Tag Archives: indigo

For lovers of craft, indigo and textiles: an exhibition

If these words inspire you: textiles, crafts, traditional and inherited skills, and totally dreamy indigo blues patched over and over: then don’t miss the Boro: Threads of Life exhibition at the East Wing Galleries of Somerset House this April.

Focusing on the ancient Japanese textile tradition of Boro, which means ‘rags’ in English, the textile exhibits on display include bedcovers and clothes made by the poor, rural population of Japan who pieced and patched old pieces of discarded clothing onto and into new items, with fisherman’s jackets morphing into futon covers and on and on, as the pieces were passed down through families and generations.

With their beautiful colours, these humble works of art prompt the viewers to consider the act of ‘mending’: could it be considered an old-fashioned skill? Or, as we continue to embrace traditional crafts at home; and are more aware of the damage caused by excess waste (and/or simply feel the pinch financially) is it becoming more current to embrace repairs, so we can keep our possessions for longer?

Boro exhibition at Somerset House via findthedetails.com

Boro: Threads of Life, 2-26 April, free admission, Somerset House.

Located just off The Strand, Somerset House has to be one of the most hard-working arts and cultural venues in London; changing with the seasons, you’ll discover it hosting al fresco music gigs and giant cinema screens; a multitude of fountains; the latests frocks (it’s home to London Fashion Week) or a beautiful ice rink….

From this….

Somerset House via findthedetails.com somerset house via findthedetails.com

To this….:

Somerset house via findthedetails.com Somerset House via findthedetails.comfindthedetails.com

Somerset House via findthedetails.com

[images, Somerset House

The line up of their Summer Series of gigs (10-20 July) has just been announced: tickets go on sale this Friday 21 March, with the cinema screenings to follow later in the summer. To to learn more about the architecture, join their free guided tours (every Thursday and Saturday), taking in the Tudor and Georgian history to the modern-day, including the new Miles Stair created by Eva Jiricna. Enjoy! Jx

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Indigo; blue and white patterns, part II

Hot on the heels of Friday’s post about Indigo / Blue and White, comes a brand new fabric and wallpaper launch from Scion.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on Scion’s first Melinki collection of fabrics and wallpapers, and their subsequent rug designs, then you’ll know I’m a fan of this new British brand, with its great colour combinations and fresh patterns.  

Now Scion‘s second collection has been launched; named Wabi Sabi, the fabrics and wallpapers are inspired by traditional dyeing / production methods including block printing, batik, ikat, and tie-dye. The result: a collection that features a mix of patterns from abstract and geometric to floral, all with a relaxed, informal feel.

Whilst, of course, each design comes in many different colourways, it’s these blue and white ones, with their inky, indigo tones (and, for those who prefer a lighter blue, tones of turquoise and aqua) that caught my eye:

Scion_WabiSabi_04_LR

I Iove the simple spot motif of the Isamu fabric, layered underneath the more angular geometric Loop design (don’t miss the subtle Loop wallpaper on the walls)…

Scion_WabiSabi_06_LR

This group shot shows the new fabrics together…

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…. Whilst the tie-dye effect print of the Shoji fabric below appeals to my (currently repressed) Boho tendencies (curtain on right): surely the sun would always shine through a window hung with these curtains?

Scion_WabiSabi_11_LR

… and the wallpapers are just as vibrant:

Scion_WabiSabi_13_LR

Working with bold patterns doesn’t have to be overwhelming: here the Shibori wallpaper flatters and emphasises the architectural lines of the stairwell:

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Wabi Sabi printed fabrics are from £26 a metre; wallpapers are £32 a roll, all available in the UK and internationally from March 2013 from Scion.

Indigo; blue and white patterns, part I

Maybe because my grandmother was an avid collector of Willow pattern china (she was constantly searching antiques shops for details such as Willow pattern mustard pots), I’ve always had a fondness for blue and white as a colour combination.

This spring, Indigo as a decorating colour is everywhere, which is fab news for me: I keep on finding more and more wonderful products in a mix of indigo, or deep and royal blue shades. And instead of dull plains, everything is covered with bold and/or intricate patterns: a great trend. 

First up is this Sardine Run china, with its streamlined fish motif: inspired by Vietnamese antiques and made by the talented team at Jersey Pottery, it’s stocked at Liberty.

Jersey Pottery,Sardine_Run Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run Charger Plate, £29.95 from Liberty Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run, Ceral Bowl, £14.95 from Liberty Jersey pottery, Sardine Run, Pitcher £39.95

All items are available at Liberty (do check out their exciting homes department: you’ll find many interesting, quirky brands, of which more in future posts)…..

Re-home: vintage, antique and retro shopping

A couple of indulgent hours yesterday, wandering the stalls at Ardingly antiques fair in West Sussex: amazed at the curios; vintage, retro and upcycled pieces; classic well-cared-for antiques, and weird ‘rather your house than mine’ items for sale.

From indoor stands to outdoor stalls, I found French linens and 19th century spice jars (covetable, see first image); topless mannequins (less covetable for me, but possibly someone else’s cup of tea); vintage buttons, glistening silver knifes, forks and spoons; work-worn garden rakes and hoes alongside tiny glass vials; thumbed-through paperbacks and decorative, detailed metal wall lights….

french spice jarsbuttons royal china buckets

italian glass bottlesglass bottlesrulers

cropped railings wooden deer IMAG0754 IMAG0753tea chest

cropped mannequins

blue china

linen napkins

indigo throws crop

From the metre rules to the Charles & Di mugs (..who knew there were Fergie & Andrew teacups still in circulation?!), there was something for everyone….

….and it made me conscious of just how much STUFF there is out there.

I’m constantly aware of how huge the interiors industry is via my day job, and on these pages I hope simply to flag up a few gems I’ve discovered along the way: but sometimes, a trip to a fair such as Ardingly is a great way to remind ourselves that really, everything we need (and much we do not) is already in existence, ready to be re-used and re-loved.

So thumbs up to all those stallholders, who braved the mud and the January chill, driving from as far afield as Wales and France, to rig up their stands and display their finds: I’m looking forward to the next fair already….

You can find out more about the next fairs at Ardingly and at other venues around the UK here

Coincidentally, BBC’s Bargain Hunt was filming:

bargain hunt indoors

cropped bargain hunt2cropped bargain hunt

…which added a little frisson of excitement to the morning, for everyone…. who knows what they discovered?