Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Central

My first post and I have a confession to make: I didn't actually go to 'Made in Clerkenwell' today. I visited Craft Central last Friday...almost a week ago. Does that matter? The designs and crafts that I saw there will continue to inspire me for some time, so I think it counts as an inspiration for today.

I'm an old romantic at heart (as opposed to the new romantic I was in the Eighties) and I like anything with a link to vintage. So it may seem odd that what caught my eye on Candice Wren's stand was a basic white T.Shirt. Candice had printed it with an etched floral and butterfly design, and a hand-written note. The note was an original love letter that Candice had found in a flea market. How romantic. How inspirational.

Helen Beard creates ceramics, cards and framed watercolours. There's a lovely fluidity to her work. I especially liked the ceramics with watercolour illustrations of bathers. They really made me smile.

Swithbert and Louis are textile designers with a wonderful eye for mixing colour and textures. There scarves were almost too beautiful to wear. I'd use them as wall hangings.

Kate Jones designs intricate, luxury knitwear. I have to admit I've never been a knitwear wearer...I feel as if it turns me into my mother as soon as I put it on. Kate Jones's knitwear does not have that effect. This is modern, sexy knitwear. It made me want to pull out my knitting needles and cast on.

Janet Stahelin's studio had a calm serene air. Shelves were lined with her tall slender jugs and cylinder vases. 'Torn' bowls were arranged on another shelf. All the pieces are made from porcelain and inlaid with designs from antique lace. Simply beautiful.

Julie Vermeille uses ink drawings and collage to create whimsical illustrations based upon folk-tales. Her hand-made books were particularly enchanting.