October 05 2011
Lucia van der Post
If you love charming and unusual things but are stuck for ways of tracking them down, check out Miratis, a new online boutique that provides a platform for craftspeople and artisans to sell their wares. I found things here that I hadn’t seen before – pieces that would normally only be found on the shelves of small galleries.
Straight off, I was struck by its home page, which features a little white bowl with an uneven edge strewn with hearts in shades of red. It’s by glass artist Jane Dorner, and the smallest size, 6cm, sells for just £36; the 10cm size is £84 and the largest, at 15cm, is £140. Enchanting, and quite unlike anything you’d find in the usual emporia. There’s more of her work on the site – some glorious vases (from £365) and a set of seven nesting bowls with vividly-coloured circles (pictured, £750). Sam Sweet does some charming cut-crystal milk bottles for £110 a time, and I loved Siân Matthews’ strawberry-strewn silver ice-cream spoon – at £140 it would make a terrific christening or wedding present.
You can navigate the site by category or by designer. Under “textiles” there are some fine straw hats by Uma Turan (from £110) and arty scarves by Wallace Sewell (from £70 but mostly £115) that clearly don’t look as if they’ve come off the shelves of a high-street store, being quirky and different. Emma Clegg does fantastic creamy white ceramic bowls decorated with flowers (£155) and a jug in a similar vein for £48. The silverware is gorgeous, and a lot of it precious and pricey – beautiful bowls and beakers by Siân Matthews start from £180 for a very small beaker, while the bowls go up to £2,800. If you’re looking for unique presents, here’s a good place to start.