Exhibitions

Dundee Design Festival 2017

In the craft world, manufacturing is often associated with a personal detachment from the material being worked. Manufacturing is efficient, reduces the price of each unit and makes the item accessible to a wider market. But it is not made by craftsmen.

Dundee Design Festival promoted a different perspective. Industrial tools and processes connect to the individual maker.

Silo Studio  shared their passion for production processes and how it led to developing a new material for furniture. Polystyrene looks an unlikely starting point.  Delving deeply into the source material and challenging some industrial practice Attua Aparicio and Oscar Lessing came up with not so expanded polystyrene.  It can be moulded and formed into rails and posts, just what is required for furniture.

Table made from ‘Not So Expanded Polystyrene’

‘Not So Expanded Polystyrene’ material

This process of enquiry led to other projects. Plastic keys from redundant keyboards could form colourful surfaces for tables. Especially interesting to the manufacturer of those keyboards at this time of global overload. Understanding the materials and who could have an interest in using them is part of finding a bridge between crafts and industry.

Attua and Oscar use Jesmonite to make bowls. This is an acrylic/plaster of paris mix which sets to a hard material which can be polished. Attua and Oscar demonstrated the skilled use of colour and an understanding of the properties of the unset material to make appealing patterns.

One strand of the craft debate is about the connection between the hand and the eye.  Critical to personal success is an intuitive understanding of the process. At Dundee we saw that idea built upon. Here are some examples.

CHALK specialises in designing and creating beautiful decorative plasterwork. They use traditional techniques in the restoration of historic interiors undertaking minor repairs to the complete reinstatement of original designs

Contemporary Plasterwork

contemporary plasterwork

a classical urn in a contemporary setting

GLITHERO are British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. From their studio in London they create product, furniture, and time-based installations that give birth to unique and wonderful products. The work is presented in a broad spectrum of media, but follows a consistent conceptual path; to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made.

digitised organ music woven on a Jacquard loom

damask tablecloth depicting a Jacquard weaving book

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May 2017 update

It has been a fulfilling 15 months since my last post.

The main event has been the exhibition ‘After the Storm‘ , held in the John Hope Gateway Gallery of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. 12 cabinet makers from the Scottish Furniture Makers Association designed and made furniture using timber from the gardens blown down in 2012 by Cyclone Andrea. Oak, cedar, maple and chestnut formed the most usable wood. With the support of Forestry Commission Scotland, RBGE and members of SFMA, the exhibition became a celebration of creative talent.

Here is an image of the piece I collaborated on with Gavin Robertson – Gavin the experienced maker and me the designer. Always an interesting interchange when two creative people work together for common purpose. I hope we will have the opportunity to do this again.

Tsunami chart cabinet made from cedar and yew

Tsunami chart cabinet made from cedar and yew

Many people experience the rising of water, albeit gently but inexorable, over the parapets designed to protect.

The exhibition closes on 28th May.

A book written to complement the event is available in the shop. It explores ecological change, resilience and renewal in the context of Cyclone Andrea and has pictures of the furniture.

In addition to the exhibition, a bench for the gardens has been sponsored by the MS society  (Edinburgh and the Lothians) and made by Angus Ross. It is to be a place of reflection and a destination for visitors. The MS Society were particularly supportive of this project because people who have the condition have had to make major adjustments to their life and adapt to new expectations.

 

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Aberdeen Art Fair – September 2014

The Aberdeen Art Fair 2013 had a very strong presence from the furniture makers. The stand attracted plenty of interest, whilst Tom Cooper showed us how to sell furniture when he took the prize for ‘largest pieces sold’.

We’ll all be there again on 6 and 7 September 2014, at Aberdeen Music Hall. Follow the link for more information.

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Scottish Furniture Makers show in October 2014

I’ll be at the annual show of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association in the John Hope Gateway gallery at Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden from 2nd to 19th October 2014.

This is a fabulous new venue at the heart of a specialist world, and a brilliant showcase for makers’ work, giving them an opportunity to show what they are able to do.

Put the dates in your diary and I look forward to seeing you there.

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Attentive launching

And here she is to face the world.

Attentive in the sun

Attentive at work

Attentive looked down on

Nobody but nobody should walk away

Come to SECC Glasgow 23rd to 26th May stand L445 and see it in the flesh – or is it wood?

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New chair to be unveiled at the Ideal Home exhibition Glasgow – May 2014

Come and see the launch of my new chair. Something a bit special, something useful and a bit different. Every designer has a chair in them and this one was just waiting to come out. I’m seeing it as more than just a one off.

It’s light weight, beautiful, portable, ergonomic.

Come and see it at the Ideal Home Exhibition at Glasgow’s SECC, 23 – 26th May 2014 stand L478.

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