Design Notes Archive

Master Class

Master Class

These are trying times and there’s no sugar coating it but we are inspired by the way people are coming together digitally to help spread some joy. For those who are lucky enough to be stuck safely at home, a movement is emerging that’s focused on making the best of it - and doing so with your hands. Creatives around the country are sharing how-to videos, inspiring talks, and calls for collaboration. Whether you’re using this time to dive into a well-honed hobby or take up one that’s been on your bucket list, there is something incredibly gratifying, and even therapeutic, about pouring your energies into a craft. Here are three makers who are inspiring us to give it a go: 

The Stay Home Kana Clay Club

Artist and ceramicist Ana Kerin has developed a loyal following in the eight years since opening Kana, her pottery studio in Hackney. Toeing the line between rustic and modern, her terracotta stoneware pieces have caught the eye of Alex Eagle, Ottolenghi, and more. Kerin molds clay with her hands rather than on a wheel, meaning her methods are ideal for trying out at home, so she’s now translating her popular studio classes into online video tutorials. Look out for instructions on how to set up an at-home clay studio and use tools from around the house, or purchase her fully-equipped mail order box that includes all the accoutrement you will need. 

Weaving at Home with Maria Sigma

Award-winning textile artist Maria Sigma has long believed in the power of weaving to calm the mind - one of the reasons she is creating a series of free how-to videos from her home and studio in Bethnal Green. Beginners will find tips for making a DIY frame loom using materials readily found around the house or you can purchase a complete weaving loom kit from her. A two-time recipient of the Cockpit Arts ‘Clothworkers’ Foundation Award, she champions ‘zero-waste’ projects using sustainable, ethically sourced materials - meaning her projects are not only good for the mind, they’re good for the planet too. 

Potato Printing with Molly Mahon 

Molly Mahon’s block printed fabrics and wallpapers are celebrated for their colourful mix of British and Indian style. The Sussex-based printmaker has been hosting block printing workshops inspired by nature at some of the country’s most abundant gardens (think Charleston House and Wardington Manor) and now she’s taking her lessons online. Subscribe to Mahon’s YouTube channel for a series of tutorials where she shows you how to apply your own designs to paper, pillowcases, and more - using potatoes from your pantry rather than the blocks she commissions from Jaipur. 

Photographs © Ana Kerin, Maria Sigma, Molly Mahon