Tent London 2011 – A cloche hat, fantasy ceramics & footballers knees

A few years ago, many visitors simply wouldn’t have ventured from the safety of 100% Design to any other venues, what was the point…it was all under one roof! How things have changed. I remember speaking to Piers Roberts at Interiors Birmingham in 2009 about the recession and how we thought it would affect design and designers, we were in agreement that strangely enough tough economic times can be good for design, can make designers less complacent and reinvigorate lazy apathy. If the flourishing of the London Design Festival is anything to go by, these were certainly thoughts in the right direction, with visitors in 2011 undoubtedly missing out if they didn’t get busy with their Oyster cards.

Instead of everything being under the cavernous Earls Court roof, there are now a plethora of other venues to visit, all very different in feel and content. I’ve covered Decorex & Origin which fall under the LDF banner but are on different dates to 100% Design and am now going to post some of my finds at Tent London, now in it’s fifth year at the marvellous Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, East London. If you consider yourself design-savvy, cutting edge, innovation-loving and a new product junkie…. you may well have seen everything I’m about to post there already 😉 They aren’t in any order as to which I like most and I’ll post more from Tent later this week.

Esther Patterson of Curiousa & Curiousa works from a studio in Derbyshire with local artisans and skilled crafts-people to create not only these wonderful hand blown lights but also furniture and surface design. I thought these lights were stunning, elegant yet quirky and love that Esther will also incorporate vintage treasures such as your own crystals to make bespoke individual commissions.

Anything a bit Alice In Wonderlandy appeals to me, so these fantasy ceramics by Makiko Nakamura caught the Moregeous eye immediately. There was a whole one-off table of these exquisite treasures and it’s easy to see how and why her work has led to collaborations with clients such as the late great Alexander McQueen.

It’s hard from an image to appreciate how something can seem so delicate yet so structured and these lights by glass artist Heather Gillespie managed to combine the two. The workmanship was fascinating and it was only when reading her web-site later that I had even an inkling of what had gone into them – including a year in a remote Czech village honing her craft and perfecting techniques like copper wheel engraving, no longer taught in the UK. The Cloch pendant on the left was an absolute beauty.

Something a little lighthearted now, one for the boys! Self-taught ceramicist Alex Garnett‘s work is super contemporary and a great deal of fun, never before have I seen a vase crafted from footballer’s knees (one to buy for the man who has everything?) or a footbowl for his nuts? Loved the ceramic skull ring too and Mr M bought me one as a bribe…. I ignored it of course, and dragged him off to another interiors exhibition 😉

More tmw x

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