Monthly Archives: February 2012

Entry to the Kenneth Grange Exhibition: Design Museum London

I viewed the Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern exhibition at the Design Museum. The exhibition showed his products, prototypes, sketches and models made throughout his diverse and fruitful career.

Exhibition view showing prototypes and process...

...signage, symbols...

... hidden detail within some of his design classics.

I also visited the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence 2011 exhibition. It offered a great insight into the work and design process of four British Designers: Jade Folawiyo, Simon Hasan, Will Shannon and Hye-Yeon Park. The designers were selected for the strength of their response to the brief ‘In Pursuit of Imperfection’. The exhibition showed their sketches, models, tests, working drawings, and prototypes, as well as the final developed commissions.

Will Shannon's furniture from his Autonomous Workplace no004: Mobile Particle Board Factory

The designers explored concepts of the imperfect surface and value: the connection yet difference between the craftsman and volume production; the revaluing of existing mass-produced materials to make crafted furniture; and our imperfect ability to control time. Jade Folawiyo’s work exploring the imperfect surface through tarnishing and rusting of a patterned surface was moving, along with Simon Hasan’s melding of leather craft and mass production techniques through material to make a seat.

Simon Hasan’s Work using Cuir Bouilli (Boiled Leather)

Cool Operator

On leaving my meeting at Central St Martins College of Art and Design with Anna from Liberty of London Archives, I stumbled upon Twig plastic (Derlot Editions). These pieces (one of favourites especially the Concrete Editions) were designed by Alexander Lotersztain Studio.

“I developed the concept of traditional bench seating to create a new form where there was seating on all sides and which included both a modularity and an organic freedom not previously seen in public furniture.”

Alexander on Twig from

Alexander is based in my home town of Brisbane. He has changed the face of design in Queensland; having exhibited and worked Locally, Nationally and Internationally and received countless awards for his designs. It was great to see people hanging out on Twig in London!

Suits enjoy Twig in London

St Martins College Students between lectures

Mark of the Old Shed Roofline, St Martins College

Liberty of London Archives was recently re-located to a new home at Central St Martins College of Arts and Design. St Martins College (presently undergoing redefinition and  major redevelopment), is one of The University of the Arts of London’s campuses. It offers a range of courses including Performance, Product and Furniture Design, Photography, Sculpture: Fashion, Textiles Design, Marketing, and Architecture Object and Spatial Design.

St Martins College Fashion Graduates work on Show

I met with Anna Baruma (Archivist of Liberty of London) on Campus at St Martins College. Anna showed me many of the old sample books from the Liberty archives as well as more contemporary works. There were unusual examples of paisley, floral and geometric designs influenced by the popularity of exotic textiles and the process of making from the East.
A dream come true! Thank you Anna and Thank you Liberty of London!

Anna Baruma at Liberty Archives, St Martins College of Art and Design

One of the many Liberty Fabric Books within the Archive

Original Drawings by Owen Jones within the V&A Museum Collection

Back in London…. on to research at The V&A Museum. Architect and Designer, Owen Jones is celebrated for his detailed documentation and reproduction of mosaics and tile work patterns from around the world. He carried this work out during mid 19th Century. Detailed publications and original drawings for color plates of his work are part of the V&A Collection and include ‘Drawing of tiles at the Alhambra’ and ‘Original drawings for The Grammar of Ornament’ published in 1856.

I was fortunate to spend time within The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Prints Room to view first hand Owen Jones’ original drawings. His methodical care and attention to document the patterns was striking. He drew them in a way that allowed the individual elements, their repetition and the underlying structure of the pattern to be understood. There was just enough information and color to understand the very complex patterns, without too much to confuse and overload the page and the eye.

The V&A Library and Reading Room

In the V&A’s Library I viewed the published copies of Owen Jones’ ‘The Grammar of Ornament’, that they hold in their collection. The plates within the book were half the size of the original drawings but still retained the clarity, color and quality of the originals. It was great to see his work at this time. It was made all the more valuable and meaningful by my first hand experience of patterns within each of the places I had just visited through my Winston Churchill Fellowship Research.

Owen Jones' Chinese Patterns No 01 from The Grammar of Ornament , The V&A

Owen Jones' Persian Patterns No 01 from The Grammar of Ornament, The V&A

Leaving Istanbul...sad to leave.

It was time to leave Istanbul and make my way back to London. My lovely Taxi Driver played some ‘leaving’ music (Jazz) as we drove to the airport. I was overwhelmed with emotion thinking of the beautiful people and places I had come to know…and the patterns. The patterns can not be separated from the people or the place…

Arda and I at the Blue Mosque

Didem at my Birthday Dinner...

Fishermen and Businessmen on the Bosphorous

Istanbul recycling: Beautiful deconstruction. They keep and reuse everything!

Action on Istanbul Streets

Looking Up in Tunel

Ikat Kaftans within the Grand Bazaar

Trips to the Spice Market

Hagia Sophia

Rear View to Istanbul...

…I will return!

Hanasho: Flower and Art

Eba unwraps bunch of red roses number...

My favourite from the day: Snow Bells

The best way to spend Valentine’s day is in a Florist! But you have to make sure it’s not just any florist! I spent my Valentines Day at Hanasho in West End, Queensland (Australia). Eba who owns Hanasho is more than a florist. He is an artist; a maker; a craftsman using flowers, and twigs and leaves as his medium. Hanasho also engages with the local community through artist nights and fundraising events, and stocks artworks, jewellery, furniture and constructions from local designers and makers.

Roses especially for the day

Traditional Bunch (Mix of Natives and Protea) rest on Designer Fukutoshi Ueno's Dress Code; a collaboration between Fukutoshi and the esteemed fashion designer Akira Isogawa

I enjoyed the messages of love… the expressions on people’s faces on receiving their flowers…the flowers themselves with their scent and their sublime delicacy; almost like love itself; fleeting and yet so desired.

I had an absolutely beautiful day with Eba and his partner Conny, and all of the clients who return to Hanasho because of Eba’s unique talents and art. Thank you!

Passion fruit Flower

My Beautiful Turkish Family…including Mushi Mushi (far right)

While in Istanbul I met some amazing people. We spent such wonderful nights together; cooking; watching Istanbul Soap Opera’s; discussing patterns, language and life!

The accomplished Cuneyt cooks up a storm…
While the girls relax…The Gorgeous Didem and Arda
Cuneyt in deep after-dinner conversation…
… as pregnant Mushi Mushi observes from a safe distance

Cuneyt is an amazing conversationalist and extremely educated in language and culture. We had intense discussions about many things including similarities between Japanese and Turkish language. Didem works as a fashion designer (spunky stuff) and Arda in Marketing and Media.

Such beautiful, passionate and inspiring people that made me feel so welcome!


Treasures within a discreet shop front

My Mum has taught me many things. To work hard at the things I love; to look deeper beyond surface; and to value all of the beautiful things in the world; from people to nature and their celebration in ceramics, glassware, jewellery and prints. During my daily walks in Istanbul I came across a little shop that had many beautiful treasures. They reminded me of my Mum and the curios that surrounded me during my childhood.

These photos are for you Mum to inspire you today! Thank you!

Thimbles, pen nibs, eyeglasses, clock faces, shell Cameos…
More spectacles, brooches, pins, amber beads…
Stamps for printing fabric…
Stamps for pressing metal…
Vintage italian glass micro-mosaic brooches…
Cufflinks, snuff boxes, glass eyes for dollies…