Has there ever been a more critical time for a Knock-Knock? I don't think so. We are back indoors, getting bored of our own four walls what better way to alleviate the doldrum than by gawping at someone else's home. This weeks candidate is the designer and artist India Windsor-Clive. Recently India has become a designer at Jam Jar Edit, Jam Jar Flowers fantastic online store. It is filled with so many exquisite floral based products, including their pressed botanicals which were recently exhibited at the Garden Museums-'Super Nature' show - one hell of a Christmas present.
I can't thank India enough for doing this; I know this last week has been a mad rush to get everything done so hugely appreciated. I also thank her for enlisting the help of Laura Falconer to take the photographs, not often we get a real-life photographer on Tat, so this is doubly exciting.
After a 2-year building (slash life) experience I walked into an empty white-washed house with the next mission of filling it and living in it.
The house was an old tile factory, so it has an enormously high ceiling on the ground floor which was for the kilns. Then two open-plan studios stacked on top within its tall and narrow frame. Someone’s previous box-like approach to domesticating an undomestic space failed. So we decided to open it up again, getting in as much light as possible. I was sad to see the old wooden door peppered with wrought iron studs and a door grill go, but it was replaced by an equally quirky giant one (to my complete surprise - I hadn’t spied the measurements).
My favourite corner is under a lightwell to the left of the fireplace, home to photographer Claudia Legge’s Cuban horse rider, a palm lamp and Laurie Lee’s guitar (I was given this by a friend and artist who knew him). The Cuban wall colour blocks lead into a woven rug below. I was lucky to acquire this beautiful rug found by designer Edward Bulmer, as it was deemed a slip hazard in it’s first destined home. With the addition of a green velvet sofa, this is my favourite colour palette: reds and oranges, pink, yellow and forest green. My most treasured possessions are on the walls. There’s an aggressively bold Howard Hodgkin etching above the fireplace in red, some of Richard Long’s thumbprints in reddish mud and a Colin Self, named with the Dylan lyrics ‘Ploughman Dig My Earth’, with a red sun burnished into the gold foil of a salmon packet - I wonder if it smells of smoked fish in there? A lot of reds. I am currently in love with my painted illustration by the talented designer Kitty Rice and ink paintings by botanical ink maker and ceramicist Flora Wallace. More greens.
Up the dangerously steep stairs is a wall of our pressed flowers (from Jam Jar Edit). Their black aluminium frames give them a modern edge that compliments the crittall terrace doors. Our favourite commissions are walls of pressed botanicals and they seem to work well wherever you put them, bringing the outside in. I should really have more of our botanically inspired products in my own home, note to self. And the terrace is usually greener but it’s pouring with rain out there. Like my mum (whose nickname is aptly Tat!), I am a magpie drawn to beautiful things and trinkets, I definitely picked up a lot from her. Whilst growing up, there were always flowers; bountiful adornments to every table and surface. She makes anything and everything look beautiful. She recently gave me a majestic Tamegroute bowl dripping green glaze from Francesca Gentilli.
A love of found objects means I seem to create mini installations everywhere - having to strip them back when it gets too crowded, constantly reshuffling and resetting the stage. Getting full-height shelves either side of the fireplace is a canvas for these constantly changing sets and book co-ordinations. The most recent reshuffle was due to fitting a friend’s baby-gate on the most un-child-friendly stairs imaginable using stacks of books. The best found object to date is a white stone with a red marble glued to it that looks like a little bird. This is accompanied by a delicate glass light mill from Colombia Road and a hand-blown head vase from La Soufflerie made out of recycled green glass. I have then tried to house some of my own left-field ceramics - copious plates and bowls of all shapes and sizes and wonks.
One of the many Golborne Road market finds was a black painted chest of drawers that I’m not hugely keen on but they were the perfect size and thought I’d change the handles with orange gems but haven’t got round to it yet. It’s off an old canal boat and having briefly lived on boats it acts as a nice reminder, particularly of how I could no longer fit all of my possessions into a boat.
Huge thank you to India Windsor Clive for sharing her home with us. To keep up to date with her work please follow @indiawindsorclive or go to www.indiawindsorclive.com
& to see more of Laura's work follow her at @_laura_falconer