NOTES ON DESIGN : WEST GERMAN VASES

We are absolutely in love with 1970s West German Art Vases right now. This period of design actually started in the 1930s and went on right into the 1980s.

Their eccentric shapes and colour combinations, along with those glorious textures and geometric patterns used to decorate them, show how this period was all about experimentation and discovery. They clearly illustrate a newfound sense of freedom and a revolution in the art and design of the time. 

You may have noticed one featured in our SS15 photo shoot…  

They are collected by enthusiasts worldwide, but they can often be found in local charity/junk/antique shops. Great copies as well as the real deal can be picked up for as little as a few pounds. Elegant and stylish, they are especially stunning when displayed in groups…

There were many different factories and independent artisan potters creating these vases over the period, some of the big names include Bay Keramik, Dumler & Breiden, Ruscha,  and Scheurich – varying in size and colour from quite traditional looking, to super pop art styles.

 

MADE IN SCOTLAND : A PROUD HERITAGE

All of our machine made knitwear is manufactured in Hawick, a small town in the Scottish Borders which is known for being ‘the Home of Cashmere’. Here there is a small, 3rd generation, family run factory who specialise in the manufacture of high quality cashmere and lambswool knitwear.

This year, Scott & Charters Ltd. celebrate 60 years of manufacturing cashmere and lambswool knitwear in Hawick, Scotland.

This close up image shows the very needles that produce our chunky 12ply cashmere. Most fine knit cashmere sweaters are knitted using 1 or 2ply cashmere on machines which have between 12 and 20 needles per inch, this machine has only 3 needles per inch - making it the chunkiest gauge available in machine knitting.  When knitting in a ‘Slip Stitch’ this machine can knit up to 10 ends of yarn(working out at 20ply cashmere!), this weight of cashmere is very expensive to produce but has the most incredible handle.

The scarf below is the only one we’ve made at this weight, and is still available to buy as part of our 'Archive' collection – shop the look here...

The yarn is pulled by a carriage, through a row of needles to create the endless interlocking loops. A second row of needles and secondary carriages can be used to create a plethora of different effects - coloured patterns, cables, textured stitches and more complex fabrics. These industrial Japanese machines can knit just about anything - the possibilities are endless!

The ‘linking’ machines, pictured below, are used to put all the pieces together - a fiddly job, but a crucial stage in production. This is a stitch-for-point operation where a skilled operator picks each sequential stitch of knitted fabric onto the points on the dial of a linking machine and then the machine makes a 'linking chain', using cashmere yarn, along the line of the stitches.

The washing or “milling” process is an essential part of production. At this stage, an oil that coats the yarn (to help it pass smoothly through the knitting machine) washes out along with any excess dye. Then the fibres begin to loosen and fluff up, giving the cashmere its famous soft touch.

After washing, any trims such as collars are then attached – these need to be marked, cut and then linked on. This is very skilled work and requires a precise eye for detail.

All our garments are skilfully ‘Hand Finished’ to the highest of standards. This hand crafted touch adds to the quality of the garment and is something not found in mass production operations.

All our knitwear once completed is then steamed and quality checked before being sent up to us in Edinburgh.

We’d like to thank everyone at the factory for all their hard work and dedication, ensuring that all Cameron taylor* cashmere is made to the highest quality possible! We couldn’t do it without you!

We’ll leave you with this great quote from their website – “We’ve 34 employees, with over 896 years of experience in the knitwear industry. So if our people don’t know how to do something, nobody does!”

PURE INSPIRATION : GAIL HARVEY

Born in Glasgow but now based in Shetland, Gail Harvey takes inspiration from her surrounding Scottish Landscapes to create her bold abstract works. Her use of dramatic brush strokes and bright colour combinations has gained her global recognition for her work.

A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art in the 1970s, Gail has exhibited her work extensively throughout the UK over the last 20 years – Glasgow, Shetland, Bath, Edinburgh, the Royal Academy London, the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts...to name a few. In 2013, the Arusha Gallery (now based on Dundas Street just a few doors up from the Cameron taylor* studio) presented and exclusive exhibition of her work which was extremely well attended, a real testament to her popularity. 

The energy and vigorous movement displayed in her paintings highlights the rough and rugged nature of the coastlines she draws inspiration from. You can almost feel the wind splashing through the waves and onto the rocks. The light feels like it’s changing before your eyes as bright bursts poke through swathes of colour and sludgy dark patches. These brave and joyful splashes have greatly inspired our SS15 colour palette. There is something calming about these erratic brush strokes that is just so inviting, there’s an instinctive attraction to the wild new world they depict. 

We have been lucky enough to have a couple of her pieces on loan to display in our shop, Epitome. These giant colourful works have attracted much attention from our customers and have cheerfully graced our walls - a perfect fit for the building’s grand Georgian proportions.

She has been awarded numerous scholarships and awards for her paintings, most recently the Visual Arts Bursary Award (Shetland Arts & Creative Scotland), and was the winner of Best Painting at the 2012 Shetland Open. Gail’s work is held in multiple private and public collections across the UK and Internationally. For more information on Gail Harvey and her work, please contact Arush Gallery.

Arusha Gallery, 13A Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QG     www.arushagallery.com    07814 189018