a showcase for the work of talented UK designer-makers
SPRING: 2014 Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
The Valentine Collection buy the best in handmade and show someone you care www.ukhandmade.co.uk/showcase WHY BUY HANDMADE? 1. Many designers, artists and makers produce items that are bespoke. This means that you will receive an uniquely personal item at surprisingly affordable prices, as many do not have the same overhead expenses as shops. 2. Buying locally reduces your carbon footprint because the products havenâ€™t been shipped from the other side of the world. 3. Buying locally means that the money you spend, stays in your area and boosts the local economy. 4. Independent designers, artists and makers care about the things they make so, by building a relationship with a local designer, artist or maker, you are guaranteed outstanding customer care and quality. Add your name to the Buy Handmade campaign by signing the pledge on our website and show your support for British designers, artists and makers. 2 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
contributors: Spring 2014
Innovation refers to something original, new and different. As artists, designers and makers, you could say that we strive to be innovative; we aim to
finds: Editorâ€™s Picks
produce work that is authentic, beautifully made and unique. In our first issue of 2014, we celebrate innovation in its many guises and bring you exclusive
their own creative ingenuity with both traditional craft and emerging technologies. If thatâ€™s not
of wonderful handmade finds, recipes and reviews to start the year in style. See you in the
Mr & Mrs Blackbird
The Curious Bartender
lifestyle: A Light Spring Lunch
lifestyle: From Tower Block to 4 Acres
also have our regular selection
Teacup Bird Feeder
review: Ercol - Furniture in the Making
interviews with designers and makers who have combined
The Institute of Making
Welcome to Cardiff!
business: New Forms of Funding
Editor & Designer/Maker
FRONT COVER: www.anniewoodford.co.uk; BACK COVER: www.larissajoice.com
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SPRING 2013 Contributors... Lisa Margreet Payne Craft Educator & Writer www.lisamargreet.com
Director of The Contemporary Craft Festival www.craftsatboveytracey.co.uk
Deputy Editor & Designer/Maker www.dawnbevins.co.uk
Handloom Weaver www.chrissiefreeth.wix.com/weaver
Creative Director & Artist/Designer www.karenjinks.co.uk
UK Handmade Magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ukhandmade.co.uk • Copyright © UK Handmade LTD 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without written permission is strictly prohibited. The editor’s decision on all printed material is final. Unsolicited work is accepted but does not guarantee inclusion into the final edition. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of UK Handmade or the editor. Creative Director: Karen Jinks email@example.com • Editor: Bebe Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org • Design: Jo Askey email@example.com Deputy Editor: Dawn Bevins firstname.lastname@example.org • Advertising: email@example.com • PR: firstname.lastname@example.org Events: email@example.com 4 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Finance Director & Maker www.myfuroshiki.com
Graphic Designer & Illustrator www.askeyillustration.co.uk
Teresa Verney Brookes
Education Officer for the RSPB & Forest School Teacher
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by Bebe Bradley
ANNIE MONTGOMERIE: Textile Hare Wall Hanging (left) all enquiries at www.facebook.com/AnnieMontgomerieDolls
KATRIN MOYE: ‘Apple Blossom, Soren Jug’ Limited Edition Print (opposite) £56 (including P&P) from www.madebyhandonline.com/by/katrin_moye
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HOP & PECK: Oak Bunny Ears Egg Cup ÂŁ18 from www.hopandpeck.co.uk
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KATIE ALMOND: Medium Jug ÂŁ48 from www.katiealmond.co.uk
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CLAIRE WEST: ‘Little Speckled Eggs’ Limited Edition Print £65 from www.claire-west.com
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GRAINNE MORTON: Mismatched Heritage Earrings all enquiries at www.grainnemorton.co.uk
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HETTY ROSE: Handmade ‘Dahlia’ Shoes, £525 (made to order) from www.hettyrose.co.uk
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LULU & LUCA: Peacock Flower Cushion In Mustard & Grey ÂŁ55 (including P&P) from www.luluandluca.com
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Annie Woodford by Mandy Knapp
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About 10 years ago, Mandy Knapp was fortunate enough to meet Annie Woodford at a printmaking workshop in South West London: “She didn’t mind me sharing a work station with her as I was a neat and tidy printmaker, who didn’t splash about too much. I have always admired her work, and how her disciplines crossed over in her pursuit of researching and depicting natural phenomena. I recall her having copper plates sizzling for hours in acid, getting the right depth of bite for her works. It was always exciting to see her pieces in print, or embossed, fresh off the press. Those workshops were fabulous for experimenting and pushing different printmaking methods to their limits. Over the years we were fortunate to have a few different tutors with their own take on processes, and we learnt a lot about mark making from each other. So I am thrilled, years on, to be interviewing Annie, and bringing us all up to date with her practice”.
Jemima Lumley Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
We love your innovative approach to your practice, and it shows you are pushing processes to their limits. What has been the most difficult process to master? Working with porcelain and bone china in the way that I do; with the aim of exploiting the qualities of fragility and translucency that these materials inherently possess but, at the same time, creating forms that are precise, ordered and balanced can be challenging; a dichotomy between risk and control. One of the more difficult aspects - and something that took some time to master - was finding a way to keep large, very thin sheets stable and flat when fired to high temperatures. Sometimes, I cut and manipulate the forms before firing and this can be fraught with difficulties. Porcelain, and bone china in particular, possess ’memory’ and so cautious handling from wet to dry is essential. Accurate setting in the kiln and a considered firing programme are also vital to a successful outcome. It is clear that you have researched many natural and scientific phenomena, which is reflected in your work. What is feeding your creativity right now? I am developing a project about the nature of diatoms called ‘Field of Glass’, and this was initiated by some work I carried out at The Academy of 16 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Natural Sciences in Philadelphia earlier this year. The aim is to expand the research and, working in collaboration with scientists in the UK, create a public exhibition which reveals the fascinating and hidden world of this group of microscopic organisms and the role they play within the world’s eco system. Describe your current workspace. I have a small ‘dry’ studio that I am using whilst waiting for our new house and studio complex to be built (which should be completed by Autumn). It’s a lovely light space with room for a large desk, computer equipment, books, tools, sketchbooks and materials (with plenty more still in storage!) and also, some of the artifacts and work by other artists that I have collected over the years. Living in Edinburgh, I am fortunate to have access to studios such as Edinburgh Printmakers and Cyan Clayworks, who provide excellent professional facilities for artists to make work and which I am able to make use of for specific projects. Your works in porcelain have a beautiful fragility about them. What aspects of the natural world do you enjoy portraying in your work? Hidden forces, concealed worlds and the aspects we don’t fully understand. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
These are the things that interest and engage me when I investigate the natural world, making the unseen seen, rather than merely focussing on the visual qualities found in nature. I like to take a subject such as ice and look at it in a conceptual way, questioning what is ice and what does ice mean? What does it tell us about the past and the future? I try to look beyond the surface. The forms I make are hybrids really, amalgamations and metaphors. Traditionally, printmaking has often been a 2D genre, yet in your hands it takes on a very 3D quality. What is it about printmaking that you enjoy in your practice? Printmaking has always been an important part of my practice, an embedded medium that sits alongside drawing and object making. The process informs my object making and vice versa, and I find I am drawn to techniques that create sculptural plates. Enhanced by the weight and pressure of the press when printed, these plates form undulations and crevices across the surface of the paper. One technique I often use is deep etching, where textures and marks are created almost randomly, by the action of chemicals eating into the copper surface of the plate. The hands of the artist are somewhat removed from the equation and once printed - either blind or with the addition of ink beautiful, rich effects can be obtained. 18 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Print is also the medium where I seek to introduce colour into my work. Using the ink in varying intensities creates depth and movement, viscosity versus transparent layers, and the introduction of light is achieved via the subtle, controlled removal of ink from a plate prior to printing. I enjoy creating multiple prints from one plate and then cutting, splicing, layering and reassembling to create pieces that hover between two dimensions and three dimensions, manipulating form, space and depth.
