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CELEBRATE OUR FIRST BLOG ANNIVERSARY WITH US

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Happy birthday to our blog!

We cannot believe it’s been a year already since we entered the blogosphere. Even though we haven’t posted a lot, we’ve been busy building our business, working on projects and designing bespoke joinery.

They say “Good things come to those who wait”, so stay tuned, there are some exciting news on the way. In the meantime we wish everyone a creative and fun summer and, of course, a “Happy blog-birthday to us” again (we celebrate with stylish silver, brass and bronze ice-cream).

interior design, british design, furniture, joinery, bespoke, ice cream, silver, bronze, brass, and furniture

Image Source: Pinterest

 

LETTER FROM LONDON – JANUARY 2014

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What can I say – it’s 2014 already. Last year was quite busy with both participating in 100% Design in September and project work, so very little time to see what was going on in the wider world.

Apart from 100% Design only had the energy to see Decorex at the Design festival in September which has now relocated to Kensington Gardens – very convenient! As I was suffering from exhibition overload, Decorex was a sprint rather than a marathon, so only really stopped to chat to a few suppliers I already know like CTO lighting, who have some great new products. Though I did manage to spot Fine cell work who are a charity training and selling embroidery by prisoners from all over the UK.

fine cell work, decorex, charity, embroidery

EMBROIDERY BY FINE CELL WORK

Also in the autumn and again in the park we made it to the first week of the opening of the new Zaha Hadid project. (I seem to be becoming a fan). The new extension is to form the Magazine Restaurant and the  Sackler art gallery. We enjoyed the gallery which was exhibiting  the Argentinian  artist  Adrián Villar Rojas “Today we reboot the planet”.  His work exploring modern themes in clay would take more than the time I had to get to grips with. It was only later that I realized that the floor and clay walls were the work of the artist and not the designer. Then on to the restaurant. I have walked past this building a few times and I am still not sure about the junction between the original 1805 gun powder store (as was) and the ultra modern restaurant extension but the interior is a great space for a park full of light and drama, though as I am only 5 ft nothing I thought the bar was a bit high so I felt a bit like Alice in her wonderland. The central kitchen is very brave as the chefs are always on view – lets hope Gordon Ramsey doesn’t do a guest spot.

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Now I am a member of Tate Modern which apparently is the most visited gallery in the world!! I have taken to visiting the V&A on Friday evenings instead. Popped in to see the Jameel prize – an International award for contemporary Art inspired by Islamic tradition. The winning entry was impressive, but I thought some of the runners up were even better, particularly the concrete carpet with an Arabic font designed by Nada Debs who is actually a Tokyo born furniture designer based in Beirut. I was also astounded by the intricacy of the works by Waqa Khan from Pakistan- drawings built up of thousands of tiny dots marks and lines that can only be seen with a magnifying glass.

We did try Tate Britain on a Friday evening but there were 6,000 others queuing to get in as well so back to the V&A where it is generally quieter and a second visit to the  excellent installation Tomorrow by Elmgreen and Dragset. The exhibition is splashed all over the front of the museum on a giant hoarding in the guise of a property advert (apparently there have been a number of offers to buy the fictional property) which despite being 2 stores high I didn’t even notice – well it was dark. The installation is set in the textile galleries which were a major trek to find but worth it . The artists had put together a well chosen collection of Furniture Art and accessories from the museum mixed in with some of their own pieces to create the essence of the life of a fictional Architect Mr Swann with an interest in the contemporary but obviously past his glory days. Great stuff.

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So Now on to 2014. It’s a struggle to overcome Xmas inertia and  venture out into the grey and damp London streets, but I will be making the effort to get to the arffordable Art Fair in Islington today. As ever there are a whole raft of great things to see and do including a major Pop Art exhibition at the Barbican and looking forward to Giorgio de Chirico at the Estorick in N1. I may make it to  Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Barbican, though  I think I may just give the Wedding dresses at the V&A a miss!

RIB SIDE TABLE – THE STORY

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Solid, Strong, Accommodating

Bedside or side table in varied metal and powder coated metal finishes with bridle leather tops.

