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We're Off To Milan! See You Again On April 23rd!

Hello friends of cattledogs! I am heading to Milan first thing in the morning, and a few of your cattledogs columnists will be there too for Design Week and the . In fact, I'm working alongside Mary Middleton and Agata Dimmich at the fair on Thursday to cover a bunch of Italian brands, so follow my Instagram to see more . I'll also be working on a special assignment along with some smaller projects, too. It promises to be a very productive week!

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There's a lot happening, and I can't wait. The most exciting part though is to see my friends and colleagues and mingle in a beautiful city like Milan that is so vibrant and full of sunshine, great food, and nice people.

Have a fantastic week everyone! You can catch me blogging here again with my team on 23rd of April with lots to share from Milan, but in the meantime, I'll be sharing my inspirations from Milan through Instagram Stories and Insta photos all week, so please follow me to be a part of the fun.

Love,

Holly

12 Favorite Makers From Craft Council's Collect London 2018

Collect, the ’s annual fair, was established to showcase the premium end of contemporary craft, from museum-quality pieces in ceramic, glass and wood to conceptual installations. Collect filled the entire for its fourteenth edition, where the Crafts Council gathered 40 of the most prestigious galleries together to show more than 400 artists, from 13 countries around the world. It was a celebration of making, in all its disciplines. And talking of museum-quality, the were actually at the show purchasing for their collections.

When the weather is cold, don’t we all just want to cozy up and look at something pretty? Today I have 12 favorite finds from my recent visit to Collect, and I can't wait to share them with you. This is  and I’m back on cattledogs today with more inspiration for you from the UK.

I’m not much of a crafter myself, I think it must have skipped a generation as my Mom and my Grandmother were avid knitters and makers. Not me though, I’m quite hopeless.

A recent Craft Council survey found that 25-44 is the fastest growing age range of amateur crafters, from knitting clubs to spoon carving. It's not just a homegrown phenomenon though as there is a rise in professional designer-makers too. Maybe it’s a response to our increasingly digital lives. Maybe it is the need to do something physical with our hands. Whatever is at the heart of its increase, I think it’s great to see so much talent and creativity on display.

The sheer breadth of work is impressive at Collect, and there was so much that I really liked. To keep it simple, I’m going to share the 12 pieces that captured my attention.

1//  This year, designer Jay Osgerby and the Crafts Council team selected 14 makers from across the craft spectrum for Collect Open. One of those selected was who created their largest installations to date. Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth who make up Forest + Found work with wood, natural pigments and textiles to produce sculptural and wall-based works. Their installation The Between explored the way humans interact with made objects.

Forest + Found on cattledogs

2//  I first saw the work of at the Future Heritage exhibition at in 2016. Cristina Vezzini specializes in handcrafted ceramics, and Stan Chen is a glassblower. They bring both disciplines together to make incredible objects, with my favorites being their lighting pieces. A highlight of the booth.

  Vezzini & Chen Sand & Water and Acropora  - Photo: Michael Harvey

Vezzini & Chen Sand & Water and Acropora  - Photo: Michael Harvey

Vezzini Chen Lighting

3//  , represented by the , is a highly regarded artist working in glass. His artworks can be found in museum collections in Japan, Germany and the USA. What I loved about his textured pieces was the overwhelming desire to touch them. Full of bumps and curves and reminiscent of colorful alien-like sea creatures, they had a bold yet playful feel to them. I imagine they’d look fantastic styled in a little tabletop vignette.

 Desire by Louis Thompson represented by London Glassblowing and Vessel Gallery. Photography: Jake Curtis. Art direction: Hana Al Sayed.   Via Zetteler.

Desire by Louis Thompson represented by London Glassblowing and Vessel Gallery. Photography: Jake Curtis. Art direction: Hana Al Sayed.

4//  Another watery, colorful and otherworldly example of gorgeous glass work. Glass artist (also with the ) uses two different processes that distort the layers of color within the blown glass components, giving the illusion of ink dispersed in water. This was one of the pieces that I would happily have walked away from the Fair with, if money were no object, of course.

4. Tim Rawlinson_Dispersion_London Glassblowing Gallery_collect 2018_ESPhotography.jpg
  Photos left/right: Ester Segarra

Photos left/right: Ester Segarra

5//  is inspired by a love of flowers, particularly orchids. Her sculptural flower collections are breathtaking in their detail, particularly when displayed in a large group as they were on the stand of who represent her.

