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Characterful new work, talented new makers

We’re always happy to discover intriguing new talent in craft and design, and our latest recruits to the Design-Nation portfolio are full of ideas and innovations, charm and cleverness. We welcome seven new full members whose practices span glass, jewellery, leather and also no less than three ceramicists.

Louise Heighes launched her decorative interiors brand last year, bringing skills and materials knowledge from years spent working with luxury fashion brands. In her Margate atelier she creates beautiful hand-cut leather panels for interiors, inspired by geometric patterns that occur in nature.

In East Sussex jeweller Caroline Reynolds also brings a love of the natural world and careful handmaking processes such as hand sawing and stone setting to her charming feminine designs in silver and 18 ct gold. Our second new jeweller is Toby Cotterill. Toby is based in West Yorkshire, using traditional silvermithing forming processes to make lively sculptural pieces.

In the five years since she completed her masters at the RCA, London-based Michèle Oberdieck has continued to develop her dramatic hand-blown and cut glass forms, informed by a previous and successful career in textile design and deep knowledge of the Swedish Graal technique. Her forms are influenced by 20th century artists, and her love of the interactions between tonal colour and form.

Internationally renowned maker and teacher Caroline Winn works some of the time in London, alternating this with time at her Cornwall studio. Her sculptural forms deploy multiple materials – earthenware, porcelain and paper-clay – and are often destined for outdoor locations such as gardens and sculpture parks. We’re delighted to welcome Joanna Terry to full membership, having enjoyed seeing her practice and techniques grow since she joined our graduate programme two year ago. Joanna has been steadily developing her range, not just inspired by nature but actually cast directly from plants she spots on her rambles in the East Sussex countryside.

Our seventh new member Lowri Davies is based at Fire Works Clay Studios in Cardiff, in an exciting artisan-oriented mews that’s been recently adorned by a colourful mural she designed and project managed to completion. Lowri’s passion for colour is very evident in her distinctive and highly ornamental tableware, which also bears her artistic imprint through the quirky line drawings she creates.

Alongside these ‘full’ members are two more Graduate members. Emma Westmacott was awarded her MA in Ceramic Design with distinction from Staffordshire University last year. Emma is drawn to brutalist-inspired forms for her award-winning vessels and is based in Cheshire. Jo Hague is based in Cornwall, making three dimensional pieces for interiors from waste and organic materials that she sources sustainably. She developed her eco-textile based practice while studying at Falmouth University.

Their addition to our portfolio means we’ve announced almost 60 new members this year, including no less than seven award winners from our partnership working. We’re bound to see more of these talented makers very soon, so do keep an eye on our news feeds.

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Liz Cooper


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