We are open!

After a very long set up this weekend, Designed | Crafted is finally open for business!

The set up was slightly traumatic, involving a late night furniture set up on Saturday night, a towed car and a midnight trip to the Hackney car pound and then a fourteen hour styling session yesterday to get the space looking right.

I managed to get a few snaps of the space before we left at midnight, but it was looking lovely.

Come along to the Private View tomorrow night (Tuesday 16th December) from 7-9pm.

Society of Designer Craftsmen Gallery, 24 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DU

See more details of our ten artists at



I was thrilled to receive an invitation to arrange a private viewing of Andrew Logan’s fabulous glass work at his home-studio-shop in Bermondsey. We have been visiting his Glasshouse for over ten years now and it will be very sad to see him leave when he goes off to India, as the gorgeous old warehouse-style building will be depressingly be knocked down to clear way for an apartment block.

Anyway there’s no room for depression when looking at Andrew’s joyful, colourful work and I brought three of my Teepee Glass friends who love his work as much as me.

We spent a delicious Saturday afternoon having a private tour of the gallery and house where all manner of wonderful glass artworks were displayed. Colour, mirror, glitter and glass were abundant and after some time we noticed there was also a rather large Christmas tree…. only in Andrew Logan’s place could a fifteen foot Christmas tree be outsparkled by its surroundings!

Portraits of famous friends were everywhere – both in bust form and as flat two-dimensional mirrored faces – and in the midst of a fantastic pearled statue group I spotted a stunning self portrait in cast glass.

But a lot of our time was taken just staring at the hundreds of sparkly jewellery pieces – the smallest pieces, but the only ones which were just about in our price range. And sure enough, two of our group could not resist buying a ring and a brooch, which we took to the Horseshoe pub across the road afterwards to marvel at and admire.

Andrew Logan’s Glasshouse will be opening to private groups of 4-6 people until January – I urge you to get in touch with them if you want to experience this spectacle before it is gone forever.

Love West Dulwich

I tend to avoid fairs and markets. Not as a punter, of course, I love going to them, I just don’t do them. Maybe because I’m too pampered in my nice warm studio, or too snobby about selling anywhere except a sleek gallery or gorgeous giftshop. But I was in a local shop last week where I saw a flyer for a West Dulwich Christmas Fair and on a whim I contacted the organiser. I got lucky; a stallholder had just dropped out, so the stall was mine.


I dragged along my son Isaac to help out, on the promise of bringing comfy chairs and buying him a lamb curry for lunch from Indigo, our favourite local Indian restaurant. And we ended up having a fantastic day!

Being the latest latecomer we were given the end stall but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I’m a seasoned exhibitor at trade shows in places like Earls Court and Olympia where the journey between the car and the stand is usually logistically challenging and inevitably interminable. So somehow it felt wrong to have parked right next to our West Dulwich stall and unpacked the car within five minutes flat!

But the best part was that we sold glass like hotcakes, so when I sold out of a couple of lines and our money box was bursting with cash, I could even nip back to the studio to restock. It was a cold day but the winter sun held all day and we had wrapped up warm. And it was a pleasure to sell to local people, some of whom I recognised as Open House customers.

Fair in evening

As the light began to fade in the late afternoon, we talked about coming back for the next fair in May. It felt like a really satisfying day so we’ll definitely be back!


The Treasures of Decorex

I wasn’t relishing the journey to get to Decorex 2014. It’s former location in the grounds of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea was minutes from my old flat, but Syon Park for goodness sake?! But a remarkably smooth journey – involving three trains and a (complimentary) coach ride – later and I found myself standing outside a rather bleak looking tent in a bleak field on a bleak day, looking forward to seeing the treasures inside.

The entrance to the show lead visitors past a series of eight contemporary vignettes based on scenes from The Rake’s Progress by Hogarth. It was an odd conceit, the point of which wasn’t clear until I looked it up later on the Decorex website and discovered there was an association with the Sir John Soane’s Museum. However the realisation of these concepts was little contrived and seemed little more than an opportunity for some product placement.

The one set that caught my eye was The Orgy by Russell Sage (above left), though perhaps for the wrong reason. It reminded me of my friend Huma Humayun’s styling on the After Hours shoot for Schon magazine (above right), but where Huma’s styling was considered and artful, I thought Sage’s interpretation of the brothel scene just looked like the pile of clothes on my bedroom floor before I put the washing on!


However once inside I was more impressed with the exhibitors’ stands. My favourite was the Vessel Gallery stand which displayed a gorgeous collection of various glass pieces, including my friend Brett Manley’s fabulous cast glass mirror (detail, above). Brett’s work has always drawn inspiration from many different sources, but her hexagonal mirror is quite clearly the culmination of her work casting glass from ornate picture frames, something that she started in 2010 for our show ‘Era’ at the Cochrane Gallery.

My eye was of course trained for other makers that I know, so I was thrilled to see a beautiful display of glass pendants in various shades and shapes from Michael Ruh at the Design Nation stand and I couldn’t miss Eryka Isaak who filled 10 square metres with her huge glass bowls with a tough industrial edge.

Most spectacular was Christoper Jenner‘s Cloud installation made from his blown glass ‘Urbem’ lights (above) which, as Christopher himself explained to us, were inspired by the meeting of craft and technology in 19th century street lighting in Milan. My glass radar had quite clearly been switched on as I noticed the same lighting in use on the Lapicida stand.

Studio Lucid

Finally another favourite from the show appeared to be lighting of some sort from Studio Lucid but hung like a sculptural installation within its own little walled off section at the end of the Heathfield & Co stand. I stood for a few minutes trying to work it out but, because of the wall, I was as invisible to the stand holders as they were to me and no one came to relieve me of my confusion… perhaps a lesson that though the stands rightly should look beautiful, practicality has its place too?