Tableware International March April 2022

Page 90

Designer of the Year Richard Brendon has been named Designer of the Year 2022 This last year has seen Richard Brendon release three collections grounded in his mission to make the everyday exceptional with beautifully crafted tableware showcasing quality, integrity and longevity. Starting with The Cocktail Collection, a nine-piece set of mouth-blown crystal that has been specifically designed to enhance every part of the cocktail experience, from preparing and serving to drinking and enjoying. Featuring all glassware required to make any classic or avant-garde cocktail, The Cocktail Collection is the complete set for the mixology enthusiast, from world class professionals to those simply looking to elevate the everyday G&T. Inspired by the beautiful mouth-blown glassware from the turn of the 20th century and today’s modern cocktail culture, the collection celebrates creative skill both past and present. Next, the V&A Series. Richard Brendon collaborated with the V&A this year to create a range of exquisite bone china, shining a light on the golden era of Georgian ceramics. The V&A range consists of four striking saucers to pair with his signature gold and platinum reflective teacups, as well as four decorated mugs. The teacups and saucers are a development of Richard’s first collection, Reflect, which propelled his brand forward when it launched in 2013. The original collection breathes life into ‘orphaned’ antique saucers, which have lost their matching teacups over time. When the reflective cups are placed onto the patterned antique saucer, they perfectly mirror the design below, making it seem as though the pattern appears on the cups and the pair have always belonged together. For the first instalment of the collaboration


Richard has selected four of his favourite patterns from the V&A’s vast archives to re-imagine with playful, whimsical and contemporary twists. Finally, for London Craft Week 2021, Richard created London, 1650, a limited and very special collection of bottles and tumblers, which have been skillfully mouth blown in England, by master glassblower Simon Moore. The inspiration for this collection came to Richard when he first discovered several unusual yet strikingly beautiful antique bottles, dark green in colour, organic in form and with a seal impressed into the glass. They piqued Richard’s curiosity and after some research he learnt that bottles of this kind were first made in London c.1650. The collection soon followed, comprising of three globe-shaped bottles and a tumbler, in a sophisticated deep green that boasts organic, unique silhouettes reminiscent of the original bottles found in London. The pieces are finished with an impressed RB seal, which has been designed especially for this collection. Inspired by the expert craftsmanship honed over centuries in places such as Stoke-on-Trent and Slovenia, Richard Brendon’s pieces show an appreciation for both the past and the future. Each collection seeks to bridge the gap between traditional crafting techniques and contemporary design, whilst using only the finest materials to create a product that will be enjoyed by the generations to come. The brand launched in 2013 because of Richard’s fascination for the history of British porcelain and its home in Stoke-on-Trent, after discovering a surplus of antique saucers on Portobello Road in London. He wanted to

breathe life back into these saucers which had lost their cups overtime, and designed Reflect; a collection of mirrored teacups in platinum and gold in order to reflect the beautiful patterns on these antique pieces and provide a place for them in the modern world. His bone china collections have expanded over the years to include Details from Willow, Line and Superstripe (a collaboration with PATTERNITY), which also appears at Corinthia London in a bespoke colour range. The brand has since grown to develop cut crystal collections, including Diamond and Fluted, as well as the Jancis Robinson collection. Richard worked with the globallyrenowned wine expert to create a mouthblown wine glass, specifically designed to elevate the drinking experience of all wines from Champagne to sherry, complete with water glasses and decanters for both mature and young wine. However, it is with the addition of The Cocktail Collection, The V&A Series and London, 1650 that Richard’s continued dedication to craftsmanship and timeless design is most apparent. All three collections weave a rich narrative of heritage and skill, celebrating often forgotten arts and craft techniques in a contemporary setting with the hope that these pieces can be enjoyed and treasured for generations to come. We believe that these skills and craftspeople are worth celebrating, as we hope you will feel that Richard and his designs are worth celebrating.