LDF17: Craft and Making at Decorex

By Katie Treggiden

With a bent towards the luxury end of the market, Decorex is not a show we’ve covered on Design Milk before, but its focus on craft and making has slowly been bringing it to our attention. Last year, we covered the New Craftsmen’s Crafthouse installations there, and this year we decided it was time to include a full round-up in our London Design Festival coverage. (Detail above from a table by British furniture designer Sebastian Cox.)

Making their Decorex debut, Mourne Textiles is a third generation weaving workshop and design studio based at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. It was established by Norwegian-born Gerd Hay-Edie in 1949 and is now run by her grandson Mario. “Inspired by my grandmother’s legacy and my mother’s expertise, I feel greatly privileged to once again be breathing life into Mourne Textiles and to be presenting a carefully selected collection of much-loved designs from my grandmother’s archives,” he says. Displayed hanging from two full-sized trees, they breathed life into the trade show environment.

Curated by applied arts and design journalist Corinne Julius since its launch in 2014, Future Heritage is the highlight of Decorex that draws in the crowds. Each year, Corinne works with a selection of talented craftspeople to redefine what ‘craft’ is and what it could and should be. Much of the work was made especially for the show in response to Corinne’s encouragement to play with scale. “As curator, I encourage the very talented makers to produce new and unexpected work for the show,” says Corinne. “All but one of the makers will be creating their largest work yet, with one-off pieces that will demonstrate the possibilities of their craft.” The room divider above is by architect-turned-jeweler Naomi McIntosh.

Responding to the 2017 theme of ‘collaboration,’ Adam Blencowe, showed his brightly colored, two-sided Motley Rug Collection, created with fellow Royal College of Art graduate Marine Duroselle, using a new felting technique called Fuzzy Logic, that creates a reverse to the rug that is even more vibrant and intensely colored than the front.

Helen Carnac and David Gates worked together to make wooden and metal cabinets enhanced with enamel panels and vessels. Carnac created a series of original interlocking enamel panels and bowls, to complement Gates’ asymmetrical furniture, which draws upon the visual and structural elements of industrial and agricultural buildings.

British surface pattern designers Mini Moderns were also exhibiting at Decorex for the first time, debuting their Saturday Night / Sunday Morning wallpaper collection, alongside existing designs. Launched in 2006 by London based designers, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire, Mini Moderns is an interiors brand specializing in applied pattern across a range of products including wallpapers, fabrics, cushions, rugs and ceramics.

The black Valchromat and American walnut Loop Cabinet by Coucou Manu is made using high-quality, high-density fiberboard that is created from wood waste and dyed throughout to create a solid color. It was exhibited as part of the Design Nation stand – the membership organization describes itself as the “Great British portfolio for craft, design, and product.”

Also on the Design Nation stand, designer Snowden Flood has delved into the archives of Print Archivists – a team of creators gathering unique vintage pieces from around the world – to create new fabrics. The upholstered chair is a collaboration with Arlo and Jacob.

Finally, the Noah chair was made by Melanie Porter, in collaboration with furniture manufacturer Wychwood Designs, and represents Melanie’s new collection – her first departure from bespoke upcycled vintage pieces.

Source:: Design-milk