When collaborating with other artists and scientists, how do they influence your work? Working in collaboration changes oneâ€™s perspectives in regard to subject matter and technique. I enjoy working with people who have highly developed skills or concepts that differ from mine. These experiences always add richness to the work, creating lateral strands of ideas and ways to express those ideas.
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Looking at your time in art education, can you identify one person or skill that has intrinsically shaped your practice? I was fortunate to study at the Royal College of Art and graduated with an MA in Ceramics and Glass. At that time, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi taught in the department and he was assigned as my personal tutor. Eduardo was a huge influence both on the way my work developed and also the way I worked. He generously gave his time, experience and knowledge to his small group of students, carefully guiding us so that we found our own voice and our own original way of working. Often taking us to exhibitions and social events, it was his aim to widen our experience of life. Above all, he instilled a serious work ethic in me, which I have never lost. It was he who introduced me to printmaking (he was an innovative and influential printmaker himself ), considering it a method of introducing richness and depth to my practice. I live opposite the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh (Modern Art Two) where they hold a large collection of his work and Eduardoâ€™s London studio has been reconstructed, he is very highly regarded in Scotland. I frequently visit the Dean, particularly if I am having difficulties resolving a piece of work. Itâ€™s a source of inspiration for me. 20 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Tell us about the ‘Process and Innovation’ exhibition coming up in Belgium and London in 2014. What kind of work will we see? This is a touring exhibition showing the work from ‘British Printmaking in Japan: Process and Innovation’, a successful show held in Kyoto and other venues in Japan in 2012. Curated by Monica Petzal and Rebecca Salter, this invitational exhibition included work by esteemed printmakers who work imaginatively and experimentally with the print process. In 2014, it will become a new touring exhibition opening in Ypres’ Cultural Centre and then moving on to various venues. The curators selected two of my experimental collagraphs to form part of this show.
Tell us about your book, ‘Ice: Tracing the Line of Existence’. In 2009, I carried out a further research project about ice, visiting the glaciers in South Island, New Zealand. I had been invited by Edinburgh Printmakers to create a solo show for the following year and I wanted to consider ice on a grand scale, attempt to establish its essential characteristics, what it told us about time and its importance in regard to climate change. The book arose from that project and documents my visit, research and work shown in the exhibition. How important is it for you to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation in your work? Innovation is an important aspect of my work but not innovation for the sake of innovation. It must always be concept driven, a way of expressing an idea in the most appropriate way. I do like to take a material (or process) out of its comfort zone, challenging its behavior and any prescribed ways of working with it. However, you can only work in that way if you know your material or process intimately and are then able to put aside any preconceived notions of what can or cannot be achieved. For more information on Annie Woodford, visit: www.anniewoodford.co.uk Images courtesy of Jerry Mason and Annie Woodford Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
New Forms of Funding by Mich Yasue Looking outside traditional bank offerings for funding is not a new idea. Public subscriptions, an early form of crowdfunding, were used to finance book prints in eighteenth century Germany and, in the UK, the Great Exhibition of 1851. Recently, however, ‘the UK alternative finance market has witnessed unprecedented development, unparalleled innovation and unmatched growth’. Alternative finance activities, including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, have contributed £1.74bn of personal, business and charitable funding to the UK economy over the last three years (NESTA, ‘The Rise of Future Finance’). Driving this growth is the development of online funding platforms, increased use of social media and widespread acceptance of online financial transactions. Looking at the impacts of innovation on rewardbased crowdfunding campaigns in particular, we find: Platforms Finding the right platform to pitch a crowdfunding request is key. Online sites that offer such platforms have increased rapidly, developing a range of funding models and supporting tools. 22 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Nesta’s ‘CrowdingIn’ directory lists 23 platforms facilitating UK reward-based funding for the arts and creative sector, over 70% of which have been launched since 2011. Some, such as Indiegogo, support all types of campaigns whilst others, such as Kickstarter, focus on creative projects. Some operate a ‘keep-what-you-raise’ model, whilst others offer an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. Crowdfunder is the UK’s largest crowdfunding network. Platforms host campaigns and provide the tools and advice to create, share, maintain and track them, to receive payments and to administer rewards. They offer potential access to a vast pool of investors and a low cost means of raising finance (usually via a commission on funds raised). And they are relatively quick; once launched a campaign will typically run for between 30-90 days. People and promotion Engaging with the crowd is crucial, and the increased use and acceptance of social media provides the means to do this. Momentum matters. Indiegogo statistics demonstrate that campaigns are five times more likely to hit their target if they can reach at least 25% of their overall goal within the first week. Use of social media to pre-launch - and existing social networks to engage family, friends and fans - is vital.
Much hinges on winning a potential funder’s interest and trust, and a video is an effective way for those seeking funding to introduce themselves and tell their story. Kickstarter notes that projects with a video succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50% vs. 30%). Again, developments in technology have helped, making it much easier for anyone to create their own. As the jeweller Chris Parry found, reward-based crowdfunding can be a way to expand one’s business, not only by raising funds to purchase, say, new equipment but also by generating advance orders through the rewards offered. Chris needed to generate advance sales of £47,500 to purchase a 3D printer and casting machine. His successful Kickstarter campaign broke the record for the amount raised by a crafter and raised over £55,000. However, crowdfunding is not easy and by no means certain. It requires planning and effort to run a successful campaign. On Kickstarter, one of the few platforms to publish statistics, less than 50% of arts campaigns meet their targets, and 10% receive no pledges at all. There are other risks too, such as possible reputational damage if the campaign fails or rewards are not delivered to the funders’ satisfaction.
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After WWW.ALEXIACLAIRE.COM In addition, reward-based crowdfunding is only recommended for specific initiatives; not for funding general start up or running costs. The experience of Andrew Clark of Military Metalwork is likely to be familiar to most designers and makers. He has built up his business gradually over a number of years, amassing a workshop of light engineering tools in the process, and has drawn on a range of funding sources such as savings, a small bank loan and 24 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
family help, and has been â€œreinvesting the major part of the profit back into the businessâ€?. Crowdfundingâ€™s roots are embedded in a centuriesold idea of people working collaboratively to raise funding and, reinvigorated by modern technologies, it sits alongside these traditional sources as a complementary - and rapidly growing - source of finance for individuals and small businesses.
Alexia Swirkowski of Alexia Claire talks about how she raised more than triple her target to fund production of her illustrated desk planner pads: “I chose Kickstarter mainly because it was the main one that I’d heard of. I’d watched other illustrators run successful campaigns on it and it also seemed more product-based than some of the other crowdfunding websites. I think the key to my success was including a video in the product profile. I made the description sound as human as possible and not too corporate. I planned it so that people would receive their rewards in time for the New Year, and used this as a selling point as I was pitching to produce planner notepads. I was under the impression that I would have to drive most of the traffic to the project myself and therefore it would mostly be my own following who would pledge. I was surprised to find that this wasn’t the case. Only five out of my 76 backers were from social media. Most people found my project through searching on the site itself and I take my hat off to Kickstarter as they clearly have an enormous following of loyal visitors.
real possibility of it not succeeding. Particularly as you are spreading the word on social media, there is always the chance that someone, somewhere in the world, may run away with your designs or ideas. However, if we don’t try then we will never know what can be achieved. My advice for anyone planning on doing a Kickstarter project is to prepare well in advance. Read all the background information about how long certain stages of the process can take, as it could affect when you aim to launch it (they take a few days to verify your project and about 2 weeks to wire your funds). Also, take into consideration the time of year for the launch of your project. Otherwise, it’s a brilliant excuse to have some fun and try out ideas which you have previously thought to be too risky!” Useful links: www.nesta.org.uk www.indiegogo.com www.kickstarter.com www.crowdfunder.co.uk Images courtesy of Alexia Swirkowski and Bebe Bradley
The disadvantage is that you are simply throwing yourself and your product idea out there, with the Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
The Institute of Making by Chrissie Freeth The Institute of Making may be familiar to some of you, through the regular appearance of its Creative Director, Zoe Laughlin, on ITV’s This Morning show. As a lab coated boffin, she demonstrates anything from the properties of different metals, to how best to get the ketchup out its bottle. Zoe’s enthusiasm is a hint of the magic and potential behind the Institute’s doors; it is a place where the meeting of science and creativity is liberally encouraged. Innovation requires the freedom to experiment, to play and to try things out. But to do that, you need access to tools and skills which at best may be unfamiliar to you and, at worst, simply out of bounds. The Institute of Making breaks down these barriers and whilst ‘multidisciplinary’ is an often used word, here at the Institute, it is put into practise every day. 26 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
At the heart of the Institute is the Materials Library. Containing anything from the mundane (such as cork and rubber) to the strange (such as barbed wire from World War II), it also holds some of the most astounding materials known in the world today, including Bioglass Scaffolding (which on contact encourages cells to turn into bone), and Aerogel (one of the lightest solids in existence, also known as â€˜frozen smokeâ€™). These items are there to be seen, touched and investigated; the library is a playground of things, a resource to inspire, and available to all members whatever their initial educational background: design, technology, art, engineering, history or craft.
