Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.


A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (ÂŁ35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home

Hillarys Crafternoon

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Making jewellery boxes at Hillarys Crafternoon

This Saturday, I jumped on the train to attend a Hillarys Crafternoon.

Ziferblat kitchen area

It was held at Ziferblat, located in the city’s Northern Quarter. I’d walked past the venue loads of times but had never been inside; I’ve been missing out!

The buffet area at Ziferblat

Their philosophy is that everything you consume is free – all food, drink and wi-fi… all you pay for is the time you spend there (currently 6p per minute).

Dogs relaxing at Ziferblat

Even well-behaved dogs are welcome!

Mood board for Hillarys new 'Jewel' fabric collection

The reason for the crafternoon was the launch of a new range of fabrics by Hillarys entitled ‘Jewel’.

Sunny, from Hillarys

Sunny was the representative from Hillarys. He not only told us a bit about the range, he got stuck in with the making as well.

Jana from Crafty Hen who led the Hillarys Crafternoon workshop

Jana from The Crafty Hen led the session. Funnily enough, I’ve known Jana for ages, but I’d not seen her for years!

Buttons, threads and ribbon for crafting

We had lots of lovely fabrics and trimmings from which to choose to make our items.

Jewellery box making materials Completed jewellery box

The first item was a jewellery box. It took me AGES – I was the last one to finish!

Making a Suffolk puff

After a tea (and cake!) break we embarked on making Suffolk puffs. These were fab – easy to make and looked great – I’ll be making them again!

Completed Suffolk puff on my handbag

I embellished mine with some ribbon… and awarded myself with a rosette for a great day of craftiness! 🙂

Forthcoming Attractions: Early March 2015

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collection of vintage homwares including a vintage push along horse, pair of Hornsea Pottery 7 Dwarfs mugs, Manchester milk bottles and atomic drinking glass set in rack

Here’s a small selection of recent vintage buys.

vintage push along horse

We love the push along horse. It dates from the 1950s/60s and was produced by Triang. A little play worn, but full of charm. It would look great in a child’s bedroom or nursery. We’ve just put it in our antiques centre space, but we could post it if any readers have got the perfect little stable for it.

vintage red alarm clock

We’re always drawn to these old alarm clocks – they add a colourful, vintage touch to a bedroom – if the ticking doesn’t keep you awake, of course!

pair of Hornsea Pottery 7 Dwarfs mugs

This wonderful pair of mugs were produced by Hornsea Pottery in the 1970s – and feature the seven dwarfs. They’re by designer John Clappison – unmistakable really! We’re listing them on eBay as they have a really strong collectors’ appeal. The first one has just ended, and we’ll be putting the second one on shortly.

set of 6 atomic drinking glasses in wire rack

These vintage glasses are real eye poppers – lovely to get the original atomic-styled wire stand too. They’ve got a classic retro diner/milk bar look to them.

collection of Greater Manchester half pint milk bottles

We blogged about these charming little vintage milk bottles earlier in the week. They’re all from different Manchester dairies, and as we mentioned in the post, perfect for a small spray of flowers.

Manchester milk bottles

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collection of vintage milk bottles from Greater Manchester | H is for Home

We bought this small group of vintage milk bottles last week.

collection of vintage milk bottles from Greater Manchester | H is for Home

They’re half pints and date from the 1920s/30s kind of era – they’re very sweet!

vintage milk bottle from Sale in Greater Manchester | H is for Home

The bottle markings are interesting – each from a different local dairy.

vintage milk bottle from Salford in Greater Manchester | H is for Home

These are all from Greater Manchester. The area would have had large numbers of dairies at one time – supplying households, local shops, businesses & schools. They’d be situated in the various districts & suburbs. This group of ten contains bottles from Salford, Stretford, Sale and Moss Side. The bottles have relatively wide necks and make lovely little vases for a spray of flowers. 

vintage milk bottle from Stretford in Greater Manchester | H is for Home

They’re available from our shop singly at ÂŁ6 each; perhaps you’ve got a small restaurant or cafĂ© with about ten tables – they’d be just perfect for that – or a vintage-inspired wedding reception perhaps?

Home is in the North 2014

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Natalie Laura Ellen bee illustrated paper and mug

We spent a very enjoyable few hours at the Home is in the North event on Saturday.

exterior view of Halle St Peter's

It was held at HallĂ© St Peter’s in Ancoats, Manchester – another great choice of venue by The Social Butterfly‘s Rachel Adams, the show’s organiser.

Ancoats billboard

Ancoats is an interesting part of Manchester – the steady process of regeneration is ongoing. There are some wonderful buildings – unspoilt, Victorian gems – brick terraces, old pubs, churches and former industrial sites.

view of the ceiling of Halle St Peter's

HallĂ© St Peter’s is one such building with it’s magnificent sense of space & light.

interior view of Halle St Peter's showing Heather Linnett's upholstered items in the foreground

It really came to life with all the amazing homewares on display – and exhibitors were the perfect mix of familiar faces and new talent.

coffee sack upholstered seat of one of Heather Linnett's chairs

Heather Linnitt aka Eclectic Chair is someone whose work we highlighted at last year’s Independent Interiors Show. We love her soft furnishings & upholstery work – using coffee sacks, vintage and retro fabrics. The Stig Lindberg-style fabric chair was a stunner – and we’d happily give house room to the Papua New Guinea coffee sack sofa too!

