November 14, 2016 in food styling, handmade goodness
The inspiration behind this story was a collaboration of two highly regarded shops: Flow Gallery and La Fromagerie.
We attended a white-on-white pop-up dinner one evening held in the middle of Flow’s gallery space. La Fromagerie provided the food, designed specifically to sit on handmade, bespoke ceramics from Flow Gallery. The combination of the owners’ impeccable taste – one with an eye for shape and texture, the other nose and palette – created an event that was a sensory experience.
Find out more about La Fromagerie’s cheese range and buy online on their website.
Find out more about Flow Gallery, their exhibitions and works available on their website.
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June 1, 2016 in art, handmade goodness
After the success of the Line Up show at Flow Gallery in London last year, we were asked by Devon Guild of Craftsmen to expand the original show with additional works and fill their large exhibition space in Bovey Tracey. The exhibition ran in Devon from 16 January until 6 March 2016.
Line Up was an exhibition of contemporary craft, this exhibition explores the relationship between objects; how they combine and interact in styled groups. Read more here.
The artists include a mixture of established designer-makers alongside emerging new talents: Another Country, Theo Adamson, Kyra Crane, Jason Collingwood, Bettina Dittlman, Akiko Hirai, Hyu-jin Jo, Silvia K, Astrid Keller, Sue Lawty, Liz Nilsson, Brook Sigal, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Dr Tim Willey, and Derek Wilson alongside my own paintings.
Following my trip to Devon to style the show I took these photos, just before everyone arrived for the private view.
A ‘Guild’ is traditionally a community of tradespeople offering mutual support and networking. The Devon Guild of Craftsmen was founded in 1955 by local furniture-maker Edward Baly and a group of artisans who wanted to share skills and support eachother in their craftmaking. They set up an annual summer exhibition which was held at various locations until Riverside Mill became the HQ.
From an original membership of just 18 the Devon Guild has grown to its current membership of around 240 makers from South West England.
Devon Guild of Craftsmen is a charity and Membership organisation which aims to create as many opportunities as possible for people to enjoy and learn about contemporary craft.
They hold exhibitions at their Riverside Mill galleries, where this is also a cafe and large craft shop, as well as touring shows throughout the country, providing education projects and partnering in the Contemporary Craft Festival – they are dedicated to one mission: inspiring creative excellence through contemporary craft.
Visit their website here.
Many thanks to Devon Guild of Craftsmen for hosting the show.
For general enquiries about Line Up and the works included please contact Flow Gallery.
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April 13, 2015 in handmade goodness, interior styling
I have always had a love of craft and purchased it for my home. As an interior stylist I have always drawn to beautiful handmade, handcrafted items and used them in my shoots. They add personality and soul to a photograph and to a home. I discovered Flow Gallery around 15 years ago and it is one of the galleries I have always bought from and borrowed their exquisite pieces and got to know the owner, Yvonna Demczynska, over the years. Yvonne had one of my postcards – a photo from one of my for Elle Decoration stories – displayed on her pinboard for years and at a couple of charity evenings at the gallery, she told me her plans about redeveloping the gallery into an exciting new live/work gallery space and asked me if I would like to curate an exhibition for when the new gallery opened. I was thrilled.
Line Up is an exhibition of contemporary craft that examines shape, pattern and texture within a monochrome palette. The shapes of the handmade objects are graphic and bold with expressive mark making. Compositions of objects are explored, and still lives created that could be displayed in any home. The ceramics selected have a graphic, handmade quality, strong shapes, with some pieces decorated with expressive markings. All pieces are for sale and prices start from £45.00.
The makers selected are a mixture of artists, some I have longstanding relationships with, some are well-known designers I have not yet worked with before but admired, and some are new ceramists who graduated last Summer. Artists include: Akiko Hirai, Astrid Keller, Bettina Dittlmann, Derek Wilson, Dr Tim Willey, Hyu Jin Jo, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Jochem de Wit, Silvia K, Theo Adamson and Akiko Hirai.
I shot this series of press images with photographer Beth Evans and you can see and read more about the makers in the April issue of Elle Decoration magazine.
One inspiration for styling the show was Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, which had a lasting impression on me since my first visit in my teens. It is a magical place, the home where Jim Ede, a former curator at the Tate, avid art collector and promoter of the contemporary artists of his day, pioneered art and craft in a domestic context. The idea for the show was to display items as still lives that could be lifted and placed on a mantlepiece or shelf in any home and it fitted perfectly with Yvonna’s new live/work gallery space.