Alongside the Materials Library is the Make Space, a workshop available to individuals who wish to develop their ideas and projects. After a period of induction and training, access is granted to an eyewatering array of tools and equipment; 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, pottersâ€™ wheel, sewing machines, compressors, engineering lathes, wood lathes, bandsaws, kilns and electrical equipment, and power tools such as drills, polishers, grinders and sanders; all with the expertise of their technicians thrown in. Larger scale projects are also supported by the Institute.
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One such venture is the ‘Wearable Assistive Materials’ project which seeks to help wheelchair users regain their mobility by creating a wearable exoskeleton. Materials which share some of the properties of bone, muscle and skin are currently being developed and tested. Other projects focus on luminosity, building low cost microscopes from Lego and explorations of the sensual, aesthetic and emotional properties of materials. Membership of the Institute is currently restricted to staff and students of the University College London, but it holds Open Days which grants sight of the Materials Library to non-members. They also run Repair Surgeries which provides public access to Make Space and its facilities. A vibrant programme of public events and talks runs throughout the year. Past activities have included Flint Knapping, providing an opportunity to see how prehistoric tools were made and encouraging visitors to have a go at making spearheads, hand axes and scrapers. A ‘smell walk’ took place in November, exploring the scents to be found in the city. The ‘sKINship’ event held in January enabled visitors to cut clothing patterns using the techniques of plastic surgeons, and offered a chance to explore the similarities and differences, investigating the relationship between the science and the arts. 28 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Back in the nineteenth century, when poet Percy Shelley was a student, the divide between science and the arts was not so wide; his university rooms were scattered with chemistry equipment alongside his literary work. However, there now seems to be a larger gulf between the disciplines, even though both are creative endeavours. Places like the Institute of Making seeks to bridge that gap, their staff are practising artists and scientists. Zoe, for example, despite the white coat and PhD, originally trained at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and has worked with Tate Modern and the V&A. The Institute of Making provides a space to play, to tinker, whatever one’s background and intentions and it is a real nursery for innovation. It is hard not to wonder at the potential if similar places were in every city and open to all. And if you are still wondering about the ketchup, you don’t slap the bottle. You tap your hand on the side of the glass creating a vibration which coaxes out the sauce. For more information, visit: www.instituteofmaking.org.uk Images courtesy of The Institute of Making Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Rita Parniczky by Bebe Bradley
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Rita Parniczky’s ‘X-Ray Fabric’ is entirely hand-woven using an innovative weave technique that she has developed in order to manipulate the warp threads and create special effects. Her technique forces the threads out of their usual place and draws detailed patterns across the material. X-Ray Fabric could indeed be described as the ‘skeleton’ of a fabric. Displaying the vertical threads (warp) that are often hidden in a woven fabric, she employs unusual yarn combinations to create a translucent material with intricate detailing. Ever curious to look into hidden ‘worlds’ and expose these through her work, Rita has embraced the challenge of showing the unfamiliar and unexpected, and her attention to detail and high quality shines through. Rita has developed this radical new material to a high standard and she continues to work towards luxury art and design commissions from her London-based studio at Cockpit Arts in Holborn. Experimenting with unusual materials and ideas, Rita delivers unique collectible art and design pieces, and completes large scale commissions for private and public spaces.
Image courtesy of Fanny Shorter Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Who is Rita Parniczky? I am an award-winning artist, designer and the inventor of the translucent material X-Ray Fabric©. I aim to keep X-Ray Fabric exclusive therefore I handweave it in my studio for various commissions. Producing it myself allows me to create one-offs or limited-edition collectible art pieces that I can also adapt to suit my clients’ needs. X-Ray Fabric has been included in the collection of The Worshipful Company of Weavers and will join the permanent collection at the V&A. Tell us about the inspiration behind your work. When I was experimenting during my graduate project, I took inspiration from an image library consisting of photographs and photograms that I created. I aimed to capture textures and tones on the photographic paper, similar to x-ray films. The fascinating and rich organic details of these gave me enough information to feed my designs and I even return to these today. I have also looked for inspiration in details of architecture or armour for various client projects. What experience and training do you have, and how were your textiles borne out of this? I graduated from the BA (Hons) Textile Design course at Central St Martins, where I specialized in weave. St Martins is famous for encouraging their 32 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
students to push the boundaries, to experiment with uncommon ways of making and using different materials. This opened my mind and led me to develop my fabric. Weaving is seen as a highly traditional craft. What drew you to this craft and inspired the innovation behind your technique? At university, I chose weave over print for its constructive nature. I find it impressive that you can create an utterly new piece of cloth out of yarn only, but the challenge is, as always, how one can bring something new to a craft that’s been around for thousands of years. In my work, I aim to show details in textiles that have not been visible in the same way before. What you see in X-Ray Fabric© is entirely new and innovative in woven textiles. I was curious about what occurs beneath the surface of fabrics, and I imagined that there might be some beautiful patterns and formations which are simply hidden from us. I wanted to bring these to the surface and create art with them. What is the ethos behind your innovative fabric? To me, my fabric proves that believing in finding something undiscovered - something new - is still possible. You have to have the idea and the action to deliver, and these processes will hopefully then inspire others to follow their own dreams.
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Your work is has a highly distinctive style. Who or what influences and motivates you? I often motivate myself. There are many ideas in my head awaiting the perfect timing to come to life. I am influenced by the life around me and it can be something as simple as travelling through the city. Also, other artists, designers and friends from other professions are great motivation. What makes your work unique? My work has eye-catching qualities, not only for the uniqueness of the pattern in the material but also for the various appearances it gains with different light sources. Natural and artificial light causes breath-taking effects as it travels through the fabricâ€™s complex structure. This is why it is often used in window installations as roller panels, providing privacy and yet letting light through. The changing light of day makes my X-Ray FabricÂŠ appear constantly different; ice, crystals and the calming flow of water are just a few qualities that my work is compared to. Light shimmers through wall hangings made of my fabric, and the Vase and Candle Holder range displays pleasing light and shadow play. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
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Do you think that there has been a change in the perception of what ‘craft’ is in the UK and what it means to own a handmade object? I believe that there has definitely been an increase in interest in handmade artwork in the UK recently. It’s possibly due to having been overloaded with massproduced goods where quality and exclusivity was not always important. We have repeatedly found all the same products in each other’s home, and this has slowly led most of us to recognise and appreciate individuality and handmade. Collecting these items, often in limited edition pieces, gives us something special that we can be fond of. Investing in art is a new yet old tradition. What does ‘handmade’ mean to you? Thought through with skill, care and time; unique and individually made. What advice would you give to someone starting their own creative business? I do think that those who are starting a business should allow time to observe and learn the market, understand the exact way they wish to run their business and what they want to achieve in it. It may sound obvious but it is often missed. I believe it helps a great deal more to have a business plan and a clear aim than to rush into action straight away.
