Christmas window display at Heals TCR

‘Low-Res Orange’ in colour-themed Christmas window display, London.

It’s a really good feeling to walk into a store as fine as Heal’s and see your products on the shelves. We went into Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road just as Christmas was getting into full swing, with festive decorations and great gift ideas everywhere.

Group of contemporary home accessories.

The merchandising was done with flair and artistry. It certainly didn’t disappoint. It was a thrill to see our wares displayed amongst all the gorgeous, quality products that have been carefully selected by the Heal’s buying team.

Kitchenware department at Heal's

Our Modern Welsh Lovespoons and pastel-coloured, ‘Slice of Cake’ Doorwedges looked right at home in the kitchen department…

Red Loglike Apple amongst striking homewares at Heal's

… and everywhere we turned, there were pepperings of our Low-Res Apples, Pears, Oranges and Lemons, spicing up the tableware and shelving.

Contemporary, colourful kitchen accessories, instore at Heal's

As home accessories, our ‘Low-res’ Fruit ornaments work well to inject colour into an interior.

Marimekko 'In Good Company' teapot and Loglike Low-Res Orange

The fruit’s faceted shapes also seem to resonate with the current trends for bold, graphic prints and strong, geometric forms, like on this lovely Marimekko teaware (above).

Shop interior at Heal & Son

It was great to see items from the All Lovely Stuff range out on display, such as this clever chopping board (below).

Shelves of beautifully designed tableware with Loglike Apples!

Other arresting products included these small sculptural black and white ceramic vases & tealights by Finnsdottir.

Group of black and white ceramic vessels by Finnsdottir

And this set of large glass decanters by Pols Potten, called ‘Bubbles and Bottles’. They were just so simple and appealing, it was hard to walk past.

Group of simple glass decanters in beautiful colours by Pols Potten

The work of Taz Pollard was almost irresistible. She designs and makes these large pitchers and bottles, (below). The jugs have rubber handles, secured with cable ties. Genius.

Contemporary pots and jugs in super-bright neon colours

Heal and Son Ltd have a long heritage. The family business started off designing, manufacturing and retailing beds and bedding in the very early 19th Century. They’ve occupied the same purpose-built store on Tottenham Court Road for over 150 years, albeit with a few additions. Now with five other branches, Heal’s is a champion of British Design and quality manufacturing.
jen

The Heal’s Building
196 Tottenham Court Road
London
W1T 7LQ

Phone: 020 7636 1666

ad-hoc signage at Renegade Craft Fair

Where?

christmas tree shaped sign

Over there?

doorway to an old industrial space

…through here?

old truman brewery interior columns

…er, where?

green cut-out paper sign

Oh, thanks.

inventive large sign

Yeah… R.C.F…. like it. Nice ad-hoc signage.

Renegade team from the United States of America

… they look cool.

Peris & Corr arriving at Renegade Craft Fair

Oh, this must be it.

huge venue for Renegade London

Wow, it’s huge!

Loglike stand at Renegade London 2013

Best get the caffeine in…

Loglike display with doilies

… and set the stand up, next to our Folksy stable-mates, iamkathrynedwards, Mrs Eliot Books & Scawn Studios to name just a few.

star light and heart shaped wooden spoons

We’d been invited to attend Renegade Craft Fair in London, as part of ‘Folksy Selected’: a presentation of twelve sellers who all have shops on UK-based Folksy.com.

woodwool and vintage saucers

Heading the Folksy Selected section, we had the lovely Camilla who was staffing the Folksy stand and ably demonstrating the advantages to buying and selling on this beautifully re-vamped online marketplace. Camilla has her own shop on Folksy, called Butterscotch & Beesting, so was well-placed to explain all about the site. She’d also brought along some super-popular Folksy flyers which moonlighted as striking Christmas decorations.

paper Christmas decorations

The event was bustling, with over a hundred quality stands, all with an indie-craft vibe. We were swamped on the first day, with our Low-res Fruit, Lovespoons, doorwedges and candlesticks doing very well. People seemed pleased to find quirky, well-made gifts, with thoughtful packaging.

Jimbobart stand at Renegade

The other stands throughout the venue were great. Very tempting products indeed. It was good to see fellow-North Walian sellers Peris & Corr (below)

screenprinted wooden Christmas decorations

and DyfalDonc (below) amongst others.

upcycled vintage formica jewellery

…and it’s a shame these handpainted shoes by Sam Pierpoint were a little bit too big!

pair of hand-painted 'deep space' pumps

Renegade Craft Fair took place at The Old Truman Brewery, Spitalfields, London.
9th & 10th November 2013
jen

 

view of beautiful Welsh hillside in Autumn

1) Take secateurs, wellies and an early morning excursion to the lush roadside verges of North Wales.

botanical illustration of ferns

2) Snip armfuls of Welsh bracken (a most plentiful fern) with plenty of stalk.

gathering ferns with a car

3) Squeeze into your car, trying not to crush or bend the fronds, if possible. A pail of water is useful for keeping the cut-ends submerged.

