This week we went ‘out and about’ through the sunny streets of London’s Chelsea to The Surprise Pub. Here we viewed the works of 9 talented artists who are part of the ‘Slow Craft Movement’. For many years, craft was wrongly viewed as a ‘lesser’ art form – more of a ‘hobby’ than ‘fine art’. However, in a generation where the world around us is speeding up and dragging us away from ‘handmade’, we have a newfound appreciation and respect for the role of craft. Partnership Editions invited us to learn about the unique practices of these artists, each with their own quirks. Here’s who we discovered…
Bellamy is a textile artist who specialises in bespoke applique and embroidery. We loved her use of bold colours and the incredible details she achieves in each piece. Our Design Studio’s Polly had a coat which perfectly matched the pops of cobalt blue! Each item starts with hand drawn elements and then Bellamy uses an industrial Juki embroidery machine to add layers, thread details and depth. We loved her handmade ticking piping too!
We were very impressed to hear Colette hasn’t studied art since college. Her paintings were so impressive! The moment we got to her stand we could smell soft hints of lavender. Later, she explained that the lavender oil wasn’t there to create a ‘zen’ environment – Colette actually used it as a natural non-toxic medium to clean her brushes! All of Colette’s paints are hand mixed using pigments which she sources from all over the world. There was something very authentic about seeing them all in jars on her desk.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet Ali Bassett, but her work stood out without any explanation! She works on canvas and stitches together pieces to form a patchwork forming a scene often mixed with figures, imagery and repetition. The ‘everyday’ influences her work and often you’ll spot the sea, the horizon, fields, trees and flowing rivers to set the scene for her lovely stories.
We were immediately struck by Freyja’s work – she was sketching with her paintbrush on a plate right in front of us. Freyja paints in a very diluted glaze paint to map out the artwork. With this method, you can make as many mistakes as you like and it will burn off in the kiln and not be visible on the final piece. She explained that her artworks are made through painting negative spaces with wax first, then Freyja uses the ‘sgraffito’ technique. This means she scratches into the glaze once it is painted, leaving the clay visible behind which gives depth and texture.
Noe Kuremoto is a ceramic artist who makes everything by hand using simple tools. Her pieces mix child-like simplicity with contemporary sophistication and incorporate her background in fine art and design with her cultural heritage. The vases were displayed in a green nook, which seemed the perfect spot for them. These pots were inspired by the female organic form – just like our Firmdale Mannequins!
Sophie Victoria Edwards
Sophie was sitting by the window and was surrounded by her beautiful work. She explained that she works in painting, drawing and ceramics. A real all-rounder!
We loved that she tested her colours and designs on cotton rag paper which has rough edges. Her work abstracts and weaves together fragments from observed and imagined places, often designed with obsessive marks. Rich in earthy tones, you can see how her work transitions from drawings to ceramics.
This lamp that Sophie created reminds us of the Bloomsbury colour palette that we love so much.
It was a lovely experience to discover these craftspeople and learn about the process behind their handmade pieces. We hope you feel as inspired as us!