Friday, 4 January 2008

Tin Shed: Contemporary Crafts from New York to Cumbria. Easter Weekend 21st-24th March 08

We are really excited to be curating our first Shop Floor Project exhibition in an actual venue. We have chosen the Parsonage Rooms as our site in the stunning market town of Broughton-in-Furness in south Cumbria. The exhibition will focus on new crafts using traditional techniques from all over the world, very apt for this village which once had thirty five shops from a cobblers to a dressmakers.

We'll keep you up to date with our developments. Why not come up to the Lakes for the Easter weekend and pop in! Other places worth a visit if you do come up are: the ancient Inn at Broughton mills (almost has a dirt floor), the stunning Arts and Craft house and the glorious tea terrace overlooking Lake Coniston at John Ruskin's house, Brantwood

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Absurd Constructions

Looking at FutureCraft's crocheted Starfish necklace (below) made me think about a piece of work I am currently developing. Buildings knitted in an elaborate woven construction of scaffolding have interested me for years. My archive of photographs of such structures, taken over a period of eight years,
will form the base for a series of plates documenting architecture in a state of collapse. Throughout this period I have been increasingly interested in Eva Hesse's Rope installations which she often refered to as 'absurd constructions'. The tension in her work is increased by wondering if it is just about to fall apart, unravel, disintegrate or be rebuilt. In the same way I think of crocheting, weaving, knitting, scaffolding even drystone walling as somewhere between functional, unsteady, protective and absurd.

You can see a great film of Eva Hesse 'building' a sculpture at

My collection of plates and bowls will be exhibited online in February in the shop and on display at TIN HUT in march (see more info about TIN SHED in the archive right)

FutureCraft @ The Shop Floor Project

Starfish Necklace
by FutureCraft Studio
Available from February 2008 @
The Shop Floor Project

"Passing down traditions and looking to provide a sustainable future for craft in the modern world."

There is something so exciting about FutureCraft Studio. Based in New York and dedicated to using old techniques in new cutting edge ways, we couldn't work with them fast enough. Their 'family business' approach also chimes with our own working practice but actually, in reality, I would say they are much more of a designing dynasty.

The FutureCraft label was founded by the mother/ daughter team of Josephine and Jenna Rivers and also involves Jenna's grandmother. Below is their brief story:

Maria D’Amore

Master Seamstress / Knitter 1st Generation Designer

Maria’s ability to knit and crochet anything imaginable is flawless. Maria taught both her daughter and granddaughter the art of sewing at a very young age. Maria grew up in Argentina where she was a professor of textile design, knitting, patternmaking, and rugmaking. She was quite the fashionista, wearing the best in her homespun and hand knit Alpaca and Vicuna Sweaters and Shawls, which she sold at her boutique and the local market.

Josephine Rivers

Handweaver / Textile Designer 2nd Generation Designer

Josephine’s determination was apparent at a very young age. After facing the many obstacles of immigrating, Josephine and her parents moved to the US from Argentina in a search for a better life.

Josephine has always been a true artist and visionary. After graduating high school, Josephine studied Fine Art in Europe. During many years of teaching and guiding countless young students in the field of art, Josephine continues to educate herself in traditional and modern techniques of weaving. A quick learner, and go-getter, the mother of three is determined to design and innovate new weaving techniques to apply to the modern fashion world.

Jenna Rivers

Fashion Designer / Artist / Surface Designer
3rd Generation Designer

Co-Founder and Designer, Jenna attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Her work is focused around the relationships between fine tailoring, traditional crafts and new technologies.

Jenna works with her mother, Josephine and grandmother, Maria to develop traditional hand loomed fabrics, as well as entire collections of hand knit fine cashmere.

At 22 years old, Jenna is proud of her family and the struggles they endured in order to give her the opportunity to be among the youngest entrepreneurs in fashion today. Jenna has been featured in numerous fashion publications worldwide, designing cutting edge luxury men’s and women’s apparel for SVSV and Savant.

The crocheted Starfish Necklaces will be available from February 08 and we will be collaborating with FutureCraft Studio throughout the year.

FutureCraft will also be exhibiting at The Shop Floor Project's fair; TIN SHED in march (see archive)