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FAO ISSUE 2

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It’s been a busy term for us here at FAO. We launched our luxury e-commerce site last September, set up a temporary exhibition during London Design Festival, and popped-up a month later at a space in Marylebone for Christmas. We get a real buzz from showing the world our limited edition prints, fashion accessories and homeware pieces. But nothing compares to the joy of discovering the independent, up-andcoming designers and artists who make them. Here, in our second issue of FAO’s online quarterly magazine, we are thrilled to introduce you to three supertalented up-starts - Sarah Milton, Karen Mabon and Jill Shaddock – who we met on our recent travels up north. Next, we’re jetting off to Paris Fashion Week and Milan Furniture Fair, so look out for our next issue, where we’ll profile the talented people we met.

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KUKKA BLOCKS

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BLOCKS IS A DESK ACCESSORIES COLLECTION MADE OUT OF NATURAL BEECH.

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Anna Bates Interviews Karen Mabon of Red Brick North

When Karen Mabon has an idea for an illustration, she thinks briefly about what it will look like, and then, starting in the top left hand corner of a huge sheet of paper, she begins to draw.

RED BRICK NORTH FAO Magazine

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The founder of Red Brick accessory label has tried to slow down her process, “sleeping on an idea” to be sure of it, before the sketching begins. But ultimately: “I get pretty obsessed with an idea - I just want to see what it looks like. And I usually end up having to sellotape extra paper on because I’ve got carried away,” she says.

perfect template for her narration. “Although I do have to try it on early in the process,” she explains. “The story looks different when you wear it - I did an illustration of an allotment recently and I suddenly realised how much veg there was going to be around the neck.”

Each collection has a different theme: “My last one was about different kinds of racing,” she says. The illustrations adorn Mabon’s silk and wool scarves; not the usual “Greyhound racing, long distance running, police men chasing robbers output for a Royal College of Art graduate who studied Goldsmithing, in a sweet shop… I like the mundane, surreal elements of daily life. I love Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery. But then Mabon gets her British films – the ones where not much happens – and I get a lot of my enjoyment from storytelling, and ideas from kitchen sink books.” she finds the square of a scarf the

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I did an illustration of an allotment recently and I suddenly realised how much veg there was going to be around the neck

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Mabon’s off-beat storytelling is married with a faux-naïve illustrative style, and bold treatment of colour, which she says is influenced in part by Grayson Perry and David Hockney. But most of all, she gets her visual inspiration from “vintage 60s kids books. They were illustrated by hand and they were just more creative,” she says. “Now, there’s too much reliance on computers and something gets lost.”


MODJOOL

TRIANGLE RING FAO Magazine

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Pure & simple geometric jewellery designed and made in Britain.

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Anna Bates Interviews Sarah Milton

SARAH MILTON It started with ‘E’. A college tutor set us the project to do as many things as we could with the letter... This starting point became a line of enquiry for York based Milton. So much so that she switched from studying graphic design at Leeds College of Art to printed textiles.

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I wanted to work with TYPE in a purely visual way FAO Magazine

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It turned out Milton wasn’t interested in typography as a communicative tool, but as a visual one: “I didn’t want to be limited to ‘this font’ ‘this message’,” she says. “I wanted to work with typography in a purely visual way.”

up a collage of sorts. To add a layer of complexity Milton also scans marks and textures derived from the traditional print processes she uses, and folds these moments of “mess” into her work.

It’s an organic working process: “I’ve no idea what the pattern In fact Milton’s process is so visual that there is little sign of typography is going to look like when I start, it basically depends on how the in her work, because while she starts with a character, her process is paper folds.” But because there is obsessed with deforming it: “I began a geometric structure to the folds – making origami with sheets printed and to the fonts – there’s a rhythm to the overall composition, and a with letters,” she says. “I wanted comforting familiarity to the bends to abstract the typography so I and curves of the pattern. The result folded it over and distorted it.” The is a series of striking geometric prints results of this process are scanned and an award winning wallpaper and re-arranged on screen to build collection.