  Photo: Ester Segarra

Photo: Ester Segarra

6//  Jo Taylor’s colorful Pride & Joy series was inspired by the Pride badge worn by someone close to her. Jo’s work made me smile as soon as I saw it because it was vivid, bold and saturated in color. The relationship between the six colors is fascinating but ultimately happy. Jo is part of the Young Master program at .

Jo Taylor
Jo Taylor

7 // exhibited a collection of furniture and vessels for Collect Open, using both digital techniques and traditional woodworking methods to explore "what lies beneath" the materials.

  Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

8 //  Seeing a “domestic” table scaled to 2.5m long and 1.1m tall is slightly disconcerting. Table by metal-smith  is an installation of 20 unique tabletop vessels including a wine bottle, a jug, and water glasses, crafted from a mixture of patinated copper, brass, nickel silver and silver. There is something so familiar and routine about it, yet utterly throws you off balance. Beautiful and discombobulating at the same time.

  Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

9 //  The showcased the work of the nominees and winners from the Young Masters Art Prize. Showing a variety of work from artists such as Matt Smith, Alissa Volshkova, Alice Couttoupes and Tessa Eastman. Drawing inspiration from the Old Masters either through technique, imagery or subject these artists are creating unique contemporary work.

  Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

  Matt Smith, Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

Matt Smith, Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

10//  As one of the finalists for the LOEWE Craft Prize, represented by was on my must-see list at Collect. Inspired by tree bark, peeling paint and aging materials, this inspiration is very apparent in her Post-Surface series. The texture gives a sense of natural degradation and age, which is fascinating especially combined with a warm pink color. Irina fires her pieces 5-8 times until the layers peel to get the desired effect.

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  Photo Left/Right: Royal College of Art

Photo Left/Right: Royal College of Art

11 //  Represented by Egyptian-born British ceramicist signature muted palette pulled me in to take a closer look at his Petrified Forest installation. Then I spotted his voluminous Undulating Vessels that he is so well known for, and they were sitting on top of the Galvin Brothers Battalion Spook Wood... Wow!

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12 //  An exercise in wood-turning, is a capsule collection of furniture made from hand-turned spindles in their East Yorkshire workshop and can be made to order in various shapes and sizes. Spook Wood is represented by .

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So what do you think? Do any of these capture your imagination? Would you want to make a little space for them in your home?

These are future antiques after all. Sometimes I find at shows like this, it isn’t necessarily about coveting the piece directly but about being inspired by the shape, material or color and wanting to bring those elements into our homes. Hopefully see you again soon with my finds from an exhibition.

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10 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

Hello everyone. I was recently at in Herning, Denmark for the first time and so I wanted to tell you all about it because it was just great! I was invited as a special guest to give the opening speech along with two lectures, one on trends for 2018 and the other on the unexpected health benefits of good design. I had a great time and I will definitely return again someday, for sure. At Formland, you can expect to see the latest trends and tendencies within Scandinavian design today and in the near future. The fair has been around for 34 years with a total of over 67 fairs so far. I can see why people attend this fair, it was certainly special.

Formland 2018

There was so much about it that I really liked, but I'll break it down in 10 bite-size points:

1. GREAT OVERALL SIZE

It was large enough to feel fun to explore, but small enough to not feel exhausted, overwhelmed or like you had to spend hours digging to get to the pearls - it was quite easy to find beautiful things, fast.

2. INSPIRING TREND PRESENTATION

It had, by far, one of the best trend presentations that I've ever seen at a fair. This was a big shock, I wasn't expecting it, but it's the truth. It was so well organized, huge, beautiful and also educational and valuable. I could have spent half a day in the trend zones created by the talented duo . I would return to this fair JUST for the trend zones by these two ladies - they were really THAT good.

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formland_trend_zone.JPG

3. CURATED HALL = LOVE

I loved the curated hall by Danish interiors celebrity, Mads Arlien-Søborg. This was the hall I stayed in the most during day two. There wasn't one booth in the entire hall that I disliked, everything was gorgeous and so well presented. I really like the idea of having a tastemaker curate an entire hall at a fair. Why aren't more fairs doing this? I want to curate a hall at a fair - would be exciting!

 Lamps from  Oi Soi Oi

Lamps from

4. FOOD HALL LOVE

I really liked the food hall. It was great to have a good hall to begin with, because you could walk around and sample things and meet people and the vibe was really open and friendly. I also liked knowing that when I ran out of energy, I could go to the food hall and find chocolate or something to munch on.

