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Material Culture

Cottage Crafts, Organic Materials and Inventive Recycling

Craft workers and product designers are rapidly becoming the new elite of the art world. Master craftspeople, working with basic materials like wood, natural resin, wax, stone, metal, glass, leather, wool, paper or clay, create practical objects, as opposed to functionless art. Practicality and ease of manufacture is seen to outweigh the need for refined […]

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Imperfect World: Weathered and Worn Fabric and Furniture Finishes

The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi sees imperfection as a form of beauty – a product can actually be enhanced by its irregularity. Here we take a look at some designs which celebrate the imperfection of handcrafted work. In the spirit of our previous post, Kaixi Lin reuses discarded materals to create functional woven textiles. Inspired […]

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Boro: Threads of Life at Somerset House

This exhibition should have niche appeal – at least to ‘anoraks’ of the fashion world. Textile designers, embroiderers, costume curators, quilters and enthusiasts of handcrafted fabrics will certainly appreciate the work that has gone into creating the pieces on show. Historians and sociologists may well be fascinated by the backgrounds of the unintentional abstract artists. […]

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Designs of the Year 2014 at London’s Design Museum

The Designs of the Year 2014 exhibition, sponsored by international law firm Bird & Bird, starts today and runs through till 25th August. The Design Award nominators are practitioners, critics and academics, scouting for the very best designs – seventy-six of which have been chosen in this the seventh year of the awards. The disparate array […]

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Tools For The Future – Utility and Craftsmanship

Oscar Medley-Whitfield creates pottery from Thames mud. Based beside the river in SE1, he calls his creations Wharfeware. There are many problems associated with using mud rather than clay. The drying out and tempering process makes the mud crack and it can’t be modelled and manipulated like clay. Oscar has created his own casting process, […]

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