Design-Nation at Top Drawer Spring 2018 - Press Release December 2017Design-Nation at Top Drawer Spring 2018 - Press Release December 2017Design-Nation at Top Drawer Spring 2018 - Press Release December 2017Design-Nation at Top Drawer Spring 2018 - Press Release December 2017

Design-Nation at Top Drawer Spring 2018 - Press Release December 2017

Craft Stand CR421
14-16 January 2018 Olympia London

Design-Nation incorporating Design Factory, the UK’s premier membership portfolio for contemporary craft and design will return to Top Drawer Spring in January 2018 to showcase ten talented designer makers. Products on display will include ceramics, fashion accessories, jewellery and homeware.

Clare Edwards, Director of Design-Nation explains: "After the recent successful merger of Design-Nation and Design Factory, exhibiting at Top Drawer is the perfect way to showcase our members to a trade audience. Design Factory had a group presence in the Craft section at the show for five years and we are now excited to present a Design-Nation stand. Six of our exhibitors have previous Top Drawer experience and are planning to build upon previous successes at the show. The others are presenting their work to Top Drawer’s trade audience for the first time. All are hoping to gain new stockists for their work, or to attract commission or exhibition opportunities.”

Jeweller Amy Leigh from Leicester uses environmentally friendly materials, including eco resin and recycled silver, to produce collections that showcase her signature technique of pouring molten pewter into water. Amy is launching her new Prism Collection at the show; a bold collection embracing chunky geometric shapes. By contrast, Trevor Forrester will present a jewellery collection that includes colourful gems and high carat yellow gold, alongside the launch of his new jewellery designs using Argentium. Trevor established his first studio in 1990 and ran a successful jewellery business in the UK before relocating to New Zealand for 12 years. Trevor returned to the UK in 2016 to set up a new studio in Lincolnshire.

The Design-Nation group has five designers working in ceramics, producing a wide range of functional and sculptural works. Oxfordshire’s Harriet Elkerton produces functional objects in slipcast porcelain, with unctuous glossy white glazed interiors and incorporating found objects. London-based Eradu Ceramics is also returning to Top Drawer with her elegant tableware collection; slipcast minimalistic silhouettes using her signature muted grey colour palette. Welsh ceramic designer and maker Eluned Glyn uses the Modernist and Cubist movements as points of reference, evident in the new angular vase launching at Top Drawer. For her first time as a Top Drawer exhibitor Diane Griffin from Northants will present her slipcast and handbuilt vases, inspired by Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall and the letters crammed between the stones of the wall. Surface decoration and mark making are an integral part of Kate Welton’s collection of thrown functional ware, produced in her Suffolk studio and launching for the first time to a trade audience at Top Drawer.

Three designers will showcase their textile works at Top Drawer, including printed and knitted gifts and fashion and home accessories. First time exhibitor Barinder Designs from Nottingham launching a new collection of silk scarves at Top Drawer to celebrate the famous English rose grower Harry Wheatcroft. Detta Textiles produces high-quality knitted scarves, blankets, cushions and fashion accessories on heritage framework knitting machines in her Kegworth studio. London’s Snowden Flood launched a new range of textile designs at Decorex 2017 and is now presenting a range of products using the new designs; including cushions, lampshades, pencil cases, laptop cases, napkins and washbags.

For the first time the Design-Nation stand will include a central display and seating area that will include work produced by Design-Nation members who are exhibiting at Top Drawer with individual stands. Products will be on display from Margo Selby (HOME, stand B24), Sue Pryke (HOME, stand C15) and Melanie Porter (HOME, stand K20). It wil also include new work from Linda Bloomfield who is showing at Table, the new dining experience trade event alongside Top Drawer, and which can be accssed by Top Drawer ticket holders. Linda has branched into restaurant ware recently,supplying Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa on Piccadilly amongst others. She wil show at Table with G&G Goodfellows.

As well as these talented designers, our central area also offers the chance for the design sector to get to know the new Design-Nation following the recent merger with Design Factory. Trade and design industry visitors can meet the Design-Nation team and exhibitors; designer-makers can learn more about membership and how it could benefit their businesses. A programme of scheduled slots to meet and gain valuable advice from Design-Nation’s ambassadors and design experts, including Barbara Chandler (Evening Standard) and Andrew Tanner (Sainsbury’s Home), will shortly be announced.

Images: Melanie Porter lighting (photo Yeshen Venema), Diane Griffin, Amy Leigh, Snowden Flood.

For more information and news follow us on @Design_NationUK

For press enquiries:
David Gorrod or Alice Stewardson at Seen PR - @seen_pr - Tel +44 (0)1273 722 469

Design-Nation is exhibiting on Stand CR421 in the CRAFT section. Top Drawer is at Olympia, Hammersmith Road London W14 8UX from 14-16 January 2018, opening 09.30-18.00 on 14 & 15 January and 09.30-17.00 on 16 January.

