Month: December, 2010

Folsky love-in: Julia Smith Ceramics

I recently found ceramicist Julia Smith on Folksy.com, who hand throws and decorates these delicately illustrated cups, bowls and jugs in her studio in Ardesier, near Inverness.

While the Christmas present hunt is on, and all everyone wants to do is hit the shops, splash some cash and tick it off the list, giving something British made, by hand and with a whole lot of love has the edge for sure.

Clockwise from top: Small Swallows cup, £12; Butterfly mug, £16; Flying Mallard cup, £15; Bird & Chicks bowl, £12; Small Blue Flowery bowl, £14 and Hills bowl, £16 – all by Julia Smith Ceramics at Folksy.com

DIY Christmas decorations: it’s not too late

And baubles always break.

Crochet Christmas decoration patterns (stocking, star, red robin and tree), £1.50, The Tree Bridge at Folksy.com

5 rugs that will make you smile

Manish hexagon rug, £650, Conran


Confetti rug, from £99, Woven Ground

Missoni Liuwa rug, £1,954, Amara

Xian butterfly rug, from £95, the Rugseller

Summer estella multi stripe rug, £475, Heal’s

Teapots with a twist

Zoe, whose appetite for quirky London design shops knows no bounds, tells us what’s top of her list this week:

If you are near London’s Portobello Market, I strongly recommend you take some time to visit Golborne Road at the top. Apart from the choice of delicious Middle Eastern food stalls and Portuguese coffee and cake shops (freshly made custard tarts abound), there are some great furniture shops too. Tucked away amongst the local shops, you’ll find Universal Suppliers, an upmarket fashion-cum-homes treasure trove that specialises in the surreal and fantastical.

This is where I first saw products by Tina Tsang, namely her Blaue Blume tea-set range, which comprises sugar bowl, tea cup, cake stand and milk jug – all with what appears to be a miniature lady fallen inside. A lot of her designs have an almost fairytale twist: for this, she is top of our list – especially as Christmas looms and we indulge in a healthy dose of fantasy:

Blaue Blume Tea Pot, £65, undergrowthdesign.com

Blaue Blume Sugar Bath, £37.00, undergrowthdesign.com

Blaue Blume tea cup , £37.00, undergrowthdesign.com

Anthropologie also stock a collection of 3 teapots from the American designer Jono Pandolfi. They are constructed from what look like cups turned on their side and inside out, fittingly named the Willy-Nilly Teapots.

Willy-Nilly Teapot, Honeycomb, £148; Willy-Nilly Teapot, Button, £248; Willy-Nilly Teapot, Polkadot £148, Anthropologie

We asked Jono how he came up with the design:

‘My inspiration? These are really meant to be statement teapots, sculptural vessels that could have a ritual use. The decoration was based partly on antique chinese ceramics. I wanted the material and surface decoration to feel really old while keeping the forms really modern and different’.

They are certainly that.