Rediscover Craft at the RBSA Craft Gallery

The RBSA’s Craft Gallery has established a reputation as the leading Midlands outlet for contemporary craft. Through its programme of creatively themed exhibitions, the RBSA showcases designer makers from across the UK, exploring contemporary approaches to traditional craft-making techniques and materials. The exhibitions are a feast for the senses as well as the mind.

The inventive is exhibited alongside the functional, allowing you to explore the endless possibilities of contemporary craft.

Confirmed Exhibitors: Janet Wass; Serra Malta; Kate Hamilton Hunter; Leah Miles; Rachel Darbourne; Antonia Chiappe; Claire Lowe; Kim Gillson; Shan Valla; Lauren van Helmond; Laura Masson; Sasha Gibb; Emma Dolan; Tracie Murchison; Anisha Mistry.

Everyday objects and materials from around the home are the inspiration behind this exhibition of innovative crafts. Focusing on makers who have developed ideas from found or common-place objects, it shows how the simplest things can be used to inspire craft making.

With renewable resources and recycling at the forefront of today’s modern society, this exhibition also comments on the place of mass-produced items within handmade contemporary craft. All pieces within the exhibition have been reinvented, re-appropriated, or recycled from everyday objects to produce original and one-off pieces. A breadth of techniques is employed in this unique exhibition, exploring the intriguing contrast between precious and recycled materials.


Featured Designer Makers:

Staffordshire-based designer maker, Lauren van Helmond, is exhibiting her collection of work called ‘Albert & Co.’. Her work delves into the fantasy world in which ‘Albert’ and his friends live. Evoking ideas of an era gone by, each piece is intricately formed using a variety of recycled materials, including wire, wooden pegs, and old biscuit tins. A surreal insight into everyday life forms the basis for Lauren’s sculptures, which turn mundane objects and situations into something creative and amusing.

Exhibiting at the RBSA for the first time is jeweller, Antonia Chappe. Drawing inspiration from the shapes, lines and patterns of both natural and man-made forms, Antonia creates curious pieces of jewellery that explore the contrasts between solid and fragile. Perforated and rolled metal and magazine paper are used to create structures that also reveal elements of colour and texture. Her jewellery is designed to engage the wearer, whether by inviting interest in the materials and techniques used, or by arousing nostalgic feeling. In doing so, Antonia relays notions of fragility and familiarity through her manipulation of materials.

Jersey-based textile designer Sasha Gibb specializes in working with vintage and antique British wool blankets. She dyes the blankets by hand in her studio and re-makes them into baby blankets, cushions, bags, and quirky egg cosies. Sasha only works with old and vintage natural fibres such as wool, hemp, cotton, and linen. All of Sasha’s pieces are machine washable and bio-degradable – practical as well as unique!

Ceramicist Laura Masson enjoys the challenge of designing interactive ceramics for adults and children. Her playful ceramic objects are inspired by everyday items and are designed to encourage interaction, imaginative play and to keep the element of fun alive. She uses porcelain as her canvas for vibrant colours to which she adds textured surfaces or smooth glazed surfaces. Laura’s objects are intended to evoke memories and stories and, although porcelain, are designed to be touched and played with. Play is not inhibited by the material but is, instead, enhanced.

From magazine paper to wooden pegs – come along and be surprised by what inspires designer makers today!

Admission: Free Dates: 13 September – 12 November 2010
Gallery Open: Mon – Fri 10.30-5.30, Sat 10.30-5.00, Sun 1.00-5.00

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