Modern Victorian fernery during Helfa Gelf 2013

4) Transport to a glass-topped coffee table, under which you’ve arranged multiple glass bowls, filled with wet, horticultural foam.

sketch for coffee-table fernery

5) Trim the bracken to length and arrange in a naturalistic fashion under the glass top. (Duration: about 1 hour)

close-up of fern fronds under glass

6) Repeat steps 1-5 as necessary, to keep the bracken looking fresh and green. (Ours lasted about 24 hours)

design for plant-based display unit by Loglike

Background:
This folly was dreamt-up by Loglike for Haus of Helfa in 2013. It was created in response to the Victorian theme of the Llawn Arts Festival, for which Loglike constructed a temporary shop and exhibition space on the ground floor of an old, semi-derelict building. Inspiration came from the twin Victorian obsessions with botanical collecting and specimen cases.

Here’s some advice for gathering plants in the wild, by the Wild Flower Society.
jen

abundant wooden fruit tumbling from a large wooden horn of plenty

26 Augusta Street in Llandudno has a nice, new staircase. The rickety, old one was recently replaced during renovations. This big, old building (a former RAFA club) had four floors of curved hand rails, chunky newel posts and multiple variations of bannister spindle.

looking down the central well of an old staircase

We were invited to incorporate the old spindles into our work, making pieces especially for Llawn01, the first Llandudno Arts Weekend Number 1.

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It took a while to decide on a design. Inspiration came via seashells (thanks Kathryn & Isobel), as well as basketry spirals and corn dollies. The repeating shapes formed by numerous maquettes came to suggest the pattern of treads on a spiralling staircase.

Angled ends of old, wooden spindles from a bannister

We carefully calculated angles, incremental lengths and construction joints.

Playing around with form and construction at the design studio

As they were filthy, chipped and full of nails, we decided to pare the antique spindles back to their original state by removing the various layers of paint and varnish. This revealed the bold stripes of resinous pitch pine, which was wonderfully aromatic when cut.

Dark wooden spindles arranged in a ring on the floor

Then came the labour intensive task of re-shaping each spindle to our exact specifications…

Table full of turned lengths of wood

…and forming the hexagons that are the bones of the piece.

Bannister hexagon.

The end was perfectly punctuated by the top of a newel post, also from the building.

Newel post top

Then we filled the large, finished structure with Loglike wooden fruit forming a ‘Low-res’ cornucopia, or seasonally appropriate horn of plenty. It was shown during Helfa Gelf at the Haus of Helfa, an exciting, temporary art space, open during September 2013.
jen

Sculpture by Loglike for Llandudno Arts Festival 2013

Artists and revolving disco / beach ball installation

Haus of Helfa popped up on the Llandudno coast, during this years’ Helfa Gelf.  A diverse collection of artists were invited to create and install work over four floors, in a partially gutted Victorian town house, under the direction of international performance artist and curator Marc Rees.

Four story Victorian building in Llandudno

The building, owned by Mostyn Estates, (the largest landowner in the area), was well-known locally as a former ‘wings’, or RAFA club. It was well on it’s way to being renovated and turned into offices, when the work was paused for art.

Marc Rees introducing the artists to the Haus of Helfa

Loglike was fortunate in taking over the ground floor, installing our version of a Victorian shop as well as a studio area and exhibition space.

setting up Loglike's 'spoon carving grotto'

Here’s a few photos of the installation process. The area seen above became our ‘spoon-carving grotto’, while below was where our site specific sculptures developed. For more pictures of the finished space, see blog post Helfa Gelf 2013.

Exhibition area for site-specific installations

What was extra exciting about the project, was the option of doing site specific work and collaboration. Below is our finished Cornucopia, made from the stripped spindles from the building, and behind is shown a film by Simon Proffitt featuring endlessly revolving low-res fruit.

Cornucopia by Loglike, film by Simon Proffitt 2013

The themes of revolution and repetition were used again and again on the first floor, as Simon Proffitt took over the space with his large disco ball installations (extraordinary when lit by the sun), anonymous portraiture and playful experiments in sound and film. The image below shows Cymbalophone made from a cannibalised turntable, crash cymbal and paper cone.

