In This Issue
- ‘Brooch Me,Tweed Me’- Harris Tweed and Agate Jewellery
- Highland Gems - Traditional Scottish Crafts
- Stylish Dresser - Christopher Dresser’s futuristic designs
- Monarch of the Modernists - Designer for Caithness – Domhnall O'Broin
Since our first issue of 2011, we’ve travelled the British Isles. We’ve explored the rolling hills and slate-grey landscapes of Wales with artist Kyffin Williams; then on to Ireland – the abandoned mansions certainly caught our readers’ imaginations (and incidentally featured one of my all-time favourite covers); and then of course, England, with our immensely popular vintage issue – back issues are selling like hot-cakes!
And this month, here we are in Scotland, and what a treat we have for all you glass lovers. I’m a huge fan of simple ‘60s glass design, and had little idea that Caithness Glass could tick all the boxes, however, that was until I heard about Domhnall ÓBroin, who drew his inspiration from the colours of the Scottish landscape – warm peaty tones, purple heather, golden sunsets and the grey-blue of lochs. Turn to page 18 for this ‘hot new collecting area’ written by antiques expert Mark Hill.
I have to say our first article this month has really caught the feel of the Scottish highlands – Harris Tweed and agate jewellery. An odd combination you might say, but what could look more ‘vintage’ than a bit of Tweed, coupled with a highly coveted, thousand-year-old gemstone?
Our next article ‘Highland Gems’, takes a look at Scotland’s highly sought-after, traditional crafts, from spongeware pottery to tinker’s pegs. Chris Proudlove asks specialist Scottish Folk Art dealer, Becca Gaudie, for a few tips.
Showing my ignorance, I never knew that Christopher Dresser was a Glaswegian! Looking at the designs of his teapots back in 1879, my best guess would have been that he was dropped off from another planet! Over the years we’ve covered numerous designers from various periods, but none, in my opinion, have ever come close to Dresser’s futuristic designs – this man was certainly in a league of his own, as you’ll see on page 13.
'Brooch me, Tweed me'
Cutting edge fashion still embraces a desire to reminisce about what our grandparents were wearing, with high street imitations of classic styles ranging from the Savile Row suit, tailor-made shorts and a trend of knitwear – inspired from our unique British heritage. For years, celebrated fashion brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton have sourced rich textiles and fabrics from Scotland, like cashmere and Harris Tweed, incorporating them into their garments and accessories. Last year saw a record increase in sales in both quilted and waxed Barbour jackets as well as a sudden reappearance of Harris Tweed.
More recently, designers Ralph Lauren have embarked on a photo shoot using wonderful Scottish agate brooches on their tweeds and knitwear... chic menswear with that extra vintage spin! So, get ahead of the high street with a bit of Harris Tweed, coupled with a highly coveted, thousand-year-old gemstone. Article continues in the magazine...
Before 19th century industrialisation brought mass-produced consumer goods within the reach of everyone, communities relied on artisan craftsmen for their household tools and decorative knick knacks. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Scotland which has a long history of traditional crafts that are highly sought after today, particularly among tourist collectors looking to find objects related to the auld country. I consulted Perthshire dealer Becca Gauldie to find out more. Article continues in the magazine...
Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) worked for a large and varied number of manufacturers. He was an exact contemporary of his fellow design reformers William Morris and E.W. Godwin, but he differed from them in that instead of specialising in the traditional fields for architect-designers of interior decoration and furniture design, he designed for the new breed of industrially based manufacturers.
During his working life Dresser was employed by scores of different clients not only in Britain but also in France, Japan and the USA. Both as a designer and as an art adviser for the textile, carpet and wallpaper industries, he helped to bring modernity and order to their artistic direction. Article continues in the magazine...
Monarch of the Modernists
I’m pretty sure that the names Whitefriars and Geoffrey Baxter mean something to you. Probably even Ronald Stennett-Willson and King’s Lynn Glass, and Frank Thrower and Dartington Glass. But how about Domhnall ÓBroin? There, that got you! Well, he produced similarly cutting edge designs at the same time as these ‘greats’, even preceding some of them, and they’re about to become a hot new collecting area. Article continues in the magazine...