Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Fabric Prints of the Present (and Past!)

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Liz

Heal’s has a long and prominent history of discovering and nurturing creative talent. Back in the 1950s, the company was responsible for championing fabric designs by emerging designers of the time including Lucienne Day, Zandra Rhodes and Barbara Brown. So it is extremely exciting to hear that they have just produced an exclusive own-brand fabric collection, the first since the 1970s. As expected, they have worked with both established designers, including Rhodes, and also those who are lesser known. Each designer has created a unique pattern for Heal’s, resulting in a striking collection that celebrates both colour and individuality, drawing inspiration from fabric archives, decorative arts, nature and even jewellery.

Paul Vogel, Milo’s Stripe

Pia Benham, Heal’s Head of Fabric & Design comments: “As part of the relaunch of Heal’s historic fabric department, we wanted to extend our current fabric offering. We hope the new collection will help further strengthen our fabric department’s position as the destination for unique and exciting designs, a place that can inspire our customers and enable them to make their homes a beautiful place to live in. We also wanted to inject fun and excitement into our Heal’s fabric design once again, by working with established as well as emerging designers – in the same way we did in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Heal’s Journal with Peacock Flower print, Malika Favre

Also coinciding with the fabric collection launch comes a coordinating home accessory line, Heal’s 1810 – named after the year in which they were first established. This series features selected patterns from the new fabric range giving the opportunity for them to be appreciated in multiple ways throughout their customers’ living spaces. The accessories include kitchen textiles such as aprons, oven gloves and tea towels, as well furnishings such as cushions. It also includes stationary, for example cute journals that can be flaunted with pride outside of the home!

Zandra Rhodes, Top Brass 2

Onto the prints, of which there are an extensive and fabulous amount. Zandra Rhodes’ Top Brass 2 makes a return, having originally been designed for Heal’s in 1963. A reminder of the Pop Art period of the time, it has the designer’s signature pink colour palette with a medal motif inspired by a David Hockney painting. Another return is the late Diana Bloomfield’s Tea Time, which truly reflects the 1950s period in which it was first designed. Introduced with the help of Bloomfield’s daughter Julia, Tea Time has a retro style but the playful print allows for a modern feel. It is thought to be inspired by the illustrated cakes and jellies of Isabella Beeton’s Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

Heal’s Tray with Tea Time Print, Diana Bloomfield

Cressida Bell’s Trees is heavily influenced by the 1930s and 1940s, taking inspiration from illustrators of the period such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Including rich colours and detailed pattern, it can clearly be seen that her design motto is ‘more is more’! Another bold print, Malika Favre’s geometric style Peacock Flower uses the form of the bird as the basis for her abstract pattern, having seen one wandering around her hotel on a recent trip to the French Riviera!

Cressida Bell, Trees

A simpler, but still extremely effective pattern is Paul Vogel’s Stripe series. This was inspired by Heal’s own archives but adapted using this Spring’s colour trends and by playing with proportions. Emily Patrick’s Cloud is based on one of her paintings, breaking down the barrier between outside and inside. Ottilie Stevenson looked to Art Deco jewellery to create the crisp geometrics of Zig Zag while Petra Börner’s Lady Jane is designed to resemble a scattered bouquet of rough cuts from the garden. Finally, a distinctively Scandinavian design from Hvass & Hannibal. Herbarium uses the forest as its main theme, with an illustrative and folkloristic style depicting plants, flowers and trees.

Hvass & Hannibal, Herbarium

The collection offers a style to suit every taste and is an amazing reflection of Heal’s, of its inspiring past and also of the current brand that we have grown to know and love. It really offers something for everyone, especially with the 1810 line and after thirty years, we at WIN believe the collection is a long-awaited triumph!

A Mixed Media Montage

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Liz

One for the readers who enjoy Magic Eye pictures, the spot the difference puzzles in weekly magazines or in fact, just shiny things. Elisa Insua is a self-taught artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who uses just about anything to create found objects with. This can be seen clearly in her mixed media assemblage mosaics that include a whole host of random items. There are the everyday objects; keys, coins, hair clips and buttons and also the more unusual, such as miniature alcohol bottles (perhaps not so unusual!), tiny my little ponies and smurfs, Toy Story’s Woody and crucifix pendants.

Elisa Insua – Jurassic Punk

This all harks back to when she began her career as 16 year old teenager, using the materials that surrounded her – happy meal toys, pens, jewellery. Elisa smartly calls these items ‘resurrected trash’. There is definitely a sense of childhood playfulness, of collecting toys and sentimental knickknacks, that can be both literally and metaphorically found in her pieces. This allows for viewers to search for objects remembered from their youth, whilst also appreciating their reanimation in new bodies.

Elisa Insua – El Opio de los Pueblos (Opium of the People)

Elisa herself was inspired by Argentinean artists such as Antonio Berni, Jorge de La Vega and Grupo Mondongo, who also played with mixed media. It is this technique that she fell in love with and has evolved with: “I love the texture you can create with different objects, and I love the fact that each piece I include has its own long history (besides the message that so many little things together can say about consumption and accumulation!)”

