Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Home-Grown

We are Helen Lancaster & Nicky Hessenberg. We started Home-Grown 10 years ago, but before that Helen had a small company making clothes for children and Nicky has a constructed textile course at the London College of Furniture. We used also to organize and run a small annual arts and crafts exhibition in our local area which had quite a local following.

Helen has family living in Mumbai and whenever she came back wearing something beautiful and sometimes exotic, friends and strangers would ask "where did you get it?". We decided to start a small company to supply this demand and Home-Grown was born.

We have a range of clothes made for us in Mumbai, designed by us based on traditional Indian designs. Each garment is then individually made by tailors, in good and safe working conditions, adapted for UK sizes and styles. We put the colours and prints together making a completely original and unique collection.

We do not have a shop and sell a few of our styles to a shop in East Dulwich - otherwise our clothes are available from us selling only through charity fairs and sales, by personal request by telephone, email or by visiting our stockroom. We are based in Bayswater, London.

Come and meet Helen & Nicky on 4 December.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Simone Selaib - Salandini

My name is Simone Selaib-Salandini and I’m a jewellery designer based in Notting Hill, London.

My work is made up of different collections including Victoria Regia, Industrial and Leaves. They all complement each other and comprise necklaces, rings, earrings, arm bands, bracelets, head pieces and anklets:

All my jewellery is hand crafted by me, I use silver 925 and 999, gold, bronze and semi-precious stones.

I graduated with a BA in Fine Arts and discovered my passion for sculptures and metal. After finishing university I lived in the Italian city of Naples and experienced the wonderful craft of restoration of church ceilings and sculptures.
I love the process of designing and making and I trained as a silversmith, took a course in professional development for designer-makers and began to sell to galleries and shops.

Recently I have participated in Arts and Crafts Fairs and I love the direct contact with the public and to see their reactions to my work.

I draw my inspirations from everyday experiences and the fascination I have for metal itself.

I like to play with line, space, light and shadow; where clear forms are integral part of each piece.

My inspirations reflect my artistic background. Jewellery is intuitive and spontaneous for me, influenced by sculptural and architectural works.

I once read .....‘my business is to create’ and this sums up exactly how I feel!

Simone will be at Homeworks next Sunday 4 December.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Vanessa Cohen Handmade Ceramics

I produce a range of handmade white earthenware bowls, platters and cups. I have a Fine Art Degree from The University of Cape Town where I majored in Sculpture.
My degree included a small amount of ceramics but I always had the desire to further my knowledge of the making of ceramic tableware as I very rarely found tableware that I liked.

My love of beautiful handmade things inspired me to take extra classes at Kensington and Chelsea College and I started my business in 2008. All my ceramics are made by hand in my studio which is based in NW10, just off Scrubs Lane.

I produce a delicate range of handmade tableware which very subtly explores and expresses the distorting qualities of thin clay:

An element of chance is embraced as I allow my bowls to uniformly distort into organic egg-like shapes in the kiln. People are drawn to my work and feel compelled to hold it because each piece is imbued with a uniquely ‘imperfect’ and tactile quality.

Vanessa will be at Homeworks on Sunday 4 December.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Scamp

As well as running Scamp with sister Stacey, Jennifer is a key member of the Homeworks team and organises our Christmas Bazaars. She recently gave us some time out of her (very busy) schedule to tell us a bit about her creative life:

Stacey (left) and Jennifer (right).
Tell us about who you are:
It’s a family affair at Scamp with myself and my sister Stacey establishing and running the business. We’re both mums, both into design, and both creative souls, who design everything in our range.

When did you start your business?

We began in 2010 making personalised pictures for baby gifts. We’ve grown a lot since then to include printed babywear, nursery accessories and bespoke gifts for little ones (and some for big ones too!). The world of the laser cutter has meant we’ve been able to create a lovely range of wooden kids room accessories and decorations and most recently customised printing has expanded our baby wear range to include pyjamas and blankets as well, all printed in the UK:

What’s your inspiration?
Having our own children very much defines what we want our product ranges to be like - lots of vibrant, colourful and funky babywear, bold and simple graphics on bedroom accessories (we love Scandinavian styles) and personalised products created with stylish parents in mind:

We design all our products ourselves and spend a great deal of design time thinking about how our designs fit in with modern family life - both ours and yours!

Come and meet Jennifer & Stacey at Homeworks on 4 & 11 December:

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Meet the Maker - soapNskin

We are Rabia Khan & Samar Fazil and we were introduced to each other as babies - our parents were (and still are!) best friends. Like all girls, while growing up, we were captivated by our mothers’ vast collection of exotic beauty products, it was an eclectic mix; store bought makeup to artisan creams and toners inspired by our heritage from, what seemed like then, faraway lands.

