The Future Is Bright

Call us optimistic about the future of British crafts, but in this world of mass-production we see a growing trend towards hand-crafted design as people are re-educated about sustainable and locally manufactured, hand-crafted items. It is comforting to know that there are institutions like the Crafts Council and many other craft and design events running in the UK who support and promote the makers to develop their ideas and market themselves to a wider audience. Even the designer-makers view the future of craft and design with great optimism and believe their passion and the quality of their work will build a legacy, valued by others for years to come.

With this in mind we have compiled a list of up and coming designer makers, who we think have a great future ahead;

Chris Edwards - Silversmith - Stand-out Metalware and Jewellery inspired by a career creating the weird and wonderful for the film and T.V. industry. Exhibiting at Chelsea Old Town Hall this weekend on stand HIB12


Handmade in Britain; Inspired by the World

With just six days to go before our Handmade in Britain show launches itself in Chelsea Old Town Hall once again, we have been thinking about how influences from around the world give an extraordinary extent to the diversity of work that forms British craft. With paraphrases from our new book Handmade in Britain, launched at our Chelsea show next week, below are a few examples of the diversity of cultural influences in British design;

Ferri Farahmandi – Ceramics – Raised in a typical Persian family in Iran, Ferri was surrounded by a creative environment and loved exploring multiple media but was mostly excited by clay. Art was not discouraged for Ferri; however, the priority was to gain an academic education followed by marriage and family. After moving to England and raising her children a world of artistic possibilities were opened to her. She began to study a degree course in ceramics at Westminster University. Later she started working in stoneware and porcelain clay. Ferri’s creations are heavily influenced by nature and organic forms. Her work explores issues of freedom and the restrictions of society in human lives. You can see her work at stand HIB47.

Tim Chadsey – Furniture– Born in Toronto, Tim came to England to study photography and worked as a still life photographer for 25 years. On discovering the beauty of wood, during one of his photographic assignments for a furniture company, he found his passion and turned his creative focus to furniture making. He worked for England’s finest designers before setting up his own workshop in 2008. His design sense, the essence of which is simplicity and elegance, is influenced by the colour and grain of the wood. You can see his work at stand HIB06.

Naomi Singer – Glass –After moving to Cornwall Naomi Singer sees its influence in the colours that evolved her work. Naomi combines both traditional and modern warm glass techniques, along with digitally manipulated images to create unique glass pieces.  Even though her tableware is commercially successful, her heart lies in creating big statement wall panels, and sees her panels getting bigger and bigger in the future. You can see her work at stand HIB56

Aran Illingworth -Textiles–Aran’s love for antique & unusual fabrics is represented in her textiles. Originally trained as a nurse she pursued design after her son began nursery and obtained a first class degree in Applied Arts. Aran uses textiles as a medium to express her connection with undervalued women in Asian society and so her work inspires a powerful and emotional response. The colours are clearly influenced by Asian culture in addition to the dire social conditions that persist in Asia and although she is not a feminist her work has a certain feminist sympathy underlying within it. You can see more of her work in our book that will be launched in Handmade in Britain.

Amma Gyan – Fashion – Wear me, be you. Classic designs reinvented in collection of handmade
leather bags and inspiring moulded leather jewellery that challenges the perception of precious. Her latest work is constructed to illustrate freedom and movement, challenging the perception of how leather is used as a jewellery form and the concept of what is precious. See more of her work on stand HIB44.

Daphne Krinos – Jewellery - Creating original and striking pieces of jewellery in precious metals and translucent stones. Daphne moved to London from Greece to study jewellery design, despite being told ‘not to waste time on such a frivolous area’.  Attracted by odd and unusual shapes, Daphne clearly represents her love of cities buildings, scaffolding, bridges and all sorts of structures in various states of decay, in her work. See her work at stand HIB 17

Melanie Rye – Interiors/Furniture- With inspiration drawn from anywhere and everywhere, Melanie loves pattern and colour and spends much of her time sourcing fabrics in antique and vintage shops. Her impressive assortment of patterned fabrics is utilised and combined with antique furniture, which she upholsters to give character including lamps, chairs, screens and home accessories. Using modern trimmings in her work is “extraordinarily post-modern”, capturing the essence of anti-minimalist aesthetics.

Handmade in Britain will be on at Chelsea Old Town Hall from 28th-30th October, and will exhibit over 70 designers of contemporary craft. At the show we will launch our first ever book containing over 200 illustrations and featuring over 90 designers. 

We look forward to seeing you there.