Introducing Silk Twill & Hopsack Ties

You will probably have noticed a slight sharpening up with the clothes we are currently choosing – the psychologists tell us its connected to the more serious discussions we face in the world. Whatever the reason, I felt it was definitely time to bring out a range of silk ties.

Kiss Kiss graphic silk tie designed by Niki Fulton

Kiss Kiss Silk Tie

I have to confess I did get rather obsessed when it came to choosing a silk base cloth but after several months of testing and trialling different weights of silk with various different printing methods, I finally found a beautiful weighty silk twill to print on. As I’m sure you will know, twill is recognised by its diagonal parallel ridges on its surface – which when made up into a tie sit horizontally (ties are cut on a 45 degree angle). When the knot is tied the silk catches the light beautifully and gives the print an added depth of colour.

Lovewell Silk Tie designed by Niki Fulton

Lovewell Silk Tie

So here is where it gets a little obsessive. I really like silk hopsack too. Hopsack (named after the woven sacks they collected hops in) is a plain, ‘basket’ weave. I love it. It has an understated look about it, has a stunning surface texture, very fine in this case, and is woven but is also sharp. It’s the perfect cloth if you like linen but need something a notch sharper. So the ties are available in a choice of twill or hopsack…the difference is very subtle between the two cloths, the choice is really only there in case you, like me, 聽have a ‘thing’ about either hopsack or twill 馃檪

Breton Signal Silk Tie designed by Niki Fulton

Breton Signal Silk Tie

There are several new designs plus some of the old favourites have made the silk collection. They are also now available with a standard 8cm or a narrower 7cm blade. Most of the new prints have been inspired by iconic buildings which are all described on the聽shop聽but I would love to tell you a little about ‘Freedom’ print just now.

Freedom Silk Tie designed by Niki Fulton

Freedom Silk Tie

Freedom print was inspired by Freedom Tower, in Miami which was built in 1925 and designed by architects Schultze and Weaver. The building was originally constructed as a printing facility for the Miami News but later became an administrative centre for Cuban refugees in the 1960’s.聽It is聽聽is now a prominent museum and聽cultural聽centre. The printing facility appealed to me as the tie of course is printed. The design has a slight retro Cuban vibe to it, a nod to the refugee centre, and great to think of a building which has successfully reinvented itself throughout history as ties have done too.聽

The colour palette is Biscayne Sea blue, bronzed sand to reflect the tower’s render and nearby beach and the deep brown of Cuban cigars. The linear shape and the rectangles represent the many windows of the tall tower.聽

Several of the new prints have a connection to Miami as I was commissioned by聽Dr.Stacey Hunter聽of聽Local Heroes Design聽to create new work which would encompass a feeling of contemporary luxury聽within a 聽colour palette from Miami’s Art Deco period. It was an exciting commission which triggered a whole series of new work which lends itself to being printed onto silk.

‘Kiss Kiss’ print (first photo) has no real connection to Miami though, I shall tell you about that print next time.

Thanks for reading and if anyone has been to Freedom Tower in Miami I would love to hear about it!

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‘Paisley Make’ with Scotland Re:Designed for Paisley 2021

Did you know that the town of Paisley聽is entering the bid to become聽UK City of Culture 2021? Despite having lived in Scotland all my life, I had never, until yesterday ever been to Paisley – only ninety minutes from my home in Edinburgh (and around聽fifteen聽minutes by train from Glasgow). And this is what I found. Pretty impressive, yes?

Paisley

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall.

