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Material Matters with Grant Gibson
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Material Matters with Grant Gibson

Author: Grant Gibson

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Material Matters features in-depth interviews with a variety of designers, makers and artists about their relationship with a particular material or technique. Hosted by writer and critic Grant Gibson. Follow Grant on Insta @grant_on_design
68 Episodes
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Robert Penn describes himself as a journalist, woodsman and lifelong cyclist, who has written some of the best craft-based books of recent years, including It’s All About the Bike, where he travelled the globe finding the best components with which to build his dream bicycle, and The Man Who Made things out of Trees, which told the tale of what he did with an ash tree that he felled in some nearby woods. The titles tell a personal story, which Penn deftly combines with a broader history and, sometimes, a bit of science. But, really, they are all about the importance of making. His latest is no different. A little like Ronseal, Slow Rise: A Bread Making Adventure, does exactly what it says on the tin. It has been described by writer, Jenny Linford, as ‘a wide-ranging, gloriously obsessive odyssey’.Robert lives in the Black Mountains with his wife, three children, two spaniels, 12 bicycles and a collection of axes. He bakes his own bread in a wood-fired oven. In this episode we talk about: writing a book devoted to bread; his fascination with the ordinary things that surround us; how a three-year, around-the-world cycling trip piqued his interest in baking; the relationship between bread and power; ploughing his own field with a horse; searching the globe for the right wheat seeds; seeking divine intervention; our obsession with white bread; and how industrial farming took such a wrong turn.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Carmen Hijosa is the creator of Pinatex, a new, non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves. After finishing a PhD in textiles at the Royal College of Art, she founded her company, Ananas Anam. And subsequently, the new material has been specified by brands such as Hugo Boss, Chanel, and Mango for bags, shoes and clothes. It has even been used for a vegan hotel suite at the Hilton Hotel Bankside.Meanwhile, Pinatex production offers additional income to more than 700 families from farming communities and cooperatives in the Philippines, where the pineapple leaves are collected. None too surprisingly, she has won a slew of awards, including the Arts Foundation Material Innovation Prize and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.In this episode we talk about: what Pinatex is and how it’s made; why she came up with the idea to create a non-woven textile from pineapple leaves; her background in the leather industry; the trip to the Philippines that changed her life; growing up in Spain and being a rebel at school; issues around the material’s end of life; starting her new foundation for children; and why the material brings out the best in people.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Amin Taha has been described as ‘London’s most controversial architect’. This is largely due to 15 Clerkenwell Close, a development that is defined by a single material, stone. The building (which houses his collective practice, Groupwork, and where he also happens to live) was shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, despite that fact it was finished in 2017. And it’s fair to say the nomination came as a surprise. This wasn’t simply to do with the timing, nor the building itself – which is a smart, witty, and, it transpires, sustainable piece of work that subtly references the area’s history. But rather because, three years ago, it was issued with a demolition order by Islington Council for non-conformity with the submitted plans . Happily, Taha won his appeal and has taken the thinking behind the building – which uses limestone as a structural frame, rather than as a facade for steel and concrete – to investigate how we might build carbon negative towers in the future.  As architecture writer, Tim Abrahams, has pointed out what sets Taha’s practice apart is his ‘fundamental rejection of style as an orientating device in favour of structure’. In other words, this is an architect for whom materials really matter.In this episode we talk about: the controversy around 15 Clerkenwell Close; being shortlisted for the Stirling Prize; learning to build in stone; why it’s a sustainable material; the nation’s planning system; beauty; being born behind the Iron Curtain; growing up in Southend-on-Sea; studying under Isi Metzstein and working for Zaha Hadid; designing 30-storey stone towers; and how the construction industry could become carbon negative. