Lisbon, where do I start – I honestly think it’s now my favourite European city! My Aunt and Uncle used to live on the south coast of Portugal, in a small fishing village called Carveriou, so growing up we used to spend almost the entirety of each summer staying with them – and so for me up until last summer, I truly thought I had experienced the best of what Portugal had to offer – oh, I was so so wrong!
We arrived at the Capital Friday early evening and made our way to our AirBNB – we didn’t go for anything special, just €50 a night, for B & I, whilst it’s nice to splash out and stay somewhere nice, we want to spend as much time as possible exploring the city and soaking up the culture and would rather devote the majority of our budget on the local cusine. As I mentioned Lisbon hadn’t been on my radar, but after hearing about all our friends travels to the city, B really wanted to go and explore for himself. On first impressions it’s as beautiful, if not more so, than most major European cities. Cobbled streets and amazing architecture, but in Lisbon the colours are next level, oranges, deep yellows and blues, it’s one of those places where you could post an image on the hour, every hour.
I know I may be preempting the changes of the seasons with this post – like everyone else I’m 100% clinging on to the last days of summer – but I’ve been waiting to shoot this for a while now. You know when you try something on, fall in love but realise they’re out of your size but you NEED those trousers, well, I did just that and I’ve only just got them back from the tailors.
For me the transitioning periods between summer and winter are my favourite times of year – whether it’s spring or Autumn – you truly get to make the most of your wardrobe. Wearing lighter summer pieces in more layered up looks. This time I’ve teamed up with Natural Selection London, to pull together a more transitional look, styling pieces from a pallet more suitable for the warmer weather, but layered under darker tones.
So about a month ago I spent a long weekend in Espanyol with the fam – It was a trip we had actually planned to do the year before to celebrate my parents 30th wedding anniversary, but a couple of things cropped up with the family and we’d had to postpone the trip, but one year on we were once again booking flights and accommodation. I’d never actually been to Madrid before, but on first impressions its just as beautiful as any other southern European city – the colours and architecture were amazing, with the usual winding cobbled streets, tiled shop fronts and swifts screaming around overhead. To say we’d had a year to research and pull together a list of things to do, we did no planning whatsoever! Normally when I’m travelling to a new city, I will plan and research to the point that I know where we’re having breakfast every morning, where’s the best place to grab a coffee and sample the best local cuisine – but I have NEVER been so unprepared for a trip, and unfortunately it’s safe to say we didn’t really make the most on what Madrid had to offer! But whilst there, as usual my camera came everywhere with me, and I really wanted to share the images from the trip – so the below post is more of a photo-story, rather than an in-depth city guide – sorry!
Here it is . . . the result of my first collaboration with Charles Dedman, for his ‘Make a thing a day’ project. As I said in my previous post last weekend, I am collaborating with an old friend for two of his five days of making. The idea being to make one thing every day for a week. We finished this first piece earlier on this evening, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling pretty proud of how it turned out – its been a fair while since I’ve had the chance to do some hands on making, and it feels so good to be back in the workshop again!
So, if your wondering what this is, its a Shaker box – a handmade, steam bent storage box, pinned into place by copper tacks, traditionally used as a pantry storage container. The process of making them is a simple one, and has been around for centuries, all be it that you have the right equipment, a steamer, a planer and a ban-saw. You start by cutting out the components; steam the wood (cedar in this case) so that it softens and becomes more supple, then mould it round a jig until it stiffens, and then tack it into postion. Next, you cut a base to fit and pin it into place using small bits of dowel – then you repeat this process to get the lid – like I said, a super simple process, and so satisfying to complete.
As many of you will know aside from running this blog I work as a freelance product and furniture designer and next week I am really excited to take part in something that marries the two together quite nicely – I’m collaborating with Charles Dedman on his ‘make a thing a day’ project.
‘Make a thing a day’ is a platform created by George Winks (aka Temper Studio) back in January 2015 as a personal project. And in the last two years the torch has been passed from one designer maker to the next. The idea being simple; design and make something from start to finish in a single day, and then to repeat this Monday to Friday for a week, constantly sharing the making process through instagram. And then at the end of the week to give away what they’ve made to the people that have been following their journey.
This week I’m working with Charlie on two of his 5 projects; Charlie being a talented young designer maker base out in Hampshire, where he has a studio/workshop in Alton. We’ve been friends for a fair few years, we studied on the same product and furniture design course back at uni and often teamed up to work on projects together back in the day. Since graduating four years ago we’ve gone down slightly different career paths, mine being in more commercial design for large scale production for retailers. Charlie on the other hand has gone down the more craft based route; whilst we were tutored in the whole design process at uni, he wanted to study the craft of woodworking by hand in much more depth and so straight after uni he signed up to a cabinet making course. Since then, as well as being part of their ‘Hot House Team’, has gone on to be shortlisted for a Designers Guild Mark award with his Turner range which is now stocked in Liberty’s – he’s smashing it – check his work out here. For me, my day to day design work is predominately done through 3d modelling software, and so it wasn’t just the nostalgia of uni days long gone that had me jump at the chance to collaborate with him on his MATAD journey, but also the opportunity to get back in the workshop again, actually designing through making!
So keep an eye out over on Instagram to see what we get up to – we’ve already got a few things in mind – and to be in for the chance of winning what we make all you need to do is follow both Charlie and myself, and then tag a friend in the comments section – good luck!