We would whisk away into forbidden cupboards, trying on creams, concealers, mascaras or whatever else we could sneak passed their watchful eyes. We made a lot of mess in the process although, admittedly, not nearly as much as we do now!

Fast forward a few years (ok maybe a decade or two) and we began to realise why our darling mothers had always relied on natural remedies to maintain their youthful glow. Numerous skin problems, from eczema and photosensitivity to acne and everything in between left us exasperated. Over the counter, heavily marketed beauty products, as well as potent prescriptions from doctors promised the world, but delivered so little.

Stuck in a bit of a skin rut – and sick of expensive beauty products – we harnessed our creative energies to create natural products for our own personal use.

Submerged in research, botanical extracts, natural bases, butters and essential oils, we learned that nature, when harnessed correctly, offered effective alternatives. Abandoning chemical laden, mass produced toiletries and cosmetics, years were spent making and perfecting recipes. SoapNSkin was born out of this experimentation and we launched in 2014.

Our products are created by hand in micro batches in our very own kitchens. We use nature as our base, and build on that. Blending essential oils and botanical extracts to create fragrantly scented products that showcase Mother Nature in her glory, and which really benefit the skin. Of course some of our products have to contain preservatives to increase longevity, but these are all carefully selected and are derived from natural means.

For us it’s about sharing what we love, and what has made a positive change in our lives with others.
It’s about natural products, crafted and bottled by hand with love and an attention to detail. Products that are available to anyone who wants to make a positive change to what they put on their skin, and banish the use unnecessary harsh chemicals.

SoapNSkin will be at Homeworks on 4 December.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Hélène Turbé

Photo: Lily Bertrand-Webb 

Tell us little bit about who you are and where you are based?
My Name is Hélène Turbé, I’m a fine jewellery maker based in West London. I live near Kensal Rise and my studio is based just behind Ladbroke Grove.
I’m passionate about the handcrafting process and can spend hours working on details. I totally love working close to my work creating an intimacy with each of my pieces. My work is inspired by the ornate allure of jewellery dating from Antique, Byzantine and Victorian eras, enhanced by intensively repeated details, and by the use of coloured gemstones and pearls:

Where did you train and when did you start your business?
After working 10 years in Paris as a producer manager in the media Industry, I finally moved to London to accomplish my two dreams; to live in London and to study a fashion course.

In 2001, I joined London Metropolitan University to study jewellery and ended 3 years later with a First Class Honours degree.

In 2009, I set up my workshop while looking after my three kids. Very quickly, I managed to sell my work to few shops in London. I now work from an Artists Community Studio called Kindred Studio in St Marks Road (behind Ladbroke Grove) where I share my space with six other brilliant makers. I still work for the same retailers who have supported me from the beginning while making bespoke order for private customers. Very soon you will be able to shop through my website.

What inspired you to become a designer and set up your company?
Very young, I was fascinated by illustrations in children’s books, by my mother’s haberdashery and carving wood. I guess my curiosity never left me. I grew up on a little island surrounded by religious signs called Ile d’Yeu in West of France. Everything inspires me, all my surroundings. I’m fascinated by icon figures, icon medals, and rosaries:

Usually I start drawing some ideas and designs on my sketchbook, and once I’m happy and ready for it, I move to my bench where I start making a model before working directly on gold.
Depending of the piece, but sometimes it can take 2/3 weeks before finishing it.

Hélène will be at Homeworks on both 4 & 11 December.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Studio Rajka

My name is Rajka, my company name is Studio Rajka and I live, design, create and make my knitwear in my studio in Brentford, West London.
I studied chemistry at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. I have never studied design, but I started to knit when I was a child and sold my knitwear at university to supplement my tiny student budget.

I have been creative all my professional life, and after many years in the fashion industry I started my knitwear company two years ago, turning my passion into my profession.
I’m inspired by everyday life and my aim is to create luxurious but affordable knitwear, both traditional and contemporary, using naturally sourced sustainable and renewable materials:

I use Scottish and Italian spun lambswool, cashmere and blended yarn.

My products are unique, I rarely made more than two same. I am always happy to do custom orders.

Studio Rajka will be at Homeworks on Sunday 4 December.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Sally Hampson

Sally Hampson is joining us at Homeworks for the first time this Christmas. She recently told us a bit about her design life and what inspires her:

My name is Sally Hampson, I’m a weaver and produce blankets, shawls and scarves. I mostly use 100% Pure British wool, from Shetland, the Welsh Black Mountains and from Jacob fleece. I am based in London where I have my studio, but I am also currently running workshops in Stroud where I have set up The Weaving Shed Project.

