Tag Archives: Recycle

High Line New York

I hadn’t been to New York since the High Line opened in 2009 and after a few years of growing and maturing into its environment I was interested to see what it was like for myself.

High_Line_New _York_Spring_Blossom

I couldn’t have picked a better day; bright sunshine, not too hot and with blossom on the trees, it was beautiful. And hugely popular! It was our first stop that day and I’m glad we arrived early, as the day went on the garden oasis turned into a busy thoroughfare. Continue reading

Wool House – The Campaign For Wool

Sheep_Wool_House (1)A lovely (and free!) exhibition on at Somerset house for the next 2 weeks is Wool House.

Featuring 8 room sets, 2 rooms dedicated to fashion and finally the work of artisans and crafts people; the Wool House showcases the diverse uses of a natural sustainable material.


Arriving in the entrance hall onto the deep pile Chequers carpet by Arabella McNie for Alternative Flooring your eyes shoot over to the  cuddly Mammoth Chair by Amy Somerville. Upholstered in Mongolian Longhaired sheep its a teddy bear of a chair. Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s Clouds for Kvadrat creep up the walls (yep they’re made from wool felt) and its makes a change to see this contemporary 3D piece in a classical building.

Crochetdermy_Brown_Bear_Shauna_RichardsonI’d love to snuggle down into the chair but a giant Crocheted (yes crocheted!) life sized bear hovers over it.The Crochetdermy piece is by artist Shauna Richardson I think you probably could sit in the chair but the bear does such a good job I couldn’t!

To take you on the wooly path, Cristian Zuzunaga‘s Infinity Carpet Runner manufactured by Brintons pulls you down the hallways into the adjoining rooms. Felt covered chairs by Ligne & Roset lining the halls.


For the room sets designers were given a different brief to demonstrate the versatility of wool. The rooms ranged from the soft country feel of Josephine Ryan’s Natural Room to the wild clashing colours of Anne Kyyro-Quin’s Modern Room and on to Donna Wilson’s adorable dream-like fantasy Nursery.


Josephine Ryan‘s Natural Room featured naturally coloured and coarser textured wools than the rooms. Inspired by her Celtic roots the chairs are made from recycled Arran jumpers by Champ Upholstery. Josephine used different textures mixing knitted and woven fabrics to created a layered look.



In sharp contrast Anne Kyyro-Quinn‘s Modern Room shows the wild colours you can apply to wool. Her work uses recycled felted wool thats been folded and pleated to create sculptural shapes.



My favourite room was Donna Wilson‘s Nursery. With its huge felt cloud with drops of rain hovering over the end of the Vi Spring‘s Childs Bed and a Sheep by Hanns-Peter Krafft for Thorsten Van Elten, it would be really hard not to love this fantasy dream space. The tree painted on to the wall and covered with Felt leaves made by Donna is a very stealable idea! I don’t normally advocate this but as the leaves aren’t available to buy…. And its very much in the craft tradition to share!


Donna_Wilson_Vi_Spring_Childs_Bed (1)

Donna_Wilson_Felt_Leaves_Wool_House_Nursery (1)



Which brings me on to the final room containing knitters and weavers who were demonstrating the basics. I love knitting, but I have to say, the hand weaving looks like a physically tough job if you had to do it 8 hours a day – they did have a smaller ‘hobby ‘ loom if you feel the urge to try this at home.



I was a little disappointed with the fashion rooms – I think all the fashion houses might be suffering London Fashion Week fatigue. It would have been wonderful if they’d have given this area over to some of the amazing graduates we churn out from our colleges.

That said its well worth catching this exhibition for any lovers of design – and apparently they will be real sheep arriving too!
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We use so much paper in everyday life – even in this digital age we still rely on paper for news, packaging, and all manner of print outs, the list is endless. Recycled paper reduced to a grey pulp doesn’t sound appealing but can be transformed in remarkable ways.

ParupuClaesson Koivisto Rune have developed two products made from DuraPulp, a mixture of pulp and PLA, (an oil-free plastic based maize starch) developed by Sodra. First came Parupu, a bright fun eco chair for children. Designed for the heavy wear and tear that a child’s chair is put through, its sturdy and yet extremely light and water resistent. Once finished with the chair is completely compostable; DuraPulp is a naturally derived material.

Claesson_Koivisto_Rune_w101_gruppNext as a contrast to the chunky chair, they have designed a sleek  light for Wästberg, launched at Stockholm Furniture Fair. The aesthetic difference as well the technical application demonstrate the breadth of potential in DuraPulp and shows that pulp doesn’t have to be grey.

Meesters_Pulp001Pulp 2.0 Post Consumer Vessels and Furniture by Jo MeestersThis work is a further development on his TESTLAB project that has been running since 2008. The original Pulp vessels were created using a mixture of newspaper and glue applied  to a vessel that acts as a mould. The new vessel is built up in layers before drying and finally being cut away. The cut pieces are joined with more pulp then the inside is treated with an epoxy resin to create a strong water tight product.

Meesters_Pulp_TableThis formed the basis of the Pulp 2.0 furniture collection where the potential for upcycling cardboard panels and newspapers to create paper furniture has been explored. Water resistant properties have been added to the paper waste to create a collection that doesn’t hide its origin; the collection retains the colour of the pulped paper. The collection consists of a table, chair, four pendant lamps and a cabinet.

Lehanneur-caveMathieu Lehanneur has designed a meeting room for advertising agency JWT turning it into a creative cavern with walls totally produced from paper fibres. The cavern is a visual reminder of just how much paper can be eaten up in every day work and how in the move to digital we can consume less.“It has literally sucked up and recycled the available paper in the agency, an archaic and useless support that JWT France eventually envisages totally eliminating.’”.  The pulp also provides excellent soundproofing, and is usually used for thermal insulating in eco buildings. Here it has been exposed rather than hidden to create a cave like space; a contrast to the sleek white interior.

Vetterlein-Trash Me-LampTrash Me Lamp by Victor Vetterlein The body of the lamp is made from the pulp of just four egg cartons mixed with water and poured into a mould. The intention behind the project was to create a product from waste, that could then be recycled at the end of its useful life.

Shannon_Metro_CabinetMetro Cabinate by Will Shannon was created as part of Will’s graduation work for the Royal College of Art. For  his Design Products Collection he explored the notion of what is a factory and how we create products. Metro is a result of found objects and a mix of skills. The main body of the piece is made from paper pulp that was moulded inside a found suitcase and the legs are traditionally turned pieces of wood.

“My ambition is to develop an informal factory whose disparate employees – professionals as well as enthusiastic amateurs – are spread throughout the city, at work in their own cabinet making production facilities: turning wood in the shed in Bermondsey, or making papier maché in the kitchen in Dalston.”

JensPraet_Frame_TableAlthough not quite pulp I think Jens Praet’s Shredded Collection  is worth a mention.  Skippings the pulping process and using shredded copies of Frame magazine its a great reuse of a wonderful if heavy magazine. Incidentally I’ve switched my subscription to the digital version and saved a fortune as well as a tree! But I just wonder that with the transfer away from printed paper to ebooks;  pulp will become a rare commodity before we have developed a way to reuse it en mass.