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If you had the opportunity to learn or employ a new creative skill, what would it be? Photography comes to mind; improving my knowledge in it would be beneficial to my business. You recently received the Craft & Design award at MADE London, 2013. What’s next for Rita Parniczky? It was a great honour to receive the award. X-Ray Fabric was selected as best work at the show and will be featured in ‘craft&design’ magazine in 2014. One of my first projects of 2014 will be a pattern development for X-Ray Fabric Lace for a private client; there are four large roller panels to be hand-woven for a grand and beautiful house on London’s Embankment. I am also collaborating with a furniture and product designer developing decorative screens. More information on new work will be shared online as we proceed.
Who are your favourite artists, designers and makers? I do enjoy looking at photographs by Tim Walker, his ideas and works are mesmerizing, fun and inspiring. In fashion design, John Galliano for his very feminine touch or the innovative work by Iris van Herpen. In product design, Marcel Wanders and his great pallete of different work. 38 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Where can find out more about your work? There are photos and text about X-Ray Fabric© on my website and on a separate news blog. You can also follow me on Twitter @RitaParniczky . For more information on Rita Parniczky, visit: www.ritaparniczky.com Images (except p.27) courtesy of Rita Parniczky
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by Karen Jinks
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CLAIRE-ANNE Oâ€™BRIEN produces textiles for furniture, space and product. She specialises in constructed textiles; material properties and technique are explored through hands-on experimentation. Form, construction and scale are investigated with a sculptural approach. To find out more, visit: www.claireanneobrien.com
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FAY MCCAUL mixes modern materials – fibre optics and iridescent acrylic – with traditional knitting methods to create luxury textile surfaces for wall-coverings, partitions and installations. Fay’s textiles are created by knitting countless rows of individual pockets that are home to reflective materials that shimmer in response to movement and light. The fibre optic pieces are also delicately handmade by finger knitting each beautifully illuminated stitch. These intricate designs and products are for use in residential, commercial and hospitality projects. They can also be customised for individual clients, marrying the pieces to the client’s particular brand or aesthetic. To find out more, visit: www.faymccaul.com Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
MINEHEART are the Anglo-Italian design duo Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia who first appeared on the international design scene with their up-cycled furniture collection at Salone Satellite in Milan in 2003. Since then they have worked on many projects for clients in the UK and internationally, ranging from product design and interior design, to branding and art direction. In 2011 they founded their own design brand mineheart, which produces a range of interior accessories that includes wallpaper, rugs, art, lighting, and furniture, all made in England. To find out more visit: www.mineheartstore.com
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CATHERINE CARR is an award winning, independent Craft Designer who specialises in glass and textiles. She crochets and knits with glass. By combining these traditional textile skills with glass, she has created an innovative and striking range of sculptured vessels. To find out more visit: www.catherinecarrglass.co.uk
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Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
MARISA GROOM is an award winning milliner whose vibrant hats offer a refreshing approach to millinery. Working from her home in North Yorkshire she creates unique hats and headpieces for women. Drawing inspiration from sources such as nature and wildlife, art, sculpture and architecture, Marisa fuses these initial concepts with current trends when exploring colours, textures and materials. Long established millinery craftsmanship and the use of fine fabrics are maintained and combined with modern techniques and materials. This translates into an artistic and original piece of beautiful headwear. She has two lines of work which provide a diverse range; each are individually hand crafted, yet posessing a different essence. Her CURVE line is a striking and innovative line of contemporary work offering statement pieces of headwear. The LINEAR line is a more classic line of sophisticated millinery which still exudes her unique style and passion for design. To find out more, visit: www.marisagroommillinery.com 48 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
TIINA TEASPOON is an innovative photographer with a passion for traditional photography techniques. “I use a fusion of old and new to make my photography the best of both worlds. Using vintage film cameras means I have the excitement of not knowing how the film will turn out until it’s developed, and combining that with digital processes leaves out the space and expense of a traditional darkroom. It’s important to me to fit my workflow into my life without giving up the look and feel of traditional film negatives. I have a reasonably priced desktop scanner which can handle film, and I can then tweak the scans in photoshop before having them digitally printed. I’ve learned that everyone has their own way of working and I am glad to have figured out the best way for me to make photographs that I’m happy with.” To find out more, visit: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/tiinateaspoon
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Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
ERCOL: Furniture in the Making by Bebe Bradley As some of you will be well aware, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for mid-century design and furniture, so I was a very happy lady when the opportunity arose to review this book. Until the publication of ‘Ercol: Furniture in the Making’, any information on one of Britain’s best-loved and most renowned furniture makers, usually had to be gleaned from the internet or directly from Ercol itself. The author Lesley Jackson is a well-known design historian and leading authority in twentieth century design, and as she herself has stated, “A publication on Ercol was long overdue as they are one of the major British furniture companies of the last century”. 52 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
It was a young Italian immigrant, Lucian Ercolani, who founded ‘Ercol’ in 1920, at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Ercolani’s simple goal was to produce well-designed furniture, made in a good working environment by craftsmen who took pride in their jobs. Indeed, Ercol continues to produce its expertly crafted designs in accordance with its founding father’s values and beliefs, and the company is still family-owned and run. British designer and Ercol enthusiast Margaret Howell provides the foreword. Extolling Ercolani’s “passion, energy, commitment and vision”, she tells us that she envies “those generations to come who will rediscover his best work’. The introduction by Ercolani’s grandson and current chairman of the company, Edward Tadros, reinforces the familial element of the furniture maker’s ethos. An entrepreneur and gifted designer, Lucian Ercolani was the driving force behind Ercol for more than 50 years, and the book’s opening chapters tell us of his early life and lays down the foundations of his career. From Chapter 3 onwards, we focus on the Windsor Range, ‘a coordinated collection of domestic furniture inspired by the traditional English Windsor chair’. When Ercolani founded his business, High Wycombe was already the chair making capital of the world. The Windsor chair was the most famous product of the trade and was one of several different styles of regional chairs developed in the 18th century. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Towards the end of the Second World War, Ercolani was commissioned by the government to produce 100,000 basic Windsor chairs as part of the Utility scheme. Though this design was not originally Ercolani’s, he made it his own and, using his creative ingenuity and innovative engineering, he was able to ‘industrialise’ the Windsor chair. This development eventually saw the ‘Windsor Contemporary Furniture Family’ launch at the Festival of Britain in 1951. A runaway success, the range expanded throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, encompassing furniture for the kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom. Vital to Ercol’s post-war success, the Windsor range is now inextricably linked to Ercol’s company identity. Produced in vast quantities, at its peak of production in the 1960s, the company produced a Windsor chair every ten seconds. The book demonstrates how these designs have evolved over the years, and shows in brilliant detail how the furniture was and still is produced. The craftsmanship and design longevity behind each piece produced means that most people, at some point in their life, will probably have encountered a piece of Ercol; whether it’s been in their grandparent’s house, a vintage shop or a high-end design emporium.
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Opposite: The 472 Chairmakerâ€™s Chair, produced by Ercol in 1962; a double bow fireside chair inspired by a traditional Windsor chair owned by Ercolani (page 34). Right: The 92 Stacking Chair, designed by Lucian Ercolani in 1957; customised version with black legs produced for Margaret Howell, 2012 (page 5). Below: Shaping the steam-bent bow of a 365 Quaker Chair, circa 1957-62
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The 305 Windsor Tub Chair, 317 Grandfather Easy Chair and 315 Grandfather Rocking Chair, 1955, in the Ercol catalogue, 1968 (page 89).