5. FAIR FOOD WAS GREAT

Speaking of food from point 4, the food at the actual fair was delicious. Each hall had it's own cafe and some, a few different things like a cafe and a food truck, or a food truck and a non-alcoholic bar... In any case, it was so well done and everything was fresh and delicious. I had a very healthy avocado salad loaded with other delicious things and it gave me the perfect energy boost. Most of the time, fairs have terrible food or very unhealthy things - Formland thought of everything! They even had a MICHELIN STAR Asian food truck - HELLO. Have you ever seen THAT on offer at a fair?

9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

6. FRIENDLY EXHIBITORS

This was such a highlight for me personally. I loved how friendly the exhibitors were, and how they invited people who were using Instagram or bloggers to take as many photos as desired and they even told people to rearrange products and style things as they wish for photos, it was quite amazing really - there wasn't a single booth with a "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" sign, everyone was open and invited and encouraged photography, conversation, styling, anything!

7. NEW TALENTS SECTION

I really liked the new talents section, it was so lovely to meet the many exhibitors there who were eager to show us what they are producing. Their passion was very contagious and I liked strolling around there meeting everyone. I got the sense that all of the exhibitors were really trying to help each other too. Many times, a stand would suggest another exhibitor there I should check out, or would walk me over to their friend who was selling this or that product. There was a great community spirit at this fair but especially in the New Talents Section and in the Curated Hall by Mads Arlien-Søborg.

  Boas Grafik

8. TASTEMAKERS/INFLUENCERS GALLERY

This was the coolest presentation I've seen yet at a fair - an entire hallway dedicated to tastemakers and influencers whom the fair invited to take part in showcasing favorites from the fair. They had everyone from the Editor-in-Chief of , Charlotte Ravnholt, to others considered tastemakers in Denmark and also me, as an online influencer and trend expert. This was such a great use of an otherwise boring hallway between halls! Instead, it was filled with things we'd handpicked - was great!

9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018
9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

9. POP UP FLOWER SHOP

This was another unexpected treat - a local florist, Bloom, on site! And after they make an arrangement for you, they kept it all day with your name on it so you could return at the end of the fair and have something inspiring to bring home with you. This was great.

10. MEET GREAT PEOPLE

What I didn't expect was that a smaller, more focused fair like Formland gives you an incredible chance to MEET great people. I really connected with people - exhibitors, magazine editors, sales agents, trend experts, all of them. I also got to connect with those whom I know already and care about, like my new friend Stefan from in Stockholm. Here were are below clowning around a bit after we were both interviewed on camera by the fair.

Stefan Nillson and Holly Becker
Stefan and Holly

Will I go back to this fair? ABSOLUTELY. I loved their new format, how they've taken the fair to new heights, and I felt the fair was inspiring and felt fresh.

Thank you Formland for having me as your opening speaker (a mini clip of me speaking with an audience of 300) and for being so kind in welcoming me to give two trend lectures, too. I loved being there and will always remember it as a great time and one of the friendliest fairs I've ever been too.

(Photographs: iPhone 6)

 

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

Hi cattledogs readers, I’m and I am delighted to be part of cattledogs team as a foreign correspondent. For the trade shows Holly cannot attend, I’ll be bringing you news from these shows and locations across Europe. Holly and I both have young boys, which makes it impossible to be on the road attending every fair out there, so she wanted to hire on someone like me who can visit fairs she can't, because cattledogs is more and more becoming a source for readers to find the latest trends in Europe - and so together with Holly, we want to continue bringing those to you.

I sometimes refer to myself as a trade show veteran, and I’m not referring to my age! I’ve been reporting and trend hunting for more than 10 years at trade shows across Europe, with Paris being the first I ever visited outside of the UK.  I do, in fact love interiors fairs. There is a thrill I get from spotting something new, unique or particularly well crafted. I’m a fan of color, form and function and get very excited if I come across all three in a product. I love meeting the faces behind the brands and hearing them share their passion for the products they create and produce. Trade shows are also remarkable places to network and geek out with fellow like-minded design lovers.

Just last week I was at Maison & Objet in Paris for their January edition of the trade show. If you’ve never heard of it, or been, it’s BIG. With over 3,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest international home wares, furniture, accessories, and lighting in 8 halls. It’s easy to clock up double-digit miles walking through the aisles.  Having a plan and knowing where to look to find the kind of products you’re after is essential at trade shows this large, but I always like to go a little off-piste to find new things.

The design influences I think we are going to be seeing more of in 2018 are; Rich earthy and berry colors, more velvet, curved shapes, cane work and rattan and monochrome being the new minimalism.  So with that in mind, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite finds from this edition of the show. Some of them you may well have spotted already on social media and others will be filling the pages of magazines by this summer.  

