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News on new work & exceptional objects to buy . . & news on Marchmont House in the Borders & Pavilion Pavilion in Glasgow, to Cove Park residencies & QEST awards.

Urpflanze . . . a new lighting project

Eat Up Midi — a pendant lamp, one in a range of new lights from Urpflanze, a lighting project recently launched by Rachel Adams.
Photograph Alexander Hoyles

Rachel Adams has long been interested in the ‘right to roam’ across art, craft & design. Her work fires a constant questioning of form & function & an interest in the domestic space as well as the public. Now she has launched Urpflanze, a lighting project inspired by arguably one of our finest no-nonsense vegetables, the cabbage. Adams who is based in Glasgow – she exhibited at Design Exhibition Scotland 2018, with a vast hand tie-dyed linen – first worked on the lamps for a show at David Dale Gallery in Glasgow in 2018. Curious to how she could expand her practice, she looked at the 19th century Portuguese ceramics company, Bordallo Pinheiro & the coloured-glass lamps designed by Tiffany to explore how to merge ideas of the decorative, the sculptural & the functional.

Maxi in Savoy by Urplanza. Photograph Alexander Hoyles

Using the many-leafed brassica as a starting point, Adams has created a series of lampshades in muted through to verdant greens. The large Maxi in Savoy is priced at £380 with the smaller, Eat Up Lamp Midi coming in at £120. They are made of plexiglass & digitally fabricated in Glasgow. As to the name Urpflanze, this beautifully sounding & looking word comes from the German writer Goethe’s theory of 1790 about the existence of a primal plant or ‘urpflanze’. To buy . . head to Urplanze‘s website.

Urpflanze – A drawing of ‘an ideal plant’ from an illustration by the French botanist P J F Turpin (1775-1840). Goethe wrote in 1790: ‘Seeing such a variety of new and renewed forms, my old fancy suddenly came back to mind: among this multitude might I not discover the Primal Plant (Urpflanze)?’

QEST supports excellence in British craftsmanship through scholarships & apprenticeships.

Founded in 1990, QEST supports designers, makers and craftspeople from across the UK. This year’s recipients include ceramic artist & designer, Frances Priest who has been named the 2020 Johnnie Walker Scholar. Frances will undertake a period of research with Shropshire ceramic manufacturer Craven Dunnill Jackfield, who she previously collaborated with on The Tiled Corridor a commission for The Royal Edinburgh Hospital in 2016.

A detail of Frances Priest’s The Tiled Corridor shown at Design Exhibition Scotland 2019, made in collaboration with Craven Dunnill Jackfield for The Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Photograph Ruth Clark.

Glasgow-based furniture maker Simon Worthington is this year’s QEST Prince’s Foundation Scholar – Furniture making. Simon’s scholarship has taken him to furniture workshops at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, to Orkney where he worked with celebrated Orkney chair maker, Kevin Gauld and onwards to Marchmont House in the Scottish Borders. Here Simon is working with ladder back chair makers, Richard Platt & Sam Cooper in the newly-opened Marchmont Workshop. Head to QEST for more details on the next round of awards. The deadline for applications is January.

A rush seat ladder back chair in production at The Marchmont Workshop.

Creative Spaces at Marchmont House

And more on Marchmont House. It’s flourishing! A tremendously stately home near the small Border’s town of Greenlaw, its owner Hugo Burge is fuelling a mission to bring the house alive as a ‘home for makers & creators’ with a series of creative spaces. A grand garage with a cantilevered canopy designed by architect Robert Lorimer in the early 20th century, is now home to Marchmont Workshop. Here Richard Platt & Sam Cooper, both former apprentices of the celebrated chair maker Lawrence Neal, are crafting rush seated ladder back chairs, a craft that until the Marchmont initiative was very much on the demise. And Marchmont’s former steading has been transformed into artists’ studios and a wonderfully commodious cooking & eating & meeting space. There is now exciting talk of plans to open a print studio and in January Marchmont will launch a residency programme. For more details contact

Lorimer’s garage from the 1920s now transformed into Marchmont Workshop & surrounding steading which has been transformed in to studios & a communal eating & meeting spaces.

Funded residencies at Cove Park

Cove Park founded in 1999 & located on a peninsula overlooking Loch Long.

And onwards to Cove Park on Scotland’s west coast. Founded in 1999 & overlooking Loch Long & the Firth of Clyde, they offer a range of residences for designers, writers, artists & creative producers. There’s currently a call out for their 2021 funded Craft & Design and Visual Art Residencies. The deadline is 14 December.

Room-temperature bodies

An exhibition of new work by c.a. walac is on at Pavilion Pavilion HQ, Glasgow until 10/11/20 (viewable through the window). c.a walac is a Glasgow-based designer & artist who practice presents ‘furniture, objects, oddities.’

New Wall Lights from Jack Brindley

Meanwhile Jack Brindley founder of Pavilion Pavilion is also lighting up the long nights with his new Wall Lights, a series of wall hanging & pendant glass lampshades . . head to Pavilion Pavilion website, from £200. Brindley launched Pavilion Pavilion last year with the expressed aim to explore the relationship ‘between contemporary art & objects of use.’ Read our Q&A with Jack. Take a look too at his ‘Exercises in Shelving’ & his Rattan Furniture.

A text by Jack Brindley

We sat for a while thinking, as we now allow time for; whether it’s a sort of design or self-sufficiency. ‘Self-sufficient’ in that it is enough of itself to adequately get by as itself, its own sovereignty. You asked if Form and Function really describes anything at all, and how do we rationalise how things glow from within? And I said that maybe its to difficult for words. You just stared on.

The light, a bulb surrounded by shadow, pocketing illumination across its glassy surface, the bracket that holds it close up to the wall; the glow travels back at us as we dimly stare searching for the correct protagonist.

Last night we talked about state-hood and how our borders must now sit a minimum of two meters away from each other. How distance is both absolute and totally inadequate in describing the space between things. You said that it was A sovereign power chartering the space between us and could get out a tape-measure to prove a point, but it wasn’t clear of where to take the measurement from as we both looked at how the light slipped across the wall.

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