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Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
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I am a huge fan of Ercol’s timeless designs so I am probably biased when I tell you that I really do love this book. Long-awaited, it is a veritable treasure trove and Lesley Jackson draws upon Ercol’s extensive archives to provide the reader with an in depth overview of the furniture maker’s history, alongside a fascinating and vast array of images and illustrations. The author’s empathy with Ercol and its story shines through, and I do think that the publisher is right when they say that this book will appeal to a wide audience, including “post-war design buffs, collectors, students and anyone interested in interiors”. It is a celebration of innovation and success, of British furniture design at its very best and will make a welcome addition to any design aficionado’s coffee table. ‘Ercol - Furniture in the Making’ by Lesley Jackson, is published by Richard Dennis Publications at £25. Images courtesy of Richard Dennis Publications ISBN-10: 0955374197 ISBN-13: 978-0955374197
Double arch created from 392 Stacking Chairs, installation designed by Martino Gamper at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2009 (page 152). Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Giles Lane by Karen Jinks
Lifestreams. Photo ÂŠ Proboscis 2012 60 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Proboscis is an independent, artist-led creative studio directed by Giles Lane and Alice Angus. Fascinated by the stories and complexity of people’s lives, Proboscis’ projects most often involve very different kinds of people from very different places; from highly educated and empowered communities in places such as universities and institutions, to loosely affiliated grassroots groups in locations like villages, social housing or public spaces. Proboscis attempts to tease out what people value about their situation and the context in which they find themselves, and it helps them create, communicate and share these things. To do this, Proboscis collaborates occasionally with technologists, researchers and scientists, and with people possessing other skills and expertise in social, cultural or artistic disciplines. These collaborations assist Proboscis in the invention and innovation of processes, techniques, tools and platforms that help project participants to tell their stories, and express their knowledge and experience in exciting and dynamic ways.
projects with architects before founding Proboscis in 1994. I became a research fellow in an interaction design research group at the Royal College of Art in the late 1990’s, where I began combining old and new technologies in my work. I followed this with a long association with social scientists at the London School of Economics that steered me into the social sphere. Along the way, I’ve collaborated with medical researchers, technologists and anthropologists as well as many other artists, writers, filmmakers and designers. Alice Angus joined Proboscis in 1999 and we’ve co-directed the company since then. When I first encountered your beautiful 3D printed seashells, I was surprised to find out how they were created. Can you explain the processes involved and how the project came about? ‘Lifestreams’ was commissioned by Anglia Ruskin University’s ‘Visualise’ public art programme, as an Art & Industry collaboration with Philips Research (who have a laboratory in Cambridge Science Park). Over 6 months, we developed a collaborative partnership with the scientists at Philips to explore new ways of engaging people with their well-being through personal health monitoring.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how Our aim was to devise a way to chart long term you got started. patterns and trends in the way we behave and feel, I started out as a film maker and worked on several not just the immediate response of graphs and Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
charts of our daily activities. To do this, we thought about the way humans make ‘meaning’ through talismanic relationships to objects. We decided that we should create objects from biosensor data, that weren’t just visualisations but actually embodied the data in a real thing you could hold and touch. The making of ‘meaning’ is often built up in layers and over time, so we wanted to move away from the ephemerality of screen-based interpretations. Our project became a research process into collecting suitable data about personal health and habits (step count, sleep patterns, pulse, exposure to air pollution, etc.) and turning them into talismans that people can carry about with them as reminders, not
just of what they have done, but who they want to become. My colleague, Stefan Kueppers, developed a process for turning the raw sensor and observational data into 3D shapes, using the Fibonacci sequence (a well-known algorithm found extensively in nature) to generate the complexity in the shells from the data. We then experimented with 3D printing techniques to create the ‘life charms’. We chose different materials - metal, plastic, ceramic and glass - to further explore what different materials might also have for ‘meaning’ making. You can read more about the project here. A lot of your design projects are community based rather than commercial, such as ‘City as Material’. Is this a conscious decision? Yes, our work is not driven by a commercial imperative. Rather, we find ourselves continually inspired by the texture of human relationships.
Lifestreams. Photo © Proboscis 2012 62 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
The stories people tell, what they value and why, how they come to form communities and inhabit places. Often our projects are experimental and innovative, pioneering new uses of things or ways of getting things done, and this can be seen as exotic or a bit risky to follow. I think commercial practice enjoys a small degree of innovation but
relies on stability and clarity, a kind of evenness and predictability that we most definitely eschew. Although times are now changing, we have benefited greatly from public subsidy to do much of our innovation and pioneering work. Given that many of our ideas find their way into the commercial and social mainstream (usually after some years), I think that we have consistently delivered an excellent return on investment. Tell us more about your ‘public authoring’ project in Papua New Guinea. A few years ago, I was invited by my friend James Leach (then Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen) to help document the visit of two villagers from Reite in Papua New Guinea, to the British Museum’s Ethnographic store in east London. Several hundred objects in the museum’s collection, known to be from their region of the Rai Coast, were brought out to be looked at, touched and commented upon. Giles Lane demonstrating making hybrid digital/physical Using our Diffusion eBook format and books using waterproof paper in Reite village, Papua New Bookleteer self-publishing platform, Guinea. Photo © J Leach 2012 Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
I helped James devise a simple way to document the interactions between the participants of this project as well as the artefacts. From there, we continued to discuss how this process could be used in field work.
A Reite villager using a hybrid notebook to record and share knowledge of their local environment and culture. Photo © J Leach 2012 64 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
In 2012, James secured funding for a symposium to be held at the University of Goroka, in Papua New Guinea, that would bring both local and international researchers together to share experiences, tools and ideas about documenting and sharing traditional ecological and cultural knowledge. I was invited to demonstrate some of my tools and techniques for ‘public authoring’ at the symposium. Afterwards, we travelled to Reite, a remote village where people lead a traditional way of life, to spend time there and try out some of our ideas. The villagers responded more enthusiastically than we could ever have planned. We were able to work up a series of notebooks in the village, exploring just what kind of knowledge they wanted to record and what impact this might have on their way of life. It’s important to say that this process was initiated by the village elders themselves, who have been keen to keep their culture fluid and preserve their knowledge in the face of changes that the
A hybrid digital/physical book created with www.bookleteer.com Photo ÂŠ Proboscis 2012 Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
modern world is wreaking on their environment and way of life. It has been the privilege of my life to be invited to share my experiences and thoughts on this; sharing knowledge with people who live these processes every day, in immediacy with their environment. It is unlike anything I have encountered anywhere else. You can read more here. Handmade is a term that means different things to different people. How do you think new technologies such as 3D printing work with the traditional concept of handmade? As artists, there are many ways in which handmade features in our work but they don’t all appear in those parts of the work made public. Likewise, we often use cutting edge technologies at different stages of a work which may be handfinished for exhibition. A good example of this is the Storyweir project we created on Dorset’s Hive Beach in 2012. The central piece, the Storyweir itself, was an installation of handmade sail-cloth panels with hand-stitched silhouettes created from drawings by Alice Angus. The silhouettes were laser cut from black cloth. 66 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Sewing laser cut drawings onto sailcloth backing for Storyweir. Photo © K Jungnickel 2012 We like to mix together the traditional with emerging tools and technologies, just as our Bookleteer selfpublishing platform uses digital technologies to facilitate publishing and sharing handmade paper books.
Storyweir on the National Trust property at Hive Beach, Dorset, Proboscis. Commissioned by Big Picture. Photo ÂŠ P Millson 2012 Your work is varied and innovative. Where do your ideas come from? People. The stories of how they play out their lives are at the centre of our work. The patterns people weave in their daily lives, how humans shape and are shaped by the land, the tangle of inheritance people continue to enact across the generations; all these things are the basis and ingredients of the story making that is the foundation of our practice.
