Saturday, 28 September 2013

a visit to...salts mill

salts mill, saltaire, west yorkshire...

When we visit our lovely friends 'up North,' our favourite place to visit is Salts Mill in the quaint village of Saltaire, near Bradford, West Yorkshire. The grade II listed former textile mill, was completed in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt, with workers being brought in by train each day until their purpose built housing, Saltaire Village, was completed in 1868. Built to provide impoverished textile workers and their families from surrounding villages with a safe and sanitised working environment, the mill became known as 'the palace of industry.'

Today, Saltaire is still a thriving community and was designated a Unesco World Heritage in 2001. Guided walks and tours can be taken throughout the year, or you can cycle along the Leeds to Liverpool canal which runs through the village. The Mill itself hosts fascinating events and exhibitions all year round,  but permanently on display is a selection of iconic work by Bradford's very own David Hockney.

You'll also find an antiques centre, cafe, restaurant (both with excellent food) and a fantastic bookshop, which I could happily spend hours in every time, with a brilliantly curated selection of titles in every area of the arts, from interiors, design, gardening and cookery, to photography, graphics and kids.

Whilst reading up on a brief history of Saltaire and the Mill itself, the most poignant discovery for me was learning about the entrepreneur who founded Salts Mill as we know it today, back in 1987. Jonathan Silver, was at school in Bradford in the 1960's, when he was given a project that truly captured his imagination; working on the school magazine. David Hockney, a fellow Bradford Grammar student from a decade earlier, was gaining notoriety in the art world and Jonathan approached him to design the cover of his magazine. And so began their friendship...

Two decades later, Jonathan and his family had built up a successful chain of clothing stores, sold everything and then travelled the world together for 18 months. When they returned to Bradford in 1987, true to his entrepreneurial nature, Jonathan set about looking for a new project. He found Salts Mill, bought it and turned it into the 'vibrant place of art and commerce,' that we know and love today. He and David Hockney agreed it would be the perfect showcase for Hockney's work and so the 1853 Gallery was born.

Sadly, in 1997, aged just 47, Jonathan Silver died of cancer. What a legacy he has left to the unassuming, but picture- perfect little village of Saltaire...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Featuring....Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely House Collection....

After a busy week on the London Design Trail,
 I wanted to share with you some striking retro shots
 that I actually came across during the London 2012 Design Festival.
 They feature the stunning designs from the
mid-century inspired 'Orla Kiely' House Range.

Orla turned her childhood obsession with patterns
 in nature to her earliest designs,
 relishing their ability to be turned into
 highly stylized, regimented pattern repeats.
 Her family home undoubtedly played
 the biggest influential factor in the designs she produces today,
 with her earliest memories stemming from their
 olive-green Formica cupboards and orange gloss ceilings!

I personally love Orla's use of colour
 and her formulaic pattern repeats of simple, graphic designs.
 She has created an immediately recognizable brand identity
 by finding her niche, and building up a portfolio of designs true to herself,
 her work never straying far from it's original formula.

 Her iconic imagery is being applied to
 an ever increasing range of interior accessories,
 including furniture, kitchen and tableware,
 bedlinen, soft furnishings, wallpaper and stationery,
 proving Britain's on-going love affair for all things mid century! 

A featured post with John Lewis

Friday, 20 September 2013

a visit design festival

London Design Festival 2013...

Despite being thrilled with my so-called new found photography skills in  my previous post, I appear to have forgotten everything I was taught overnight. I'm afraid my pictures from Design Junction were a wash out, so I resorted back to my phone for the opening day at Tent yesterday.

The good news, however, is that I finally pressed the video presentation button in Picasa and here's the result of the phone snaps I took! For a detailed schedule of events, hop over to the LDF website below.  Meanwhile, enjoy the mini movie! ( I will be adding captions and credits asap, so bear with me. If you see your own picture without a credit, get in touch)

This is the final weekend for this year's London Design Festival, which runs until the 22nd September.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A visit to....

HomeBarn  for the JMP photography workshop...part 1

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend
 a one day photography workshop with Jay Mountford
 at my favourite vintage emporium, Home Barn.
Along with a bunch of great ladies, 
Jay introduced us to the notion of hiring a lens
-'try before you buy.'
Brilliant-thanks to Lens Fettish,
 we were all able to experiment with various lenses
 and camera models, finding out which ones 
suited our individual needs best.

As I've mentioned before, we got our Canon Eos 400D
just over 11 years ago and so great was my fear of using it, 
it stayed in its box until I sarted this little blog in March last year.
Its been a pure case of trial and error ever since,
 trying to teach myself along the way. 

For the first time since getting the camera, I finally feel 
more confident about using it. There are a few more things
 I'd love to try, especially movies with the kids and of course
 our model doesn't have that facility, 
so I'm now saving very hard for a Canon EOS 7D !!  

But for now-yipee, what a revelation!
 Apparently, shooting on AV (whatever that really means)
  is a big no-no,
 so Jay showed us the tricks of the trade
 and for the first time ever,
 I was able to take photos at the barn
 without a tripod and, shock, horror, in focus!
  I'm so pleased. 

Here is the first little batch for you to look at-
a few corners from the barn that appealed to me.
 Let me know what you think-
I like the American fabric swatch and 
little white horse with the vintage gas can.
 Any favourites for you?

I'll post the remaining shots soon.
 Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

launch...graham & brown

hemingway design for graham & brown... 

Look what landed in my mail box on Friday-and that's snail mail by the way, not e-mail. We still all love getting mail of the paper variety don't we?!

Following the highly successful Vintage Collection in 2011, one of the UK's leading wallpaper producers, the family run  firm Graham & Brown have collaborated once again with Hemingway Design for Vintage 2.
Both based in Blackburn, Lancashire, the Hemingway design team, spearheaded by Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway and Graham & Brown wallpapers have now joined forces on exclusive projects for over 10 years. Their admiration for eachother is evident, both with a strong pride in their heritage and commitment to innovative, progressive and inspirational design.

Graham & Brown have worked tirelessly over the years to promote the use of wallpaper, making it once again cool to use in our homes. I styled for Graham & Brown and Camron many years ago, for one of their early ranges and it's been a pleasure to watch them grow from strength to strength.

Above and below: Vintage 2 press release from Camron PR