Eames stamps

April 3, 2008


The US postal service is to release a set of stamps later this year celebrating the work of Charles and Ray Eames.

The stamps have been designed by Derry Noyes. No release date has yet been announced but you can register to receive updates on the Eames Office website.


Robert Welch

March 31, 2008


One of my favourite 20th century designers is Robert Welch, and I’d been planning to write about him for some time when I saw this vintage ad on ebay. It instantly conjurs up the confidence of British design in the 60s. Although it appeared in 1966 it could just as easily have come from an edition of Elle Deco or Living etc during the 90s Cool Britannia era – good design endures across the decades.

The image features a teapot from the Alveston range. I bought one of these for my other half for Christmas.  It’s a shapely and exquisitely crafted piece. It pours like a dream too.  Welch was just as concerned about function as he was about form and he melded the two together beautifully in this range.

I’ll be posting a feature length article about Robert Welch soon – meanwhile this is a little taster.

Home sweet home

March 28, 2008


Jenn Ski is a graphic designer and artist with a passion for mid century modern art and design.

She has produced this lovely print featuring the classic Eames moulded plywood lounge chair. Designed in 1946, the chair was first introduced to the public at the Museum of Modern Art and was named the Best Design of the 20th century by Time magazine.

There is a great piece of footage of Charles and Ray Eames presenting this chair to an NBC audience in 1956 on YouTube – it’s a real 50s TV gem. As the presenter demonstrates, women were expected to know their place back then – firmly behind their man.

The print is is available from Jenn’s website and also from Etsy.

Lamps at the Holmegaard glassworks

March 21, 2008


My favourite Flickr find of the week has to be this picture of the amazing lamps at the Holmegaard glassworks taken by gubbex.

Visitors to the glassworks over the coming months will be able to see an exhibition of the work of Per Lutken. Widely acknowledged as one of the leading Scandinavian glass designers of the twentieth century, Per Lutken worked for Holmegaard for more than five decades from 1942 until 1998 and designed more than 3000 pieces.

The Per Lutken exhibition at the Holmegaard glassworks in Denmark runs from 14th March until 9th November.





Scandinavian ceramics

March 6, 2008


I recently came across this great article by Irene at Bloesem on vintage ceramics.  It provides a good introduction to some of the major Scandinavian ceramics companies including Arabia, Gustavsberg, Rorstrand and Figgjo. 

Great images are one of the hallmarks of Irene’s blog and she showcases a collection of beautifully edited photographs of work by designers such as Kaj Franck, Tapio Wirkkala and Stig Lindberg.

Irene was kind enough to feature some pictures from my own collection of Scandinavian ceramics on Bloesem earlier this week.  The Figgjo coffee set in the space age ‘Saturn’ pattern is by Turi Gramstad Oliver.  The nursery ware plate is also by Figgjo.

K8 telephone kiosk tea towels

March 3, 2008


The 20th Century Society has produced these quirky tea towels featuring the K8 telephone kiosk.

The kiosk 8, or K8, was designed by Bruce Martin and first appeared in 1968 as a modern version of the classic K6 red phone box. Its modular style marked a radical change from the previous design and reflected the mood of the 60s.

Of the 12,000 produced only 12 are known to have survived – the Society has launched a search to hunt down any other remaining examples of this classic piece of industrial design.

The tea towels are designed by People Will Always Need Plates who have previously designed ceramics for the V&A and De La Warr Pavilion. The company’s design philosophy is based on creating witty, thoughtful and stylish products as an antithesis to the current proliferation of cheap, throwaway design.

They are priced at £12 including p&p for a pack of two (one each of red and blue), together with a brief history of the phone box written by Gavin Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of the tea towels will be used to support the Society’s campaigns to preserve the best of twentieth century architecture.

Further links

History of the red phone box

Interview with Bruce Martin in Architects Journal

Czech Sklo Union Glass

March 2, 2008


Unlike Whitefriars and Scandinavian glass, relatively little is known about much of the post war Czech pressed glass that is becoming sought after by retro collectors. Much of this was produced by Sklo Union and an exhibition at Kings Lynn Arts Centre later this year with a catalogue by Mark Hill will aim to draw attention to this currently under-documented area of collecting.

Marcus Newhall also has a site which identifies the designers of some of these pieces and provides a background on Czech post war glass

My own collection includes this brilliant blue 1950s ‘Bullet’ vase by Rudolf Schrotter and a candlestick by Vladislav Urban.


Vintage ceramics & glass sale

February 28, 2008


Retro-ware will be selling a wide range of vintage ceramics and glass at the Hare and Hounds on Kings Heath High Street in Birmingham this Saturday (1st March).

German fat lava vases, Scandinavian glass and Midwinter pottery plus lots of other vintage homeware finds from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

10am – 4pm

Admission Free