Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Exhibition: Heatherwick Studio in the Victoria and Albert Museum

Living in the great city of London means that there is always something to see and do. The frustration when you know this, and you don't find the time to go see and do all these things, can be huge. But this Monday I managed to make some time and my best friend and I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum to go see Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary. The Studio is probably best known to the general public for their design of the UK pavilion for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the Seed Cathedral (image below). 

When entering the exhibition I said: "but this is only one room!" In the end, I am glad it was only one room, as we managed to just about get through all the content 5 minutes before closing time, leaving me just enough time to purchase the book before the shops were cordoned off by the staff waiting for us to leave!

So you guessed it, I was very impressed with the exhibition! Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures, but here's a video link from the V&A channel:

I was familiar with a few of the projects, having seen them in various design magazines, but there was a lot that was new to me, in particular projects from Thomas Heatherwick's student days. It looks like over time the studio has moved more and more into the field of architecture and urban design. One of the aspects I enjoyed most about this exhibition was that there was a real focus on concept and thought process, on materiality and craftsmanship, through experimental models and images. On occasion I liked the concept better than the end product!  

And as I am not able to show any photographs, you have until the 30th of September to visit and see for yourself! 

As for my next visit: Barbican here I come!! Bauhaus: Art as life will be there until August (though I hope to visit in the next couple of weeks).

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Learning new techniques: macrame!

My friend at work is a very talented girl in many areas. She's a brilliant painter, makes bags with applique fabric, beads and sequins, and also she makes incredible macrame necklaces and bracelets. The other day she made me a necklace (see below) for my birthday. She made it in a hurry and, no offence to her and I absolutely love the necklace, her other necklaces are much more complicated and intricate. 

She had brought her other necklaces to work before, after we'd been talking about handmade work, and I thought it was about time that I asked her to teach me how to do macrame! So last night I went to her house, where she has boxes full of thread, beads, stones and more, it was like a treasure trove! She uses a waxed synthetic thread, which was a bit hard for me to get used to, being used to knitting with natural materials. I chose a burgundy red thread to work with, because, if I was actually successful in making a decent looking item, it would match a dress that I've not worn in a while. I've only just starting experimenting with the basics, but here's my first attempts. The thread is a lot darker than displayed in the pictures.