Last Friday I found the energy to go up to London to see Tent London, part of Design Week. There were a number of pop-ups and exhibitions throughout the city but I concentrated on this one exhibition which comprised both Super Brands downstairs and new designers, including student work, on the upper floor.
One of the first displays which literally caught my attention with an explosion of colour was the ‘Banish Beige’ display by parriswakefield. They have been working with a charity for young people called ‘Outof the Dark’, which gives new life to lots of the old brown furniture which used to be thrown away but which is now often donated to be Up-cycled.
I admired the creativity of Jess Shaw, here she had woven a willow frame and covered it with ‘old man’s beard’ to make a lamp shade.
There seemed to be a vogue for furniture which rocks, swings and spins.
I spoke to a young woman from the Tartu Art College in Estonia and even tried out the green upholstered chair with a hole in the centre; I didn't fall through but probably liked the fabric better than the chair design.
There were young designers brave enough to be working in virtual studios, and these included Rebecca Robertson a recent graduate in embroidery for fashion. The most beautiful work was that by Lou Gardiner who was showing digitally printed floor cushions and quilts; some of these had the most intricate stitching and beading. The one I most coveted was in dark sumptuous colours in highly stroke able velvet. Take a look, she has a blog.
I saw the Crafted in Kyoto stand where a skilled craftsman was weaving a bamboo ‘stool’, I walked round the display of beautifully crafted products from Ireland, and saw the extremely boring display of Women of Iceland in the Olympus Image Space. There was just too much to take in and remember, but I am hanging onto the Maroc Tribal card, as I really would love to buy myself one of their vintage Moroccan carpets.
Lunch was at Rosa’s Café, like me you may think this was a traditional café but once inside I realized it was a Thai Café, but based on a traditional café, with mint tea served in a red spotted teapot and fish cakes in an enamel bowl but with lovely carved carrot leaves as decoration. There were many street food stands but I didn't find them until later, and by then a strawberry milk shake in Spitalfield’s Market fitted the bill. I managed to find a bus back to the South Bank and stuck in a traffic queue I had a great view up the Pinnacle which is just being completed.
And so home,not by boat, just a train.