Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sparkly Christmas London

Lynn and Gillian
Had a lovely day in London yesterday with my friends Gillian, bead artist extraordinaire, Lynn, who owns a little slice of beading heaven in Dorset, and Jackie who is a gifted bookbinder and lover of all things craft.
We met at the V&A for a visit to the Power of Making exhibition before it closes. Fascinating and inspiring, and definitely thought provoking, not least in the selection of crafts and media. We had a lively debate about it over lunch in the divinely tiled dining rooms. In contrast to some of the sleek computer generated modernist objects we'd just been looking at, the comfortingly familiar font and the soft yet achingly lovely colour palettes of this completely tiled space were kind of reassuring in one way, yet suddenly and overwhelmingly fussy in another, definitely experiencing visual overload!!
Totally tiled tea rooms
Next, we spend several happy hours dribbling over the glass in the newly laid out Jewellery Gallery. With some of the exhibits comes that lovely feeling of greeting an old and much loved friend, often seen in favourite books, but so much more beautiful in real life. With others, the brain tick ticking away over shapes and how to redevelop them using just threads and beads instead of heat and metal and hammers... oooh!!! more experience overload, and still the bookstore to browse!
I treated myself to the book of the exhibition so I can read up some more about the thinking behind it.
Then there was just time to pop up the road to look at the Christmas windows created for Harrods by the Swarovski team. Best seen on a dark and rainy evening, the Enchanted Forest theme is lavish, monocrome, slightly strange and attracting lots of admiration from the passing crowds of shoppers. You can watch the beautiful and otherworldly film created for Harrods online by Anryk Bregman of unit9 here. Or listen to Anryk talk about it here. Or you can see my pocket camera snapshots of the bits I liked best.
moonlight and filigree, window detail 

dove window detail
pretty sparkly lovely things
Definitely a brilliant day. From the serious business of craft and technology embracing new media; tempered by the reassuring evidence that true craftsmanship is breathtakingly beautiful and timeless in the jewellery gallery; to the awesome power of brand to conjure and inspire a creative and completely ephemeral world. Best of all, to see it all in the company of good friends.
We're planning to hop on a train to Paris next to visit the Musee D'Orsey...
 now that will be a grand day out.