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Did you know that, for years, paper was made from rags rather than wood pulp? No, me neither. Mark Cropper is chair of the extraordinary paper manufacturer, James Cropper PLC. And it’s fair to say that the material has dominated the life of his family for over 175 years. The company has been based in the picturesque village of Burneside, near Kendal in the Lake District since 1845 and Mark is, rather remarkably, the sixth generation to run a firm that currently employs around 600 people.He also has unique insight into the company having written its official history, entitled The Leaves We Write On, in 2004. James Cropper has long specialised in making coloured paper but, in more recent years, it has also branched out with a division devoted to technical fibres – think carbon fibre paper – as well as Colourform, a new packaging solution which the company hopes will replace single-use plastic. It has also developed a process to recycle used coffee cups into paper.Not only that but Mark has also launched the Paper Foundation, on a site a stone’s throw away from the main factory, where he is creating paper the traditional way, by hand, using over 700 moulds that he has tirelessly collected.In this episode we chat about: the history of making at Burneside; why the railway revolutionised the company; weathering economic storms; coping with COVID; how the company started making paper from rags (rather than wood pulp); creating carbon fibre paper; the importance of looking after the material’s heritage and making paper by hand again; and attempting to unite the local community through paper.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Claire Wilcox is best known for her work as senior curator of fashion at the V&A, where she has staged shows such as Radical Fashion, Vivienne Westwood, The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-57, and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, as well as launching the groundbreaking, Fashion in Motion in 1999. She is also professor in fashion curation at the London College of Fashion and is on the editorial board of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture. More recently though, she has written a genuinely original – and I’m delighted to write, now, award-winning – memoir about her life, work, family, and her relationship with clothes. Patch Work: A Life Amongst Clothes is funny, unself-conscious, thought-provoking and elegiac in roughly equal measures. It is an extraordinary piece of work.In this episode we talk about: the importance of clothes; how garments store memory; why she decided to write Patch Work; what the book reveals about her relationships with her parents, friends, and family; her fascination with buttons; dealing with the death of a child; why she feels at home in the V&A; creating Fashion in Motion; refusing to name (fashion) names; ricocheting between uncertainty and doubt; oh, and getting fired from a sex shop.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Piet Hein Eek is a world renowned Dutch designer, who made his name when he graduated from the Academy for Industrial Design Eindhoven in 1990 with a cupboard made from scraps of wood he found in a lumber yard. He set up his own practice three years later creating furniture that, in his words, was designed from ‘available possibilities’, with pieces using waste from other processes and, sometimes, waste from that waste. Products are created around the materials the practice has in stock – whether that be a vast number of huge wooden beams or metal pipes – and the machines it possesses. Craft is vitally important to everything he’s produced. And production is at the heart of his enormous studio in Eindhoven that also includes a shop, restaurant, an art gallery, and, in the very near future, a hotel. During his career, the designer has also branched out into architecture, starting by creating extraordinary garden outhouses and expanding into pieces of urban planning, as well as collaborating with brands such as LEFF and IKEA. I caught him just as he was preparing to exhibit at the Salone in Milan, arguably the world’s most important design festival. In this episode we talk about: being a bit of a rebel; the studio’s new boutique hotel; his fascination with ruins and how that feeds into his practice; the story behind his iconic Scrap Wood series; his love of Eindhoven; why making is vital to his studio; splitting up with his long term business partner, Nob Ruijrok; embracing failure; and collaborating with the behemoth that is IKEA. It's fascinating stuff.My thanks go to the American Hardwood Export Council (or AHEC) for sponsoring this episode. To find out more about its new project at London’s Design Museum, Discovered, go to: https://discovered.globalSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Emma Witter is an emerging artist who has forged a reputation with her delicate sculptures that often resemble flowers but are created, rather intriguingly, from animal bone, such as oxtail and chicken feet. Her pieces straddle our sense of beauty and the macabre. As she told one writer: ‘I am fascinated with the diversity of death and burial rituals across the world… In the floral motifs, I do like the balance of representation of life and death, fragility and strength.’ Emma graduated in performance design and practice from Central Saint Martins in 2012 and has subsequently won a fistful of awards and column inches. In 2019, she had a solo show at London’s Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation, entitled Remember You Must Die, while her work has been exhibited with galleries such as the Mayfair-based FUMI and Ting-Ying, as well as at the recent group show, Triggered Economics or How to Commit to the Inevitable on an empty floor of an office building on Bruton Street.In this episode we discuss: working with animal bone; the response her work receives from its audience; finding use for London’s empty spaces; why she doesn’t draw; being expelled from her primary school; discovering she has ADHD and dyspraxia; making in a ‘blissful’ state; her fascination with beauty; oh, and working with a certain Kylie Minogue.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Chris Day is an emerging artist with a fascinating hinterland.  The glassblower was a plumber and heating engineer in the Midlands for two decades before deciding to change his life. Since graduating from Wolverhampton University in 2019, his rise has been startling. That same year, he received a special commendation at the British Glass Biennale, which was followed by a solo show at Vessel Gallery in London’s Notting Hill. And at the moment he has an extraordinary, and genuinely moving, installation at All Saint’s Church at Harewood House, just outside Leeds. This is glasswork like you’ve never seen before. Day employs materials he used in his previous career, such as copper piping and wire. His pieces tackle the black experience in both Britain and the US, based around his own mixed race heritage – often focussing on the history of the slave trade in the eighteenth century, as well as events leading up to the American civil rights movement. The artist says that his main purpose is to ‘engage the audience on issues that are hard to confront on many levels, using art to help overcome some of the traumas that haunt our collective past.’ His work is already held in a number of private collections, as well as the V&A, the National Museum of Scotland and The Chrysler Museum in the US.In this episode we talk about: his new installation at Harewood House; how he discovered glass; growing up mixed race in Derby during the ’70s; why his pieces are concerned with slavery and the black experience; dyslexia as a super-power; becoming a successful engineer; and his urge to be seen as a role model for emerging black glass blowers. My thanks go to leading glass specialist, Vessel Gallery, for sponsoring this episode. To find out more about them go to: www.vesselgallery.comSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
My final guest of the latest series is Emily Johnson, co-founder of the Stoke-on-Trent-based, ceramics company 1882 Ltd. Clay is part of the former TV executive’s DNA. She is the fifth generation of Johnson to work in the industry, with her father and business partner, Chris, spending over 30 years as a production director of Wedgwood, after it bought the family firm in 1964. Since launching a decade ago, 1882 Ltd has worked with an eclectic roster of designers including: Max Lamb, Faye Toogood, former Material Matters guest Barnaby Barford, architect John Pawson and fashion designer Paul Smith. According to the company’s own official blurb, at its core is a combination of ‘progressive design and industrial craftsmanship’. So why did she decide to leave television and return to clay? And what’s it like to launch a new manufacturing company in Stoke-on-Trent in the 21st century?In this episode we talk about: making through the pandemic; opening a brand new production unit (or factory) at Wedgwood; why she initially eschewed clay for TV advertising in the US; the pain of watching Johnson Brothers wither; launching 1882 Ltd; keeping craft skills alive in Stoke-on-Trent; the social and economic issues the city faces; working with her father and why a piece by Barnaby Barford changed their relationship; Brexit; and the joy of the common language of clay. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
As regular listeners will know, every once in a while I break free of Material Matters’ self-imposed format and meet someone with an overview of the design world. And in this episode, I’m delighted to chat with Sir John Sorrell CBE. It’s a question really of where to start with John’s career (but here goes). He was chair of the Design Council from 1994-2000; chair of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) from 2004-2009; vice-president of the Chartered Society of Designers from 1989-1992; and chairman of the Design Business Association from 1990-1992. In 2014, he founded the Creative Industries Federation, stepping down as chair in 2017. Not content with any of that, he co-founded the London Design Festival in 2003, as well as the London Design Biennale in 2016 – both with Ben Evans. Perhaps most importantly, in 1999 he co-founded The Sorrell Foundation with his wife Frances, that aims to inspire creativity in young people and improve lives with good design. Subsequently, they co-founded The Saturday Club Trust, which offers young people the opportunity to study subjects such as art and design at a university for free on a Saturday. And I haven’t even mentioned Newell & Sorrell, the pioneering design business he set up with Frances in 1976. This, I guess, is a long way of saying that he has been one of the most influential figures in British design for well over four decades. In this episode we talk about: adapting to the pandemic; bringing 400 trees to Somerset House for this year’s London Design Biennale; creating the London Design Festival and why it took a while to find its feet; being born during an air raid in 1945 and growing up on a north London council estate; how going to a Saturday art club changed his life; starting his career in the sixties; his extraordinary marriage to Frances; Margaret Thatcher’s handkerchief and a wildly controversial project for British Airways; the importance of the Sorrell Foundation; and creating a new generation of leaders for the design world.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
