SPOTTED at New Designers 2017

BY Manchester Craft and Design Centre


Visiting New Designers, in London is always a very exciting time. This year we spotted so much amazing talent on display. Five makers stood out from the crowd as our ‘spotted’ selection for 2017.

Qingyang Shen

Silversmith and Jeweller — Sheffield Hallam University

Hand raised silver ‘spiritual vessels’

“My work is a conversation between myself and the people that encounter my pieces. This communication begins in the workshop, with a hammer in my hand at the forge. This progresses into the hands of someone I don’t yet know, holding and using the vessel I’ve created. This future connection is always on my mind when I’m creating, and I am constantly striving for perfection in the perfect marriage of form and function. The cues and markers that I leave continue my conversation with the user.”

His hand-raised vessels stood out, and we were instantly drawn to them. They were designed with the user in mind, thinking about how each vessel would feel to drink from. One in particular had a different ‘mouth shape’ on each edge – designed so that people of all shapes and sizes could enjoy sharing the same cup.”

Find out more about Qingyang’s works here.

Natalie McComb

Woven textiles — Birmingham City University

Natalie specialises in constructed textiles, her work showcases an experimental approach to design.

“The physical creation of fabric and my admiration for the technicality of the process is fundamentally the reason behind my love of constructed textiles.”

There was a lot of really strong weaving graduates this year at New Designers, and Natalie was one of them. Her sketchbooks, evidence of research and design process particularly impressed us. Natalie’s work stood out for having a particular focus on men’s tailoring, and her collection was inspired by her passion for second hand books. Fascinated in particular by the detailed waxed and worn textures of old books, Natalie produced a striking and cohesive collection of classic woven pieces that cried out to be touched.

Find out more about Natalie’s works here.

Monika Tabur

Ceramicist — Limerick School of Art and Design

Porcelain inspired by fungal growth

Monika’s pieces were laid out as a place setting at the end of a table – with knives and forks, plates and cups. But on closer inspection the vessels had a crystallised texture – inspired by fungal growth. We love it when craft meets its match with a different discipline – in this case science – Monika achieved this with a beautifully considered and aesthetically pleasing colour palate.

A special mention should go to the whole Limerick School of Art and Design stand, which stood out to us as one of the best that we saw at New Designers. The quality of work and individuality of students on display was great. It was the first time that Limerick had exhibited at New Designers, and we really are  looking forward to seeing what their students produce next year.

Aillie Anderson

Silversmith and Jeweller — Glasgow School of Art

We were particularly impressed by Aillie’s “trio of textured sterling silver and jesmonite bowls’. The bowls were inspired by Glasgow’s modern and industrial architecture. The combination of textured metal with smooth jesmonite was beautiful. She also had a collection of bold sculptural jewellery pieces which were very impressive. We saw lots of graduates working with jesmonite this year – all in different ways – but the pairing with silver in Aillie’s case was something unique and appealing.”

Find out more about Aillie’s works here.

Sable and Soul

Textile designer — Heriot Watt University

“A collection of pared down & hand crafted printed & dyed linens”

Hayley’s work was beautifully considered, made, and displayed. Her stand showed a cohesive collection, and really stood out to us. She spoke passionately about her hand-dyed linens, which were stunning. We wanted them all!

Find out more about Hayley’s works here.