  it  from  a  designer  that  exhibited  at  Handmade Chelsea  a  few  years  back  but  can’t  remember  their  name!

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  • Barbara Yarde’s Design Story

    On: July 25, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 525
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    With inspirations from travelling such as India, Morocco, Egypt and London. Barbara Yarde’s uses the combination of
    18ct gold, sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones. Find our more about Barbara in this short interview.

    If you weren’t a designer-maker, what would you be right now?
    A buyer for a fashion house or a chef

    When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
    I always knew I wanted to design but for a long time I was not sure how to go about it.

    Describe your work in three words.
    Unique, handmade and lovely

    Are there any other designers whose work you admire, and why?
    The paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, because of the dark mood.

    What do you do in your free time?
    See family, friends, travel, go to parks and museums

    What’s one thing you like to do everyday without fail?
    Have breakfast

    What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
    Doing what I do now

    What’s the best advice you have been given?
    Don’t give up, the best is yet to come

    What’s the best gift you have ever received?
    Membership to the V & A museum

    What is your favourite quote?
    Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

    What is in your bucket list?
    Travel, travel and more travel

    What is the best piece you have bought and from whom?
    A DAW Eames chair

    Check out Barbara Yarde’s designs here!

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  • Amelia Newton’s Design Story

    On: July 20, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 444
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    Tornedge is a partnership between two sisters-in-law Amelia and Anna Newton. They have complementary design styles and have produced a range of beautiful silk and woollen scarves, vibrant velvet cushions and handmade embossed prints. We caught up with Amelia to find out more about one half of this fab design duo.

    If you weren’t a designer-maker, what would you be right now?
    I could not be anything else.

    When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
    As a teenager.

    Describe your work in three words.
    Vibrant, striking, timeless.

    Are there any other designers whose work you admire, and why?
    Margo Selby – for the ability to reinvent her ideas and be both fresh and recognisable, and for her business acumen.

    What do you do in your free time?
    Gardening, mountaineering.

    What’s one thing you like to do every day without fail?
    Eat something healthy.

    What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
    Designing new products/people appreciating my designs.

    What’s the best advice you have been given?
    Persist.

    What’s the best gift you have ever received?
    A ceramic sculpture of a sheep.

    What is your favourite quote?
    “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool”.- Shakespeare

    What is in your bucket list?
    Too many items to list.

    What is the best piece you have bought and from whom?
    A small wooden sculpture by a famous Polish sculptor Marcin Rząsa.

    Check out Tornedge’s designs here!

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  • Richard Shock’s Design Story

    On: July 18, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 515
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    Woodturner Richard Shock became a member of Oxfordshire Craft Guild in 2003 mainly uses British native woods, increasingly from local sources. He left his job in 2005 to become a full time turner and after was accepted on the Register of Professional Turners, under the auspices of Worshipful Company of Turners. He was also accepted as a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and of the Oxforshire Craft Guild. We caught up with Richard to find out more about his work, ambitions and interests.

    If you weren’t a designer-maker, what would you be right now?

    I would just be a retired chemical engineer probably doing some consultancy and probably making more money than I am now but having less fun.

    When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

    When I took up woodturning as a hobby at the age of 50 and quickly realised that being a designer-maker was becoming an obsession.

    Describe your work in three words.
    Simple, dramatic striking (These are taken from unsolicited testimonials).

    Are there any other designers whose work you admire, and why?

    In my own field Les Thorne for his innovation and infective enthusiasm, Gary Rance for his skill at spindle turning, and Joey Richardson for the beauty of her creations. Among other media Kyosun Jung (for whom I have made supporting work) for her skill as a silversmith, Andrew Hazelden for his beautifully decorated ceramics, and almost anyone who works in glass.

    What do you do in your free time?
    Turning has become such an obsession that I don’t have much spare time but I read a lot of history and my wife and I like to travel (a relic of my last employment, in international climate change issues).

    What’s one thing you like to do everyday without fail?
    Apart form turning a bowl, make contact with my new grandson.

    What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
    Sales of my work in galleries – it’s not the money (in fact with the gallery commission, which I do not begrudge, I get less than from a direct sale) but the fact that a stranger, who does not know who I am, has fallen for my work among all the other work on sale.

