Saturday, January 5, 2013

'Utility', Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, 12 Jan - 3 March 2013

Amongst the various 'hats' I wear, I sit on the Education and Exhibitions Committee at the Makers Guild in Wales. A year or so ago I proposed an idea for an exhibition..... and this is the result.  'Utility' opens next Friday, and quite frankly I want to buy all the exhibits. (Alas, my bank balance doesn't quite allow for this, so feel free to visit and buy.)

Claire Cawte

Enya Moore

Stuart Cairns

Cathy Miles

Sharon Adams

Kathryn Campbell-Dodd

Jennifer Collier

Lynda Shell

Ann Nazareth

Ann Catrin Evans

This is my introductory text for the exhibition catalogue:

The making of tools is regarded as one of the key milestones in human evolution. The development of more complex tools and utensils paved the way for new social behaviours, dietary change, greater dexterity and indeed the making of other objects.  Tools are fundamental to being human.

Craftspeople have a particularly profound relationship with tools and utensils for obvious reasons. The tools of the trade are treasured objects in their own right as they mould to the makers hand revealing their years of servitude and the unique demands they are faced with.  A weaver would intimately know the intricacies and differences of all their weaving shuttles, scissors and hooks, whilst the distinctive dents and worn patina of a jewellers’ hammer, pincers, pliers and files might hint at what they've been used to make.

This exhibition presents some of the UKs finest makers’ curiosity and reverence for tools and utensils. Whilst everything can be used for something, these aren’t functional objects in the traditional sense: they are aesthetic celebrations of the tools of making. They are designed to raise a smile, evoke a sense of familiarity and encourage a fresh look at a maker’s transformation of basic materials into something new, regardless of ‘what it is for’.

With thanks (as always) to Charlotte Kingston, Education & Exhibitions Officer at Craft in the Bay.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Melin Tregwynt blankets on Celebrity Big Brother!

Back in the second year of my BA Constructed Textiles in Birmingham Met Uni (1998), I undertook a 2 week work placement at Melin Tregwynt. I then went on to work at the mill in my subsequent academic holidays and have been designing for them in a freelance capacity ever since. Their products not only grace private homes around the world; they also supply design-led hotels and TV props departments. I often catch a glimpse of a MT blanket on adverts and TV programmes, but rarely have they had such prominence as the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother. I saw this photo on Facebook earlier on today, and needless to say, I had to tune into the show this evening:

Celebrity Big Brother 2013 bedroom

I designed the Carew blanket a couple of years ago for Melin Tregwynt and also worked on the Ember colourways for many of the MT archive designs including the St Davids Cross and Roundcross.

Carew in ember colourway

St Davids Cross in ember
Roundcross in ember