It’s great to be back in Clerkenwell and even more exciting to be there the day after the brand new Elizabeth Line opened. So, of course I had to explore the new whizzy concourse at Farringdon Station, hop onto one of the the sleek, swift, silent new trains and take a modest ride to Tottenham Court Road before returning to Clerkenwell to start my tour of Clerkenwell Design Week. There was lots to see in this fascinating part of London. I’m always drawn to paper in any form and was delighted to see these charming paper lampshades at Pad Home. They’re made from layers of corrugated card and look really cool with their curvy, organic shapes and they shed a beautiful light too.
I was also taken by the little Wick Candlesticks which are LED lights which you can charge up and will keep going for around 100 hours. Given the current crisis over energy I think we may well be returning to a time of darkened homes when we will just have a ‘candle’ to light you to bed rather than spending a fortune on keeping the entire house in a blaze of light all night long.
I popped into EH Smith Architectural Solutions. The showroom in St John Street is really all about bricks, which was fascinating to see, but in the window was a great display made entirely from laser cut corrugated cardboard. It depicts Humpty Dumpty and is full of intricately cut and very playful freestanding figures which I loved.
And here are some examples of the fabulous bricks on display at EH Smith. You come away thinking that no architect should ignore the creative, practical and decorative potential of bricks. They really don’t have to be boring, they can be colourful, shiny, patterned, indented or just quirky and still do a perfectly good job keeping the occupants of a building secure.
Then it was over to Fabric (yes, the nightclub- but in daytime) to check out The House of Upcycling. Again, I’m very interested in paper and how you can use it to transform old or everyday items. I joined a masterclass/workshop with Kata from Studio Twenty Seven and learned a bit about decoupage. Kata used to have a job in the city but gave it up to pursue something more creative and rewarding. She sources old furniture and turns it into smart contemporary pieces which are much sought after. She also runs workshops for professionals and anyone with an interest in upcycling. Yes, I have an interest, and certainly in using paper in an imaginative way. A small group of us learned how to successfully glue paper to board and give it a coat of varnish. Great to have information on the materials to use and the techniques to develop.
CDW is on until end of play tomorrow, 26th May and there’s so much to see, do and learn about. Oh, and you can check out London’s newest train line too!