I arrived at Tent London at 9 AM for coffee and cinnamon buns at 100% Norway and left at 7 PM after a drink with founder and director Jimmy McDonald – ten hours at one show seems like a lot when there’s so much to see at the London Design Festival, but there was so much to see at Tent and its satellite shows, that somehow even ten hours wasn’t quite enough. Norway was one of 29 country pavilions – they were joined by the Finns. The fabric design above is by Jonna Saarinen.
Alicja Patanowska was showing new work with the Contemporary Polish Ceramic Design stand – an incredible testament to the country’s skill in that medium. HerbLab and MushroomLab are tabletop greenhouse systems for growing herbs and mushrooms in the home.
I couldn’t do a round-up of Tent and not mention my book! My publishers Hoxton Mini Press had a stand for my new book, Makers of East London, which showcased both the book and the work of some of the makers we featured, along with a little hint of their making processes.
Plymouth College of Art had a really strong collection of graduate work including projects by Melanie Wood, Julian Jay Roux and Jenny Jefferies.
I loved Mark McClure’s graphic approach to wall and floor coverings, art pieces, furniture and well, pretty much whatever he turns his hand to.
Sue Pryke’s first job after graduating was for Wedgewood and she went to work for the likes of Sainsbury’s and IKEA – even designing the latter’s ubiquitous 365+ range. She now works under her own name and her collections just get better and better every year. Last year she started collaborating with husband John of Wild + Wood to combine ceramics with wood for the Mr & Mrs range. This year she’s introduced ceramic teaspoons and added metal into the mix with wonderful results.
Ted Jefferis aka TedWood is a young designer/maker who recently won an Elle Decoration British Design Award for his work with wood. Based in the West Sussex countryside, this new talent is definitely one to watch.
Tracey Tubb launched her folded wallpaper at Tent last year. She’s been working hard on product development ever since, and came back this year with a new product – folded wallpaper that can be color matched, meaning you can specify absolutely any color you like to make sure it perfectly matches your interior.
The Gathering Collection by Saniyo is all about bringing together loved ones. “In this world of 6.5 billion inhabitants, what explains that some people are your family and friends while some people are just passers-by in your life?,” they ask, inviting you to use this “partyware” collection to celebrate the people you love, and take a moment to be grateful that they’re not just passers-by.
Designer-makers Lola Lely, Daniel Heath and Forest & Found got together to create this Makers Table where they were holding live demonstrations throughout the show – a fantastic way to bring what they do to life.
Daniel Schofield is another rising star, and another recipient of an Elle Decoration British Design Award. This was his first solo stand at a trade show and it was beautiful. His use of materials is stunning and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
And last but not least, I loved Kate Farley’s Construct collection, a surface pattern inspired by the construction of woven fabric and created with a cardboard comb. She worked with SurfaceView and Formica to extend the collection beyond her usual fabric and paper products, and her new color palette is gorgeous.
More from the London Design Festival here.