Everyone is drawn into a self-justifying financial model of the economy and this has a detrimental effect on how and why we make choices, since it is incapable of properly accounting for non-financial returns. I try to resist this and keep the focus of our work firmly rooted in an ethic that sees the role of the artist as a pioneer of different concepts and forging other ways of working. That may be unpalatable or alien to begin with, but it grows on us as a society with time. To keep this up requires a How has the creative industry changed over the commitment to flexibility, changing direction when years and have you hanged your practice to suit? intuition tells you to and having a weather eye for One of the key things I have noticed is the idea that unforeseen opportunity. there is such a thing as a â€˜creative industryâ€™. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
What advice would you give to someone just starting a creative business? Invest time in getting the infrastructure (such as book-keeping and accounting systems, project management tools, day-to-day diaries) of your business set up as best you can, as early as possible. Too often, creative people donâ€™t take care of the business side of their practice and instead of supporting them, it becomes a hindrance, especially when backlogs build up. Then the worry and dread associated with tackling mountains of receipts, unpaid bills and taxes can become overwhelming and blocks creative inspiration and making. How important is it for you to keep experimenting and collaborating with other groups that are not necessarily obvious choices for creatives? This is the lifeblood of Proboscis and for me personally. I am driven by the challenge of applying our skills and expertise in new contexts and situations. It calls for a lot of improvisation, dynamic problem solving and intuitive immersion. And it requires an attention to the moment that precludes relying on a prior solution or set way of doing things. Kraken coat made from digitally printed silk dupion; Who or what has influenced you most? the images from a series of pen and ink drawings My personal lodestones of inspiration are the French investigating myths of seamonsters and mermaids. writers Georges Bataille and Georges Perec, the artist By Alice Angus. Photo ÂŠ J P Bichard 2011 68 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
and filmmaker Derek Jarman and the designers, Charles and Ray Eames. Each a maverick, I revisit their work regularly and their examples have helped me steer my own wayward course for most of my career. Of course, there are many, many others who influence me in different ways, but these five people are the ones I find myself returning to again and again; Bataille for his radical and unflinching perspective on human nature, Perec for his playfulness with form and storytelling, Jarman for his unwavering commitment to his vision and beliefs, and the Eames brothers for the dazzling beauty, wit and simplicity of their designs.
Where can we find out about your work? Our website has comprehensive information on all our projects as well as links to our many publications, both digital and physical. For more information on PROBOSCIS, visit: www.proboscis.org.uk Embroidered apron made from digitally printed silk, from a series of ink and watercolour drawings inspired by conversations with people who had lived through the 1950s commissioned by Day + Gluckmann for Fifties Fashion & Emerging Feminism 2011. By Alice Angus. Photo © J P Bichard 2011
What’s next for Proboscis? I am developing a new fiction project, ‘The Incidences’, which will be serialised through our monthly publishing project ‘The Periodical’ in Spring. I will also be planning the next stages of my codesign work with the villagers in Papua New Guinea, which I hope to begin in the second half of 2014. Alice is continuing her explorations of drawing, embroidery, textile structures and garments. This includes a commission to create illustrated silk and wool linings for reproductions of ladies’ cycling wear for the “Freedom of Movement” research project by Katrina Jungnickel at Goldsmiths (on the social challenges for women cycling in the 1800s). Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Welcome to Cardiff by Sarah James
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Being an Ex-pat of the principality, I’m hugely proud of ANYTHING Welsh so it gives me great pleasure in giving you a tour of the capital, Cardiff. Though I’m from deepest, darkest West Wales (Cardigan to be precise), I most often visit Cardiff as my sister lives nearby. I’m currently planning my latest venture, Made by Hand at City Hall, a big and beautiful craft fair in the centre of Cardiff. It’s always a pleasure visiting this city which is rich in culture, down to earth charm and your classic, no-nonsense, welcome-in-thehillside friendliness that goes hand in hand when visiting Wales. My idea of a great day out is visiting quirky independent shops, soaking up culture in a museum or art gallery and seeking out great food in relaxed surroundings with a couple of cocktails on the side. Cardiff is hugely blessed with great museums, all entirely different in style and feel. My favourite is St Fagans National History Museum, utterly fascinating, it charts the social history of Wales, interpreted predominantly by the country’s vernacular architecture. Arranged in a village, in the open air and spread over 100 acres of parkland, my stand out favourite is the row of mining cottages which poignantly examines the social changes in
Becky Adams each tiny cottage from 18th century to 21st century Valleys’ life. All the buildings are authentic, having been relocated brick by brick to the site on the edge of Cardiff. Even better, entry is free; you just have to pay to park. Next door to the magnificent City Hall (and venue of Made by Hand) is the expansive National Museum of Wales, home to an impressive collection of impressionist paintings, a few dinosaurs and a cracking, contemporary craft collection. There are more impressive offerings of contemporary craft dotted about the city. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
The biggest and best is at ‘Craft in the Bay’. It’s the glass fronted and rather swanky home of the Makers Guild in Wales. There’s a large shop, guest maker area and a changing exhibition programme. Another good reason to visit Craft in the Bay is that, erm, unsurprisingly, it’s in Cardiff Bay. It’s a great place to hang out, people watch and, if you head across the road from ‘Craft in the Bay’ to the foyer of the architecturally stunning Millennium Centre, most lunchtimes you will be able to catch a free music recital by the ridiculously talented students from Cardiff’s Royal College of Music & Drama. 72 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
My inner geek is very close to the surface and The Dr Who Experience, also in the Bay, is great fun. When you’ve done that, gather your friends for a white knuckle ride on a rib (rigid inflatable boat!) round the bay. Calm your nerves afterwards with a soothing spa treatment in The St David’s Hotel and Spa. Back in town, there’s more craft to be enjoyed at the Oriel Makers Gallery. You’ll find work by some great Cardiff makers there, including silver by Suzie Horan and textile art by Ruth Harries.
There’s also a good selection of applied art and paintings in Victoria Fearn Gallery in Rhiwbina. Whilst the Fireworks Ceramics Studios is not open to the public, it’s worth keeping an eye out for their open studio weekends. Some of Wales’ finest ceramic artists and makers are based in this unassuming rabbit warren of a venue. You could go on a print making course at The Cardiff Print Workshops which have two centres, with one being at the vibrant Chapter Arts Centre. They offer tuition for beginners through to advanced, and members can exhibit and use the extensive printmaking facilities to produce their own work. Cardiff also has some lovely Victorian Arcades, slap bang in the centre of town. You’ll find a great variety of independent shops including Hubbard’s Cupboard in the Castle Arcade for hand-made gifts & vintage finds. Whilst you are in the Castle Arcade, enjoy a coffee at the artisan cheese and French food emporium, Madame Fromage. Slightly further afield, but a must, is a trip to Penarth. The newly refurbished Penarth Pier is a gorgeous reminder of Victorian architecture and houses a new arts centre and café. The Penarth version of Waterloo Tea Rooms (also in Cardiff ) is in the centre of the town and has the best tea and cake around. Nearby is Bar44, opened earlier in 2013, serving excellent tapas in relaxed and chic surroundings.
Adam Buick Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Heading back into Cardiff, for a quirky dinner and generous cocktails, I love to go to Milgi on City Road. They do heaps of good vegetarian foods and great Margaritas. They even have a Yurt squeezed into the back garden to lounge about in and enjoy drinks well into the night. The newest shopping centre is ‘St David’s 2’ where the glittering towers of John Lewis loom. Lurking behind this is The Grazing Shed, serving epic burgers from top quality, local suppliers. From there, you can skip along to Bar Gwdihw (Welsh for Owl, pronounced Good-i-Who) to dance off the meat feast in the studenty, friendly but not- tootrendy bar. The best time to visit Cardiff is for Made by Hand at City Hall (obviously!) from October 31 to November 2nd. It’s part of Cardiff Contemporary where the city is awash with world-class visual art exhibitions. If you would like to apply for a stand at the Fair, please visit: www.madebyhand-wales.co.uk Images courtesy of Made by Hand, except for Cardiff City Hall (page 7), courtesy and copyright of Cardiff Council, and Craft in the Bay (page 72) courtesy and copyright of Craft in the Bay.
