It’s been a while since I’ve felt compelled to write about anything for a while. I very recently started my own business which has caused the blog to take a bit of a backseat. But when I stumbled across this website the other day, I couldn’t resist a post. Quite simply, this site – Manufactum – is one of the best curated sites I’ve ever clicked upon. With it’s mix of household utility products, toys, luggage, and tightly curated clothing ranges you could liken it to London’s Labour & Wait, but minus the wistful English charm and rugged clunkiness of some of the products. Slowdownjoe could be considered a cooler cousin, but it doesn’t have the depth and range of product that Manufactum offers. Here’s a selection of just a few things that caught my eye on my journey through. I think my Christmas list just quadrupled.
Here are three books I’ve been enjoying over the last few weeks and I wanted to share with you. The first is Alastair Morton & Edinburgh Weavers by Lesley Jackson, a book I spotted not long ago in Margaret Howell’s Wigmore St Store (but purchased at a realistic price from Amazon).
The book is a huge retrospective of the Edinburgh Weavers iconic textiles work drawing mainly from the V&A’s extensive archive and it features a vast collection of Alastair Morton’s artworks and textile designs as well as work from the artists he commissioned as Edinburgh Weavers art director including; Lucienne Day, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, and Ben Nicholson to name but a few.
As the wife and I are hopefully going to be purchasing our first flat very soon, I’ve become obsessed with interiors again and my first port of call for inspiration was Margaret Howell Houses. I’ve seen it around for a while, but only recently had the impetus to buy it from eBay due to my changing circumstances and the opportunity to put some of the inspiration in to practise.
Eames, Vitsoe, and Alvar Aalto are recurring themes throughout, but all work perfectly amongst the many different settings Margaret finds herself in. I was surprised how far back some of these photos go, with some of the shots having been taken in the mid nineties. As you’d expect, everything in here is completely timeless (apart from Margaret’s jeans) and a great guide for how to put together an interior that’s homely and understated yet full of personality. When I get in to my new flat I’m gonna parquet like it’s 1999.
A set of four coffee mugs and small milk jug by Michael Taylor from the David Mellor Design Centre in Hathersage in the Peak District. I’ve been after some everyday crockery like Michael’s for some time now. Something rustic, irregular, hand crafted, and affordable. The beautiful colours in Michael’s glazes really come to life where the glaze gathers at the base of the piece. Each pot is totally unique and can vary quite dramatically in colour.
A little more about Michael from his website:
Michael Taylor works in rural North Devon on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Holsworthy. Michael works on his own, his domestic stoneware is all hand thrown and decorated in glazes that best suit the form and function of the piece. His selection of glaze colours are inspired and influenced by the landscape of his surroundings.
Ok, that’s enough pottery for the time being. Back to clobber tomorrow with a special guest post about a historic style of fishing jumper. Till then…
Time for another homewares break. I stumbled across this brand in Liberty at the weekend and it really struck a chord with me. Liberty stock a large range of their ceramic ware. It’s beautifully simple stuff – very elegant at the same time as being very raw. I’m in to the basic items they produce such as the simple plates and bowls. In particular Liberty stock these super raw vases that look like they take their form from tin cans.
The odd decorative items are beautiful too as the glaze crudely fills in the forms almost obliterating any real detail that might have been in the black terracotta clay they’re made from. It’s a nice mix between the very ornate world of French baroque and quickly thrown japanese peasant pottery. The stuff is deceptively light, but feels of a very high quality.
The brand produce a lot of other “lifestyle” products, but it’s really the ceramics I’m interested in (and the candles look ace too). You can view more of the their ceramics here, although it’s hard to see the beauty in this stuff until you pick it up in person. Try and get past their website; it’s not very user friendly to say the least.