You will however, like me, be familiar with聽Paisley Pattern聽and as Dan Coughlan, Paisley Pattern Shawl Curator at Paisley Museum said, “during the 18th and 19th centuries, Paisley was one of the leading towns in Europe for the manufacture of high quality fashion fabrics…and much of the legacy of this great textile tradition is now preserved in Paisley Museum“. In fact the museums textile collection holds “what is thought to be the largest collection of shawls in the world, together with many pattern books containing an enormous variety of original Paisley designs”.聽

Cotton Street

Street names reflecting Paisley’s textile heritage

So, a town famed for its patterns (not to mention the incredible history associated with its Abbey which was founded in 1163) asked聽Scotland Re:Designed聽to curate an exhibition showcasing聽contemporary Scottish textile designers as part of聽Paisley Make聽, a festival celebrating its pattern heritage under the umbrella of the聽Paisley 2021聽bid.

When I was invited聽to be part of the showcase, I have to admit, I was聽more than聽delighted. I immediately researched聽the history of Paisley Pattern and looked at several examples of the print. I could see that over the decades, Paisley Pattern had inspired swathes of聽designers and there are literally millions of examples from across the world – lush and supremely detailed forms of Paisley to simplified and psychedelic examples聽from the 1960’s to contemporary companies such a Sweden’s聽Happy Socks聽who are still celebrating the lure of the Paisley Pattern.

Paisley

Paisley Knits for the Cloisters at Paisley Abbey by Dyane Lanez of Tout Petit

If you know the kind of patterns I normally design, you will know that Paisley Print is miles from my usual stable. However, a pattern has emerged from this whole Paisley project聽and is currently being printed by the聽BeFabBeCreative聽sisters in Leith, Edinburgh. Warning though…you will not look at it and say, ‘Paisley Print’!聽 – it is a聽heavily distilled聽unifiedspace聽version of Paisley Pattern – images coming soon 馃檪

So back to Paisley Make and the pattern showcase which runs聽until Saturday 3rd September in Paisley Abbey. Work from聽twenty seven聽designers is on display and there are talks by speakers such as the enviable and effervescent Penny Martin, Editor in Chief of聽The Gentlewoman聽magazine.

bloggers

Fashion bloggers at Paisley Make

Penny Martin

Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman magazine talking about the magazine’s creation.

Fennel Tangle

unifiedspace stand at Paisley Make. Picture of ‘Fennel Tangle’ wool scarf.

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unifiedspace at Paisley Make

So if you would like to see some beautiful Paisley lace from the legendary Scottish lace mill聽MYB Textiles聽or a very contemporary collection from聽emerging designers from聽The Fashion Foundry聽or indeed patterns and prints from any of the other twenty seven聽designers, I would urge you to take a trip into the magnificent Paisley Abbey before 4pm this聽Saturday – I certainly wish I hadn’t left it this long before visiting the Abbey.

Good luck聽Paisley 2021聽in your bid and thank you for asking聽me to show my prints in such an important textile town.

The Fruitmarket Gallery Design Market

If you are in Edinburgh this weekend it would be great to see you at聽The Fruitmarket Gallery聽Design Market which will be running from Friday 10th, (Preview 5-9pm) Saturday 11th, 10am-6pm & Sunday 12th, 10am-5pm. Around 40 independent makers and designers will be showing and selling their work.

silk scarf

‘Love You’ Silk Scarf

 

I’ve been experimenting with some new prints and will be聽assessing which designs to take forward to the聽Craft Scotland聽Summer Show during the聽聽Edinburgh Fringe Festival聽so I will have several promotions on over the weekend to hopefully encourage feedback.

silk scarf

‘Eden’ Silk Scarf

Most designers bring out a cohesive ‘collection’ each season but because of the way I work, my prints are fairly discordant – you have been warned!

The way it works for me, perhaps you are the same (please let me know, I’m really interested) is that when I am least expecting it (usually when I am about to drop off to sleep), a fully formed image falls聽into my mind. The next day I go about recreating this image – an image that seemed to appear from nowhere. The聽‘mysterious’ image however, can easily be traced back directly to an experience. So as we all have many聽experiences in life, the ‘pot’ to draw from is pretty extensive (hence the diverse prints). So that’s why, for me anyway, it’s imperative to get out as much as possible and explore because every time I聽do, my mind is busy in the background drawing from the experience and creating the next print.