Collage and sculpture by Simon Proffitt at House of Helfa 2013

Other exciting pieces were made by the ffloc collective as well as Wendy Leah Dawson, Alan Whitfield and Rebecca Gould. The top floor was taken over by many different artists, using a refreshing mixture of materials in their work. There were cyanotypes by Susan Liddle and The Way to Blue’s Sarah Middleton and paintings by Judith Samuel amongst others.

Thanks to all who visited 26 Augusta Street during September, to see the evolving displays and artwork. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Haus of Helfa

entrance to 26 Augusta Street, Llandudno

We had an excellent time in Llandudno for this year’s Helfa Gelf, (North Wales Arts Trail). We were lucky enough to be invited to join a group of artists showing work in the Haus of Helfa at 26 Augusta Street. This semi-derelict, four floor building in the centre of town, was taken over as a temporary exhibition and installation space, open every weekend in September.

geometric fruit in a wooden cornucopia

Happily, it coincided with the fab Llandudno Arts Festival Number One, or Llawn01 which took place on 20/21/22 September this year. Being part of this festival, we were asked to use the themes of Victorian, Seaside and Disco, in creating our pop-up shop, gallery space and studio set-up.

pop-up shop and art exhibition

So, we put our own twist on the Victorian theme, creating a coffee-table fernery, spoon-carving grotto and vintage shop counter / bar area, topped with domed glass cloches and display stands.

Berlin-style shop counter and bar stools

bay window filled with aromatic wood-wool, stool and disco ball

As the building was in the middle of being renovated, the walls hadn’t been plastered yet. They were a patchwork jigsaw of exposed brick, complemented by the bare floorboards. The space had been stripped right back, leaving a neutral, raw backdrop for our work.

wooden sculpture in an old, brick building in Llandudno

The rickety old staircase had recently been replaced, and we were invited to incorporate the old bannister spindles from the building into work made specifically for Llawn01.

picture frames suspended from wide, black ribbon against a brick wall

Most of them became Cornucopia, a large, shell-like structure, filled with our Lo-res fruit. The rest became podiums for tiny carved heads of the former (imagined) visitors to the building, which used to be an RAF club.

five, wooden pitch pine spindles with coloured, carved ends

Being blessed with a large floor area, we were able to use one of the open-plan rooms (where the bar used to be) for a studio, and started Low-Res Still Life No.1, a large painting inspired by the 17th Century Dutch artists’ ontbijtjes, or breakfast pieces.

Painting 'Low-res Still Life No.1' on a large canvas

As we were just around the corner, from the excellent Mostyn Art Gallery, it was super convenient to take part in the creative Ffair Feranda, (Veranda Fair) on Sunday 22nd. We made rubber-band powered Art Crabs who held felt-tip pens in their claws, which were made from wooden spoons. We invited people to use them to create abstract art. Hope there’s a Llawn02 next year!
jen 

wooden, mechanical drawing crabs and starfish

We were at:

HAUS of HELFA
26 Augusta Street
Llandudno
Conwy
LL30 2AE

Llawn (Facebook)
Llawn (Twitter)

retro yellow exhibition walls

Our county is home to Wales’ National Eisteddfod this year, and the towns and villages approaching the venue are awash with purple and mauve bunting. The event is staged in grassy fields with beautiful Denbighshire hills as a backdrop. It’s a festival of Welsh culture and so features literature (Welsh language), music, dancing, food specific to the region, as well as contemporary fine and applied arts from the whole of Wales and beyond.

derelict room in extreme disrepair

The Visual Arts area traditionally houses an open exhibition and a special exhibition. This year, the special exhibition has been created in response to the former North Wales Hospital, a large Victorian asylum that now stands derelict, but since 1848, has been of great significance to the area.

dept-of-memories-2

The artists, left & centre, with exhibition visitor.

The artist Simon Proffitt has been commissioned to research and respond to the hospital and it’s impact, creating work in collaboration with Eilir Jones; writer, performer, artist and former psychiatric nurse at the hospital. The results are shown in the exhibition, entitled Dinbych Saith or Denbigh Seven, the telephone number for the hospital.

row of small brown bottles

Covering a wide range of disciplines, the work includes sculpture, sound, film, photography, painting, collage and performance. In the piece pictured above, Dept. of Memories, exhibition visitors are invited to share their thoughts about the hospital with the artists, who are dressed as psychiatric nurses. The visitor’s response is condensed onto a label, stuck to a small brown medical bottle and placed on a collecting shelf. Over the course of the exhibition, this piece has the potential to build up a fascinating insight into the direct and indirect effect of the institution on the people of the area.

hanging cloud of plugs on chains

Other pieces include Occupational Therapy which features a swarm of bath plugs, scouring pads and lumps of coal, suspended from fine chains, above a nest of speakers. The materials reference the industrial therapy unit at the hospital, where patients were employed with repetitive, menial tasks.

framed collages by Simon Proffitt

The first thing you notice when entering the exhibition is the colour of the walls: authentic ‘ward-yellow’ which in this instance is a kind of 1960s yellow-ochre, similar to that found in vintage caravans… or ancient asylums. This, alongside the signage in NHS font and colour, gives the space a distinctive feel and a slightly unsettling air.

