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Exceptional Craft for Exceptional Times: Design-Nation returns to Collect

After showing at Collect’s inaugural and second editions, some fifteen years ago, UK-based membership portfolio Design-Nation is delighted to return in 2021 with a curated selection of new and exceptional contemporary pieces focused primarily on metal, textile and wood.

The Design-Nation network includes some of the most acclaimed and innovative designers and craftspeople across the UK. The portfolio’s high standards and integrity of design and making are ensured through selection by an independent expert panel which meets up to four times a year. For Collect 2021 Design-Nation will present twenty impressive works by twenty makers, half of whom are new to the event. All of the selected makers demonstrate absolute dedication, amazing creativity and the levels of technical expertise, haptic knowledge and the deep understanding of their chosen materials that visitors to this prestigious event have come to expect.

Makers in textile, fibre and paper comprise almost half the showcase, exhibiting wall-hung artworks, architectural interventions, luxury textiles for the home and upholstered furniture. Techniques include embroidery from Darren Ball*, Emily Jo Gibbs and Jacky Puzey*, folding by Fung + Bedford, printing by Michelle House, and weaving by Margo Selby, Maria Sigma* and Laura Thomas.

Work in a range of metals will include jewellery from Kate Bajic* and Ella Fearon-Low*, silversmithed vessels from Holly Suzanna Clifford* and Alex O’Connor, and unique artworks by Jacky Oliver, Kim Sutherland* and Hannah White*, whose work crosses the boundaries of textile and metal, using plating and electro-forming. Wooden furniture and decorative work is presented by Angus Ross and Christine Meyer-Eaglestone* and leather worker Janine Partington will show the next iteration of her art. Design-Nation also presents impressive ceramics by modern masters Linda Bloomfield and Sasha Wardell*.

Director Clare Edwards says. “Design-Nation has a long history and renowned track record of commitment to contemporary craft and design, and through our work we give much needed professional support to a highly diverse group of makers across the UK. In troubled times the beauty of the exceptional handmade object is held in more esteem than ever: we feel sure that our selection of  exhibiting artists will have beautiful and striking works to please everyone.”

*Denotes makers who are new to Collect.

Collect 2021: International Art Fair for Contemporary Art and Design will be presented virtually by Craft Council on 24 February – 2 March 2021.

The Design-Nation Collect 2021 Showcase will also run online concurrently at (exact launch date to be announced in February).

Notes on Images:

Evernia Cuff, 9 ct gold, Kate Bajic, 2020

Song Pouring Vessel and Two Cups, sterling silver, Alex O’Connor, 2020

Vexillum IV, Margo Selby, mixed yarns (Tencel, silk, cotton wool), 2020

Other images available on request.

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Liz Cooper


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