Green Fingers

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Building and painting against a backdrop of a different kind, resident set designer Anna Oldham Cooper has been busy creating the tower for the rather incredible  Harrods British Eccentrics Garden showing all this week at the Chelsea Flower show. Commissioned by Irish garden designer and TV star Diarmuid Gavin, the roof majestically lifts off in true W.Heath Robinson cranky style.

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We’re nothing short of impressed here. Anna’s work has previously featured in commercials, editorials, films and installations with clients including Nike, Wallpaper, GQ and Somerset House. So if you’re in the market for some fake towering brickwork (!), then head over to her website to see more extraordinary creations: annaoldhamcooper.com

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Space to Embrace

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Spanish sculptor Michelangelo Arteaga shown here in the midst of creating his brand new sculpture: Embrace, which will soon be leaving the workshop to feature in the National Sculpture Prize at Broomhill, Devon.

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Arteaga’s work is centred around building spacial forms that incorporate human behaviours. This piece has been constructed using traditional boat-building techniques, and the surface coated in the same lime wash used on the buildings of his hometown of Cadiz. As you enter the structure you are immediately enveloped in a protective calming embrace, that allows you to step outside the frantic space that is urban life.

POST_Embrace 03So, if you happen to be heading to Devon, be sure to pay a visit. Click here for all the details.

A Laboratory in the Desert

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Reports just in of the incredible dust stirring machine:‘Simoom: A Laboratory in the Desert’ designed and built by our technician Toby Poolman and member Hannah Schmidt for the recent Afrikaburn festival in the Tankwa Karoo Desert, South Africa.

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Poolman & Schmidt’s first mechanical machine collaboration – a spectacular set of moving sails, was built for last year’s London Design Festival. This follow up structure was developed here at the workshop to explore the unknown landscape of dust that the machine was set to encounter.  We look forward to hearing more dusty tales on the makers return…

GET SET GLOW

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Thanks to the legendary God’s Own Junkyard, Walthamstow has become somewhat famous for its neon, so we decided that it was high time to learn the secret art. We’ve invited Neon Mobile Workshops to run a weekend series of special one day beginner’s courses and evening sessions this September to reveal the tricks behind working with light. Choose from a day long course on Saturday 10th Sept or Sunday 11th Sept where you’ll get to take away a sign you design yourself, or a neon taster session on the Saturday evening with mesmerising demonstrations of cutting, blowing, stretching, bending and fusing glass with flame, filling with gas and illuminating with electricity. It may not come cheap, but certainly an experience you’ll never forget! Places are limited, so book soon to avoid disappointment…
For full details click here.

Money for Nothing

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Great to see the workshop on TV again this week, as another of our members featured on the BBC show ‘Money for Nothing. Check out surface & wallpaper designer Dan Heath as he transforms an old rusty metal chest into a stunning cocktail cabinet.

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Hoarding an old bit of junk yourself? Sign up to our machine shop induction programme and get working on a transformation of your own. Catch up on the full episode here.

Studio Marlene Huissoud in Milan

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If you happen to be lucky enough to be in Milan this week for the Salone de Mobile, don’t miss the stunning new piece from Studio Marlene Huissoud:‘Rhythm – Of Insects & Men’ on show at La Terrace (Via Private Oslavia 1, 20134 Milano).

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Marlene, who’s studio is based at the workshop is a French materials designer who comes from a family of beekeepers. Her stunning new piece continues her exploration of  bio resin, the material produced by the honeybee as waste, but now combining it with commonly discarded human glass waste. The pieces questions the idea of how two waste materials, natural and industrial can complement each other, giving an up-cycling approach, crucial to re-orientating ourselves to the natural world and finding new ways of generating cycles in our making process. For a totally absorbing read, head over to www.marlene-huissoud.com

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A Ma-tt-er of Materials

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We’re delighted to say that we’ve been selected to join the British Council’s Maker Library NetworkIn partnership with Ma-tt-er (ma-tt-er.org) a materials research consultancy, we’ll be setting up a Materials Library at the workshop to explore alternative materials and manufacturing techniques to be considered in the making process. We’ll be hosting a regular series of events exploring the use of materials and showcasing interesting work being produced on site, launching this September.

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The Maker Library Network is about connecting designers and makers globally, and we’re looking forward to forging links  with the other workshops involved in Turkey, Mexico and South Africa. Watch this space!

Image (c) Seetal Solanki, Workspace in Hout Bay, Capetown

MADE FOR MANUFACTURE

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Charles Lethaby Lighting, is just one of 35 creative start-ups in residence in our top floor studios. Having started his business just two years ago when Blackhorse Workshop first opened, this lighting designer is one to watch (the next Tom Dixon we think?), with his designs already selling at top design retailers such as HEALS.

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Charles has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to enable him to manufacture the Aurora lamp (pictured above) which was one of the first ever designs to be prototyped at the workshop, made using steel & a TIG welder. Support his campaign, and you’ll get up to 60% off this stunning lamp. Our advice: snap it up now while you can! Click here for all the details.

A Window on Denimite

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It’s nice to know the spirit of Blackhorse Workshop is going global…Resident designers Laetitia de Allegri & Matteo Fogale (deallegirfogale.com) have been busy developing their ISH collection, made from an innovative material made from recycled denim, for the windows of retailer COS in New York, London, Paris & Milan.

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Created through compressing recycled & repurposed denim, Denimite and Marblus have been used to great effect to showcase the store’s new denim collection. And don’t they look great?

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