Lost & Fond
On a recent visit to SCP in Shoreditch, one of my favourite homewares haunts for everyday inspiration (and aspiration!), I came across Blodwen blankets. Beautifully crafted textiles handmade in Cardigan Bay, Wales, it’s also home to the clothing brand Howies, renowned for their tough, hardwearing denim.
Also stocked in SCP was Donna Wilson’s Bora Da collection, a range of soft furnishings which were also made by a traditional textiles mill in Wales. Located a short drive from my home town of Aberystwyth, I had to find out more about these Welsh origins.
Making everything from farmhouse furniture, textiles and clothing to Welsh heirlooms such as shawls and lovespoons, there’s a distinctive pride in everything they make and do that resonates through embracing their heritage and intertwining it in a contemporary way. Also stocked in Liberty, this ‘Made in Wales’ stamp of origination was for me, something pretty special.
Whilst working for MUJI they launched Found MUJI; a standalone store that took the place of their very first MUJI store in Aoyama, Tokyo. I was fortunate enough to attend the opening and it was filled with objects sought from all over the world that were unique to that culture or country. They had Celadon pottery from Thailand, trousers made from discarded rice bags from China and enamelware from France. Each object had a story and the heritage was carefully explained to incorporate its relevance. It was merchandised like a gallery and was almost too beautiful to be bought.
There was a competition to source new items for a Found MUJI book and I contributed two items, both of which were chosen and put on display within the store window. The first was the Welsh lovespoon, a gift traditionally given in the same gesture flowers would be today. Painstakingly made by hand, to give one was to declare your love for someone. Apologies for the quality of the image below taken of the published book.
The other item was a Welsh slate coaster and I explained how for hundreds of years slate was mined in Wales and shipped all over the world for its beautiful texture on anything from house roofs to sculptures and place mats. Nowadays it’s difficult to source and expensive to purchase and is used a lot for Welsh souvenirs.