Herriott Grace

HerriottGrace01 Bowls1



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.


The New Craftsmen

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.


Inspiration: Susanna Bauer

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.


Nic Webb Spoons

I first discovered Nic Webb’s beautiful hand carved wooden spoons at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey earlier this year. Each spoon is hand carved, using traditional tools and techniques. The timber is collected on walks around the British Isles or overseas and worked green, allowing it to twist and move while it seasons, creating wonderful natural surprises.

“When I begin carving, I look for the differing qualities in each piece of timber,” says Nic. He allows the grain and character to influence each design so that every spoon evolves to have its own personality and becomes a showcase for the limitless beauty of wood.

Many of the spoons look as though they have been grown or formed by processes of natural erosion. I particularly like the use of charring to create black hollows within some of the spoons. I also like the refined elegance of the pickle spoons, gently curving like the pieces of wood they came from. In fact, all of Nic’s work is exactly what I look for in contemporary design - a fine example of ethical and sustainable materials being crafted into joyful objects of use.

If you would like to learn how to make spoons yourself, Nic is running several workshops and courses, at the end of this year and beginning of next. For more details, please visit his website.


My Book: Recycled Home

Exciting news! My new book Recycled Home comes out next Monday! The book, published by Laurence King, features instructions for 50 craft projects that anyone can create from recycled materials.  Above is a sneak preview of some of the projects and as you can see, some of them are easy - like the Recycled Storage Tins, which could be completed in half an hour and some are a little more complicated - like the Tribal Teepee. Either way, I hope there is lots of inspiration and practical advice in there for readers!

I am really pleased with how the book has come out, particularly as I wrote most of it when my daughter was a tiny newborn. She was a good little assistant and I have fond memories of carrying her around in a sling, writing, making and photographing the book. Fun times indeed!

If you would like to pre-order a copy you can do so from Amazon. Otherwise, it should be available in all good bookshops from Monday August 13th!