Herriott Grace sell beautiful handmade wooden objects, porcelain tableware, kitchen linens and accessories. They are a father and daughter team and I love the unlikely story of how they began working together.
Nikole and Lance both live in Canada 3400 kilometers apart: his workshop is in Victoria, British Columbia, while her studio is in Toronto, Ontario. When Nikole first made her home more than halfway across the country from her father, they started to send packages to each other. In some of the packages, Lance included his own hand carved spoons. Nikole loved them and knew they were special. One day she thought that others might appreciate her father’s work, so she asked if he would ever want to share his pieces. He took a while to think about it and after some convincing, agreed to her plan, “but only with people that understood and cared about the time and effort spent on each piece.” She told him, “Leave it to me, I know just the sort.” And with that, Herriott Grace was born.
Donna Wilson’s designs always bring a smile to my face. They are fun, bright and more often than not, fuzzy. I particularly like her knitted creatures, so I was excited to see that she has a new kids craft book out called Donna Wilson’s Creative Creatures, which gives step-by-step instructions on how to make lots of fun toys and games. My favourite projects include Big Ted and Wilbur’s Mitten Kitten, Charlie’s banana bunting and Olive Owl’s Kite.
The book is also presented in a really fun way as each project is photographed as a jolly diorama, so even if (like me) you don’t have a lot of time to make things, it’s still a good book to look at.
Donna has also started a new kids blog called Birdie and Bear, where you can follow her adventures with her beautiful new baby boy.
The New Craftsmen is an agency dedicated to promoting the work of British artisans who create high-end products which tell an interesting story. This includes furniture by Gareth Neal, textiles by Ptolemy Mann and rare sheepskins from the Isle of Auskerry.
The sheepskins are from a tiny, remote island in Scotland’s Orkney archipelago, where the makers and their flock of North Ronaldsay sheep are the only residents. There are only three flocks of this rare breed left in Orkney and they are most notable for their unusual and unique caramel, silver, chocolate and slate colourings, as well as their diet of seaweed. The skins are softened with rainwater and washed in huge sinks which were originally used for lighthouse keepers’s laundry before being dried in a mangle and hung on driftwood frames. Only a limited number are produced each year and they are now available via The New Craftsmen.
For this week only, the agency has a pop up shop in Mayfair, London, and plans for the future include a possible permanent physical space as well as an online shop.
These delicate crocheted leaves are by German artist Susanna Bauer, whose work combines stones, leaves and wood with traditional craft techniques. Her work is painstakingly intricate and encourages the viewer to study the natural forms just as much as her embellishment.
Sometimes when an artist manipulates a natural object as the basis of their work, I can’t help but think it would have been better left in its original state. In this case though, the complementary forms of the leaves and the sinuous thread combine to make something which truly exceeds the sum of its parts.