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.
I’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!
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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