As interest in handmade work for the home deepens – seemingly in direct contrast to the amount of time spent glued to computer screens – it’s timely that Nusch Fleuriste, a selling show of luxurious handcrafted pieces, will pop up at Fortnum & Mason during Frieze week, October 14 to 20. “Crafts and making by hand are more relevant now than ever,” says the show’s curator, Clare Corrigan, whose Nusch brand is named after Nusch Eluard, wife of surrealist poet Paul Eluard and muse to Picasso and Man Ray.
As a former Marc Jacobs homeware designer who also works with Louis Vuitton, Corrigan is passionate about contemporary crafts and “wanted to showcase the sophistication and expertise of craftspeople currently working in Europe”. Seeking out individual makers to collaborate with Nusch on pieces specifically for this show, she has amalgamated an impressive band of glassblowers, ceramicists, flint-knappers, weavers, basket-makers and metalworkers.
The results speak gloriously for themselves. A fabulous flint-knapped table (second picture, £22,800) is inlaid with gold vermeil and flint flowers. Equally eye-catching is Lucy Smith’s life-size ceramic magnolia bough (£10,500), which would look stunning as a feature on an unadorned wall. Basket-maker Joe Hogan has fashioned an intriguing lichen and willow chandelier up-lighter (£4,800), while Claudy Jongstra has created tactile throws from felted silk, wool and cotton (£2,200).
Further pieces include native English flower vases (£3,600) in hand-thrown clays, glass dishes with colourful, swirly patterns (£220-£480), and ceramic Raku bowls delicately decorated with honeysuckle, sweet pea, daisies, hogweed or cow parsley (first picture, £80-£130). These are beautiful pieces to be used, enjoyed and cherished. As Corrigan puts it: “Crafted pieces create a dynamism and elegance that elevate and inspire. It is extremely important that we maintain a culture of contact with materials and hand-finishing.” And, judging by this wonderful show, she’s doing her best to make that happen.