Meet the Makers… Karolina from Bobbin & Bow

This month we launched a brand new programme of design workshops all run from our Tufnell Park store and studio space. Our very first was Pajaki Chandelier Making with Karolina, the lovely owner of Bobbin & Bow

Karolina-making

Karolina Merska is a jewellery designer and founder of Bobbin & Bow living in London. As if that wasn’t enough she also makes beautiful pajaki’s. Pajaki (pah-yonk-ee) literally translates as spiders of straw in Polish. We know, the word spider creeped us out as well, but we promise there’s nothing creepy about them!

Pajaki are traditional Polish chandeliers made from rye straw and paper. They symbolise health and happiness and date back to the 18th century when they were made in the countryside by women as decorations for their homes. Pajaki were especially popular at Christmas and Easter and at weddings.

Today the tradition is practised less and less but Karolina keeps the tradition alive. We asked her some questions about these Polish chandeliers as we enjoyed the workshop so much.

pajaki-making

When did your interest for pajaki start?

It was love from the first sight. I remember I was stunned by their delicate structures and colourful paper flowers. I knew I have to make some for myself. About two years ago I have started working on my pajaki and this is how it started.

How did you discover them?

It was in a museum in Lublin, my hometown where I saw them for the first time. Later when I moved to Krakow to study History of Art I discovered more of them. Their history dates back to the 18th century and they are very important part of Polish folk culture.

Which materials can you use to make one?

Traditionally, they are made of rye straw and paper.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I am inspired by tradition but I don’t only want to copy old designs. I want to give them my own touch and contemporary feel. I find inspiration in fashion, architecture. I am working on a new geometric piece at the moment which will be made with a new material.

Where do you like to put them as decoration?

Anywhere! Really, they look amazing in a living room, kitchen or a bedroom. Symbolically, they supposed to bring you a good luck and happiness.

Can you hang them outside as well?

Yes but only if you make one using waterproof materials. I designed a giant waterproof pajaki for the London Design Festival last year. Instead of rye I used plastic drinking straws and I made pom poms of colourful florist foil.

Is it possible to do one with your kids?

Definitely, kids can help threading straw and paper discs. They love them as they are so colourful and spin around.

How many pajaki’s do you have at home?

Only one at the moment. My home used to look like a folk museum but since I moved to a bigger studio I took all pajaki with me. My studio is open for visitors so everyone is welcome to come over and see the pajaki.

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Karolina will be running another workshop with us in October so get in touch if you’d like to sign up. We cannot wait!

 

Mad for handmade…

We love our big suppliers, we have a built a great relationship with them and they know how to keep us happy… they are reliable, fast and always super helpful… not to mention the fact that the are on the cutting edge of the design world. However these days we have been going a little mad for all things handmade. Partly due to the uniqueness and partly due to the charm that comes with a hand crafted product, we have been feeling how exciting it is for us to be peppering our collection with handmade gems from designer makers around the world.

Now we like to keep our collection in the realms of affordable so we are not talking about one off pieces of outrageously expensive furniture, but in the worlds of both textiles and ceramics there are some extraordinarily talented makers hand crafting pieces that are as beautiful as they are functional… and all surprisingly accessible.

Textiles are an integral finishing touch in any interior and we think these handmade pieces are really special… Gorgeous hand knitted cushions from Giannina Capitani, based in Hackney London, benefit from the addition of a cute brightly coloured zip. Our stunning Louise Gray quilts are handcrafted by local artisans in her native U.S.A and the quality of the work is clear. Future and Found favourite and Kentish Town local Kangan Arora‘s beautiful hand woven rugs are right up there on our wish list… We’ve developed a real soft spot for handmade ceramics of late and judging by speed with with Jode Pankhurst’s Tired Tamsin pots flew off our shelves we think it’s safe to assume we are not the only ones! We are super excited about our new collection from the lovely Hannah Bould, bold and playful it has just landed in the shop and we are already wishing we could take it all home. Our Bathing suit pot is another playful favourite; made by Brooklyn based maker Universal Issac, it never fails to make us smile. This mug collection from Aandersson Design looks almost too good to drink from but it’s going on the wish list no less….So while were busy finding the perfect balance of the design giants and the independent makers for our collection, why not pop in to the shop and let us know what you think?

 

Danish design…

In case you haven’t noticed already… We love Danish design.

We work on a regular basis with some of the giants of contemporary Danish design, HAY and Muuto to name the big two, and this week we thought we’d have a think about why exactly Danish design has taken London by storm.