So that’s the process or perhaps an explanation.

silk scarf

‘Breton Signal’ Silk Scarf. Photo by Abi Radford

 

The prints are unisex (can a pattern be gender specific anyway?!) so you will see prints on both silk scarves and on linen neck ties.

linen tie

‘Eden’ Linen Tie

I will also be bringing a new product – long wool and cashmere open weave scarves – only a few – so if you would like one, please be quick.

wool scarf

‘Fennel Tangle’ Wool & Cashmere Scarf. Photo by Abi Radford.

Another new product is the wool ‘Charger Pouch’. Ok, yes, I know, that’s a bit specific and they can be used for other purposes too – coins, lens caps, lipstick, jewellery bag – but I find them especially useful while travelling. Having a brightly coloured soft wool pouch聽to pack my phone charger in (I can’t be the only one who fuddles about in my bag searching for said charger, can I?) is of great comfort. They are designed for the minimalist at heart who craves a block of tactile colour and has a very guilty secret pleasure (sssh, I won’t spill the beans on you but they have a patterned lining – linen off cuts from the ties to be precise, we don’t like to waste at unifiedspace).

wool and linen pouches

Wool (and linen) Charger Pouches

So new prints, new products and many other designers all housed in the聽Fruitmarket Gallery聽which of course is also home to聽Milk Cafe聽. It would be great to see you this weekend! (10th – 12th June 2016)

If you have a sec, can you tell me what your favourite colour to wear is please?

 

 

 

Relaxing With a Felt Pen

A single聽pen has been the catalyst to a series of聽new designs. It all happened a few months ago while walking down Queens Street in Glasgow.聽pen drawing

I聽stopped at a shop window full聽of聽paper and carefully聽stacked pens and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils wafted towards me – irresistible.

Pencil Sharpens

I had stumbled across聽Cass Art聽, a shop similar in feel to an Apple store, but instead of selling tech, it’s full of art materials. I’m quite sure it could coax聽anyone into becoming聽artistically inclined.

At this point I must tell you I am a total sucker for felt pens. I adore coloured pencils too (so long as they聽are聽waxy 聽–聽Caran D’Ashe 聽being聽my favourite). I could literally spend hours choosing a聽unison pastel聽from a drawer (in that choosing a patisserie聽sort of way) but there is something about felt pens that strikes聽straight to my core. It’s a childhood thing. I’m sure it will be the same for many of you.

You probably know that felt pens were invented in the 1960’s by聽Yukio Horie. He worked聽for the Tokyo Stationary Company聽at the time but went on to set up his own company聽Pentel聽– as in a ‘pen can tell a story’. I feel so indebted to this man and his invention – can聽you imagine a childhood without felt pens? I would like to go to Tokyo one day and buy a Pentel right there in Pentel HQ.

I had a treasured pack of 5 – blue, green, red, yellow and black. My friend however had a聽long transparent floppy case with a white popper stud. It contained聽24 heart stopping colours. She was good at sharing. Of course we had our favourite well used colours and when they ran dry, we would spit on their tips to squeeze a little more ‘juice’ from them. When that failed, we would pull them apart and squeeze the cuboid felty innards to coax some more fabulous colour out onto our drawings. Inevitably our afternoons ended with us sporting聽gaudy coloured lips and fingers. Knowing now what chemicals these early pens contained, it’s a miracle we are both still here. Oddly enough the only parental instruction I recall was not to get the pen on my friends white round dining table, felt pen lips apparently no big deal…

I could go on for pages about felt pens and childhood – the joy of putting them away聽and聽in which order to slot them on聽their plastic cradles, the design of the lids (which for no particular reason I聽suctioned onto the end of my tongue rather a lot) and the ones that came with artificial smells like apple and bubble gum, again, rather a worry with hindsight :/

Anyway, fast forward 2016.

