LONDON DESIGN FAIR - TENT LONDON

DESIGNER INSIGHT: Carmen Machado and Rowenna Mason

london_design_fair

Last week I attended London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery in East London to support Carmen Machado and Rowenna Mason from Cockpit Arts Deptford. Both designers are weavers with a focus on sustainability - Carmen's designs aimed to spread awareness about the overfishing industry, and Rowenna's to celebrate the craftmanship of British weaving heritage. 

Both Carmen and Rowenna studied MA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art, UAL where the course had a focus on creating sustainable textiles. It was here that Rowenna was awarded the Textile Environmental Design (TED) award for Sustainable Design and Craftsmanship in 2015. 

Rowenna's designs are inspired by urban architecture, and she uses natural British wool to weave her brightly coloured creations into vibrant homewares such as cushions and rugs. She was also awarded the Campaign for Wool award 2015 and most recently Silver in the Etsy Awards New Talent category. 

Rowenna's colourful cushions

Rowenna's colourful cushions

One of Carmen's luxury beach chairs

One of Carmen's luxury beach chairs

Carmen Machado

Carmen Machado

Through her love of marine life and animal welfare, Carmen Machado creates awareness of overfishing issues by cleaning up discarded fishing equipment and waste that are a danger to marine inhabitants. By actively cleaning up beaches, she uses the found materials to create her beautiful beach chairs. Carmen has also received the Cockpit Arts Clothworkers' foundation award earlier this year and now has a studio space where she creates her inspiring designs.

Be sure to check out their websites below!

Carmen Machado

Rowenna Mason

The Eden Project Cornwall

Sourcing flowers and plants is an important part of how I get inspiration for Sarah Blythe, so what better place to start than The Eden Project in Cornwall? Environmental sustainability is a main focus of The Eden Project, which is initially what drew me in to visit. They also have some great educational resources on their website where you can learn more about plants, saving water and the Eden Deep Geothermal Energy Project

Biomes at The Eden Project Cornwall

Biomes at The Eden Project Cornwall

The Eden Project houses many different flowers and plants from countries all over the world (more than 70), so it is a great place to gather floral inspiration! On the site there are two biomes - the Mediterranean Biome where the climate was quite dry and the Rainforest Biome where the climate was more humid. 

Inside the Rainforest Biome

Inside the Rainforest Biome

In the Rainforest Biome there are lots of bright coloured flowers - one of my favourites being the Torch Ginger. This tropical plant is grown throughout South East Asia and as well as looking pretty it is used in food dishes such as curries or soups. I loved its waxy-type petals and the light pinkish red tones.

Torch Ginger ( Etlingera elatior)  - perennial herb that grows up to 6 metres tall

Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior) - perennial herb that grows up to 6 metres tall

Outdoors there were some beautiful varieties of dahlias with stunning colours. I believe this dahlia is from the Karma Sangria variety as it appears to have a semi-cactus shape. 

Pink dahlia 

Pink dahlia 

Varieties of flowers outside the Biome entrance

Varieties of flowers outside the Biome entrance

The Eden Project is a very inspirational place so if you enjoy learning about plants or simply being in a floral environment, I would highly recommend a visit!