What does an artist do when the material he has devoted his working life to runs out? Garry Fabian Miller is a renowned photographer, who doesn’t use a camera in his practice. Instead, he works in his darkroom and relies on a combination of light and cibachrome paper, using exposures that can last between one to twenty hours.  His extraordinary, abstract pieces are inspired by nature and the things he sees on walks around his home in Dartmoor. His work is held in an array of public and private collections, including MoMA in New York, the Sir Elton John Collection and the V&A in London. Meanwhile his latest book – and there have been many – is entitled Blaze and features a forward from an old friend of the show, Edmund de Waal.Trouble is that, thanks to the rise of digital photography, production of cibachrome halted in 2012 and supplies have dwindled to nothing. This is the story of how he has coped.  In this episode we talk about: the vital role light and cibachrome paper have played in his life; the importance of Dartmoor to his process; deciding to discard the camera; growing up as a child in a darkroom; photography as a medium of magic; feeling like an ‘edge player’; his love of the etcher Robin Tanner and punk rocker Poly Styrene; and, of course, dealing with the dying days of his craft.You can learn more about Garry here And you can sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
This episode investigates the near-future and how material technology could transform the way we live. Mark Miodownik is the UCL professor of materials & society. He received his PhD in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Ireland and the UK. For more than twenty years he has championed materials science research that links to the arts and humanities, medicine, and society. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making, where he is a director and runs the research programme.He’s the author of two highly successful – and, I think importantly, incredibly accessible – books on materials, Stuff Matters and Liquid and regularly presents TV and radio programmes about material science on the BBC. Most recently, however, he’s co-chaired a working group that has just delivered a fascinating, and far reaching, report for the Royal Society, entitled Animate Materials, which is the focus of much of our chat. In the episode we talk about: how new ‘active, adaptive and autonomous’ materials will change our lives; concrete that heals itself using bacteria; why we’ll grow our cities in years to come; the potential for new materials in healthcare and the nanoparticles that could help cure cancer; the economic and social impacts of this new technology; the importance of scientists collaborating with designers, architects and artists; and how animate materials could drive a new evolutionary tree.  It’s frequently eye-popping stuff. I hope you enjoy.You can download Animate Materials hereAnd you can sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
One of the joys of Material Matters is that it allows me to roam across disciplines. So one week I can discuss carbon fibre and Formula 1 racing with John Barnard, while in the next I could be talking taxidermy with fine artist Polly Morgan. My guest in this episode is the excellent Sarah Wigglesworth. I think it’s fair to say that Sarah has been a pioneer of sustainable architecture through her eponymous practice. Over the years projects have included cultural centres such as Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, housing schemes like Umpire View in Harrow and Trent Basin in Nottingham, and a fistful of thoughtful, sensitively-designed schools, including Roseacres Primary School in Essex and Mellor Primary School in the Peak District. She made her name though with her own home-cum-office, the revolutionary Stock Orchard Street, designed with partner Jeremy Till. The building, which is 20 years old this year, used a plethora of low tech materials such as rubble, sandbags and, most famously, straw bales to change the way people thought about environmentally-conscious architecture. The Straw Bale House as it was quickly nicknamed also appeared on the first-ever series of Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud.We chat about: how four years of thinking went into Stock Orchard Street; its extraordinary palette of materials; attitudes towards sustainable architecture two decades ago; why she built with straw; the feminist agenda behind the building and making her way in a male-dominated profession; how a visit to Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp changed her life; being on the original series of Grand Designs; and designing for old age. There’s plenty to get your teeth into (or ears around) I reckon. Learn more about Sarah hereAnd sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Jasleen Kaur on food.