    What’s the best advice you have been given?
    Look at the work of makers in other media.

    What’s the best gift you have ever received?
    A good education.

    What is your favourite quote?
    “Never in the field of human conflict …”

    What is in your bucket list?
    There are plenty of places where we have not been (See 5 above) especially in South America.

    What is the best piece you have bought and from whom?
    A glass bowl that we bought years ago at an Affordable Art Fair. I am kicking myself for passing on the chance to buy one of the last pieces made by the late, great turner Bert Marsh.

    Photo Credit: Agness Lukovska

    Take a look at Richard’s latest designs.

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  • John Eadon’s Design Story

    On: March 8, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 819
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    After graduating from art school, John Eadon found himself increasingly working with wood, eventually picking up enough skills and interest to create bespoke furniture. Now a fully-fledged designer-maker with his own collection, we caught up with him to chat about his work, dreams and inspirations.

    Handmade: If you weren’t a designer-maker, what would you be right now?
    John: Being a Designer Maker started off from trying to be an Artist and not happy with being a Carpenter, so perhaps an Artist, but I’ve always been drawn to gardening, so maybe a Garden Designer?

    Handmade: Describe your work in three words.
    John: Clean Lines Furniture.

    Handmade: Are there any other designers whose work you admire, and why?
    John: Gareth Neal, he looks back and forward and experiments with both.
    Russel Pinch, elegant and timeless quality designs.
    Hans J Wegner, So many design classics! Took a seed of inspiration and turned it into an undeniable Wegner design.

    Handmade: What do you do in your free time?
    John: My work is never far from my mind, that is the reality with being a designer maker, sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not, always seeking inspiration. Other than that, spending time with my young family and our friends is very important to me.

    Handmade: What’s one thing you like to do everyday without fail?
    John: Wake up.

    Handmade: What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
    John: Creating something, taking and exploring an idea and realising a design, but most of all that it works.

    Handmade: What’s the best advice you have been given?
    John: “Sometimes it is about a bit of good luck, but you have to put yourself in as many situations as you can so that good luck has a better chance of finding you.”

    Handmade: What’s the best gift you have ever received?
    John: Here we go… My two daughters!

    Handmade: What is your favourite quote?
    John: One that has always stuck in my mind is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.

    Handmade: What is in your bucket list?
    John: Create a design icon (although you won’t succeed if you try to). Design something for a main avenue garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

    Check out John Eadon’s designs here.

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  • Isabelle Capitain’s Design Story

    On: March 8, 2018
    In: Design stories
    Views: 808
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    Isabelle Capitain has always been fascinated with making her own jewellery, and worked for other designers before starting her business. We spent 10 minutes with Isabelle to find little bit more about her.

    Handmade: If you weren’t a designer-maker, what would you be right now?
    Isabelle: If I weren’t a designer maker I would hopefully be working in a different creative profession. After finishing my A-Levels I toyed with the idea of studying photography at art school.

    Handmade: Describe your work in three words.
    Isabelle: Minimalist, contemporary, technical.

    Handmade: Are there any other designers whose work you admire, and why?
    Isabelle: My favourite jewellery designers are Ingo Henn and McCaul Goldsmiths. Style wise they’re miles apart, but their skill levels are admirable and inspiring.

    Handmade: What do you do in your free time?
    Isabelle: I go to a lot of gigs and like a good book.

    Handmade: What’s one thing you like to do everyday without fail?
    Isabelle: I’m terrible if I’m not being fed chocolate on a regular basis.

    Handmade: What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
    Isabelle: A happy customer and a newly mastered skill.

    Handmade: What’s the best gift you have ever received?
    Isabelle: My Dalek mug.

    Handmade: What is your favourite quote?
    Isabelle: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff.” 10th Doctor, Dr Who

    Handmade: What is in your bucket list?
    Isabelle: A visit to Tokyo.

    Handmade: What is the best piece you have bought and from whom?
    Isabelle: My tattoos, they’ll stay with me forever. I especially love the Max Ernst inspired pieces on my arm, done by Michele L’Abbate at Family Business Tattoos.

    Discover Isabelle’s latest collection here.

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