I bought a聽Tombow聽聽pen and armed with a lot of blank paper, I literally ‘let go’ of any plans and allowed the pen tell a story. That’s harder than you think by the way. I asked a friend to do the same and she said she felt shy and inhibited and the pen bumped and crashed in a stumbly line and stopped. I however found the exercise liberating (I was alone, that helps) and couldn’t stop making lines. It fascinated me watching what shapes were forming in front of my eyes. I was producing nice shapes without any conscious thought. My hand had its own mind and I was the audience. I got through a lot of paper that week.

Have you heard of the stress busting exercise of going to an empty Scottish Glen (or any other vast empty space) and shouting at the top of your voice? Just allowing yourself to make whatever noise you want but聽as loud as possible? That’s pretty hard too – it really takes courage, believe me. Well, my pen drawings gave me a聽similar sensation. It’s all about letting go. But lucky for me, I found the shapes rather pleasing and after working on them more cognitively, I have created a new set of designs which will soon appear as silk scarves – no spoilers, I will show you them when they are finished 馃檪

Do you have felt pen memories?聽

 

 

 

 

 

New Designs and Their Subliminal Roots

I’ve just finished some new designs and was asked ‘why pears?’ The answer is easy, the simple organic shape of a pear is beautiful and a perfect form to celebrate a simple line of colour. No fuss, no interference, just a very pleasing shape. I hope you agree.

Red Pear Mug

Pear Mug in Red designed by Niki Fulton.

 

But it has just dawned on me that I was heavily influenced. I’ve been living underneath an enormous pear tree for the last twenty years. It produces clouds of white blossom in Spring which literally stops people in their tracks.

 

pear blossom

By September hundreds of small green pears fall from a great height (thirty metres or so) smashing into pulp on impact with the tarmac below attracting rabbles (had to look that collective noun up) of butterflies. The pears are small and hard and gather such a speed that it actually becomes quite treacherous reaching my front door!

Pear Mug Green

Pear Mug in Green. Design by Niki Fulton

 

So walking underneath a pear tree every day seems to have聽seeped into my psyche and appeared in my designs. So that’s where it came from.

The pears have also made their way onto Fife Linen which can be ordered by the metre from聽Printed & Co聽, an exciting new venture which fully launches on the thirteenth of February at the聽Kalopsia Collective Gallery聽with a taster on show this Friday at the launch of The Facility聽.

Pear Drops, tan

‘Pear Drops, Tan’ on Fife Linen. Design by Niki Fulton. Available from Printed & Co.

Pear Drops

Pear Drops on Fife Linen. Design by Niki Fulton. Available from Printed & Co.

 

So realising quite how influenced by our surroundings we obviously are, I had a closer look at a design I’m currently working on called ‘Vaki Rocks‘.

This was a purely spontaneous random design… or so I thought.

I have a stunning piece of Lewisian Gneiss in my bathroom. In my eyes it’s one of the most beautiful things I have and the fact that the rock is over three billion years old and has therefore been around for longer than any animal, it’s pretty mind blowing. I look at my ‘random’ design and there I spot聽my beloved rock. I certainly didn’t set out to paint a rock, I just went with the flow.

Gneiss & linen

Chair & rock

Vaki Rock Collage

‘Vaki Rocks’ print on Fife Linen design by Niki Fulton

This revelation also backs up my theory that children’s toys should be beautiful/interesting objects because between the ages of 0-5 our brains are even more receptive and children often handle toys for hours and hours, turning them over in their hands, feeling them, and viewing them from every possible angle. I doubt great lumps of mass produced plastic are ever going to have such long term positive influences on us as a beautifully carved timber toy or a piece of nature found on a walk. Timber toys last for generations and need not be an expensive option as they can be small, beautiful, robust and more importantly, kept. Surely if our surroundings are having such a big impact on us we should pay attention to what we use, even if it’s an every day object. This is one reason why good design is so important. But over to you,

Can you spot聽any subliminal influences in your creations?

