Friday, 17 February 2012

Kate Farley – Plot to Plate design collection launch

Kate Farley – a freelance designer and member of the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures community – has her work included in a forthcoming exhibition at the Bilston Craft Gallery. In contrast to Kate’s large scale public arts commissions, this collection focuses on the home and the personal.

At a time of great awareness of home-grown produce and home-cooked food Kate has launched a brand new celebratory screen-printed design collection inspired by kitchen gardens and allotments of Britain.

Her surface designs are applied to both textiles and paper products, including bags, tea towels and notebooks, all hand-made, and will be first shown to the public as part of the ‘Kitchen Garden’ exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery, the West Midlands, 18 February – 28 April 2012.

Surface design by Kate Farley
“Following in the foot-steps of mid-century designers such as Bawden and Ravilious, I have combined art, design and craft skills to create this unique collection of products featuring surface designs inspired by kitchen gardens, allotments and home-grown / cooked food,” Kate explained.

The title design feels like a contemporary classic already, mixing garden and culinary tools as a journey from ‘Plot to Plate’. Other designs in the range feature planting plans and patterns evocative of the vegetable patch. This body of work has stemmed from a series of prints and drawings of the same subject made over the last few years featuring both private sites and National Trust estate gardens.

Kate's hand made notebooks 

Kate carries out public art commissions, an extensive range of freelance design work and lectures at Birmingham City University.

Kitchen Garden exhibition: Bilston Craft Gallery

Monday, 13 February 2012

ILF jewellery companies network & explore technologies in Vicenza

A collaboration group of 12 West Midlands’ jewellery companies attended the Vicenza trade fair – Vicenzaoro Winter 2012 –with the help of Interiors & Lifestyle Futures’ Gay Penfold and Frank Cooper. 

As the show’s PR explained: “the event is the first in the world calendar of gold fairs, the first chance to test the pulse of the sector and to photograph the latest trends and products. This ‘business hub’ [hosted] 1400 exhibitors from over 30 different countries ….. meeting the retailers and numerous delegations of foreign buyers.”

Visitors throng to Vicenzaoro Winter 2012

Over 27, 000 visitors attended the six days of the Fair and while the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures group met jewellery manufacturing companies from throughout Europe and the rest of the world, their primary focus was  'T- Gold' in the Technology Hall. There,  the ILF companies explored the latest in technologies, software and equipment for jewellery design on offer from 118 manufacturing companies. They also had the opportunity to attend the day-long Jewellery Technology Forum.

Moving businesses forward in Vicenza

“I found Vicenza both enjoyable and rewarding. I learnt some ideas that will move our business forward both in marketing & product development. It was also useful to speak with others within the trade and look at our business from a distance.” Peter Wright, Le Ronka.

“I had an amazing and extremely productive time in Vicenza. It’s definitely opened my eyes to what else is out there and proved to me that retailers don’t have the limited choice of the same old rubbish! I think I’ll also get a lot out of the networking on the trip. Thanks to Frank and Gay for organising and executing the trip with skill and professionalism. I thought you did a great job and definitely made sure we got the most out of our time.” Jack Row, Designer.

Other ILF companies that took part in the Vicenzaoro Winter 2012 trip: Albion Gold; The Birmingham Mint; Charles Green & Sons; Christopher Hay; Haz UK Ltd; Hean Studio; Merit Badge; Merrell Casting; Samuel Taylor Ltd; and A.Wardle and Sons. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

ILF companies & BCU students excel at Interiors 2012

The design-savvy of Interiors & Lifestyle Futures businesses wowed visitors and industry colleagues at this year’s Interiors UK Show. Collaborating with textile students from Birmingham City University they ensured the showcase stand of emerging trends was a big hit at Interiors UK 2012. 

Textile students from BIAD who worked on the Ember trend
International trends’ experts Global ColorMix predict ‘ember’ and ‘tender’ as concepts that will make an impact in the winter of 2012-13.

Showcasing the Ember trend

 “The exhibition featured two carefully crafted room sets and presents over 20 new design concepts featuring the blaze of autumnal warmth of the ember trend, juxtaposed with the Georgian-inspired tender trend,” explains Joanna Birch, Head of External Development at Birmingham City University.
“Our Trends showcase often makes interior designers and manufacturers realise the power of students to stimulate their product innovation.”

Textile students from BIAD who worked on the Tender trend
Interiors & Lifestyle Futures companies who worked with students from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design to accomplish the tender trend were: The Wenlock Box Company; Phoenix Tile Studio; mrf design ltd; and Alison Davies. The ember trend was realised with the help of:  Plant & Moss; Paul MargettsMobius Living; and The Chair People.

Showcasing the Tender trend
Additionally, long-established luxury furniture business GlassDomain and the up and coming Bean2Bed contributed to Interiors & Lifestyle Futures’ small auxiliary stand at Interiors UK 2012

“Being at Interiors 2012 and having the opportunity to demonstrate the product and meet a whole new network of contacts is something we are extremely grateful for,” said Matt Roberts, co-founder of Bean2Bed.

“Bean2Bed is something that Max and I are tremendously proud of and is our livelihood in this tricky economic climate so we really do thank you all for the opportunity and for those that fought our corner to get us involved.Through ILF I have met some great businesses and people.”

Matt Roberts, Bean2Bed at Interiors UK 2012
Photos courtesy of Chris Webb Photography

Monday, 6 February 2012

Heidi at the V&A

Heidi Hinder, who joined the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures community in February 2011, is having her work included in a major display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Heidi designs and makes medals inspired by her interest in optical devices, science and literature and her pieces will be part of a display celebrating the first six years of the New Medallist Scheme. The work will be on display at the V& A from 11 February until 18 August.

Medals by Heidi Hinder

As explained on the Museum’s website the New Medallists: “breathe new life into the centuries-old art of the medal. Usually cast in metal, art medals are small sculptures, made for personal pleasure or contemplation. Often deeply introspective, these objects are best appreciated in the hand, where they may connect intimately with their (be)holder.”

The New Medallist Scheme is run by the British Art Medal Society in association with the V&A, the British Museum and the Royal Mint and is supported by the E.S.G. Robinson Trust.  “By nurturing a new generation of British medallists, the New Medallist scheme is designed to stimulate the field’s originality. In making a contribution to the present, the New Medallists will shape the future of medals in Britain and Ireland.

Heidi Hinder at an ILF Visioning workshop

See here for more about Heidi and the New Medallists event. For more about the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures' Visioning workshops, which Heidi took part in, July 2011, please click here.