London Craft Week 2017 : Marks and ToolsLondon Craft Week 2017 : Marks and ToolsLondon Craft Week 2017 : Marks and Tools

London Craft Week 2017 : Marks and Tools

From the 4th - 7th May Design - Nation unveils its latest exhibition as part of London Craft Week 2017.

Design-Nation will present a major showcase exhibition of work by over twenty of its network members at the gallery@oxo as part of London Craft Week.

The exhibition is themed around the marks and tools of the maker and how these translate into different disciplines. Design-Nation’s makers produce a wide range of distinctive high quality contemporary objects, both useful and decorative, large and small, simple and ornate; all are distinguished by commitment to craft and deep understanding of excellent design.

The exhibition has been made possible by our recent Research and Development funding from Arts Council England. This is allowing Design-Nation to undertake significant sector research and to create new opportunities for its designer-maker members, and to launch at least two new showcases.

Highlights of the show include Hannah Tounsend’s distinctive handbuilt ceramic vessels and monoprints, which won her the New Designers 2016 One Year On award and are evocative of seaside landforms; established textile designer Margo Selby’s return to handwoven artworks, one-off pieces which evoke Bauhaus forms and demonstrate her characteristic colour combinations; and Michael Ruh’s hand-blown glass tableware and lighting in a range of subtle and bright colours, the gentle forms infused with delicate lines.

Design writer Barbara Chandler works with leading creative agency Design-Nation to present an exhibition of work by over twenty of their members. There is also an in conversation with Margo Selby, Michael Ruh and Hannah Tounsend. The exhibition is themed around marks and tools of the maker. -

Read more about the designers taking part by clicking here

Image Credits: (L to R): Work by Ekta Kaul; Hannah Tounsend; Gillies Jones; Linda Bloomfield; Nigel Cheney. Photography and styling: Yeshen Venema & Mugdha Sapte. 

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An interview with KathKath StudioAn interview with KathKath StudioAn interview with KathKath Studio

An interview with KathKath Studio

Fresh from their first showing at Top Drawer last week, we caught up with fashion accessory designers KathKath Studio. This is the collaboration between textile designer Kathy Schicker and graphic designer Kathryn Pledger. Kathy says, "We worked and exhibited around the world, before meeting in the park chasing our small children, and bonding over a love of surface, pattern, colour and design. We pooled our respective talents to create KathKath Studios and launched our high-end silk scarf and accessories collections in late 2013.”

In 2014 KathKath’s ‘Honeycomb’ wallpaper was launched as part of Graham and Browns ‘New Wave’ collective, curated by design journalist, passionate supporter of emerging talent and Design-Nation supporter Barbara Chandler. The collective consists of thirteen of Britain’s best up-and-coming surface pattern designers. Since then KathKath have further developing their range, continuing to add attractive products, projects and retail outlets.

We asked: What attracted you to Design-Nation membership? (It was a rather complimentary answer.)

KathKath: We were attracted to Design-Nation membership for a number of reasons but mainly for business development and exhibition opportunities. Being part of a support / umbrella network has so many benefits - and the kudos of being a member of Design-Nation means the KathKath brand has already been endorsed for quality and product. We also thought the membership would open up opportunities for us to widen our audience and product range.

On a personal level, Kathy has known Liz for many years, bonding in the weave room at Goldsmiths College and working together on a range of random creative projects. We think Liz is an expert in her field and knows many people, so working with her again was another attraction.

Q: And what's been the outcome of being part of Design-Nation?

A: Apart from the networking and meeting other members, the exhibition and retail opportunities have been the best thing for us. Getting our own stand at Top Drawer, albeit last minute, was a fantastic opportunity and we made some excellent contacts.

We took our core KathKath product - which is large and brightly coloured digitally printed silk scarves. We have other product ranges but we wanted the message to be clear on the stand that the high quality silk accessories was what we are all about. Our new range has been designed especially to launch at the show and has vibrant colours and positive feel-good names like Calm and Joy.

Q: What's next for KathKath Studio?

A: We are working with developing relationships with our new stockists and launching our new range of Silk scarves for 2017. We are continuing to develop new product lines and also branching out into offering textiles design courses. We have been accepted onto the Mastered accessories business accelerator programme, to develop our brand further.

Interview by a very flattered Liz Cooper, Design-Nation Programme Manager.

Images courtesy of KathKath Studios: from top Kathy & Kathryn at work; Joy large silk scarf SS17 (90 x 90cm); Hope large silk scarf SS 17 (90 x 90cm). Designs and images copyright the artists. 

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