13 April – 8 July 2018.
A celebration of nine leading contemporary designers who follow the rich heritage established by architect and designer Charles Robert Ashbee – placing great value on work, the joy of craftsmanship and the natural beauty of materials.
Annette Friedrich, artist bookbinder
Brought up in Germany, Annette moved to London, and set up her studio for unique fine bindings. She is a founding member of the artist’s collaboration ‘club mantell’ and very active in their cross-discipline ventures and exhibition projects.
“I like words and I like languages. I like how words add up, and how they create space: literature. My own language as a bookbinder is of a visual and tactile nature. I do not seek to illustrate, but rather to create a space of reflection.
Working within a very old craft, I employ techniques that have passed down through generations: tooled mark making, rhythms and space. Saying new things with old words is a never-ending delight and challenge.”
Tanya Gomez, ceramist
Developed from traditional methods and disciplines Tanya has honed her skills over the last 15 years and uses dynamic throwing, cutting and assembling techniques to create large cylindrical shapes. Impactful both individually and as a group, her vessels create expressive, vivid landscapes and fluid, architectural forms.
From years working on sailing yachts, travelling the world and coastal living, Tanya has absorbed the abstract qualities of colour and shape and uses this to inspire her art forms and evocative glazes.
“My vessels and installations can look like they are flowing. Clay is contradictory like that. You’re using this beautiful soft material but to manipulate it my movements are directive, strong and controlled.”
Vicki Ambery-Smith, jewellery & silverware designer
With her fine quality of craftsmanship combined with detailed observation of architecture from Hadrian to Heatherwick, Vicki makes jewellery and silverware that have a personal connection with the wearer or dining room.
“As my jewellery is designed to be worn, and worn comfortably, the three-dimensional architectural structures on which I base my work must be adapted to a more personal interpretation of the character of a building. Some pieces seem to have no direct referent but are highly suggestive of certain locations or eras, appearing as tiny stage sets, on to which the viewer can project their own dramas and personal narratives of place – inspiring fantasy, triggering memory and evoking sensations.”
Samuel Chan, furniture designer
Samuel spent seven years training to be a furniture designer and in 1995 he set up Channels with the idea to keep the entire design-make-sell process in-house.
His aim was to create pieces that were known for their clean, contemporary design and excellent craftsmanship. This continues to be his motivation, and to date Samuel’s work has been recognized with seventeen Design Guild Marks.
“I am interested in design that endures – a piece of furniture that keeps its interest, made in such a way as to last, even improve, over time.”
Caroline Groves, traditional bespoke women’s shoemaker
With over 33 years of leather working experience, Caroline’s creative talent crosses the boundaries between craftsmanship, fashion, art and fantasy. Her work is all about curves and the sculptural elements of shoemaking and design.
“Leather and its inherent qualities have always been my passion. To me the shoe is the absolute expression of these characteristics, bringing together the essential internal strength and shape of the shoe and soles with oak bark tanned, wet- moulded leathers, along with some of the most finely coloured and finished upper leathers.”
Jacqueline Mina OBE, goldsmith
Jacqueline is recognised as a significant talent and influence amongst UK and European contemporary goldsmiths. Her superb technical accomplishment in manipulating precious metals is combined with a fine, painterly eye.
“I am preoccupied with the surfaces of precious metals and with form – juxtaposing the play of light, reflection, lustre with characteristic expressions of angle, curve and line…I rarely do a drawing of a piece before I make it, preferring to create it directly in the metals so that I can keep my mind open to all kinds of possibilities and avoid fixing any detail right up to the completion of a piece.”
Sebastian Bergne, industrial designer
Renowned for making everyday objects special with his essential and human approach to design, Sebastian’s work shows less of a signature style more a quest for appropriate new solutions to diverse design problems.
“ I deliberately try to avoid using a proscribed approach or process for all the projects that I do. Each time, you’ve got a different client, different needs, different expectations…. you need to adapt your approach.
Sometimes, the innovation in the things we do is almost invisible; it’s a very small step in an evolutionary process. Other times it’s much more radical, and much more visible. Looking over my body of work, you might think there’s quite a lot of difference between some of the projects. But that’s because they’re very different projects. It’s just a different context every time.”
Hart gold and silversmiths
Harts Silversmiths encompass a unique living tradition in design and silversmithing which has its origins in the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Harts are descendants of the silversmith George Henry Hart (1882-1973) who came to Chipping Campden with C.R. Ashbee. They continue to produce handmade silver in the workshop established by Ashbee.
“I joined my grandfather’s workshop in 1956….We work mainly to commission, creating new designs or using the drawings produced since 1902, updating and adapting them where necessary. The nature of the type of work changes but not the way we do it…handmade, bespoke one off pieces.”
Stella Campion , designer silversmith and jeweller
Stella Campion works in gold and silver, specialising in the techniques of chasing and repoussé to create relief designs on metal.
“I draw on nature for inspiration using themes of bird, insect and plant life which are particularly effective when applied to hollowware – bowls, beakers and jugs; or flat surfaces such as plates and decorative plaques.”
“Good designers must always be avant-gardists, always one step ahead of the times. They should–and must–question everything generally thought to be obvious. They must have an intuition for people’s changing attitudes. For the reality in which they live, for their dreams, their desires, their worries, their needs, their living habits. They must also be able to assess realistically the opportunities and bounds of technology.” –Dieter Rams (1932-) Industrial Designer