Monday, January 14, 2019

The Artisans without a credit on Arts and Crafts House

This post is about introducing the six artisans appearing in a short series on BBC called "The Victorian Arts and Crafts House"
  • Today I'm doing the first three - Bryony Knox, Abdollah Nafisi and Ilsa Parry
  • Tomorrow I will introduce the other three - Rod Hughes,  Niamh Wimperis and Stephen Winstanley
(Left to right) Rod Hughes, Ilsa Parry, Stephen Winstanley, Bryony Knox, Niamh Wimperis, and Abdollar Nafisi

As I indicated yesterday in The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts - Episode 1 I'm pretty tired of seeing the various television companies make programmes involving people who have expertise without any credit whatsoever.

They don't need to include their websites and be accused of advertising.

However they do however need to respect them as adult human beings with skills and talents and NAME THEM - with surnames!

By way of making up for this very marked deficiency in respect and human rights I propose today to set out a brief summary (below) of each of the artisans - with their FULL NAMES and links to their websites and any other relevant/related sites including videos.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful William Morris
A common theme among the crafters is that the aspect of the project they found the most challenging - living with no power, no light when the sun went down, and no connection to normal life - was also the most rewarding. As Bryony points out, working with hand tools “links you back to craftspeople from hundreds and thousands of years ago”, while Abdollah adds “Very little access to tools and materials pushed me to the edge, which made me more creative.” The Telegraph

Bryony Knox

Pics of her artwork on her Instagram account

Facebook Page: none
My work is based on a love of storytelling, movement and colour. From elegant vessels to boxes with secrets, each individual piece is fashioned and embellished using the techniques of repousse and chasing. I design sculptures and silverware with a twist, which on closer inspection or handling reveal an additional function. Interaction and discovery of unexpected movement, revealing flashes of colour and texture, bring to life these wonderful characters and creatures of nursery rhyme and fable.
Some details about Bryony Knox
  • age 46 - born in London, lived in Kenya as a child but now has a workshop in central Edinburgh
  • she is a member of the Contemporary British Silversmiths - and "designs sculptures and silverware with a twist"- including mixing silverwork with glass - and making it kinetic.
  • she undertakes commissions. Her Rhino Hair Comb & Letter Rack was presented by RZSS Edinburgh Zoo to HRH Princess Anne
  • For the last 20 years, she has exhibited and sold her work in galleries throughout the UK and abroad
  • she's the Artist in Residence at Edinburgh Zoo.
  • You can book to take a MASTERCLASS WEEKEND WITH BRYONY in 2019 - see her website for more details.
  • Plus you can see her artwork at the COLLECT Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery 28 February - 3 March 2019
  • This is her CV

This is a Meet the Maker video by Craft Scotland - about Bryony Knox and how she makes her work.

This is a 'lookbook' on Issuu about her work

This is a video Bryony Knox made about her experience (how difficult is it to state the full name?)

Abdollah Nafisi

Nafisi Studio is run by husband and wife, Abdollah and Kate Nafisi, a local bespoke furniture and sculpture studio making traditional joinery tied with modern luxury.
Abdollah Nafisi with his wife Kate in his home studio with this tools for woodworking by hand
Facebook Page:
Studio Instagram:

Some details about Abdollah Nafisi

  • age 36, born in Iran, spent six years travelling the Iranian desert with nomadic tribes; he now lives and works with his wife in Horsham, Sussex
  • He learned his woodworking trade in Iran, where he set up his first workshop before coming to the UK in 2011 to set up his studio here.
  • He's got  eleven years experience with woodworking and mixed traditional joinery with contemporary design
  • He is a Crafts Council Maker and has been asked to become a member of the British Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers 
  • In terms of output he's created both luxury furnishings and artwork for the home and sculptural works for the outdoors.
  • He teaches classes and gives talks/lectures in woodworking and design - including steambending
  • This is his CV

This is a video Abdollah Nafisi made about the experience

“The process of making in the programme was so compact. We were given a task that would normally take a month to do, but we had five or six days max. I learned to start making from the moment I got my project, and I had so much focus because of not being connected to social media and not being connected to daily life. I couldn’t believe that I could create a piece of quality furniture within five days with no power.” The Telegraph

Ilsa Parry

Facebook Page:
Etsy shop:
Ilsa is an award winning design practitioner, with advanced specialist knowledge of 3D design, art direction and product commercialisation. She is managing director for Rethinkthings LTD, a cross disciplinary design consultant to industry and a musical performer with three organisations. She is named inventor on granted patents in the US and UK and is a Senior Lecturer at University of Lincoln.
Some of the Creative Projects of Ilsa Parry

Some details about Ilsa Parry

  • age 37, born and lived in Liverpool - and Manchester, Oslo and Paris - and Liverpool again.
  • she's an award-winning product designer with a digital focus who likes to create something with a purpose and not just because she can.
  • she has been granted patents for her designs
  • Her previous clients include Heals, Unilever and Sony. 
  • she designs objects and imagery for a range of contexts, from the industrial to the sculptural, and runs an independent giftware brand.
  • she is also a design consultant offering her services to third parties
  • finally she lectures; currently she is a Senior Lecturer in Product Design at the University of Lincoln. She has also been a visiting lecturer at 18 different schools and colleges around the UK
plus in relation to television programmes about design
  • previously filmed "Design for Life" in Paris with the iconic French designer Philippe Starck for BBC2 (2009). 12 contenders were challenged to "design a product to help humanity to survive". Each week a designer was eliminated if their work did not meet with Starck's approval. Ilsa designed the patent protected "Flo Standing and Walking Aid" and went on to win the programme outright!

The challenge of this new programme for Ilsa is to test whether she can continue to be creative and make things without any access to the digital tools she normally uses in her work.

The programme is unusual in that its aims are educational, yet it brings a reality documentary angle to it with character interest, in the hope of encouraging younger viewers to become involved in arts related community and experiential creation. The Programme makers wish to encourage individuals to see past the anxiety of working with technologies and instead realise the joy in focussed labour. Ilsa Braniff (Parry)
This is a video Ilsa Parry made about the experience


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