It’s probably fair to say that for the majority of Britons Ikea would have been their first experience of scandinavian design, or perhaps even their first experience of mass produced, accessible furniture design. No wonder it was such a hit! And once Ikea opened the doors to scandinavian design, like pandoras box, there was no closing them. While the Swedes may have set the whole trend in motion, we feel it’s the Danes that are currently stealing the spotlight. Many of the principles employed by Ikea in the early nineties are held true by the designs of HAY and Muuto first and foremost a focus on practicality and ease of use, but these Danish brands are undoubtedly dominating a different, more high end corner of the market.

As Londoners we live in a city where as the size of our living spaces decrease, the pride we take in them increases; a scenario that is perfectly served by Danish design. Collections include modular sofas that can be customised to fit any space and even units that have the ability to be added onto over time, to grow as your space does. Chairs and tables are often designed to be stackable, to save space, but without remotely compromising on aesthetic. Storage is not an unfortunate afterthought in the world of Danish design, far from it; storage units are again stackable, build-able and nothing if not beautiful. Let’s be honest, thats the real crux of it all, there’s no point design being clever or practical if it’s not aesthetically pleasing and in our opinion the Danes know how to please…  Colour is sensitively used to provide interest, but with a restrained sophistication, and every space in the home is designed with equal importance. If left to Danish design, you better believe the inside of your wardrobe is going to be every bit as beautiful as your dining table or your office bookshelf… that’s just how they roll, and of course how we do!

A match made in heaven you might say…

Future and Found Market: Modern Makers

Over a handful of Summer Saturdays our courtyard is transformed into a buzzing marketplace filled with a handpicked collection of some of our favourite designers and makers.

We are passionate about new designers and try to champion their work at every opportunity. The designers and makers selected sell their wares in our courtyard for one day only so it is the perfect opportunity to snap up something new and unique.

Our next market is on Saturday 23rd of August. Sign up to our mailing list or follow us on on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to stay in the know. Here’s a little of what you can expect to see at our Modern Makers market…

All the cards made by Cotton Post are printed by hand using a Gocco or custom made stamp. The designs are graphic, modern and perfect for any special event. Expect to see a larger range of well crafted paper goods..

Luke Bishop is a ceramicist who hand throws fine porcelain vessels either utilitarian or sculptural in nature. Expect to see beautiful vessels dipped in bold glazes..

Kangan Arora is a textile designer who draws her inspiration from the vibrant and bright North Indian street culture. Expect to see bold and bright geometric prints on a range of beautifully hand finished textile product…

The Future and Found Market

Over a handful of summer Saturdays, our courtyard will be transformed into a market place filled with a handpicked collection of designers and makers.

We are passionate about up and coming designers and try to support them and showcase their work at any given opportunity.

Our new home has provided us with ample space to introduce our customers to even more wonderful things and we want to extend this into our outside space.

The designers and makers will be selling their wares in our courtyard for one day only, giving you an excellent opportunity to buy a one off piece directly from the person who designed and made it.

Our first Market launches on Saturday 26th July. Sign up to our mailing list or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay in the know.

Here’s a little peek of what you can expect to see..

Gail Bryson is a designer and screen printer. She has applied her designs to prints and fabric and the effect is equally as impressive. Expect to see gorgeous cushions, wash bags and limited edition prints.

Hannah Bould is a ceramicist who hand throws each and every piece. Mark making by hand means that no two pieces are the same. Expect to see perfect plant pots and beautiful bowls.

Tessa Silva is a woodworker working with British hardwoods. Her spoons are an excellent combination of practicality and sculpture.

 

New Designers: Part Two…

If you read the first post in our series (New Designers: Part One) you’ll know that we have recently been visiting the Business Design Centre in Islington to see the New Designers exhibition.

If you don’t know about New Designers you should really check it out. It is an important exhibition for emerging new design talent, full of innovation and fresh thinking. Over the course of the exhibition 3,000 of the most talented, newly graduated designers will exhibit there.

In Part Two there is a greater focus on product design and furniture and that is the area that captivated our attention the most.

Here are (in our opinion) a few of the names to watch out for…

We loved the Cooper range from Dome Studio, a interdisciplinary design studio based in London. The marble table top on the Copper Table we found particularly pleasing.

Both packaging and finished product are beautifully designed by Charles Parford- Plant, a recent Product Design graduate. Nicely designed flat packed furniture is perfect for small businesses like ours, not only is it easy to send the product out to our online customers, it is also perfect for the customers who visit our Bricks and Mortar shop as they can easily walk away with their purchase.

The Obtineo range by Tom Hutchinson Design is clean and simple. Proudly made by Artisans in the UK, we love the care and attention to detail that has gone into the range.

