Okay, so I have been a very bad blogger recently, with a total paucity of posts over the last two weeks, largely due to the fact that pay day arrived and I could once again have a life that consisted of spending money. Hoorah!
January is always a long, dark, cold and very austere month for me due to my total lack of planning (read saving) and my general extravagance during December. Anyway, I got carried away, went out and spent most of my salary in the first few days and I’m only now able to catch up and write about some of the things I have been up to and some of the beautiful things I have come across. Consider my hand severely slapped! I will be a better blogger from now on. Promise!
Image Source: lunarnewyearpics.com
This particular post, (and a couple of related ones), has been sitting in draft form for almost a week now, since Chinese New Year. It’s so late that I considered scrapping it all together and then I found out that the Chinese New Year celebrations actually last for 15 days, from the first day of the new year to the lantern festival, which this year takes place on 24th February. So I still have a bit of time for them to still be relevant. Well that’s my argument and I’m sticking to it!
I am fascinated by Chinese New Year; the tradition, the festivity and the amazing explosion of colour. I remember learning about it at school and having a small celebration each year to mark the year of… whatever animal it was. This year it’s the turn of the snake and it is said that people who are born in the year of the snake are intuitive, intelligent and wise. Unfortunately I am not a snake.
Inspired by all of the Chinese related festivities I thought I’d post some examples of beautiful Chinese Design, Fashion and Art finds; spread across three separate posts (oh yes, I am going to wring this for all it’s worth). Anyway, after that mega introduction, first up is design…
I recently came across this wonderful website courtesy of the brilliant Design-China; it’s called Bundshop and it describes itself as a “facilitator of incredible Chinese design to the world”. While you might see ‘made in China’ on pretty much anything and everything – from fashion to interiors and everything in-between, you’re probably much less likely to see ‘designed in China’. Bundshop therefore showcases design from independent designers from China to markets outside of the country and with over a billion people living in China, it’s no surprise that they have some talented ones.
Here are my 4 favourite things from the Bundshop website:
I adore these little happiness cups by Yasi. They are made from clay from the mountains of Jingdezhen and each are engraved with the symbol for happiness on the bottom and then stamp-carved with a red glaze. I really like the colour, such a beautiful and delicate looking shade of green and the red glaze looks almost sticky, like sweet chilli sauce. They are designed to ‘wish newlyweds and lovers the best of luck on their journey together.’
This wonderful piece is created by the Ke Sisters who’s work ‘centres on the idea the idea that the value of arts lies in creating everyday happiness and beauty’.
Lab Lamp by John Meng
Next up is this totally gorgeous upcycled ‘Lab’ lamp, created out of a vintage wine bottle by self-taught designer John Meng. According to Bundshop, ‘Lab was created for story collectors searching for unexpected beauty in ordinary objects.’ I absolutely love this piece and am picturing it in my currently non-existant office. I think it looks very classy and grown up and can imagine working under it late at night typing beavering away on my first novel.
I don’t know if it is because I have been looking at some seriously expensive lights recently but at $154 I think this is really a snip!
Basket Vase by Sozen
This wonderful basket vase by Sozen reminds me of a cobra, raised upright and ready to strike, with the intricate woven bamboo detail replicating the snakeskin. Sozen has found a way of integrating the old skills of the craftsmen in the villages of Zhejiang, and creating modern pieces.
“We like to imagine how many villages, artisans, we could support if we could revitalize this art-form. So we constantly look for creative ways to integrate bamboo into products in our daily lives”, says Sozen’s creator Junjie Zhang.
Pen Holder by GuangLu Design
Last but not least is this is quirky pen holder by GuangLu Design, which was created by Bill Yen, who was actually born in Taiwan and grew up in the US before later moving to China.
I really want to get this to so that I can quickly brighten up my bland and corporate looking hot-desk at work each day. The base is made from walnut and the ‘springy field of grass made of synthetic felt’ and at $35, it’s one of the cheaper items on Bundshop.