OXO Tower Wharf: Embracing Craftsmanship
Posted on December 05 2016
In my earlier post "OXO Tower Tour" I shared with you my video and photographic experience from visiting the tower. From the views across the city, to navigating the narrow spiral staircases, it was a visit that I will never forget and I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to discover a London landmark from another perspective. whilst OXO Tower may be a familiar sight, it is attached to a building that has given opportunity and exposed incredible skill and craftsmanship. Continuing the tour from the tower, I wanted to share with you the beautiful stores, designers and skills that are present below, every day for visitors to experience.
Being an avid lover of teaware, teas and intricate design, I was thrilled to be introduced to Wagumi, a store owned by Lives Inc from Japan. This beautiful store holds so many treasures, showcasing the very best in Japanese design and crafts. OXO Tower Wharf's ethos was built on the idea of supporting new and talented designers, unique businesses and giving them a place to showcase this inspirational work. It is refreshing to see Wagumi take this one step further by providing a platform for small producers in Japan to showcase their skills and designs. My favourite piece on display had to be the Cast Iron Kettle by Ikenaga Tekkou, a must have for any tea fanatic looking to experience tea how it should be.
Meeting Doreen had to be one of the highlights from the tour. A vibrant spark with an inspirational talent, Doreen produces hand woven textiles in all shapes and forms. In a trade that has almost been wiped out by machines and cheaper alternatives, Archipelago Textiles is the only proof you need that hand woven textiles will always be the best and highest quality around. Doreen also offers a bespoke service, highly recommended if you want a unique and individual textile creation.
A shop where everyone will find something that they love, Snowden Flood contains everything from intricate antiques to London landmark print teaware. Offering alternative to the mass produced designs often seen in tourist hot spots and high street stores, Snowden Flood not only designs products seen in her store, she showcases new talent. Products from new and emerging designers that share a similar ethos of quality and craftsmanship have a platform to display their designs with the very best. My favourite item from the store that I just could not take my eyes off was the Thames Tea Set in Platinum. An incredible design that associates so well with the store's location.
BRAMWELL BROWN CLOCKS
Most people stare at clocks through boredom, they have somewhere more interesting to be or simply want a task to be over. On our visit to Bramwell Brown, we were all staring at the clocks for entirely different reasons. Designed and hand assembled in Britain, these unique clocks not only tell the time, they display the changes in weather and even tidal times through a series of mechanically moving illustrations. The store visit even treated us to a workshop making snow globes and our very own clocks, though not as extravagant as the ones on display. My favourite design from the range was Large weather clock in black with contemporary illustrations.
As technology evolves, we see a new introduction of crafts and design that can potentially change the way we interact and even create an item. Electrobloom have embraced the evolution in technology and are able to design and customise products through 3D printing. Whilst I know a bit about this new way of printing, it was the first time I had experienced something being created in front of my very eyes. What made this creation extra special was that the design contained my own name. The studio is able to take commissions through both traditional and digital techniques, creating possibilities never seen before in jewellery design.
Inspired by his travels to Indonesia, Africa, Hordan and Egypt, Alan Vallis has created beautiful collections of jewellery ranging in a multitude of contemporary styles. The design and concept that many of us were intrigued by was his very popular stacking rings. These rings had been inspired by the decorative patterns, textures and colours of the Middle East and allow the user to purchase individual rings to create their own unique and ever changing design, stacking one upon another.
The final stop on our tour was another firm favourite. Combining two passions of mine, Innermost is the place to find out all about striking lighting design from established and emerging talent whilst enjoying a glass of their very own branded gin. With such a diverse collection of products on display, including a chair that looks like an art print, my singular favourite had to be the Asteroid Glass design by Koray Ozgen. Available in pendant and table lamp form, this design caught my eye because of the mesmerising metallic colours used one one of the shades, creating beautiful reflections across its surroundings.
These are just a hand full of designers and stores showcasing their work at OXO Tower Wharf. For further details of studios, products and locations within the Wharf, click to view the official OXO Tower Wharf website.