Such a beautiful location for a Craft Show and great excuse to visit Kew Gardens. And what a collection of talent I found at Handmade in Britain at Kew Gardens this year. With so many unique British designer/makers, I have selected just a few of my personal show high-lights.
I must confess, that being a bit of a painter (but don’t give up the day job) – I do tend to home in on the more creative crafts. That’s one of the reasons I headed straight for the section curated by Dan Goode. With a Trend towards the Botanically inspired, his collection fitted in so well with the location.
The first Designer I was excited to see was Sally Burnett
I have previously seen Sally’s work at the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design. This show I was so happy to get the chance to meet Sally and find out how she creates these amazing bowls.
With a finish so pale and smooth it’s hard to believe that her works not made from porcelain. But each piece is turned from a large section of Sycamore. The luminescent quality is achieved by bleaching the wood and the feather decoration is then carved and painted with acrylic. The metalic designs are created with dyed silver leaf, that is then sealed, to prevent tarnishing. I was amazed to hear that the fine decoration and texture on the pieces Sally creates with a dentist drill!
With the leaves falling in the gardens of Kew it seemed appropriate to visit Ashleaf.
Sculptors Sam Dalton and Hanna Varga create these amazing leaves. Sam explained the technique they use of the traditional lost wax process. This enables them to cast the fine detail of these delicate forms in Bronze. They look so fragile I was surprised when I was encouraged to hold them and feel the weight. They really are beautiful. Sam explained that the ash of the leaf still remains and is embedded into the mould – hense the Ashleaf company name.
The next lady I just had to meet was the, ever so slightly bonkers, (no she won’t mind me saying that) Rachel Nettles. I had seen this lovely lady modelling caulliflowers on her head and cradling other various root vegetables, on her website. No surprise then, that I found her amongst the cabbages.
With her company Cabbages & Nettles Rachel describes her work as Embroidered textile art. Rachel’s vegetables are machine and hand stitched creating a woven fabric of threads. The attention to detail really draws you in and being captivated by a carrot was definitely a first for me.
Another artist, Kate Kato, is also inspired by nature. This girl certainly knows how to make creepy crawlies look beautiful. Creating these delicate plants and insects from recycled materials. Kate carves from paper and builds around wire. Embellishing with stitching and embroidery. I love the specimen box presentation of her designs.
My last of the weird and wonderful is artist Jess Albert .
Jess is a girl obsessed with insects. She describes her work as being ‘beautiful grotesque’, mixing the scary with the stunning. Her hybrid insects are made up of many different parts. A butterfly with spiders legs or a moth that is half wasp!!
Going from the Botanical to the Marine, my next Artist is Joy Trypkovic
Joy crafts these beautiful fragile tiny sea creatures from porcelain. The delicate nature of the pinched porcelain sculptures means they not always survive the firing process. After glazing they are displayed in acrylic showcases. Giving the impression that they are suspended mid-air. They never fail to amaze me and it’s not surprising that Joy has won international awards. You can also find Joy’s work her Meet the maker page and featured on our Cool Coastal Moodboard.
Another maker on the ceramics trail is Ali Tomlin. I love the style of Ali’s work. Her elegant porcelain pieces are all individually thrown. There is a slightly oriental style to her designs that makes them timeless. The work looks quite fragile and Joy prefers the unglazed, chalky of the porcelain. However all of her designs are glazed inside to make them totally useable.
My last maker Adam Aaronson was featured on my post review of The Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design exhibition. I am drawn to Adam’s work by skill in which he combines colours and finishes to create something quite unique.
The colourful aspect of his designs is, I am sure, is the reason his work was selected to feature on the exhibition posters. The photos I have taken below show Adams latest Lustre collection. Which I think you will agree is pretty stunning.
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of the amazing talent on show. I must admit I just love being able to meet the makers. They are so passionate about their work and will enthusiastically share their creating processes. I certainly had a brilliant day and can’t wait until next year.
Finally I can’t go without sharing some of my favourites from Sculpt at Kew. It was such a delight to see the unexpected Sculptures as I toured the gardens. Just showing below a few of the many creations that caught my eye.