Dimensions: 54cm H x 38cm Dia

Five clever things that Rib can do:

  1. Store your knick-knacks
  2. Stand alone
  3. Invite conversation
  4. Relax your reading matter
  5. Never tire

THE BRIEF

The Rib side table was developed to fit in a room which I was asked to design for a longstanding Client. The room was to be a private study for a lady with a hint of Hollywood; it also had to function as a bedroom for her son when he was home from college. All of the pieces in the room were bespoke bar the desk chair and armchair. The room was quite narrow so the table had to fit in a very tight space between the bed/sofa and the door.

Early sketches developing the side table

Early sketches developing the side table

THE DESIGN

I felt that the table should be round that that is no sharp corners and as the theme of the room was mostly black I wanted to propose that the table would be in brass to add a splash of glamour, the size was dictated by the space so had to be less than 380mm dia. First attempts at sketch ideas were very airport bin like so I wanted to make the table less solid but still hide messy switches on the wall. As it was so small I also wanted to add shelves, after a lot of thought and a few more sketches I had the bones (or at least the ribs) of an idea.

Model making

Model making

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

After a basic CAD drawing I was unsure of the proportions of the metal ribs and how they fit into the shelf tiers, so unusually for me I made a foam board model to explore the sizes and how the ribs would fit together, I was also just beginning to work with a 3D visualizer so experimented with this. Time running short (though I have a very patient Client) I then had the technical drawings drawn up by a freelancer to take to the metalworkers.

Black powder coated side table detail

Black powder coated side table detail

MANUFACTURE

From the beginning I had wanted to develop the table as a product and not just a one off. The first table was made by a small London metal workshop. Because of the weight, we made the table in aluminium and we decided to finish in a hand applied bronze. I have specified saddle leather quite a lot, which is common in furniture in Italy but seems difficult therefore very expensive in the UK, however I managed to find a good source for the round leather pads. I have since developed the Rib further with a very accommodating metal manufacture based in the Midlands, as it is a manufactured product we are producing it with hand bronzing as a special and standard finishes either powder coated or highly polished metal brass or copper.

Finishes: brass, bronze, white & black powder coated

Finishes: brass, bronze, white & black powder coated

EXHIBITION

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AND Furniture at 100% Design exhibition, London – we exhibited in the Emerging Brands section.

www.andfurniture.com

Thanks to Keith Sealey for all his help, including setting up the stand. It was a really hard work, but was definitely worth it.

Thanks to ATRIUM for letting us use their fab lights.

And thanks to everyone who came – both supporters of AND Furniture and potential customers.

www.andfurniture.com www.andfurniture.com

www.andfurniture.com www.andfurniture.com www.andfurniture.com www.andfurniture.com

AND FURNITURE AT 100% DESIGN

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London, UK: The cutting edge contemporary furniture designer and manufacturer, AND Furniture has announced that it will exhibit at September’s 100% Design exhibition in the exciting emerging brands category. A platform for the most inspirational new names in the design sector, emerging brands is the go-to pavilion for architects and industry professionals.

As one of the most influential design brands to emerge from London in recent years, AND Furniture will use its 100% Design presence to introduce its utterly elegant Rib side table to the UK. Finished in striking metal or powder coating, the ultra-contemporary and achingly chic slatted 3 tiered side table is available in brass copper black or white with leather insert tops.

Held at Earl’s Court London, 100% Design is both the largest and the longest running contemporary design event for industry professionals in the UK. First staged in 1995, the show welcomes more than 25,000 visitors per year, many of whom explore the award-winning layout in search of fresh new talent and essential new products, all while soaking up an eclectic, inspirational design experience.

From its launch in 2010, AND Furniture has pioneered a collaborative approach to designing and curating its collections, all rooted in its desire to explore new ideas and approaches to everyday objects. Its exceptionally crafted furniture is created with design enthusiasts in mind and as such, the brand works closely with taste makers and design connoisseurs. The design team regularly consults with artists, technicians and artisans to produce the best possible products.