Elisa Insua – El Mundo Según (The World According To)

The pieces shown are just some of her favourites, many of take a strong inspiration from pop culture. She is inspired by anything ‘from celebrities to bumper stickers, religion, cartoons, movies and even brands’, hence the mosaic style. Her found objects can be related to on a lot of levels by a wide range of people, but also have a deeper meaning, relating to ‘power, idolatry, ambition, desire and capitalism.’ We’d be curious to see what feelings they trigger in our readers – and also how long you spend trying to disassemble them with your eyes!

Elisa Insua – Liberté

Paper Productions

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Liz

Pia Wüstenberg is a German born designer, who studied in the UK before moving to Finland to set up her studio piadesign. It is here that she began to explore self-production using local crafts skills. She has since returned to the UK and has continued in her explorations with international clients and brands, through collaborations and also ‘Utopia & Utility’, the design and manufacturing company set up by Pia and her brother Moritz.

Samples, Paper Productions Lights, Pia Wüstenberg

Paper Productions  is a collection of handcrafted lights created by artisans in Ahmedabad, India and the outcome of one of Pia’s collaborative development projects. On invite from House of MG, a hotel and lifestyle company in Ahmedabad, Pia spent six weeks working at the Khalamkush Paper Factory in India. The factory uses traditional paper making techniques, making its own paper pulp from cotton rags. In this way it is completely self-sufficient, both from the material making to the pressing and processing of the finished paper sheets.

Gunghat Light Cluster, Paper Productions Lights, Pia Wüstenberg

To create the Paper Productions lights, paper was draped and moulded onto various objects, many sourced from the vibrant old market in Ahmedabad. This includes balloons and funnels, creating different lamp shapes, all extremely delicate and lightweight. Some have an additional wire ornament, others are simply comprised of the paper shade, equipped with a small LED light.

Paper Making Station with Vaishali and Dimple, Paper Productions Lights, Pia Wüstenberg

The lights combine in clusters, creating a beautiful effect akin to that of jellyfish swimming underwater. There is beauty in their soft and graceful positioning and in the way they have been produced, and these are two key elements in Pia’s designs. She reinvents the use of materials, creating an object that stands for its present use but also the history behind its making. Pia believes that: “The contrast and overlap of these stories make up the life of the object, and are valued equally.”

Ful Light Cluster, Paper Productions Lights, Pia Wüstenberg

Paper Productions is not just a beautiful collection of lights, it tells a story of the tradition of paper making and the people in Ahmedabad. It will also continue to be made by the artisans Pia worked with and so it is important that the project is shared with a wider audience to promote their skills and provide continuing work. It will be showing at the Kraft Work Exhibition at the Aram Gallery in London and for WIN’s international readers and Pia’s other collections will also be shown at Design Shanghai and at EDIT by designjunction in Milan. We highly recommend going along, or just reading more about Pia’s brilliant work!

Ful Light Cluster, Paper Productions Lights, Pia Wüstenberg

What flavour scoop?

Posted on February 11, 2014 by Liz

Eikon Shell White. Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen.

Hello! How are you? It’s nice to meet Niklas Jessen and Julia Mülling, the driving forces behind design brand Schneid. Founded in 2010 by Jessen, a trained carpenter and architect, and joined by Mülling in 2012, whose focus lies in photography, illustration and design, Schneid have developed a variety of lighting products with a strong focus on ecology, locality, innovation and fairness towards their people and environment. The brand stands for the Scandinavian way of thinking, designing with formal purity, functionality and a minimalist approach.

Eikon Basic Ice Blue Fade, Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen

The Eikon lamp is a perfect example of this methodology, combining an industrial style with Scandinavian product tradition. Material arrangement is key to manage this balancing act, which can be seen through the use of wood and metal in the Eikon. The socket of the lamp constitutes its base, surrounded by ash, oak or bamboo wood. The textile cables and metal shade – attached with magnets – are available in a range of colours. This shade is removable and interchangeable, allowing for various installations and colour combinations, another versatile mix and match style product – we like these!

Eikon Shell Yellow, Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen

There are now varying models to play with too! The new “Basic” model is wider and appears more straightforward in its design. Accordingly, “Shell”, available in white, ice blue and bright yellow, lets the living space shine even brighter. “Shell” and “Basic” can be interchanged, making the Eikon even more versatile in terms of design and function.

Eikon Bubble Bamboo Coral Orange, Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen

Eikon “Bubble” is a silicone lampshade that is poured into an extraordinary shape. With its translucent visual appearance, it brings new aesthetic features to the lamp. Touching the soft and flexible shade will reveal the optical illusion that is initially created by the glass-like material.

Eikon Basic Coral Red Fade, Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen

The Eikon is a truly delicious product – excuse the pun, it does look like an ice cream to me! With a wooden cone and multiple pastel “flavours”, staring at the varying shades and colour combinations, it’s harder to decide which I prefer than what tasty scoop I would have from my local gelato parlour. Schneid have got it right, young entrepreneurial spirit combined with a lot of courage that will see their designs go far in the market – courage that can even be seen in their name (schneid haben is a German expression for “being bold”). The WIN team hope they continue to be bold and that we continue to see it in fun and innovative products!