Head and Haft is a multidisciplinary product, furniture and homeware design and manufacture brand based in Falmouth, Cornwall. Their aim is to produce high quality products with longevity. We particularly like the solid granite top of the Arthur Side Table and the Quake Pendent Lights which are hand turned in Cornwall from solid hardwoods.

Last but not least another one to watch is Tom Robinson, a recent graduate from Nottingham Trent. We love his simple and stylish product design specifically for the office.

New Designers: Part One..

We recently visited the Business Design Centre in Highbury and Islington to see part one of The New Designers exhibition and we were really impressed by what we saw, this year felt really fresh and exciting. Here are some of our top spots..

We loved this melted plastic bowl by Samon Yechi an African inspired artist. All the products are made by hand incorporating a large range of art and textile disciplines.

These geometric printed designs stood out for us, designed by Anna Petrie a Textile and Surface Designer who is about to graduate from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. Her designs are drawn from the geometric shapes found in the urban environment.

This ‘Unearthed’ collection was launched by Sevak Argarian for New Designers. The surface pattern is made up of small pieces of coloured porcelain that are dispersed throughout the body of the objects. They are then sanded and finished to make a tactile surface. Resembling a tube floor in a very good way, we are smitten.

The bright, bold and eccentric work of Esme Fenton really caught our eye. Esme is currently studying Textile Design at Central St Martins.

Amy Pegler is another Textile Designer who grabbed us, Amy specialises in silk screen printing we loved the geometric layering that she creates within her work.

The understated simplicity and muted colours of Isatu Hyde‘s work was a pleasure to behold. Isatu centres her work around functional, domestic objects being very interested in ‘pleasure in use’.

A complete contrast to the previous designer we loved the work of Elly Maddock, the playfulness and humour in her designs makes for really engaging work.

The flat topped shapes created by Theo Adamson particularly appealed to us. The variations of markings on his work are an abstraction of African tribal body painting. Through the work Theo explores how your cultural heritage informs and transforms the person you become.

The delicate forms and details that Surface Designer Katie Thomas managed to achieve in concrete we found truly remarkable. You just want to reach out and touch it.

It was great to catch up with Taz Pollard, a ceramic designer and sculptor who we already have the pleasure of working with. We are completely in love with these neon dipped pop bottle bowls.

Did you go to New Designers? Whose work stood out for you?

We shall be popping in to see part two soon, watch this space..

 

 

 

 

Giddy with Geometrics…

We have found our perfect range of ceramics. Very round, white, simple and tactile and as an added bonus they also have large geometric shapes adorning their surfaces. They must have been made in Future and Found heaven.

They were in fact made by the very talented Camilla Engdahl. A ceramic artist based in Central Sweden. Most of her work is made by herself, by hand in her studio. Camilla trained at the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg and has worked daily with design and utilitarian ceramics since she graduated in 1996.

Camilla wants her products to spread joy through their pleasant touch and playfulness. We can vouch for the joy that we experienced when unwrapping our first order from her. There were epic amounts of joy.

Our Deep Grey Triangle Bowl is perfect for many purposes from a generous utensil pot to a cosy home for your favourite plant life.

Our Lidded Ceramic Pots come with a black circle or grey triangle pattern, their size makes them ideal for use in the kitchen.Perfect for stowing away dry foodstuffs of all shapes and sizes.

The whole range is pretty perfect. Needless to say we think we may have found our dream mug. Take a look at the whole collection..

 

Designers and makers: A chat with Taz Pollard

May we introduce you to Taz Pollard a potter from Devon and one of our recent discoveries.

Where is your home town and where are you based now?

My home town is Barnstaple in North Devon and despite plans to move to London after University I still live in North Devon but in a little village on the edge of Exmoor.

What’s on your bedside table?

Hand cream and a pen. Hand cream because working with clay makes your hands really dry and a pen because I get my best ideas in the middle of the night.

What homeware item do you seek to find the perfect version of?

Mugs. Tea and coffee taste so much better out of a decent handmade mug, my favourite are the two that taper in at the top. I am so busy that I often forget that I have made a drink and these two designs keep the tea hotter for longer.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Yellow Daze. I love the combination of form, colour and plastic wire. It is a fabulous piece which very quickly found a home.

What is your background? How did you get into ceramics?

I was lucky enough to do a GCSE in ceramics at secondary school and I have been making ever since. Most recently I completed an MA in ceramics at Bath Spa but I remember from my first day at school there was a class making with clay and that was all I wanted to do.

Describe your design process:

My design process involves sleepless nights and lots of problem solving. Ceramics is a very technical subject so getting from bright idea to finished product can be tricky but that is what I love the most about what I do.

