let's go to the Donna Wilson shop
search

Blog Category: Donna’s Diary

Happy Living: The Japanese House at The Barbican

8 June 2017

All year round, the Barbican Centre hosts a diverse range of exhibitions within the fields of contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture. When I used to live in the Golden Lane estate I could easily pop over and be truly inspired by what was currently on display. Now I have 2 little boys and live further East, it’s a bit tricky to get the time to go as regularly. I managed to find some time to see The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 last month and it really did not disappoint.

When you arrive, the exhibition starts on the mezzanine which gives you a terrific bird’s eye view of the installation-scale models by some of Japan’s most iconic architects. My favourite was the fantastic wooden teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori that sits in a minimal garden of grassy mounds. You can climb inside, take a seat and people watch through the massive porthole window (pic above, right). I thought it would make the best tree house in my back garden  (you may have read my Tree House inspiration post earlier last month here) The shape of this tree carving (pic above, left) reminds me of my Giant House Cushion.

japanese house barbican

japanese house barbican

I loved the styling of the Moriyama House model (by SANAA’s Ryue Nishizawa, pic above right) which is a combination of 10 stark white-painted prefab units including fully -furnished rooms. In Tokyo, this is a real building which that is co-habited by Yasuo Moriyama and a community of  5 other tenants. The maze-like structure and gardens have such an unusual warmth when you walk through and you discover personal possessions in every corner. From piles of books, vinyl records, functional kitchen utensils and ambient lighting. When can I move in?

I also want to highlight Hideyuki Nakayama‘s series of childlike sketches (see pic above). All his buildings designs use these drawings as a starting point.  It’s the same approach I take when inventing new knitted creatures.  I think about the way that children draw things and how uninhibited it can be. Like drawing a cat with ten legs and three eyes or a bird with an exaggerated big head.

The exhibition is on until the 25th June. I hope you have time to visit and enjoy it as much I did! Make sure you visit The Conservatory too. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

MYO Launch Party

30 May 2017

I hope everyone had great bank holiday weekend and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. On Saturday we hosted the launch party for my new magazine MYO. Wow! What a great turn out. Lots of creative minds (little and large) attended our afternoon of creativity at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London.

I can’t wait to share pics of everyone’s handmade masks, badges, animal cupcakes, necklaces and selfies with our knitted creatures. If you were at our launch party, join our competition. Please share your pics using hashtag #myocreate and our favourite pic will receive a prize of £100 gift voucher to spend at www.donnawilson.com

We’ll be sharing our own pics of the day over the next couple of days. We’ll have coverage of the creative workshops and of course, the brilliant puppet show “Goose The Bear”.

MYO Launch Party Audience Trees

MYO Launch Party Audience

Read all about it at the MYO Newsstand.

MYO Launch Party Audience

MYO Launch Party Donna Wilson

Thank you to everyone that attended this fantastic afternoon of creativity. I hope you feel inspired to get making!

Also, thank you to our sponsors Hey! Yum, Noodoll, Pip Organic, Rebel Kitchen. A very special thanks to Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, BKD, The Amazing Art Cart, Rosy Nicholas, Line Us, Protein Studios, Gareth Hacker and the Donna Wilson / MYO team for all your hard work and making this spectacular event such a wonderful afternoon.

Photo credit: Gareth Hacker.

Celebrating Creativity: Zetteler’s Q&A with Donna Wilson

19 May 2017

The studio has been buzzing this week, sending out the first copies of MYO Volume 1. Have you received your copy yet? Let us know what you think!

I took some time out to have a tea and a chat with Zetteler. Read my interview all about the idea my new bi-annual publication MYO and some other projects in the pipeline. Here’s the link.

We’ve also been preparing for the fantastic launch party of MYO (“Make Your Own”). The event is next Saturday and tickets have already sold out. We have the fantastic Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana/ Ljubljana Puppet Theatre coming to make their UK debut of Goose The Bear. We’ve also invited some of our friends to do some super fun making workshops.

 

MYO Magazine – Out Now!

10 May 2017

Hot off the press . . . MYO Magazine is out now.

Our first batch of MYO magazines are finally ready to ship. Subscribe now to receive 2 issues a year to your door. We ship worldwide!

 

Factory visit to Stoke-on-Trent

28 April 2017

I thought you might like to find out more about our design process so this is the first in a series of factory visits where you can see how Donna Wilson products are made.

You may have seen on Instagram that I took a trip down to our factory in Stoke-on-Trent last week. This is the place where all our bone china ceramics and glassware is produced.  It’s really great to be so close to our makers, literally a train ride away!

For over 300 years Stoke-on-Trent has been renowned for it’s making of high-quality ceramics and revolutionising pottery making techniques. The factory is one of the last remaining ones to survive after many generations of pottery-making. I hope their skills and traditional techniques continue to be passed down to future master potters. We chat in great depth about potential new products and develop some new ideas with these knowledgeable makers. It’s very inspiring to see how they do everything: building the shapes, hand decorating,  glaze, and then fire our final designs in the kiln. As you can see from my photos, everything is porcelain white!

Factory Visit Stoke Moulds Donna Wilson

These tall white towers are the plaster moulds for bowls, plates and beakers.

Factory Visit Stoke Slip Cast Donna Wilson

Each mould requires a trained worker to fill in liquid clay. The clay forms a layer and sticks to inside walls of the mould. This technique is known as slipcasting.

IMG_3967Factory Visit Stoke Egg Cup Donna Wilson

Here are the beginnings of some Beardy Man egg cups, ready to be to hand decorated.  They look much friendlier when they have faces . . . and beards!

Photo credit: Donna Wilson

Subscribe Now to MYO magazine

28 April 2017

MYO Magazine Subscribe Now!

The wait is over, MYO magazine is now live! You can buy my new bi-annual publication. Make Your Own is all about creativity and to inspire and encourage creativity in all its forms – music, play, cooking, or just day-to-day life.

 

MYO Magazine Subscribe