 

 

Thank you, Hulduf贸lk

Finding the right hole for your peg may take a while. Kids are asked to make ‘career choices’ when selecting their subjects at school. Do they really know what they want to be at that age? Great if they do but I think it’s important for people to know that it’s alright to make career changes throughout life.

Letterpress Christmas Cards

Letterpress Christmas Cards

Perhaps I’m just trying to justify my own wandering career path but I bet I’m not the only one who has discovered what they want to be later in life. I think every job you have is important whether you like it or not because you always learn something – it’s like walking through life wearing a sticky cape – some experiences stick 聽and others just tumble off until finally the cape feels complete and you feel ready and informed to make the right decisions.

I’ve always worked for small family organisations because I like seeing processes from the start to the finish and enjoy floating from menial tasks to important pitches and although my jobs have all been quite varied, one fact remains absolutely constant – there are always visible people in an organisation and a whole team of ‘hidden people’ supporting them. They often go unnoticed to the end user but they are an integral part of every company.

I work for myself now and that constant layer of hidden people are more important than ever. You may look at my products all finished and ready to buy but other people have helped me reach that finishing line. I always create all of the design work and decide what I want to make but there is of course a process. Take the mugs for instance. I don’t have a kiln to fire the design onto the china, or the skills to do so. That is done by a skilled craftsman, Graham, in the very heart of Britain’s potteries, Stoke- on -Trent. My textile designs are printed here in Edinburgh by the immensely helpful sisters Solii and Z枚e from the print bureau聽BeFabBeCreative. I have had a beautiful tailored blouse made from my ‘Fennel Tangle’ print by seamstress and poet, Claire from聽Make Me a Frock聽and no, I don’t have the skills to make bespoke ties – I can design fabric that I want to see as a tie but without Nina and Adam from聽Kalopsia Collective聽who constantly encourage and mentor me as well as sew my ties beautifully, I would not have ties in the shops. And in case you wondered, no, I don’t have a Letterpress machine in my studio, but Euginia聽a聽superbly helpful and talented Siberian living in Edinburgh does and she presses my cards for me. I’ve talked about Hosanna Yau聽before, my friend from Hong Kong who is most certainly the best logo designer I have ever come across and she gifted me the ‘niki’ logo. Her mantra is ‘using the least to represent the most’ – perfect.

Linen ties, Made in Edinburgh.

Linen ties, Made in Edinburgh.

 

Letterpress Card Made in Edinburgh.

Letterpress Card Made in Edinburgh.

 

'Tjornin' Mug named after the lake in Reykjavik.

‘Tjornin’ Mug named after the lake in Reykjavik.

 

 

 

Twigs Linen Union Tea towel - fresh new shoots

Twigs Linen Union Tea towel – fresh new shoots

'Toffee Apples' ' printed onto Fife Linen in Edinburgh

‘Toffee Apples’ printed onto Fife Linen in Edinburgh

So, I now have a range of products that are stocked by very supportive independent shops,聽The Turpentine聽in London,聽Persora聽in Worcester,聽Concrete Wardrobe聽and聽Red Door Gallery聽in Edinburgh, Kerachers in St.Andrews, Wooly Blue in Newcastle and聽Teasel and Tweed聽in Aberdeen and several more which I will tell you about early in 2015.

But back to my title and the聽Hulduf贸lk.聽I find my home country of Scotland massively inspiring from the busy colourful urban ports to the utter wilderness of the Western Isles but I have to mention the huge influence Iceland has had on me over the years. I have been several times at varying times of the year and the land, its people and its culture touches me every time and so I hope a little part of Iceland somehow appears in my designs. As this post is about all the people who help me and allow me to work in an area that I very definitely want to stay in, (Surface Design), I think I can borrow the word ‘hulduf贸lk’ from Icelandic folklore – the word for the elves that stay hidden but have such enormous powers and should always be respected.