As I wanted to incorporate the Kettle’s Yard influence of craft and art, I have also created a series of paintings especially for the show. They began as textured backgrounds to add to the composition and as a styling tool to frame the ceramics, but also as artworks that could stand alone. They are abstracts on canvas of fleeting views through train windows, florals, sea and landscapes and mainly inspired by nature. A love of painting was reignited at the Slade School of Art where my painted work became about horizons and strong ‘line’ visual which sits with the exhibition theme.
I have also included vintage chairs from Béton Brut to add an additional domestic feel to the gallery space.
The exhibition is showing until 15th May 2015 so if you are in West London then do stop by at:
1-5 Needham Road
Opening times: Mon and Tuesday 2pm – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Closed Sunday.
All of the items on display are able to be purchased from Flow Gallery and prices range from £45 to £1000.
I took a few quick snaps just before the guests arrived for the packed private view! I also want to say a very big thank you to Yvonna for giving me this opportunity and to the Flow team for a fantastic private view.
The exhibition runs until 15th May so please do visit, I hope you enjoy it.
You can also see more photos from my shoot with Beth Evans here.
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February 18, 2014 in flowers, food styling, handmade goodness
I took these pictures last year. I had popped into Made London, an event held at One Marylebone where European designer makers exhibit, to see my friend Grainne Morton who had a stand there. After we caught up I browsed the show and bought a few new objects. I still had my favourite hired photo shoot surface at home and couldn’t resist taking some photos before it was returned to the prop house the next day. My new purchases all had a monochrome, geometric and graphic quality that I contrasted with a handful of natural items picked from the garden.
This glass and ceramic mini vessel is by ceramcist Jill Shaddock who was part of the Crafts Council‘s exhibition stand, promoting their 2013 Hothouse designer makers.
This asymmetric, blackened wooden serving board is by Pacha Design. I also used it in my recent styling story for Elle Decoration.
This delicate metal ring is by jeweller Kirsty Pearson, another of the Crafts Council’s Hothouse designer makers in 2013.
Craft shows are a great way to buy unique, hand made items for your home or to wear and to support designer makers at the same time.
Made London is being held at the same venue this year on 24-26 October 2014.
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September 23, 2013 in handmade goodness, vintage finds
Having worked as a textile designer, one of my great loves is embroidery, either by hand or on the machine. It was when my mother was renovating her little house by the sea on the Dalmatian coast that we discovered these beautiful embroideries. We were looking for interesting decorative elements to add character to the holiday house and at the local antique bazaar in Zadar we found two of these hand-stitched embroideries and a bright rug amongst a pile of folded old fabrics.
They have so much Slavic character and charm in a simple, understated way. I am not sure what they were used for, (we use them as hangings between doors) but we bought one each. I rarely see them for sale in the markets or in piles of vintage fabrics and embroideries, so I count myself very lucky to have one. My mother’s hanging has embroidered writing on both sides and mine is plain at the top. The script translates as “Look, my darling, at these red roses, they’ll be yours when you come to fetch me.”
The colours are bright and bold, the traditional Croatian deep red and white combined with interesting combinations like peach and turquoise. The burgundy colour acts as a neutral to the other brighter colours.
The other side translates as “Long live the joyful Anica Speht” (a lady’s name). Perhaps it was made as a gift for a loved one or she is simply congratulating herself on her accomplishment at finishing the embroidery.
I photographed them alongside the simple furniture I had available, flowers from the garden and fruit bought from the village market to give a cacophony of pattern and colour.
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May 10, 2013 in handmade goodness, inspiring places
Another shop that I was really looking forward to visiting in Sydney was Mud. Their store at 134 Edgecliff Road in Woollahra was close to where we were staying, so I popped in to have a browse and take some snaps. I often use their handmade porcelain plates, bowls and cups when styling commercial photo shoots, drawn to it at the prop houses by the beautiful soft colours and mix of matt and gloss finishes.
I bought a little ceramic beaker as a memento of my visit to the shop and would have bought much more if I hadn’t been worried about the pieces getting damaged during the flights on the remainder of our trip.
You can see and find out more on the Mud Australia website.
The Mud website lists only three UK stockists; The Conran Shop, Designers Guild and Zecca, who amazingly is only a 10 minute walk from my house! I will be popping along there soon to see what they have in stock.
For now though I am happy with my little piece of Mud on display.
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Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.