1. CC-Tapis

is an Italian company, which produces contemporary hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs which are created in Nepal by expert Tibetan artisans.  Known for it’s contemporary design and fashion-forward color they’ve collaborated with design luminaries such as Patricia Urquiola as well as many up and coming designers. They always deliver a knockout stand that’s like a warm hug of color.  The newest releases for 2018 are predominately soft toned representing the new neutrals, which are extremely calming and utterly feminine. I’m a big fan of the “face” as it reminds me of the Miller Goodman Faces blocks.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

2. Casalto

is referred to as the Interior Jeweler by its mastermind, Architect Eric Willemart. That alone was enough to stop me in my tracks and ask a few questions. It’s more like a mix and match configuration game, than a traditional home furniture and accessory line. Made up of 27 individual pieces shaped like cones, cylinders and disks they can be combined in a number of ways to make unique pieces for your home – tables, lights and vases for example. What was so impressive was that each element is handcrafted and it’s so striking in black and white with metallic accents. Completely new to me and a really fun concept.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

3. Rina Menardi

Italian ceramicist is always a must visit stand, as her vast collection of elegantly shaped and colored ceramics are all inspired by nature. The color palette is always so beautiful, the baked stoneware incredibly tactile and the shapes are incredibly versatile. I’d love to own one but with a small child, I might have to wait a few years. 

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

4. WOUD

I have a soft spot for Danish brand , mostly because it’s so easy to live with. Holly has written about them here from her visit to IMM last year, and she had used their chairs in the cattledogs booth that she designed for the fair. Each time I see them at a trade show they are never shy with color and seem to be masters at color blocking. They excel at wall hanging storage/shelves but it’s their cute little wooden animals that without a doubt melt my heart.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

5. Eno Studio

always creates at least one item that catches my magpie eye, when I’m stomping through the halls of Maison & Objet. This spring edition was no exception. Not only are they clever with color; they also have a fine tuned radar for alluring finishes – think warm metals and lush jewel toned velvet.  I loved the abundance of deep red hues and dusky pinks and the Vega pouf in the brass finish was definitely on my lust list.

6. Ay Illuminate

It was impossible to miss the organic, ethnic-inspired trend of cane, wicker, rattan, straw, and raffia that has developed from the Boho and 70’s trend across the halls of Maison & Objet. Dutch based were one of my favorites; inspired by nature and different cultures, they use natural waste materials to produce their collections. Their Buri range of pendants and baskets are made of palm leaves utilizing local handicraft expertise in Asia.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

7. Ham

Jo Ham is the creator of , which was born in 2011. A design led homewares and paper goods range following the incredibly cute life of a contented rabbit on his daily adventures.  The range of prints, mugs, cards, wall stickers and pins have featured in Paris’ Collette store and in Vitra’s advertising campaign for Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Corniches wall shelves. I’ll also happily admit to having a Ham bunny myself.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

8 Petite Friture

There are understandable a lot of French companies that exhibit at Maison & Objet, one that is particularly playful and gathering a bit of a following is . I really liked their new black and white wallpaper by illustrator Lisa Laubreaux, which to me evoked the artist Keith Haring.

MO18_petite friture_photo by Mary Midlleton2.jpg
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

9. Sklo

designs and manufactures hand blown Czech glass. With a gorgeous range of lighting and accessories, they unveiled new colors of their WRAP collection. These hand-blown tubes are turned into effortless knots by Sklo craftsman and look amazing on top of a stack of books or styled in a table vignette. The new opaque colors of celadon green and apricot and the new clear version turquoise were my favorites.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

10. Vitra

Not strictly at Maison & Objet as they were showing in the center of Paris, but had an accessories showcase at their new store which was impeccable styled. The peach wall with Alexander Girard Metal wall reliefs was an absolute delight and it’s a color I think we’ll be seeing more of in 2018. From the new collection I was particularly taken with the new Trays and High Tray by Jasper Morrison simply because a shot of color is always a good thing in my book.

 Vitra Accessories Collection Spring Summer 2018 Showroom Paris Installation Maison Objet January 2018
 Vitra Accessories Collection Spring Summer 2018 Showroom Paris Installation Maison Objet January 2018

What do you think? Any favorites? I came back with lots of inspiration and a “little” list of things that I covet. See you soon again with fair coverage and other finds, nice to be here! - Mary.

(Text/Photos: Mary Middleton for cattledogs)