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Leading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new futureLeading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new futureLeading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new futureLeading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new futureLeading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new future

Leading UK Craft & Design Organisations Merge - Design-Nation and Design Factory unveil a bright new future

Prestigious membership organisations Design-Nation and Design Factory are merging to create ONE leading portfolio and network. Going under the name Design-Nation, they will support the very best and most diverse UK-based contemporary craft and design. Bringing together partners, champions and investment, the new Design-Nation will strengthen business and creative development in the contemporary design and crafts sector across the UK.

The merger comes following a period of consultation this year, funded by Arts Council England.  Overwhelmingly positive feedback was received from over 200 members, funders and stakeholders, with many partners expressing an interest in co-partnering on new future projects and opportunities. 

Clare Edwards of Design-Nation says,

“I set up Design Factory in 2005 and take so much pride in the growth of Design Factory over the years.  From a small local support project to a highly regarded national network, Design Factory has become renowned for nurturing emerging talent and growing creative practice. 

Design-Nation and Design Factory are two highly regarded and successful brands however, we cannot sustain both and it is clear from our research that the name ‘Design-‘Nation’ truly represents the national and international context and has built a stronger brand over a longer period of time which has generated great goodwill. ”

A NEW unified organisation will offer innovative and fresh opportunities that builds on the complementary activities, goodwill and values across our programmes creating Britain’s leading resource for the celebration, support and promotion of craft and design.

By merging the best features of both organisations we can create a significant step change in how we deliver bespoke sector support, creating a strong ambitious and futureproofed infrastructure for craft and design across the UK.”

Now encompassing over 250 members, Design-Nation supports leading designer/makers such as Angus Ross, Gillies Jones, Gizella Warburton*, JC Middlebrook, Jennifer Collier*, Kate Bajic*, Linda Bloomfield, Lindsey Lang, Michael Ruh, Ruth Singer*, Stuart Akroyd*, Sue Pryke, and Wallace Sewell.  (*Design Factory members)

"With so many organisations in the Creative sector feeling the pressures of the current economic climate, I'm proud to be part of a team that is future proofing itself with this well thought through merger.  I feel that together we'll have a stronger voice, and all the members will benefit from having unified support from this proven team." - Angie Parker, textile designer and Design-Nation member.

“I’m really looking forward to how the new mix of members is going to boost my creativity; with new collaborations and a fresh look at exhibitions and events.  I’m excited that the merger will build on Design Factory’s excellent work so far and that it will continue to unite members from all over the UK, breaking down the North-South divide.”  Stuart Akroyd, glass artist and Design Factory Fellow member. 

“The merging of Design Factory and Design Nation will strengthen and build networks for independent creative practitioners. The network can be fully national, creating opportunities for makers across the country to work together, to be seen and heard. Design Factory has established a great model for supporting makers throughout their creative journey and Design Nation has fantastic links to industry. I am so proud to be a member of both, and now one, network.”  Jayne Childs of JC Middlebrook, Design Factory Fellow and Design-Nation member.

Over the coming months the team will be busy securing funding to sustain the future of Design-Nation. They will also deliver Member professional development events in partnership with Fashion & Textile Museum, Cockpit Arts & Wentworth Pewter, amongst others.

The next Design-Nation showcase will be at Top Drawer London 14-16 January 2018 at Olympia London

For more information visit or @Design_NationUK

For more information on Design-Nation and its membership contact: 

Clare Edwards - Director of Design-Nation - Tel +44 (0)1529 308719

For press enquiries:

David Gorrod or Alice Stewardson at Seen PR - @seen_pr  - Tel +44 (0)1273 722 469


Notes to Editors


About Design-Nation

Design-Nation is an online portfolio that presents the best of UK-based contemporary craft and design and offers a one stop destination for retailers, manufacturers and press, together with industry professionals who want to commission, invest and source Great British design. 

Design-Nation was founded in 1997 by the late Peta Levi MBE, a writer, design champion and curator.  The baton was passed to leading British designer Andrew Tanner in 2012 and in 2014 Design-Nation joined The National Centre for Craft & Design and Design Factory as part of an Arts Council England national portfolio organisation managed by North Kesteven District Council and Leisure in the Community Trust.  In January 2017, Design-Nation was awarded Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England, to deliver a range of membership offerings and undertake research to explore a new future for Design-Nation and Design Factory.  The research has informed the merger and a new future business plan.


About Design Factory 

Founded in 2005 Design Factory has become a leading network for the support and development of craft and design practice.  The organisation has received over £1.5 million funding over the years and supported over 500 craft and design businesses to develop and grow their practice both in the UK and abroad.

Design Factory has built a highly regarded reputation for delivering bespoke sector support which will continue to be delivered through the new merged organisation. 


Images: Work by Ekta Kaul; Hannah Tounsend; Gillies Jones; Linda Bloomfield; Nigel Cheney. Photography and styling: Yeshen Venema & Mugdha Sapte, Work by Angus Ross; Melanie Porter; Anna Gravelle, Work by Gizella K Warburton, Sake Cups by ERADU Ceramics, Criminal Quilts by Ruth Singer

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