Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cultured - Me? I've been to Tent London.

I'm back at Damside at last, with aching paws, mucky whiskers and a smudge of I don't know what on my right ear. Damside seems to have survived the rain again - only a few inches of water on the workshop floor this time - but it does makes the sawdust all clarty underfoot.

Anyway, you'll no doubt be wanting to know about our adventures;

We were only the 24 hours late setting off - our Anthony was still making up the new shelving system at midnight on Sunday, and Nel busy wrapping up all the chairs and tables. Still managed to forget a few though  - I told her the orange ones were in the gallery, but would she listen? 

We made it to Shoreditch through the emissions zone and the congestion charge (sounds a bit like summat from Dr Who to me). That nice Nadine from Tent ops (who were pretty damned good this year) had sorted us a good delivery slot so we unloaded and went off for a walk. Didn't think much of the graffiti they had down there. And say what you like, but those London streets are definitely harder on the paws than good Yorkshire setts (that's square cobbles to anyone not from Yorkshire).

Anthony spent the next 2 days putting up the stand - with help from Les the Sparky. Cable ties everywhere there was. I tell you, a whippet was afraid to sit down for fear of where he'd find one. Must admit to being impressed by Nel - that CABLE is the easiest thing in the world to put together - I could do it with three paws tied behind my back and a cat between my teeth. Anyway, it was "oh Anthony, I cant pull them tight enough, I've broken a finger nail, you do it much better than me" until he suggested she might want to go shopping instead... Respect to the woman!

Anyway, it didnt look too bad in the end, if I say so myself. Of course I arranged the finishing touches - our Anthony'd be lost without me you know.

The next four days were, if you'll excuse the expression, barking. Lovely Laura Wellington came down to show off her Hulas, and Sam Shendi's acrylic prints went down a storm too.
But the star of our own little show was definitely the CABLE chair. Our Anthony hit on the idea of handing out cable ties (thats zip ties to our transatlantic friends). "whats that for" bemused visitors would ask "ha ha! its what we hold our furniture together with" says Nel - and lured them in for a 5 minute chat about the wonders of cable tie furniture. You have to hand it to her, that woman can't half talk. 

But it wasn't all about us,  and in between guarding the London Transport Museum concepts we'd done, and rounding up people to write on our boards (to make Cable chairs for the tent london competition, of course)  I had time for a quick scamper around to meet some of the other nice designers too. Here's some of my favourites:
A cabinet by Peter Stern which  I love and
has a look about her of our Anthonys Edna 3
Curiosa and Curiosa - gorgeous
lights and great cocktails
amazingly talented hungarian
woodworker Laszlo Tompa

Not a clue what it is but I do
like it. And the Amitrani
Italian boys were very
very lovely too
Brilliant last year, brilliant
this year. the sort of sofa a
whippet would be proud to
be seen curled up on

The dashing Mr Murray and
his clocks. And chair.
And lamps. And fruitbowls
But no cupcakes, 
Gareth Bartowskis amazing
stuff. She wants this too. 
Gorgeous tinplate and
gesso from Kate Noakes
Nel seriously wants

We did like this lady and her
 lamps - think they'd look 
right nice at Damside 
one day - Sarah Turner

Ooh, this one did tickle me
from Melody Rose

The lovely Mr Zoltan Lubloy
made this - he must have
been the most charming and chatty 
 man at tent 2012. Our Nel was
lucky enough to get it as a 
present from her old school
friend Helen

Magical shiny squeezy
colourful stuff from Taiwan
 for a whippet to play with in
his more puppyish moments

Mamikims ingenious table
with gorgeous bits to add
on and take off yourself. Walnut.
Had to resist the temptation
for a chew on the corner
of one of them. Bad Whippet
Magical peacocks from
Sian Elin. Nel wants
these too. All over the
house apparently.

And the prize for best portrait
of me goes to the beautiful 
(and ever so slightly dotty) 
 Eliza at  Baines and Fricker

And here's the lovely Mr Will Liu from Taiwan who's enthusiasm for CABLE shone through the language barrier. Cant wait to see the video clip Nel did for them -a yorkshire lass talking about cable ties on a taiwanese website. Priceless. In the back you can just see our stand neighbour Alison Milner, packing up her handsome pieces of porcelain, and with whom we shared many a joke, customer, coffee, raised eyebrow and weary sigh. 

Now, I dare say I know as much about good design as your average whippet in the street (but probably not as much as the smart young hound Rufus who lives with Mr and Mrs Tent). But you know, this stuff here, along with Mini Moderns, Melanie Porter, Liam Treanor, Sebastian Cox, Endesigns and the stunning Invisible City made me right feel proud to be a whippet of the design world, (and, undoubtedly, a Yorkshire icon in my own right). Its all down to the sheer hard graft and talent of these designers and makers like our Anthony - and just once a year to get it all together under one roof at Tent London fairly stirs the doggy soul. Now, I'd better go before I start singing Jerusalem and get put back in my kennel. That London, its not bad at all, you know. In bits. I suppose.