‘Second hand plate series’ by karen Ryan
Multi award winning , multi talented designer Karen Ryan has been working on her ‘Second Hand Plate collection for the past five years. Having completed her MA in design products at the Royal College of Arts, London she has used her talents across several disciplines including graphic design, furniture and accessory design.
Karen explains her concept behind her ‘Second Hand Plates’ collection.
“I damage second hand old plates. I remove the decorative patterns that camouflage our everyday lives and in its place I leave words that prick our conscience and create portraits of hidden domesticity left open for others to interpret.”
‘For the love of it’ Plate 2009 /Part of the ‘Second Hand’ Plates Collection.
Karen also walks the talk in terms of sustainable living ” In June this year I received an email from a shoe designer asking if I would be interested in trading one of my plates for a pair of shoes designed by her. I love the idea of bartering, trading skills rather than money and so I agreed.
I am now the proud owner of a beautiful pair of blue shoes.”
Every plate is a one-off unique commentary….a collecter’s piece……worthy of eco icon status.
Lies.Trilogy in Willow Pattern 2009. Part of the Second hand Plate series 2005 /9
Iconic eco jewellery by Maria Mastori
Greek, Athens based designer Maria Mastori’s has launched her latest collection of ‘ Super size me’ jewellery featuring an eclectic mix of materials, successfully mixing bright neon-colored threads with gold, crystal, wood and onyx. As a designer Maria now has a cult following of loyal fans who are drawn to her distinctive, unique pieces which are all upscale, bold and all have an inherent ‘wow’ factor.
Maria was born in Athens in 1959 .As a teenager she already had a clear idea of the direction she would follow and took art and design courses and at the same time as taking classes on jewellery design and production. Since 1984 she started taking part in group exhibitions with her works. n 1988 she presents her first personal exhibition entitled “The Ships” using silver as her main material.
The catalyst for her connection with fashion accessories was her collaboration with the Couture designer Loukia in 1998. Her second collaboration in fashion started in the spring of 2005 with designer Yiorgos Eleftheriades and in 2006/07 with Angelos Bratis.
Her longest standing and most creative collaboration has been with womens wear designer Filep Motwary. They started working together in 2005 and recently presented their collection together at the Hellenic Fashion Week. In February 2008, she was chosen through the web community of IQONS.COM by design guru Zandra Rhodes as her favorite jewellery and accessories designer.
SUNO vintage African textile collection for S/S 10
SUNO’s vintage African textiles have been upcycled and re-worked to create this directional, multi print unique collection for S/S 10.
SUNO was formed by Max Osterweis in New York 2008 after spending more than a decade collecting local african textiles during his visits to Kenya. Spurred on by the thought that Kenya’s recent post election political unrest might adversely affect tourism or foreign investment in a country with such abundant natural resources and talent, Max decided to do something positive to encourage and support local skills and decided to use his extensive collection of vintage local textiles as his starting point. . Max decided to promote and support the local talent and skills that he found in kenya by building a successful and high profile fashion New York based company that employs local Kenyan talent, as a fair trade employer , and showcases some of Kenya’s artisanal unique skills in the hope that they could be the pioneers of positive and lasting social and economic change in the area. It does not always follow that sound ethical and sustainable practices in fashion equate with successful , fashion forward collections- however in the case of Suno Max Osterweis has managed to tick all the boxes in his creation of this joyous, fun and unique brand. Worthy of eco icon status!
‘Patchwork’sideboard by Judith Seng
Judith seng is a Berlin based multi disciplinary designer who describes her practice’s work as ‘cultural research and design’. Her designs span graphic design to product design with the primary focus on furniture. Seng’s approach is very much about the exploration of new concepts in furniture design, questioning the standard and provoking the new. The ‘ Patchwork’ sideboard was first showcased in Milan in 2008 and is made of recycled painted wood off cuts and forms part of a limited edition of 25 pieces . It is a perfect contemporary interpretation of a sideboard with vintage 50’s style references and an eco pedigree.
Her approach to her design projects is much more that of a conceptual artist with her chosen materials providing the palette for the creation of new works that challenge our pre conceptions about the particular design objects that she re-invents.
She studied Product and Process Design at the University of the Arts Berlin whilst also working for Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec in Paris and the Imaginary Manufactory (DIM) in Berlin. In 2005 she set up her own studio in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited internationally and forms part of several museum collections.
‘The Cubex lounge chair’ by Environment design
The Cubex Chair by Environment furniture drew its inspiration from a geometrical archetype, the Cubex is the quintessential lounge chair for the 21st century. Its horizontal-low-slung design and geometric lines gives it a contemporary look, while offering a fully contoured seat that is curved and has a rake that offers firm yet padded comfort. Made from recycled army tent canvas, Grade 2 Linen, or Leather and Stainless Steel, the Cubex is definitely ‘walks the talk’ in terms of sustainable design that delivers style, form + function.
Environment furniture’s mission is to create unique furniture collections from reclaimed, recycled, and sustainably harvested wood, expressing their deep commitment to sustainability. This attention to the provenance of their raw materials differentiates them from other furnituremakers,and positions them to meet growing customer awareness and demand for environmentally sound products.
Environment furniture‘s Davide Berruto says: Building on the foundation of our eco-conscious design philosophy, we have made important progress in identifying and addressing environmental impacts associated with our operations. In just the past year, we passed stringent entry requirements to become a partner member of the Tropical Forest Trust, a leading global organization working to promote sustainable forestry at the local level. We have completed our second carbon inventory. We have succeeded in eliminated stains that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from our production process. We have also developed and implemented a green operations guide and paper use policy in our offices and retail locations.
‘Ma Biche‘ upcycled tapestry Deer byFrédéric Morrell
Fresh from the Maison et Objet show in Paris, where French company Frédérique Morrell exhibited their new ‘ slice of life’ – ‘passe murailles’ collection – a series of upcycled needlepoint covered animal icons..which definitely drew the crowds.
Each piece is a one off and is hand made – giving each animal their own unique personality and style.The husband and wife team behind Frédérique Morrell view their mission as saving vintage discarded needlepoint from oblivion by transforming them into new iconic pieces of design preserving the intricate work of the original needlepoint for future generations.They explain:
“‘our products have been carefully re-made using vintage needlework saved from oblivion in the interest of the redemption of the painstaking work involved in their original creation. when wandering around
markets or garage sales we’re often very saddened to see discarded embroidery. we think about the love, time, craftsmanship and patience that went into creating such beautiful things and find it so sad that they end up unwanted and for sale for a few dollars. all of those wonderful tablecloths, doilies and cushions and the skills that are evident in those discarded things are in danger of being lost to future generations.‘
These upcycled, upscale pieces breathe new life into a tradition for handcrafted skills that is fast dying out…and have created a life filled, joyous collection of eco icons that will introduce and preserve the beauty of needlepoint for generations to come.
‘Upcycled ‘tile lamps‘ by Lee Broom
British designer Lee Broom has taken vintage disused tiles as the inspiration for his lighting collection. His pieces incorporating a sense of history via the glossy patina of the tile clad lamp bases, melding the contemporary with a sense of cultural heritage. Broom’s vision was to create an original collection that lookes like “as if someone had a little piece of history in their home,”
The lamps are manufactured in two sizes, with white cotton shades and are also available finished in blue tiles and white ( as shown) with a special small run limited edition in red and black available to order. Delightfully simple concept….where less is more textural and more covetable!