Cornwall Design Fair – 16-18 August 2013
This year was the 8th Design Fair in Cornwall and the 4th at the beautiful grounds of Trereife House. Set up in 2008 by Hidden Art Cornwall which was run by University College Falmouth, the Fair has come of age whilst still being true to its roots.
For the second year running I stayed at Trereife House invited by le Grice Family – in the Southey Room. Trereife House is the home of the Le Grice family since 1798 and steeped in history.
As last year I arrived by train from London on the Saturday in the afternoon and left again on Sunday afternoon. Whilst it was still drizzling when I arrived on the Saturday it was glorious on the Sunday, which made the fair really come to life. After my full English breakfast on Sunday morning I started my day with enjoying the sun outside the cafe and soaking in the atmosphere.
The Fair is still true to its origins, a celebration of the quality and diversity of contemporary design in historic surroundings. This makes the fair even more special and makes it into such a relaxed atmosphere both for exhibitors as well as visitors.
There was a lot to do at the Fair, from viewing and purchasing lovely and unique work, to listening to the great music of Gwelhellin whilst eating Cornish burgers or Cornish hotpot washed away by beer, elderflower or great coffee.
There were different workshops for children and adults alike – hat making and clay, and for those interested in following a career as a designer, Cornwall College and Falmouth University offered further information as well as showcasing some of the students’ work.
The Curated exhibition as in past years presented contemporary design in an unusual setting in the historic rooms of the ancient Manor House, Trereife House. The exhibition was stunning this year and the selected work blended in incredibly well with the treasures and artwork at Trereife House.
Whilst initially the Design Fair was mostly targeting Cornish designers and makers, this year there was a large influx of designers from other parts of the UK, including Yorkshire and London. But at the same time there was still a good contingent from Cornwall, not only from existing designers, but also those just starting out.
There were some great new products – and interesting to see that these days you have to come to Cornwall to see new and exciting work from new and established designers.
Here are some of my favourites.
Ingenious chopping board, that enables you to put the chopped vegetables, etc straight in the pan.
Lovely domesticware with a history that doesn’t look out in place with the antiques in Trereife House.
Driftwood wooden surfing boards come in all shapes and sizes from small to large.
Crystalline ceramics – handthrown in porcelain. Crystalline glaze encourages glazes to run and the effects are stunning when cooling rapidly making each piece unique. It didn’t look out in tune in the House.
Lovely original knitted accessories, great hats!
Lynne uses colourful lightweight metals, such as titanium and anodised aluminium.
Peet Leather Textiles
The hats are made from 100% recycled materials using a special method of felt construction. A lovely collection of hats for all occasions. Handstitched and felted hats
Lovely glassware from Rosie Sutcliffe, awarded the Guild of Ten Award for Innovation.
I also love Poppy Treffry’s work, who has been a Hidden Art Cornwall member since it started.
Lizzy Houghton was a Hidden Art member and now is permanently based in Cornwall. She works with felt.
The delicate work of Amy Cooper, porcelain lighting, inspired by the world under the sea.
London-based Lorna Syson, who takes her inspiration from the British outdoors.
Lovely elegant silverware. I particularly liked the silver candlesticks that can be put into different combinations depending on the occasion and table.
In all a very enjoyable weekend, a great place to relax and I look forward to the fair next year.
And this was my sea view in Penzance when about to board the train. Till next year.