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Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
The Curious Bartender by Dawn Bevins One could argue that cocktail making isn’t a craft and, if I whipped out some recipe cards to make drinks for the girls, you may well be right. However, The Curious Bartender is different because it’s a real education. An intoxicating mix of recipes, techniques, science and history, it isn’t light reading; it’s classy with a hint of academia. The book itself is beautiful, a luxurious purple hardback with beautiful embossed type and decorative embellishments. It both looks and feels special, and would make a splendid gift; the design throughout is smart and masculine with stylish photography. 76 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
The first part of the book is text heavy (you’ll reach page 54 before you reach the recipes), but it’s broken into accessible chunks with the use of subheadings and vintage-style, black and white line illustrations. The author, Tristan Stephenson, writes with enthusiasm and the romantic nostalgia of a bygone era, luring you into conversation on the complexity of flavours and textures. In the introduction, we are given a detailed account of his background and career, and this is followed by ‘How to Use This Book’. There is a lot in this book and it’s important to read this page to make a few things clear. For example, unless you are a bartender with lots of kit, you aren’t expected to make all the recipes. But it isn’t just a recipe book; it’s an exploration with a variety of recipes (at different levels of complexity) included. Recipes you aren’t likely to create are clearly labelled ‘Mixology Impossible’, and are examples of how far techniques can be pushed. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
Where any specific equipment is necessary, bold type is used within the text, so that you can see at a glance whether it’s something you can attempt. The introductory section also includes the ‘Fundamentals’ of bartending (equipment and ingredients) and ‘The Science of Flavour’. It assumes that you have some basic cocktail equipment and fear not, it is basic. For example, I assumed a jigger was a specialist item until I realised that it’s any kind of measuring cup or spoon (apparently, I have 2). There is also an illustrated flavour map so that you can see how strong or long and sweet or dry the drinks included are, giving you an idea of which you might prefer. The next hearty section is all about ‘Technique’, starting with ‘Ice, Shaking and Stirring’, all the way up to ‘Rotary Evaporation’ and ‘Ageing Cocktails’. Before you begin to wonder what you could possibly learn about ice, shaking and stirring, let us discuss the energy it takes to melt an ice cube, because that is the kind of detail to expect. Some of the techniques will make you feel like you’ve fallen into the wacky world of Heston Blumenthal, but there are so many amazing possibilities demonstrated, I’ve found myself completely absorbed. If you are looking for innovation, you have found it. Tristan doesn’t just explain how things work but also why, and he pushes the boundaries and possibilities of 78 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
cocktail making to a whole new level, whether it be through flavour, experience or theatre. No whisky stone is left unturned. The cocktail section itself is broken down into 6 key spirits: Gin, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Whisky and Whiskey, Brandy and Cognac. Recipes are paired; a traditional cocktail is followed by Tristan’s innovative update. One of my favourite parts of the book is reading the history and stories behind the birth of each classic cocktail, then reading the reasoning and process of exploration that Tristan went through to update it. Sometimes, Tristan will improve the flavour if he thinks it doesn’t quite work (for example, the butter in hot buttered rum creates a greasy film on the top of the drink), or will experiment with presentation and theatre if he considers the classic to have little room for improvement (for example, hot and cold nitro egg nog ice cream). Even the recipes deemed unobtainable are interesting and entertaining to read through. It’s gloriously informative, providing not just for the amateur enthusiast, but also for those interested in learning more advanced techniques. It’s about pushing boundaries and embarking on an experimental journey. It’s a celebration of not just flavour but texture, temperature and experience, with no detail or element of the drink being ignored, right down to the actual drinking vessel.
So yes, as with all cocktail-making missions, you are going to find yourself with a fairly expensive shopping list - that’s to be expected - but Tristan’s knowledge is overwhelming and his passion is contagious. I’ve found myself to be a willing student eager to learn and I’ve even managed to get my list down to 8 bottles! If you need me, I’ll be the one singing Roll out the Barrel. The Curious Bartender by Tristan Stephenson, is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 ISBN-10: 1849754373 ISBN-13: 978-1849754378
Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
MAKE: Tea Cup Bird Feeder
by Teresa Verney Brookes
Gardens can be a real life saver for our birds at this time of year, particularly if it’s frosty or snowy as natural food may be in short supply. Barely budded branches make it easier to see the Blackbirds, Robins and Blue Tits who are beginning to mark out their territory in preparation for the nesting and mating season; it takes up an awful lot of energy so make sure that you have a plentiful supply of food for them. Leftovers such as cooked rice, unsalted bacon rind, dry porridge oats, dried fruit and grated cheese can provide our feathered friends with a much appreciated banquet on the bird table. I must admit though, that the term ‘bird table’ is somewhat of a euphemism for the plank of wood which I have cleverly screwed onto the top of a fence post in my garden. But the birds don’t mind as long as it brimming with food and cleaned regularly! Blue Tits, Chaffinches and Greenfinches will happily feast on hanging feeders and it’s very easy to make your own, in fact it is one of my children’s favourite pastimes! We use lard (which my children call “bird-goo”) and we mix in all manner of leftovers and bird seed. We then stuff this mixture into upturned yoghurt cartons, empty coconut shells and even pretty teacups. 80 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
You will need: A selection of teacups Lard or suet A mixture of bird seed, dried fruit and nuts String or ribbon
1. Place 1 part lard or suet with two parts of the other ingredients in a large bowl. 2. Mash and squash the ingredients together until well combined. 3. Spoon and pack the mixture firmly into the teacups. 4. Place the filled teacups in the fridge to harden. 5. Tie a length of string or ribbon to the teacup’s handle and hang from a branch in the garden. Wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon, these filled teacups can make a thoughtful gift for the gardener or bird lover. But remember that, if you do start feeding birds, it’s important to continue to do so on a regular basis, twice a day is ideal. Don’t forget to leave out water too; it’s vital for all garden wildlife and you can use something as simple as a ceramic flower pot base or upturned dustbin lid. For more information on birds and what to feed them, visit the RSPB website: www.rspb.org.uk Images courtesy of Bebe Bradley Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
MAKE: Mr & Mrs Blackbird
by Laura Howard
To celebrate the launch of her new book, Super-Cute Felt Animals’, Laura has written a simple sewing tutorial that will help keep small hands busy on rainy Spring days. Like many birds, the male and female blackbirds are different colours. You can choose your favourite, make the pair of birds or use your imagination to create a new, colourful species! To make Mr & Mrs Blackbird, you will need: The template sheet, available here, Black felt, approx. 3 ¼ x 6 in (8 x 15 cm) Light brown felt, approx. 3 ¼ x 5 in (8 x 12 cm) Brown felt, approx. 3 ¼ x 4 in (8 x 10 cm) Pieces of black, white, dark grey and orange felt Matching sewing threads Light brown, brown and dark grey embroidery floss Round black sequins, approx. ¼ in (6mm) in diameter Stuffing and a pencil (or other small stuffing tool) Needles, pins & embroidery scissors 82 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
1. Use the templates provided to cut out the pieces you need. For Mrs Blackbird, cut two light brown blackbirds, one brown wing, one set of brown legs, one dark grey beak and one white eye. For Mr Blackbird, cut out two blackbirds and one wing from black felt, one eye from white felt, one beak from orange felt and one set of legs from brown felt. Also, cut out two small black felt circles for each bird’s pupils.
2. Pin the wing on one of the blackbird shapes as pictured, and sew it in place with a line of running stitch around the edge in matching sewing thread. Then remove the pin.
3. Sew the eye, pupil and beak in position with whip stitch in matching sewing threads.
4. Now it’s time to decorate the birds. For Mrs Blackbird, cut a length of brown embroidery floss and a length of light brown embroidery floss. Separate half the strands of each colour (so for six stranded floss, use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and use the brown floss to sew lots of single stitches for the “feathers” along the back of the blackbird. Then use the light brown floss to backstitch a series of curved lines along the wing, as pictured.
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5. For Mr Blackbird, sew rows of round black sequins on the blackbirdâ€™s wing using black sewing thread. Sew each sequin in place with two stitches forming a straight line across the sequin, so your stitches face the same direction. Cut a length of dark grey embroidery floss and separate half the strands (so for six stranded floss, use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and use the floss to backstitch a line flush along the bottom edge of the wing.
6. Place the legs on a matching scrap of brown felt. Use brown sewing thread and running stitch to sew the legs to the backing felt, starting at the top of one of the legs. Sew the layers together with small stitches, following the outline of the legs and turning the felt back and forth as you sew to help keep your stitching neat on both sides. Then carefully cut around the leg shape, so you end up with a pair of legs that are two layers of felt thick.
7. Position the legs on the back blackbird shape, as pictured. Sew them in place with sewing thread to match the backing felt (light brown or black) taking care to sew into the light brown felt not through it.