AND Furniture’s creations are a mix of stunning form with a healthy dose of function, with everyday objects such as the end table or ubiquitous coat rack re-imagined and reinterpreted in sleek, imaginative new ways. This design nous will be evidenced at 100% Design in September, where the brand will sit alongside other breakout creatives and producers.

In addition to the Rib three-tiered side table, AND Furniture will also showcase its Legion wall coat rack system at 100% Design. The hall storage system consists of a series of 200mm diameter rings that can be linked vertically and horizontally to form coat hooks or key hooks. A letter tray or shelf in a metal finish completes the look.

AND Furniture will be located on stand D24 in the emerging designers pavilion at 100% Design. The exhibition will be held at Earls Court, London 18 – 21 September 2013.

To find out more, visit www.andfurniture.com. All AND Furniture pieces are available to order from sales@andfurniture.com

 

LETTER FROM LONDON / JULY 2013

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The famous ‘Letter from London’ as seen on INSITE HK:

Apologies for missing the Blog for a whole YEAR!!  It’s a shame as last summer was great in London. It felt like it was sunny all the time (though I’m sure it wasn’t). London was in party mood as soon as we all realised that The Olympics wasn’t going to be the disaster that the cynical had expected.  Starting with the surprising, colourful, delightful and controversial opening ceremony, right through to the triumphant end.  The Olympic park produced some really great buildings which I will be revisiting (excepting of course the distinctly odd Olympic orbit tower by Anish Kapoor) and Thomas Heatherwick – I take it all back the Olympic Cauldron was fabulous.

Olympic park velodrome by Hopkins Architects & Olympic Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid

Olympic park velodrome by Hopkins Architects & Olympic Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid

Next best of 2012 for me was Bronze at the Royal Academy in September a collection of 150 bronze sculptures, too many masterpieces to mention here. The earliest artifacts being dated around 3700BCE through to contemporary artists Louise Bourgeois and her spiders and of course Anish Kapoor again.

Damned soul by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi 1705-1707 & Soider IV by Louise Bourgeios & Maiastra by Constantin Brancusi 1911

Damned soul by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi 1705-1707 & Soider IV by Louise Bourgeios & Maiastra by Constantin Brancusi 1911

I was a bit disappointed with September 2012 design shows– the buzz of 2011 seems to have dimmed a bit, though I was quite impressed by the free whisky bar at Design Junction.

In November I made my way to my old neighborhood Notting Hill for an exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art at Themes and variation. My companion wasn’t very impressed but I thought the objects were very good particularly the cape made with a rabble of butterflies.  Then again I am a fan, Themes and variations have been consistently showing and selling chic and unusual contemporary design for almost 30 years.

Venus i pad docking station & Chinese Art and Furniture at Themes and variations Tent London by Scott Eaton

Venus i pad docking station & Chinese Art and Furniture at Themes and variations
Tent London by Scott Eaton

In February I strolled along to Olympia to ART13 which started this year. Maybe London is saturated with Art Fairs but I thought there was a good mix of very buy-able art and photography (often difficult to tell) and at least where the Art is ugly or controversial at least it is generally well executed. Good to see work from Asia Africa and the Middle East as well as the usual Western participants and the venue is not ominously huge so will definitely be going to ART14.

 

ART 13

ART 13

Finally joined the Tate so have been hanging out there fairly regularly both at Tate modern and Tate Britain. It doesn’t matter what time I am there it is always packed – who says we are all philistines in Britain? Best last year William Klein and Daido Moriyama photographs documenting the cities of New York and Tokyo as well as showing William Kleins Graphic paintings.

William Klein

William Klein

 

 

AND FURNITURE

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AND Furniture was established in 2010 by London-based Melanie Nelson with a mandate to source, design, manufacture and promote exceptionally crafted furniture for the collector and design enthusiast.

AND Furniture HK Launch 4

The AND philosophy is rooted in the desire to explore new ideas and approaches, to collaborate with artists, technicians and artisans to produce the best products that are possible.
Melanie has designed chairs for the Royal Academy of Music in London and has also exhibited her furniture creations in Verona, Italy with international design firm Sawaya and Moroni, and has shown at RIBA London.