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JILL SHADOCK VESSEL

style and simplicity created through the manipulation of traditional slipcasting techniques. FAO Magazine

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Anna Bates Interviews Jill Shaddock

“I’ve seen people lick them” JILL SHADDOCK

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“I’ve seen people lick them. I don’t know why?” Jill Shaddock laughs. The designer is talking about her series of ceramic vessels: “They are very tactile objects, they look like rubber. I think it must be because of the smoothness. I do over fire, and sand down. And then I fire again.”

making people think about the process of how the things around them are made.”

Shaddock first began experimenting with slipcasting at Manchester School of Art where she studied 3D design. Usually, slip is poured into a mould; the excess slip is drained and the remaining layer is fired. Shaddock extended This is an unusual degree of care, because Shaddock uses slipcasting the process, adding a second layer of slip in a different stain – and to make her products; a technique then a few more layers, in varying used to mass-produce things like thicknesses – before firing. And she sanitaryware, budget dinner sets and cheap ornaments. But then it’s used semi-porcelain Parian to add a exactly this contradiction Shaddock touch of luxury. enjoys: “I like this element of combining assembly line techniques The evidence of Shaddock’s labour exists in the smallest detail: each of with the hand,” she says. “And

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her super simple vessels ends in a rim of stripes. The fact that the inside and outside of the vessels differ in colour demonstrates that this is a process rather than just an aesthetic; something Shaddock feels “was really important to communicate.” No doubt because far from the speeds the assembly line facilitates, it takes Shaddock two weeks to craft a batch of 30 vessels.


BLACK & WHITE Right Custhom The Curve Tea Cup Bottom Right Marc Jacobs Jil Sander

This classic colour combination was dominant across the spring/ summer catwalk shows. Fashioned in bold prints - from checkerboards to stripes - the look was said to channel the spirit of the swinging sixties. But we see this look as a desire for simple forms, shapes and colours; in short, a need for timeless pieces that won’t date. No surprise, then, that furniture and product designers are following suit.

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Cole & Sons Geo Wallpaper

WorkHouse Floor Tiles

Havet Cabinet Snickeriet

Nendo for Moroso Pond Tables

Decode Cutaway Table

Grasilver Cufflinks Karl Gustav Hansen

Tokyobike Sport Bike

Bracher Emden Black Geo Tote FAO Magazine

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BOLD & BRIGHT Below Stella McCartney Gucci

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Red, orange, blue and every shade of yellow imaginable blasted the catwalks this season; worn head to toe, in bold blocks, and in off-colour combinations. It’s not just the fashion industry that’s feeling cheerful - Printmaker Emma Laurenson and textile pattern makers Custhom are having great fun experimenting with a bright palette, and design brand Ligne Roset presented an entire collection of colourful furniture pieces earlier this year


Ligne Roset Litho desk

Claesson Koivisto Rune Coloured Pendant Lamps

RVW Dont Touch Vase

Emma Laurenson Orange Form Print

Laura Spring Duffel Bag FAO Magazine

Emma Calvert Sky Blue Woven Bracelet www. fao-shop.com

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Ex.t Drip lights

Custhom Curve Cushion


ONLINE PICKS 1 — Sarah Milton Didot Trace Print 2 — Red Brick North Ladybird Scarf

8 — Camilla Engdahl Small Yellow Wingtail

3 — Daniel Schofield Egg Coat Hooks

10—Custhom Goldsmiths Cushion

4 — Laura Spring Duffel Bag

11—Custhom Curve Cushion Yellow Outside Cushion

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9 — Max Fraser London Design Guide

5 — Scene Drop Candleholders 12—Another Country Bench One 6 — Ralli Tea Set 13—Custhom Goldsmiths Floor 7 — Confessions of a Cushion Design Geek Interviews Book 14—Bracher Emden Mens Tote

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ONLINE PICKS 2

1 — Decode Tube vase 1 2 — Decode Bell Side Table

4 — Miranda Watkins Vase

7 — Bracher Emden Grey Lucy Clutch

5 — Miranda Watkins Vase

8 — Miranda Watkins Curve Water Tumbler

3 — Zuzunaga Snood

6 — Dare Studio Fujiya Desk lamp

9 — Miranda Watkins Gleam pewter and cork

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FAO Magazine Issue 2