Thank you Hulduf贸lk, you know who you are.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Thank you!

 

Botanic Lights, Edinburgh

Lots going on at unifiedspace聽right now but first I want to share an experience I had at the聽Royal Botanic Gardens聽with you.

Portal

Portal

Entering the Botanics聽in the dark is unusual enough – Edinburgh residents are accustomed to spending many hours wondering around the fabulous grounds but always during the hours of daylight so it immediately felt really special even be allowed in after dark. We were to enter via a Portal in the famous beech hedge where lighting artist聽Malcolm Innes聽and colleague Euan Winton wanted us to “leave the city behind, and begin to consider our relationship with nature”.

Galaxy of Bits

Galaxy of Bits

Passing twisted bark and dappled shade we found,聽The Galaxy of Bits, an installation representing the vast amount of scientific work that is undertaken in the Botanics.

Butterfly Ball

Butterfly Ball

Down at the pond, the many different environments available to flora and fauna at the Botanics are celebrated with a spectacular sweeping light show which dances across the land and the water to music created by jazz musician聽Haftor Medboe聽(who I was lucky enough to hear at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival and am now fairly obsessed by his album Places and Spaces)聽where it would not overly surprise you if you saw wildlife performing balletic poses.

P1010189

Back on the path, normally so familiar but now strangely disorientating we are attracted by random red tubes which lie like lava leaking from the ground.

red lights

On up to Inverleith House which is transformed by聽William Morris聽inspired projections on its normally formal and sober stone facade tricking us into thinking we are now inside a great ballroom rather than outside on a cold Edinburgh night. It plays with the idea that despite wanting to shelter inside buildings, humans very often surround themselves with plant imagery on wallpaper and paintings and have ‘house plants’ in our homes as we crave that connection to nature. 聽Inside Out, instead, 聽brings the inside, outside.

Inside Out

Inside Out

 

P1010212

Having had our visual feast, we leave the garden via the Pool of Serenity, a quiet, calm and truly beautiful installation.

Pool of Serenity

 

So as our hours of daylight diminish, I think the Royal Botanic Gardens and Malcolm Innes have truly made our Winter darkness a celebration and I for one very much hope they run this magical event again next year.

 

 

When We are Deprived of Colour…

If you’ve read my blog before (thank you), you will know that I am a big fan of Iceland – 聽see聽Colour At The Edge聽and聽Inspiration From Reykjavik. I was over again last week and something dawned on me. What do you do if your natural surroundings starve you of colour? Of course, I know there is colour in Iceland – the hot lava and the bubbling mineral pools (below) but much of the country is covered in barren lava fields (second image). Add to this the long dark Winters and the mild but often grey Summers and you soon discover that there are a lot of natural grey tones to this magical island.

 

A beautiful blue hot pool

A beautiful blue hot pool

Lava fields near Keflavik

Lava fields near Keflavik

So, a lot, even perhaps an excess of grey around.

What happens to compensate for the lack of colour is this…

Interiors BURST with colour

Interiors BURST with colour

and you paint your homes like this…

You Paint Your Homes BRIGHT

You Paint Your Homes BRIGHT

and your computer power cables get some treatment too:

power cables

and your road signs and bollards look like this:

Reykjavik streets

and one of your most celebrated Icelandic artists, Erro, 聽paints in this palette:

Icelandic Pop Artist Erro

Icelandic Pop Artist Erro

and shops look like this:

A Shop in Reykjavik

A Shop in Reykjavik

Ok, I think you can see what I’m saying. Starve the human psyche of colour and soon we will find our way to compensate.