Eikon Selection, Photo Credit Noel Richter, Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen

Tea Party Twist

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Liz

Willow Blues by Jenna Stanton, photographed by Catherine Dineley

Ceramics with a difference – in more ways than one. Introducing flux Stoke-on-Trent, a company that provide beautiful collections of chinaware with an edgy take on classic designs using traditional manufacturing processes. Not only are their pieces an innovative take on traditional English fine bone china, they are actually designed and made by students studying on the internationally renowned MA Ceramics programme at Staffordshire University. Guided by Creative Director Professor David Sanderson, the students are able to develop their professional design talent whilst creating unique pieces for the public. The success of this project has also led to utilising many wider skills and talents in the Arts, Media and Design Faculty of the University – including students from Branding, Film, Product and Graphic Design courses. This is a brand based around the promising skills of future generations.

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

There are 12 designs in three ranges available in the flux collection: flux Cobalt, flux Gold and flux Platinum. The Cobalt range is a contemporary classic of in-glaze cobalt blues and whites inspired by the rich traditions of Staffordshire, while the Gold range is quintessentially English, hand printed and using gilded gold. Platinum is an aspirational range, sophisticated with a contemporary twist of cool modernity. The collections are eclectic and ever-evolving and this is where the fun lies in owning their pieces. They seem to work best as a mix and match of designs, allowing for the consumer (us!) to curate their own collection that best suits their personality and homes.

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

flux is more than a ceramics company, it is a new template for craftsmanship and innovation with young design talent at the heart of its story. It is a call for the revitalisation of the traditional creative industry in Europe, not forgetting tradition but translating it for modern times. The company has seen great success so far and we can see why – gorgeous, versatile and functional pieces combined with great business tactics that utilise the developing and yet-to-be-discovered talents of the moment. It’s a combination that simply can’t go wrong, and also one that will definitely be in my kitchen cupboards and be proudly used and displayed at tea parties – soon!  

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

Happy Birthday Bourgie!

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Liz

A lamp with an unmistakable style and a veritable Kartell best seller; Ferrucio Laviani’s Bourgie admirably combines classicism, richness and tradition with innovation and irony. With a Baroque style, a wide shade with plissé effect that sets up a myriad play of reflections when lit and an attachment that allows it to be raised or lowered by the user, this is a lamp that is all about transformation. It is a decorative desk lamp and simple living room lighting, a sculpture but also a reading lamp that lends itself to many uses and as such is itself a strong communicator. It is no surprise that with the coming of its tenth anniversary of being in production, the team at Kartell decided to do something special for Bourgie.

Kartell goes Bourgie by Patricia Urquiola

This birthday celebration to pay tribute to twenty years of collaboration with Laviani and ten years of Bourgie, whilst also sparking the creative minds of the brilliant designers at Kartell, called for the team to reinterpret the lamp in a new and fun way. The result is a collection of 14 versions that are currently part of a travelling exhibition. The lamp has in the short time from 2004 to the present become somewhat of a veritable design icon, a transversal and eclectic lamp that shines in any context from the contemporary to the classic. As such, it was the perfect product to play with for designers Patricia Urquiola, Piero Lissoni, Front, Mario Bellini, Alberto Meda, Lenny Kravitz, Philippe Starck, Eugeni Quitllet, Christophe Pillet, Nendo, Tokujiin Yoshioka, Patrick Jouin, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba and Rodolfo Dordoni. Together they pushed the boundaries of design and suggested alternative interpretations and executions.

Kartell goes Bourgie by Philippe Starck

Starck chose an ironic interpretation, decorating the lamp with costume jewellery and stereotypically French symbols such as The Eiffel Tower, while Pillet dressed it in an elegant all black dress of matte felt. Front suggested a sort of genetic mutation, heating up its front to reshape, creating a lamp that leans over your shoulder to give you light whilst you read.

Kartell goes Bourgie by Front

Urquiola disassembled Bourgie’s base and suspended its parts as a chandelier, deconstructing the lamp to reform it as a pendant light. Meanwhile, Bellini fashioned two into a standard lamp complete with coat hooks and umbrella stands. Nendo had a subversive take on the original, turning it upside down and rotating the silhouette, so that their two lamps together form a space that is the upside down Bourgie lamp. They also inverted the name, christening their sculptural piece ‘Eigruob’.

Kartell goes Bourgie by Nendo

Quitlett gave a gift of the traditional lamp base with a birthday cake on top, ten candles for the ten years of production. Clearly it can be seen that each designer has reimagined the lamp and given it character, creating a new personality whilst retaining its original and distinctive charm. Perhaps what best sums up this celebration of design is the message on Jouin’s lamp, which reads ‘The Future is a Present from the Past’. Laviani himself views the project as ‘a manifesto whose key message is that ideas, culture and the differences of others can render the work of an individual more interesting and contemporary.’

Kartell goes Bourgie by Patrick Jouin

Happy Birthday Bourgie – don’t forget to make a wish!

Kartell goes Bourgie by Eugeni Quitllet