The house is on fire, what do you grab?

We had a similar situation recently where my kiln was giving off very high levels of CO so we had to evacuate the house in the middle of the night. You really don’t think about anything else other than getting your family out, nothing else matters.

Describe your style in three words:

Bold. Quirky. Neon.

What is your current obsession?

Neon flocking. It’s amazing stuff, I have to restrain myself from flocking everything.

What does the future look like?

Exciting, I have had an amazing amount of work since completing my masters and I can’t wait to see what the next project will be.

Our range of Neon Dipped Cylinder Vases are now available to buy online..

 

In conversation with: Ontwerpduo

We had a chat with Tineke Beunders who is one half of Ontwerpduo. Ontwerpduo are the designers and makers of our gorgeous and extremely popular Tallow candles. One of our brand new products fresh in for SS14.

Read on to discover more about the dream team..

Where is your home town and where are you based now?

We are based in Eindhoven which is in the south of the Netherlands. It is a very industrial but cosy city. We never planned to stay. We always thought that once we had finished our studies at the Design Academy in Eindhoven we would run back to the middle of the Netheralnds, to the Veluwe. The Veluwe is a beautiful and very natural area. But, we stayed. Now, we love Eindhoven and we have lived here for ten years. Our daughter even speaks with an Eindhoven accent. I think we might stay here for a bit longer..

What is on your bedside table?

Our bedroom is very, very small. We built the bed in between two walls. There are wooden beams in between the mattress and the wall, our bedside table is hidden in those beams. A folia lumina light, which is our newest design, is standing on my bed side table. Together with a very practical iphone charger. I also use my iphone for reading books and I have a few cards on there sent to me by friends. On Nathan’s side is the CMYK light by Dennis Parren and also a charger..

What home ware item do you seek to find the perfect version of?

We have been searching for a really nice carpet for a long time. We can’t seem to find one that we BOTH agree is nice!

What everyday household item would you most like to redesign?

I like candleholders a lot, especially the ones that have a handle to carry them around. Although they are very old fashioned and nobody uses them anymore as we have electricity. But I still think they are beautiful and I collect them. One day I decided to ‘redesign’ one and the ‘tallow’ candle from our collection was born. An everyday household item that I would love to redesign which we haven’t done so far is a carpet. Or, I would love to do something ceramic.

What have you designed and made that you are most proud of?

I am very proud of the light forest (pictured above). But to be honest I am not proud of one single thing, every design leads to another. I am happy with and proud of the marbelous table, which was my graduation project. We’ve done so many nice things since then. I think I most proud of the whole setting and mood of the products in the collection.

How long did it take to design and make the tallow candle? Were there any disasters or disappointments?

That is a very hard question to answer. You never really know when you are starting to think of new design. I think the model making and the sketching took me a couple of weeks. The process after that i.e getting it produced (which we still do at our studio), having pictures of the product, a catalog and actually selling it to shops took years.

These are the Tallow candles that we stock at Future and Found, including our own exclusive neon colour.

The house is on fire, what is the very first thing that you grab?

Nathan and my two kids. Everything else is replaceable. All our files are backed up, things we can make again. Some pre-digital photos would be lost but it would not be the end of the world to lose them. Memories are in our head, so long as we are healthy and together all is fine. The only other thing that I would save if it was possible and not dangerous would be our hand drawn map of Europe on which you can see the lines we drew when we cycled around Europe together.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My childhood.

What home ware item do you own that is most coveted by your friends?

I wouldn’t know! Really.. I think how we decorate our home is not how our friends would do it. So, I have no idea what item is most desirable to them! We particularly like our set of green vintage draws, you can see a small part of my candle collection in this image too.

Describe your style in three words.

Playful. Fairy Tale. Clean.

What would surprise people about you?

I am not as sporty as people think. Unfortunately…

What is your current obsession?

I need more sleep! Every day I tell myself that I must go to bed early. The only problem is that doing things around the house and working late are nice things to do. Working in the evening is very relaxed, nobody is calling, there are no new emails the kids are asleep it’s so easy to work. I’m not tired in the evening. I think ‘just fifteen more minutes’ which always becomes two or three hours. Then I will wake up at 6:30 the next day and I tell myself that I must go to bed early!

What does the future look like for Ontwerpduo?

One day, when we have designed and made enough. We will disappear to a nice wooden house in the countryside with a fireplace and we will sit around it every evening and tell each other stories. The Alps seems like a good area! Maybe we will design and build a treehouse there..

Thank you so much Tineke! We have loved delving into your wonderful world.