Barnaby Barford’s Tower of Babel at the V&A

Barnaby Barford Tower of Babel

This year’s London Design Festival has just kicked off, so Yannick and I rushed down to the V&A to take a look. Rushed a bit early, as it turned out, but it meant we got an excellent sneak preview of Barnaby Barford’s Tower of Babel, a conical pile of china shops which has been sited in the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, making for an interesting contrast with the sculptures on display. Continue reading

Tokyo Imagine at Tent 2014

Tokyo Imagine Tent is one of the annual set pieces of the London Design Festival. Located in the Old Truman Brewery in Hanbury Street, it showcases designers from around the world. In previous years I’ve discovered Mashiko Pottery and textile crafts there. But this year it’s different. There’s a whole section called Tokyo Imagine which features young digital media artists (I’m not sure I’d call them designers exactly) working with new technology, showcased alongside traditional artefacts. It’s refreshing and, judging by the crowds, I wasn’t the only one who found it exciting.  Continue reading

Japanese wedding envelopes in Stoke Newington

Japanese envelopes London Design Festival venues come in all shapes and sizes, from the V&A, through the big set pieces like Tent in the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, down to little one-off shows in out of the way places, like the one I went to earlier this week. Though I’m not sure that Stoke Newington aficionados will forgive me for calling their beloved Stokey ‘out of the way.’ But it is a 73 bus ride away from the centre, so going there takes a little more effort.  I’m glad to say the effort paid off.  Continue reading

Simplified Beauty at the London Design Festival

Mashiko Pottery I love the London Design Festival. it runs for a week (or so) every September and showcases an incredible variety of design talent all across London in what it calls Design Quarters. I spent the first day in the Shoreditch Design Quarter visiting Simplified Beauty at SCP on Curtain Street. It featured a number of modern Japanese designers, including my all-time favourite, Mashiko Potteries. Continue reading

Ceramics at the Geffrye Museum

Geffrye Museum

Have you ever been to the Geffrye Museum? It’s housed in a row of former almshouses on Kingsland Road in East London (Hoxton Station on the Overground is right next to it) and it’s the Museum of the Home. It has a series of room settings showing how the middle classes lived in different periods which are absolutely fascinating. But I didn’t linger over these on my most recent visit as I was there for Ceramics in the City. Continue reading

Still time to catch Prism – plus the best of the rest at the London Design Festival

Prism at the V&AIf I did a blog post on every Japanese designer I saw at the London Design Festival we’d be here till Christmas, so as the Festival ends here’s a roundup, starting with London-based Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism at the V&A. Prism was so successful it’s been extended to the 28th September so hurry onto the V&A website and see if you can get a ticket.   Continue reading

I just couldn’t resist it – Mashiko Pottery, beauty in everyday life

Mashiko Pottery signWith the London Design Festival in full swing I’m rushing around London like a mad thing. Yesterday my friend Yannick and I went to see one of my top-of-the-list exhibitions; Mashiko Pottery who are showing at Tent in Hanbury Street until 23 September.

Fortunately we decided to go early in the morning (well, ten o’clock counts as early for me) before the crowds built up so we were able to stroll around the stands (and there’s lots of them) in relative peace. We soon found Mashiko Pottery on a corner stand at the top of the stairs where the pottery was elegantly displayed, poised on pale wooden beams lit by overhead shafts of light. Continue reading

Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes with nendo mimicry chairs at the V&A

nendo mimicry chair 1Warning! Spoiler alert! If you’re planning to go to see Japanese Design Studio nendo’s mimicry chairs at the Victoria & Albert Museum and want to discover them for yourself watch out because this post has photos of the full set. If you do go (and you’ll have to be quick as they are part of the London Design Festival which ends on the 23rd September) here’s some advice: Continue reading

London Design Festival+Eley Kishimoto+Aram Gallery=Wow

Eley Kishimoto Narumi platesThe London Design Festival is here again with so much to see and do I feel quite dizzy. I’ll never get round it all but I’ve made a start with the fabulous Eley Kishimoto Living with Patterns exhibition at the Aram Gallery on Drury Lane.

Eley Kishimoto means rugs to me so I was bowled over to discover that the compact exhibition included china, shoes, clothes ceramics, and lace as well. Continue reading