Tom recently bought a painting from me which I had had for ages. I thought it was tremendous, but yet it had languished in storage for quite some time. When Tom bought it though I felt vindicated, because Tom Morris is a very stylish man; the glimpses of his Barbican home back this up, as does his impeccably stylish CV. He has written for Wallpaper, The FT & now the jewel in the crown - Tat. All kidding aside, I was chuffed that Tom agreed to do this, even more so when I read it!
Kazunori Hamana His pieces are sadly so large and so far away, but a gargantuan vessel by Kazunori Hamana is worth swimming to the Japanese seas for. Kazunori lives in the Shiba prefecture near-ish to Kyoto and making ceramics is a sideline to his day job as a fisherman. His pieces are inspired by traditional Japanese tsubo storage jars and have a wabi-sabi honesty about them I love.
This Swiss modernist industrial designer Bruno Rey is a real current favourite. His stacking chair, made by Dietiker in the 1970s, is a very jovial design with great proportions. They're relatively easy to find and available in lots of different block colours - I love how the veins of the timber come through the stained surfaces.
I’m not one for antiques with too much ritz or razzle-dazzle but often use Arts and Crafts pieces from The Millinery Works in De Beauvoir in projects. The team has an endlessly updated line-up of Aesthetic, Ambrose Heal, Lethaby and Cotswold School furniture that are beautifully made and give such a sense of the lo-fi rural and handcrafted to a room.
It was some recent pottery dug up from a shipwreck that got me onto a new dealer, Nolan Watson at Tyssen. Based between London and Deal in Kent, he sells a wonderful line up of decorative finds. Some Nanking cargo is still going, plus I have my eye on this beautiful punchbowl:
An English delftware polychrome punchbowl, circa 1730.
Carl Auböck II is one of my favourite 20th-century designers and worked with his son and father (both Carls, confusingly) at the Viennese Werkstatte to create countless Modernist marvels across the generations. Sigmar carries a selection of brass hooks in their archetypal playful shapes – all still made in Vienna – plus antique one-off pieces too.
Hook #4994 - Carl Auböck
Souad’s actual Aladdin’s Cake in Kentish Town is a trove brimming with every Moroccan marvel imaginable – vintage Beni Ouranis, Boucherouite rags and Middle Atlas pile rugs plus vast contemporary kilims too. Her delight in the craft is clear – she talks about them as paintings, not home accessories – and the depth they bring to an inside space is transformative.
Vintage Boucherouite rag rug
Firecracker stained-glass designer Annahita Hessami does all sorts of commissions in various scale and size but I go to her for the abstract, geometric and charmingly textured Frank Lloyd Wright-style works for front doors or internal double doors.
Another ceramicist on the other side of the world but Brisbane-based Nicolette Johnson is one of my favourite potters at the moment. She’s fairly new to the game but can throw like an old master and has a great sense of decoration too – whether it’s vessels adorned with wonky, hand-fiddled wings or incredibly precise shells and, recently, large raindrops. She’s a really unique voice in contemporary ceramics.
This Irish fabric brand was founded in the postwar period by Norwegian textile designer Gerd Hay-Edie and supplied all the modern greats such as Robin Day and Conran. Her grandson Mario Sierra is now in charge – still weaving on the old looms in the Mourne hills in County Down – and I’m a huge fan of the deep, cosy, textured tweed wools for curtains, plus the cushions and accessories.
Mourne Check Cushion
One last potter for posterity – the Bath-based master Paul Philp. He’s an expert in crafting abstract shapes out of stoneware that are fired numerous times with different glazes and oxides to give them a worn, earthly feeling. Their handmade-ness belies the highly technical expertise that has gone into making them.