Reykjavik Rooftops

Reykjavik Rooftops

But something else struck me on this visit. At first I thought the parks and small gardens looked rather untended. They were full of weeds, dandelions, buttercups and cow parsley mainly, growing out of every crack or gutter. But remember, it’s pretty difficult for anything to grow here on the hard lava rocks and the tricky climate. If you had a barren patch of land and a bright yellow flower appeared, you are hardly going to go and pull it out are you? They absolutely embrace little plants that we in Britain get excited about pulling out. I quite honestly see my garden at home with new light, and it’s not just an excuse to avoid weeding, it’s about appreciating life form.

Buttercups next to Tjornin

Buttercups next to Tjornin

 

And one last thing. Artist and product designer Almar Alfredsson, has just designed a set of wall plaques to commemorate Iceland’s 70 years of Independence this year. It’s a replica of a copper plate from 1944 showing the head of聽J贸n Sigur冒sson (1811-1879) whose birthday, the 17th of June was chosen to be Iceland’s annual National Holiday 聽in recognition of his work on independence. And of course, why are these plaques so attractive and collectible? – he designed them in several bright colours of course!

 

Jon Plaques by Almar Alfredsson

Jon Plaques by Almar Alfredsson

 

 

 

International Colour Day, 2014

Today is聽International Colour Day –聽nicely chosen to coincide with the Equinox. 聽Around this date, “night and day are equally long which symbolically juxtaposing the complementary nature of dark and light, of shadow and illumination, that are expressed in all human cultures“, Colour Group GB

pencil shards

To celebrate, here are some of my photos where I think colour speaks for itself. I know, I know, white isn’t a colour but I view it as utterly magnanimous because instead of absorbing or snatching wavelengths, it reflects and shares them straight back again thus becoming the most pure, peaceful and generous ‘colour’ in my mind…

White Peace

White Peace

Beautiful, Elegant Green

Beautiful, Elegant Green

Warning, Agressive Red

Warning, Agressive Red

Endlessly Creative Blue

Endlessly Creative Blue

Ray of Yellow Hope

Ray of Yellow Hope

For more colour inspiration have a look at the 聽Dulux Colour Awards 2014聽which is run in partnership with聽The Guardian聽–聽definitely worth a look.

What colour are you feeling like today and how will you celebrate today, March 21st 2014, International Colour Day?聽

New Homes for Vintage Designs

We chuck more, we buy more, and we keep making more, me (unifiedspace) included. The planet is literally awash with homewares. This poses a real dilemma for someone like me who loves designing and producing new ranges, so, in an attempt to rebalance my own input into this mass overindulgence, can I introduce you to,聽Vintage Nik’s

Having recently been searching for a 1960’s, 聽Norwegian coffee cup to add to a depleted collection I had inherited I was blown over when I came across a brilliant vintage site called聽Danish Mood. The knowledgable art historian running the site聽had the cup I was searching for. I duly bought it and completed my set. Easy as that. The ‘orphaned’ cup in Denmark now has a new home and future here in Edinburgh. Satisfying is not a powerful enough word to describe how enriching the experience was and it set me thinking. I wanted to find homes for more unwanted beautiful designs. Perhaps this is how ’empty nest syndrome’ is going to manifest itself with me (eldest leaving home later this summer) but whatever the reason, I can assure you it’s soothing my guilt about producing new ranges and feeding my desire to nurture.

I am specifically looking out for mid century British and Scandinavian homewares, both utilitarian and decorative, purely because that’s what I like. I’ve found some great treasures already including a prized聽Stig Lindberg聽saucier, a 1942聽Royal Copenhagen聽vase, some Phoenix glass, and several stunning pieces of ceramics from Britains finest potteries. I’m only looking for pieces in near perfect condition that I would be happy to find space for in my own house. And it’s聽staggering looking at the quality of the pieces, especially the bone china 聽produced in Stoke on Trent in the 1950’s. Really wonderful.

So I look forward to producing more of my own work (lots of textiles on the way) and finding homes for unwanted, thoughtfully designed objects from the past. A good balance I think.

Do you collect vintage designs and if so what is your favourite era or style?