Jasleen Kaur on food.

2021-04-2147:20

Jasleen Kaur is an artist, designer and maker, who graduated from the jewellery and metal course at the Royal College of Art in 2010. Since then her practice has encompassed pieces created for gallery spaces as well as work that is socially-engaged. She has described herself, rather intriguingly, as a ‘cobbler’. Recently, she has created films and pieces of text which investigate untold histories and notions of identity that are both personal – detailing her Sikh background from Glasgow – and, in some instances, to do with this nation’s colonial past. And, more often that not, embedded in all this somewhere is food. In a commission for the Serpentine Gallery, entitled Everyday Resistance, Kaur worked collaboratively with children and mothers from The Portman Early Childhood Centre, based in London’s Edgware, and used the micro-politics of cooking and eating together to consider and respond to issues facing the local community.  This is art with a very real purpose. As well as exhibiting in places such as MIMA in Middlesborough, the BALTIC Centre in Gateshead, and Glasgow’s Tramway, Jasleen has also lectured at the RCA and Chelsea College of Arts. In this episode we talk about: baking bread with mothers and children in a London Sure Start Centre; why the kitchen is a ‘site of resistance’; the part food played in her Sikh family and growing up in Glasgow; digging into history; feeling on the periphery; making bad jewellery; how her work has become more political over the years; ‘faking it’ as a product designer; oh, and we also find out who exactly does the cooking at home…It’s a hugely personal, and frequently rather beautiful, chat.To learn more about Jasleen's work go hereAnd to sign up to my newsletter go hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Alice Potts on sweat.

Alice Potts on sweat.

