New Designers 2014: showcasing the design stars of the future

The New Designers exhibition in Islington features young entrepreneurs on the fast track.
New Designers is at the Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 (see newdesigners.com). Tickets: £14.50 on the door, £10.50 in advance; concessions £11.50; free entry for children under eight. Check out the talks and tours. Drop-in family workshops hosted by The Sorrell Foundation are on Saturdays.

To find truly cutting-edge design, there is no better marketplace than the One Year On event, where you can buy the work of talented college graduates who have been in business for just a year.

These extraordinary entrepreneurs, who have fast-tracked their goods into production, can be found at the annual New Designers show at Islington Design Centre. The show features 3,000 art/design graduates from across the UK and has become a summer must-see.

The first part of the show (until 28 June) covers fashion and accessories. Part 2 includes furniture and product design from 2-4 July.

DON'T MISS: ONE YEAR ON
In a large first-floor room, up to 60 young professionals sell designs yet to reach the shops. This year a lot of their pieces combine craft and technology, while many of these new designers are strongly influenced by the places where they live and work. The resulting work is innovative, personal, often poetic and always original.

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Silversmith Hamish Dobbie (pictured above) combines traditional handwork with 3D printing and computer numeric control milling, often adding hardwoods to his delicate vessels. "My inspiration is the calm of Scotland's rugged landscape," he says. Call 07515 877920 or visit www.hamishtdobbie.co.uk.

Rescuing an obsolete "tufting" machine, Anna Gravelle creates modern fabrics for textured throws and cushions in fine wools. Her grid patterns, in cool, architectural greys, acid brights and deep golds, are inspired by the harvested fields where she lives on a National Trust Estate outside Bristol. She also does digitally printed velvet and linen furnishing fabrics (07930 374006; www.annagravelle.com).


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Stephanie Tudor (above) traps natural fibres within concrete to make textured wall panels which contrast the rough and the smooth, the hard and the soft, the glossy and the matt (www.stephanietudor.co.uk).

Mother-of-three Angie Parker first studied design crafts at Cumbria College in the Nineties and specialises in weaving. Inspired by a year in India and graffiti in Bristol where she lives, her vibrant colours leap from the loom and she rescues old chairs to upholster. (07968 979165; www.angieparkertextiles.com).

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Amy Buchanan uses linen from the last working mill in Scotland for hand screenprinted cushions and lampshades (pictured above), from £32.50. She designs, prints and manufactures everything in her studio in Fife.

Jenny Ayrton works in a small studio in her Devon garden but hires a hot-glass workshop to finish her sandcast glass sculptures. She uses handmade wire models to embed images between two layers of hot glass, "using just a pair of tweezers". Her imagery is delightfully domestic — for example, a washing line, a playground or a camping trip. Prices start at £260, to £380 for bookends (07834 857 938; www.jennyayrton.co.uk).

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Potter Taz Pollard (above) lives on the edge of Exmoor, with a log cabin studio in her garden where she throws or slip-casts her quirky, innovative ceramics, their rich, intense glazes enhanced with drips and dips of neon rubber. "My pieces are a little controversial, but they really do liven up a space," she says. (07779 945859; tazpollardceramics.wordpress.com).

Combining traditional and modern techniques, Natalie Ratcliffe prints on to fabrics for interiors. Working in Cornwall, Kai Venus-Demetrio makes beautifully detailed furniture in blonde woods with careful joints. Luke Bishop throws porcelain bowls by hand and finishes them with cheerful glazes, and Chris Thorpe mixes materials to make original shapes for tables and stools.

New Designers is at the Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 (see www.newdesigners.com). Tickets: £14.50 on the door, £10.50 in advance; concessions £11.50; free entry for children under eight. Check out the talks and tours. Drop-in family workshops hosted by The Sorrell Foundation are on Saturdays.

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