8. Place the front and back blackbird pieces together. Trim any excess felt from the dark grey beak if necessary, so it matches the beak on the back blackbird shape. Then sew the edges of the beaks together with matching dark grey sewing thread and small whip stitches. 84 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
9. Start from just under the beak and begin sewing the blackbird together with matching sewing thread and whip stitch. Sew down the bird’s belly and around the tail, turning the bird back and forth as you sew past the legs to help keep your stitching neat on both sides.
10. Stuff the tail and then stuff the rest of the blackbird gradually as you sew up the back with more whip stitches. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.
NB: This tutorial is for non-commercial use only. You can use it to make as many felt blackbirds as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don’t make any for sale. For more information and other super-cute felt projects and tutorials, visit: www.lupinhandmade.com Super Cute-Felt Animals by Laura Howard is published by CICO Books at £12.99, and includes 35 fun felt projects, each with illustrated step-by-step instructions. ISBN-10: 1782490582 ISBN-13: 978-1782490586 Images courtesy of Laura Howard
Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
A Light SPRING LUNCH by Bebe Bradley
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What could be more ideal for a bright and breezy spring day than a delicious light lunch for friends and family? PEA AND MINT SOUP Simple to make and full of fresh, spring flavours. Ingredients: 1 bunch spring onions or the white of one leek, trimmed and finely chopped 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small dice 1 garlic clove, crushed A knob of butter 600ml chicken stock Approx. 1kg of young peas in the pod (to give about 500g of shelled peas or use 500g of frozen) 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint A pinch of caster sugar A squeeze of lime juice 200ml of crème fraiche Salt & pepper to season METHOD: 1. Place the finely chopped spring onions or leeks in a large pan along with the diced potato, garlic and butter. Sauté gently for 10 minutes or until the onion or leek is softened and golden, making sure the potato doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
2. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the potato is soft. Add the peas to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Do not overcook the peas or you will lose that lovely fresh flavour and colour! 3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Add the chopped mint, sugar and lime juice to the pan then blend (with a hand-blender or liquidiser) until smooth. Stir in a good couple of spoonful’s of crème fraiche and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraiche, a sprig of mint (or use pea shoots) and a drizzle of peppery olive oil. You can also serve this soup chilled; cool and then refrigerate till required. The soup may thicken whilst in the fridge so, if you intend to reheat, you might have to thin the soup with some water. Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
METHOD: 1. For soft-boiled ‘dipping’ eggs, bring a pan of cold water to the boil. When the water begins to boil, use a spoon to gently lower the eggs into the bubbling water and set the timer for 5 minutes. When ready, place the eggs into egg cups set on large tea plates or dinner plates.
2. Whilst the eggs are boiling, steam or simmer the
SOFT BOILED EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS It’s not about teaching people to suck eggs (or rather, boil them). It’s just that, sometimes, we need to be reminded of simple pleasures. Good, uncomplicated ingredients can often feel like the most indulgent, so keep an eye out for seasonal English ‘Grass’ rather than the imported stuff that the supermarkets stock throughout the year. Ingredients: 2 large hen’s eggs per person A bundle or two of asparagus, woody ends trimmed Salt and pepper to season Butter 2 thin slices of bread per person 88 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
asparagus in a pan of salted water, until tender but still crisp. When cooked to your taste, drain the pan and add a small knob of butter to the asparagus. Cover and keep warm whilst you make the soldiers. 3. Toast the bread to suit, butter liberally and cut into soldiers. Divide both the toast and asparagus between the plates, and serve whilst hot.
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MINI LEMON MADEIRA CAKE Dainty little Madeira cakes with a citrus tang. Ingredients: 225g self-raising flour 1 teaspoon of baking powder 175g softened unsalted butter (or margarine) 175g caster sugar 3 eggs, lightly whisked The grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 or 2 dessert spoons of granulated sugar Lemon curd (optional) You will also need 8 greased and lined mini loaf tins, or a greased and lined 900g loaf tin.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and level the surface. Bake for 30 minutes (increase to 40 minutes for the larger loaf ) or until firm, golden and risen. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes should come out clean.
4. Whilst the cakes are in the oven, combine the remaining zest, lemon juice and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. As soon as you remove the cakes from the oven, spoon the lemon and sugar mixture over each cake, making sure that the top of each is evenly covered. Set aside to cool, and then gently remove from the tins. 5. Serve as they are or, if they aren’t already lemony enough for you, split them horizontally and slather with lemon curd to make mini sandwich cakes.
1. Preheat the oven to Gas 3/160°c/325°F. Using a wooden spoon, beat the sugar, softened butter (or margarine) and half of the lemon zest together in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the baking powder to the flour. 2. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, a little at a time. To prevent the mixture curdling, add a small amount of the flour along with the egg. Sift the remaining flour over the mix, and gently fold it in using a metal spoon. If the mixture is a wee bit ‘stiff’, mix in a tablespoon of milk to loosen it up. Images courtesy of Bebe Bradley Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
LIVE: From Tower Block to 4 Acres
by Lisa Margreet Payne
Every time I see tiny heart-shaped leaves of seedlings pushing their way out of the soil to say “Hai”, I smile. Spring is the busiest time of year for a market gardener and it’s also an exciting one. After a long Winter of planning for the coming year, the wheel turns, the seasons change and nature gives you another round. We are constantly learning in our daily lives, our work and our creative practices, and as we learn, we adapt. The very nature of a designer is to take what already exists and then tweak it. You reimagine it and put a new twist on it; an individual and indelible identifying mark that only you as the creator, with your own unique experiences, can do. It’s this reimagining that innovates our practice.
expert there are only a few. You can apply this idea whether you have lots of experience in something or none at all. For example, if you’re feeling tired and jaded with what you’re doing, pretend that you’re coming to it for the first time. Recall the enthusiasm that you had at the start, and try to remember what you did when you didn’t know the ‘rules’. Give yourself room to play and experiment.
However, sometimes we can feel stuck. How can we innovate in a world where so much has been accomplished? The world is already full of amorphous “stuff” and in the handmade scene, it often feels that everything has already been done to death. In Zen Buddhism, there is a concept I love called ‘beginner’s mind’. The idea is that for a beginner there are many possibilities, but for an
Sometimes, you are literally a beginner. As adults we find it hard to be beginners because we are so used to being competent in our lives and work. But use this beginner’s mind to its best advantage, dive in and smile at your blank canvas. You don’t know the rules so follow your instincts. If you like, find out how something is done and do it that way first but then think “What if…?”
92 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
Spring 2014 | ukhandmade |
I took over the running of the market garden with very little experience in gardening and none at all at a commercial level. This could seem daunting but I’ve found that by viewing life as a series of experiments, and asking “what if…?” rather than feeling like I have to plan everything to the nth degree, allows me more freedom in my life. This doesn’t mean that I don’t plan. I LOVE a good plan! This Spring, I’m armed with a crop plan that I made last January, vegetable beds that I mulched over in winter ready for the Spring crops and my list of ‘lessons learnt’ from last season. But I also know that I need to be flexible, allow for change and not to get too hung up if things don’t go quite as I’d thought. Nature is, of course, the greatest of innovators. Pave over the soil and she’ll still find a way to push up some grass and a few dandelions or send up a tree root to buckle up the concrete pavement. It may take her hundreds of years but suddenly, she’ll be like “Ta-daaa!” and you’ll see a beautiful flower growing out of a crack in the concrete. That juxtaposition of urban and nature may be just what you need to spark off the creative process that allows you to design your latest project, write that story or paint that picture. Embrace the hope that Spring brings, and say “Hai!” back to the emergent seedlings. Images courtesy of Lisa Margreet Payne 94 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014
The Vintage Bazaar
March 8th at The Corn Exchange, Devizes, Wiltshire April 19th at The Cheese and Grain, Frome, Somerset June 21st at The Cheese and Grain, Frome, Somerset The very best in vintage and handmade delights direct from the dealers, collectors and makers. Keep up to date with all our events on our Facebook/Twitter pages as well as our dedicated blog www.thevintagebazaar.blogspot.com
handmade in the UK www.folksy.com/shops/tallbird www.tallbird.webs.com
Mandy Knapp if you wish to advertise in the next issue email firstname.lastname@example.org
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96 | ukhandmade | Spring 2014