2021-03-0457:21

Alice Potts is a material researcher, who ‘explores the poetry of the human fluids’. She caused quite a storm when she graduated from the fashion department of the Royal College of Art in 2018 with a collection of crystals grown on various garments – including an extraordinary pair of ballet shoes dyed in red cabbage juice. These crystals were a little different though as they were created from the user’s own sweat.  Unsurprisingly perhaps,  the collection was entitled PERSPIRE and Alice was quickly picked up by some of the fashion world’s big beasts, including Nick Knight and Sarah Mower.In 2019, she was part of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 – London’s most influential people and her pieces have been shown everywhere from the Onassis Foundation in Athens to the Philadelphia Museum in the US via the V&A in London. A collection of 20 facemasks fashioned from biodegradable plastic – made from food waste sourced from local food markets, butchers and households – as well as a limited edition jewellery collection made in collaboration with MIMCO is currently on show at the NGV Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.In this episode we talk about: why she should currently be in Australia; making PPE from food waste; the importance of colour; her forgiving housemates; creating jewellery from seaweed; washing less; dealing with extreme personal trauma; accepting being different; and, last but by no means least, her obsession with sweat. Suffice to say Alice is thoughtful, intelligent and incredibly honest. In other words she’s the perfect podcast guest. You can find out more about Alice hereAnd you can sign up for my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Thomas Thwaites was one of the first people I wanted to interview when I started Material Matters in 2019. I’m not entirely certain why it has taken so long to arrange a chat. The designer graduated from the Design Interactions course of Royal College of Art in 2009, with a piece that has gone on to become genuinely iconic. In The Toaster Project, Thwaites set out to make this industrially manufactured product by hand. He mined his own iron ore, extracted copper from water and attempted to persuade BP to allow him onto an oil rig to bring back a jug of crude. His adventure was published as a (highly readable) book in 2011. And not satisfied with that, a few years later this most unpredictable of creatives came up with another book. Goatman: How I took a Holiday from Being Human charted his quest to live his life as a goat and cross the Alps on all fours, eating grass along the route.It was described by designer Anthony Dunne as ‘a wonderfully eccentric, at times absurd, but always thoughtful reflection on one man’s journey into the wilder regions of design.’In this episode we talk about: becoming a father during the pandemic; deciding to create a toaster by hand; persuading people to do the strangest things; why his approach to design is like journalism (only more difficult); how his mother’s microwave ended up in the permanent collection of the V&A; hosting a TV show in South Korea; and, last but by no means least, his desire to become a goat. You can learn more about Thomas hereAnd sign up for my newsletter here Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Gregg Buchbinder is the owner of US-based furniture manufacturer, Emeco. The Electrical Machine and Equipment Company was founded in 1944 and quickly created the 1006 chair for the US Navy. The piece, made out of recycled aluminium, has gone on to become a design classic but its story is far from straightforward. By the time Buchbinder bought the firm from his father in 1998, its factory in Hanover, Pensylvania was on the edge of closure. He pumped its chest with a roster of high profile designers and pieces, starting with the Hudson chair by Philippe Starck in 2000.Since then the company has gone on to work with the likes of Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Michael Young, Jasper Morrison and Nendo to name just a few. Not only that but Emeco has been innovative with its use of materials too. In 2010, the company launched a new version of the Navy Chair made from 111 recycled Coca Cola bottles, finding a new use for plastic that otherwise would have been destined for landfill. Further research into the material led it to produce the On & On chair, designed by Barber Osgerby, and so called because it can be recycled endlessly. This is a company with a singular vision – and that belongs to Gregg. In this episode we talk about: manufacturing during a pandemic; the 77 processes (count ’em) needed to create the Navy chair; why it was made from recycled aluminium; working with the likes of Frank Gehry and Terence Conran; his relationship with his father; the shift in client base from the US military to up-market architects and designers; the effect Starck had on the company; collaborating with everyone from Coca Cola to the local Amish community; and taking copycats to court. You can find out more about Emeco hereAnd sign up for my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Yinka Ilori started his practice from his parents’ back garden in 2011, after receiving a £3000 loan from the Prince’s Trust. Initially, the designer made his name by creating a string of chairs, notable for their strong use of colour that came from his Nigerian heritage, and a profound sense of narrative – the pieces were often based on the stories of old school friends and parables his parents told him as a child. However, after creating his eponymous studio in 2017, the scale of his work started to change. Happy Street is a permanent installation in a Battersea underpass, for instance, while The Colour Palace – a timber pavilion inspired by markets in Lagos – was installed in the grounds of the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2019. More recently his public art installation, in support of the NHS, at London’s Blackfriars brought joy at a moment when it was desperately needed. Written in bright pink letters it said simply: ‘Better Days Are Coming, I promise.’ According to architect Sir David Adjaye: ‘His furniture transcends just function and product and acts as a device for cultural memory.’ Yinka was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. In this episode we talk about: launching his new homeware collection during lockdown; discovering he was part of a new design movement on Dezeen; feeling he had to change his design language to fit in, before discovering his own voice; using chairs to tell stories; the power of colour; and why his work has got bigger. And, trust me, there’s lots more besides.You can find out more about Yinka's work hereAnd you can sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Stuart Haygarth is an artist and designer who works with the stuff that other people throw away. After beginning his career as a photographer and illustrator, he burst onto the design scene in 2005 at Designersblock in London’s Shoreditch with a pair of extraordinary chandeliers. Millennium was made from a series of party poppers he’d collected on the first morning of the year 2000, while Tide comprised of flotsam and jetsam picked up over several years from the Kent coastline. Subsequently other pieces have used the tail lights of cars and spectacle frames.He has exhibited around the globe, including: the V&A and Gallery Libby Sellers in London, The Lighthouse in Glasgow and DesignMiami. There has also been a solo show at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris. As the critic and former director of the Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, has written, Stuart ‘has a gift for placement and a colour sense that give the mundane a sumptuous, tactile quality… He finds richness in the traces that wind and weather leave on humble materials and that can give dignity to even the most tawdry of things.’In this episode we talk about: his interest in abandoned objects; why he’s neither a designer nor a fine artist; his obsession with collecting; not being an eco-designer; walking 500 miles along England’s south coast to pick up detritus; the problem with German beaches; and trying to make sense of the world through his work. You can find out more about Stuart hereAnd you can sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
Juli Bolaños-Durman is an artist and sculptor best known for her work with cut and engraved recycled glass. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, initially studying graphic design. However, in 2010 she moved to Edinburgh to take an MA in her chosen material and her career took off. Her beautifully colourful, joyfully decorative, genuinely jaunty pieces have been exhibited at the V&A in London, Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Somerset’s Make Hauser & Wirth, Design Days Dubai and the Corning Glass Museum in the US. Over the years, she has also received commissions from the National Glass Centre Collection in Sunderland as well as the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. In 2015 she won an Elle Decoration British Design Award, while in 2017 she was selected for the prestigious Jerwood Makers Open.In this episode we talk about: staying creative during lockdown; growing up in Costa Rica; taking the decision to move to Scotland; the importance of play; how reuse is a rebellious act; her relationship with colour; making art more accessible; and why a simple jug might really want to be an astronaut (no, really it might). You can learn more about Juli hereAnd you can sign up to my newsletter hereSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/materialmatters?fan_landing=true)
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Comments (1)

Jeevan

really good podcast!! keep going...

Apr 23rd
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