I studied at the Royal College of Art and graduated with an M.A in Constructed Textiles. Shortly after, I moved to Paris and set up a design studio working closely with the stylist bureaus - this was a real apprenticeship into design. I came back to London and set up my studio and began designing and making woven rugs, collaborating with interior designers and architects.Through my knowledge and experience in textiles I have been invited to Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya to work on projects along side and support other makers, ceramicists, weavers, basket makers and embroiderers. This in turn has been an inspiration for my own practice as a maker and also as a tutor.

My earliest memories were always of the feel, texture and colour of fabrics. It just seemed inevitable that I would become a weaver. I grew up with a travel rug that my parents bought over from Ireland, when they first came to London. It was a very special possession in our family and has inspired me to produce limited edition woven blankets to be treasured and kept forever.

Sally will be at Homeworks on 4 & 11 December.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Meet The Maker - Wallplayper

Today’s Meet the Maker is all about Lewes based designers Emma Carlow and Gaynor Warren. As Wallplayper they design and sell beautifully creative and playful wallpaper, cushions and lampshades for children, inspired by the mid century design and artists they love.

They launched Wallplayper this September and are joining us for Homeworks on Sunday 4 December:

Emma and Gaynor are art school educated - Emma studied illustration and graphics and Gaynor studied sculpture. Both worked in the world of design and children's textiles - Emma began her career at Conran and has designed textiles for Habitat, Ikea, Marks & Spencer and Crate & Barrel. Wallplayper is the culmination of all their experiences and passions:

Childhood (particularly their own - they both have fond memories of wearing Clothkits clothing designs in the seventies!) informs their design thinking and they are inspired by designers and artists who are playful, particularly mid century designers and artists such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and Alexander Calder:

Come along on the 4th and meet Emma and Gaynor - Homeworks is their only sale this Christmas and they’re bringing a selection of their beautiful wallpaper with matching cushions and brand new lampshades.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Spry Workwear

Today’s Meet the Maker is all about Spry Workwear, traditional clothing re-imagined for the modern woman. It’s a new venture from journalist Daisy Bridgewater, a long time supporter of Homeworks and small creative businesses.
We asked her a few questions about what inspired her to launch Spry Workwear:

When did you set up your company?

Spry Workwear is both a brand new venture and a response to the many years I have spent peering into other people’s lives as a journalist. I have worked as a freelance journalist for years, most recently as a columnist for the Telegraph Magazine (I used to have a weekly shopping page called Children’s Notebook). Before that I was the Telegraph’s Interiors Editor, and I continue to write about houses for glossy magazines. But whilst writing about other people’s creative endeavours is fascinating, I have long-harboured the dream to build my own business.

Spry Workwear is literally brand new - this will be my first selling experience and I am thrilled to be part of Homeworks.

What inspired you to start your company?
I am based in East Suffolk, quite near to the sea, and quite far from London.

The inspiration for Spry came whilst working as a freelance journalist. When home becomes workplace, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of putting yourself together for the day, even if it is just for yourself. How many of us have spent the day in baggy leggings and a favourite jumper - but what if a friend shows up, or you suddenly have to rush out to meet an editor/teacher/colleague? Fleeces do nothing for the self esteem!
This led me to think about all of the multi-functional, thoughtfully designed, practical but innately stylish clothes that were not in my wardrobe. And from this void, Spry Workwear was born.

At Homeworks, I will be selling my boiler suit, a re-working of a vintage mechanic's overall made in East Anglia from traditional navy blue sail cloth. I have 5 other pieces in the collection, all of which are in the sampling stage, but I should have my aprons with cross-over straps, deep pockets and a gentle, A-line cut, again made from traditional sailcloth fabrics.

I will have samples of the whole collection, ready to pre-order.

Come and meet Spry Workwear at Homeworks on Sunday 4 December, 10-2pm

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Meet the Maker - Bea Bags

With just over a month until our first Homeworks Christmas Bazaar, we’d like to introduce you to some of the designers and makers taking part in our events this year and find out what inspires them.
First up is Bea Bags, a creative partnership between Ruth Hannett and Sharon Chin:

Sharon, left and Ruth, right.

Ruth has a studio in West Hampstead, and Sharon has a studio in Suffolk where she now lives:

Ruth’s studio in West Hampstead.
What’s your design inspiration?
‘We set up Bea Bags in 2007. Originally we started in order to be able to work from home and around our small children - our company has grown organically but is still pretty small.
We began making our oilcloth bags and accessories when we were unable to find beautiful, contemporary practical bags to use on the beach. Our range has grown to include beach bags, shoppers, shoulder bags and accessories:

Tell us about your design process:
We do everything ourselves, from choosing our fabrics to be made into oilcloth, to cutting out and sewing our products. We both love what we do and take great care and pleasure to make sure all our products are finished to a high standard.’

Bea Bags will be at our first Bazaar on Sunday 4 December, 10-2pm.