Art

A feeling further exemplified by powerful short films such as Fragments made from vintage footage shot at the hospital itself. This is a triptych of moving images, layered to create a disorientating central area. Like the Rorschach ink blot test, it’s difficult not to see sinister images made from the innocuous recordings.

brick

My favourite piece however, is Main Hall (detail) consisting of a single brick. At one point apparently, it was actually part of the hospital complex and was recovered from the site complete with the small hole that looks like a tiny doorway. It’s a beautiful brick, with a rich, slightly iridescent front fired face. It’s displayed cheekily on a white plinth, nodding to the reverence of a museum exhibit, but with the spontaneous energy of a found object.
Jen

2nd – 10th August
Dinbych Saith
Simon Proffitt & Eilir Jones
Special Exhibition, Y Lle Celf
National Eisteddfod 2013
Kilford Farm
LL16 4ER

pink tent at the National Eisteddfod, Denbigh

wooden spoons with colourful, heart shaped ends

It’s easy to be drawn into an Oliver Bonas store due to the fab colour and on-trend merchandise. There are 36 stores (and growing) mostly dotted around London. They’ve a great reputation for stocking irresistibly appealing items.

interior of new Oliver Bonas store

When you do enter, you may well find some of our Modern Welsh Lovespoons and ‘Slice of Cake’ doorwedges. We’ve recently sent a large shipment of spoons and wedges in lovely new colours for Spring/Summer, including wooden spoons in apple red, powder blue and citron.

cake doorstopOur new pistachio doorwedges are also being stocked, alongside ones ‘iced’ with pink and vanilla eco-friendly paint. Here’s a list of Oliver Bonas stores. They recommend that to avoid disappointment, you call ahead to check availability, as stores vary in size and carry slightly different collections.
jen

interior of new Oliver Bonas store

It’s nearly Spring here in Wales, but not quite. This is what the world looks like if you imagine you’re a squirrel or a mouse:

Hillside 1

Hillside 1

Wrinkle

Wrinkle

Waterfall

Waterfall

Strata

Strata

Grotto

Grotto

Hillock

Hillock

Mountainside

Mountainside

Cave 1

Cave 1

Cave 2

Cave 2

Cliff

Cliff

Hillside 2

Hillside 2

Glen

Glen

jen 2013

Pencil Basket fruit bowl by Stephen Bretland

Just got hold of a copy of this fab new book called ‘Upcycle!’ It’s all about innovative designs that contain an element of upcycling or re-use of materials. We’re pleased to report that Steve’s Pencil Basket is featured. It’s a fruit bowl, consisting of a wooden disk on little feet, with precisely cut slots ’round the edge, just big enough to stick a row of pencils in. The pencils then interlink to form the walls of the basket and contain the fruit, (and it’s surprising just how much you can keep in it.)

orange pencil basket

The Pencil Basket is in good company, as the book is full of lots of really clever designs that make you think about objects and materials in new ways. Personally, I’ve got a bit of a thing about rugs at the moment, and was particularly taken with these two rug designs:

innovative rug made from layers of stacked fabric

This one is by Atelier Remy & Veenhuizen and is called The Accidental Carpet. It’s made of strips of woolen blankets glued together and stuck to a backing. The design is variable, and refers to the pattern of a human brain.

Agustina Woodgate making a rug

A teddy bear called Pepe inspired Agustina Woodgate’s Animal Skin Rug which is made from deconstructed pre-loved toys. The designs are wonderful kaleidoscopic ‘daubs’ of bear.

design for animal skin rug

I’ve also got to mention these most attractive ‘Bow Bins’ baskets by Cordula Kehrer. The contrast between the colourful, synthetic vessels and natural materials is fascinating, and the results look very sculptural.

fantastic basket hybrids of synthetic and natural materials

But that’s not all! There’s silver birch log speakers, antique candlesticks set into simple wooden boxes, shoe heels made from abstract collages of furniture fragments, and, and….

A good book of international, contemporary design. Upcycling with a light touch.
jen

Upcycle! by Ginko Press (2012)
ISBN 978-1-58423-468-5

hardback 'Upcycle' book by Ginko Press

 

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