Buoyed along by punch and mince pies, Great Western Studios’ annual festive jamboree is a convivial event that’s great for buying curious, imaginative Christmas presents – from art and furniture to ceramics, fashion accessories and textiles. The high-profile west-London studio complex is occupied by 114 designers and artists, 42 of whom will be selling their one-off and limited-edition wares at its Atrium sale on Friday December 7 and Saturday December 8.
The diversity of the work can be seen by contrasting two particularly appealing pieces: Banke Kuku’s idiosyncratic sofa, upholstered in a fabric that, she says, “fuses African and western design” (first picture, £1,300), and Henrietta Molinaro’s limited-edition photographic print of battered-looking pencils (second picture, £350). The latter has an unexpectedly decorative quality. “I’m inspired by things that have lived a life before they’ve touched mine,” says Molinaro. “I found them during a road trip in the US.”
In yet another vein are Chantal de Gaudio’s aura-like, bulbous, bone-china lights (£650), which are “inspired by nature and fecundity”. Each bears a unique pattern created by removing areas of clay before firing the lamp, to make it more transparent. Then there are Ruth Ward’s intriguing photographs depicting wintry, fairytale-like landscapes (£150), which are “constructed from hand-cut paper arranged like a mini-theatre set, lit with torches,” she explains.
Equally romantic – albeit more flamboyant – are milliner Pip Hackett’s retro confections fashioned out of feathers, vintage veiling and sequins, influenced by “1940s film noir” (example in third picture, from £450, to order).
With these creatives’ works running the gamut of styles, from retro glamour to the more contemporary and informal, Atrium will delight a diverse spectrum of shoppers.