Okay, so Ciara McGarrity, the woman behind Waffle is pretty extraordinary and that’s not just because she is a fellow Irish cailin (although it helps)! Ciara’s work really stood out at Sunday’s Modern Show for its solidness. Stumbling upon her stall, comfortably nestled in the corner of a busy walkway bustling with excited buyers, felt very natural. Her work is natural. Its unique while also being comfortable, easy and just plain gorgeous. To quote Ciara’s website her products “celebrate simplicity and the quality of the product.” And that’s just it. Waffle’s design practice is based around the material and respecting its inherent beauty. Using tapestry wool, rayon weaving yarns and jute threads, Ciara then embellishes, by hand, to create a striking effect that works in the most careful of ways.
The best bit: (there’s always a best bit) her vouchers. Vouchers often leave one feeling a tad unloved. They scream I couldn’t be bothered but not Waffle’s voucher which offers something wholly different. Sure you get the voucher but it doubles, aesthetically, as a piece of art in itself. She includes samples galore that nudge you in the right direction. Pretty awesome. And pretty obligatory…
Where does one begin after an afternoon spent perusing some wholly spectacular wares? Modern Shows hosts a variety of shows throughout the year for the unsuspecting public to feast their eyes on. I say unsuspecting, I hasten to add, in the most positive sense because the shows do more than simply show, instead they showcase and create a world where time stops and design transcends all. The show offers all the usual breathtaking collections but each stall offers something, just slightly, disparate. It could be in the styling, the colours or the eye of the dealer but each and every stall holds the key to a new wonder. The striking Dulwich College hosted Sunday’s show and was the quintessential backdrop in which to sell, buy and enjoy. The main halls were awash with keenly chosen specimens and the building’s halls and corridors offered smaller, more niche supplies ranging from textile loveliness to witty prints.
Dulwich College simply tingled with excitement from the beginning to the end of the fantastic day and I found myself drawn towards all the textiles and prints on show which is why I need to devote one or… ten extra posts to all of that gorgeousness. In the meantime, though, enjoy the photos and set aside some time to peruse the websites belonging to the folk featured above… Vintage Unit, WEMM, The Modern Warehouse and so much more.
It was an event so carefully orchestrated that one can’t help feeling imbued with some invisible sense of fulfilment and I certainly can’t wait for the next one.
I have so many lovely artists and designers to introduce you to but today is the day to finally sell this beauty. I have posted about Miss Milliment here a few weeks back with the intent of selling her then but life and work took over and I find it’s only now that I am able to introduce Miss M as the debutant she is and officially say, she is for sale. She is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Arsenic and covered in Marimekko’s delightful Kaakaopuu wallpaper. She measures a perfect H 107cm, W 75cm and D 43cm and is priced at a mere £195. I can even deliver if you live in East London. She needs a good home for Christmas so contact me right here or on the Facebook page if you would like to purchase.
It’s Friday and that means Unloved Upholstery… I have mentioned that it’s unsurprising, really, to stumble upon a diverse range of abandoned furniture in varying states of dress because it’s a city. Hell, it’s London and that’s synonymous (I’m sure) with dumped treasure in plentiful supplies. That’s why I started this series. Part experiment, part documentation and a lot of perplexity. And it is with that in mind that I introduce this mattress, firmly nestled, in this tree. It’s mind boggling and Jennifer Ross’ comment, on the first Unloved Upholstery post, sprang instantly to mind. She mentioned seeing a mattress up a tree and I think we both thought, in some sort of joint superiority, “how ridiculous!” So I feel blessed to have “stumbled” upon this. But, that said, I have a feeling, a very strong feeling that it’s all intentional. It’s too perfectly displayed and there’s a CCTV-esque bird sitting watchfully alongside. Dubious, interesting and ironic, no?
Ps, the last photo sat, almost, at odds on the wall right beside the tree and its mattress advertising a Hallowe’en extravaganza and my son became quickly enthralled by it. I loved the clean lines and vivid colours which seemed to be the antithesis of the tree and its precariously placed mattress. If anyone can shed some light on said mattress, I would greatly appreciate it.
It feels like eons ago now but last Wednesday myself and the lovely Vikki wandered along to Soho and the ever wonderful treasure trove that is The Cloth House, (No. 47 to be precise [there are two!]) We were met with the most tantalising array of fabrics and detail. Although The Cloth House is just that– a place to procure a wonderfully wide selection of fabrics, it offers more. No. 47 is styled to perfection with the colourful fabric taking centre stage while also gently nodding to bygone eras and capturing the present market to perfection. It is a shop to spend hours viewing buttons and feathers and ribbons and a whole lot more.
And The Cloth House just doesn’t look pretty, oh no! Founded in 1984, its philosophy is simple. It adheres to a policy of tradition and while travelling the world to source the most appealing goods, works hard to maintain close relationships with the textile traders and craftsmen. Just wonderful. Sustainability and goodness all rolled into one nifty package.
We love it but go see for yourself.
Bonfire night played host to yet another spectacular Dusty Fingers Vintage event at the Round Chapel right here in Hackney and it was awesome. I chatted to so many people; so many awesome people and marvelled at the most spectacular array of vintage goodness. The space was awash with a plethora of finds from the upcycled gorgeousness of Mini Magpies to the beautifully curated retro attire of Mero Retro right down to some just plain scrumptious (and beautifully presented) preserves from Ma Russell’s. Also enjoyed was the magnificent Brookes and Jones baked delights and fabulously monochromed goodness from Ingo Kraftchenko. The Round Chapel was full of an energy that nudged folk into chatting and allowed them take advantage of one pretty cool fair that offered some truly stunning opportunities to shop, gather and enjoy.
Last week I braved the elements in the wake of St. Jude’s storm and journeyed into Craft Central to meet the wonderfully talented artist and photographer, Bronagh Kennedy, in her lovely studio in Clerkenwell. We chatted about work and Bronagh’s background and she showed me lots of her lovely images.
London’s vivid scenery is the starting point for Bronagh’s creations and her work is full of the iconic and recognisable but the best bit: the twist in the view. She plays around using various digital techniques to produce wholly new images that, while still recognisable, subvert the familiar and allow for something a little playful and a lot lovely. She showed me some new images that she is “having fun with” and we talked about how and why she ventured into this brave new world of art.
Always a keen artist and creative, Bronagh started her professional life as an Urban Planner and after eighteen years decided to leave to concentrate on a more hands on career. Initially it was jewellery but soon photography took over. Urban planning and renewing is at the heart of her work and one can clearly see her influences are firmly ensconced in her current work of cityscape representation. She spoke, at length, about the layers of urban texture one can witness springing from the derelict and the grotty. And this can be seen in her work, in her eye for detail, in the lines and in the playful twist.
You can contact Bronagh here and visit her at the next open studios, Made in Clerkenwell at the end of the month. It’s sure to be fabulous so I urge you all to go and take a peek…