Heather Linnett's armchair upholstered in retro Sanderson fabric

We also saw the mosaic art of Amanda McCrann at that same event last year. Her stall was very eye-catching once more. The artwork is available in the form of original pieces or alternatively, prints & stationery incorporating her distinctive designs.

Amanda McCrann's 'Kiss' mosaic

Annabel Perrin was also there this weekend.

Annabel Perrin's patterned tea towels

Her fabric designs are a real joy – full of life, colour & vintage charm.

Annabel Perrin's patterned fabric

Anthony Hughes‘ work was new to us. We had a nice chat with him about the influence of industrial architecture & detailing on his work – finding beauty in the mundane & neglected… and our shared love of a good pylon!

Anthony Hughes' pylon fabric cushion

His range of stationery, wallpaper & fabric uses the photographs & artwork he produces at his Leeds base.

selection of Anthony Hughes' fabric cushions and wallpaper

The cotton fabric is made in Edinburgh & cushions feather-filled – temptation was rising!

Anthony Hughes' ductile print cushion

Blooming Balconies was a very friendly & approachable team – and their display provided a real blast of colour in the hall.

Blooming Balconies' banner

They design a range of containers & tubs, some with clever fittings for railings & drainpipes. Their stall looked perfect next to a sunny window.

Blooming Balconies' stall

There was no lack of colour on Charlotte Nash‘s display either.

Charlotte Nash's colourful light flex with Plumen bulb

Her work incorporates braiding, crochet, paper-cut & collage. She had some very striking mirrors, artwork & lighting on view. She’s fresh out of university, so we hope her future is as bright as her creations!

part of Charlotte Nash's display

Grey Moose Designs only had a small display, but their vintage industrial lights grabbed your attention from all over the large church space.

Grey Moose's industrial lamp display

Skill, imagination & high quality craftsmanship were clear to see on Richard’s recycled & re-purposed lighting.

Grey Moose's industrial lamp display

He could no doubt do a great job on the vintage spotlight we picked up recently.

detail from Grey Moose's Bullfinch industrial lamp

One of our favourite exhibitors on the day was Kate Bufton.

Kate Bufton's Harry Potter book transformation under a glass dome

She manipulates the shape & form of old books to produce her artwork – framed pictures and these stunning glass domes.

Kate Bufton's framed butterfly book transformation

Katherine Lees also had a very photogenic display. Her exquisite, hand-decorated ceramics in the form of old bottles & keys to form vessels & jewellery were getting lots of attention.

Katherine Lees' ceramic display

It was very hard to walk away from the orange & grey quilt produced by Lisa Watson and pictured below. She incorporates traditional Harris Tweed & sumptuous velvet fabrics into her creations. Gorgeous!

Lisa Watson's handmade velvet and Harris Tweed heirloom quilts

We were very taken by Natalie Laura Ellen‘s stall.

Natalie Laura Ellen's bee illustrated wares

Her gorgeous range of stationery, fabric & ceramics was superbly displayed using vintage crates, drawers & step ladders.

Natalie Laura Ellen's buttons

Lovely attention to detail with handmade labels & signage too.

Natalie Laura Ellen's cards

The Northern Letters display always grabs your attention.

Northern Letters' price list

This time it was the bold, monochrome, graphic quality of pieces that made the display stand out.

Northern Letters' display

We loved this table produced by Oh, Bother. It’s made from recycled wooden palettes. They had all kinds of interesting, quirky pieces to buy.

Oh Bother's display

Rachel Britch is another recent graduate – her lighting surprised us when we touched it. We thought it was soft & fluffy from a distance, but it actually had a stiff, bristly feel.

Rachel Britch's lamp display

Rachel Johns is a near-neighbour from the Calder Valley – Hebden Bridge to be precise. She uses ink & thread – producing much of her artwork with a big stick. Yes, that’s a big stick. It’s very distinctive – whimsical & playful.

Rachel Johns' artwork display

There were practical workshops taking place throughout the day…

sewing workshop at Home is in the North event in Ancoats, Manchester

…with sewing machines whirring and paintbrushes twitching.

Swoon Worthy painting workshop at Home is in the North event in Ancoats, Manchester

We’ll end with the What I Always Wanted display.

Mr Right and appliqué dog cushions

They had the perfect cushions for Justin & Fudge. In addition to their ready to buy products, handmade fabric items can be custom made to capture favourite buildings, street scenes, people or pets.

detail from What I Always Wanted's display

This has been quite a lengthy post and we’ve only mentioned about half the exhibitors! Keep an eye out for the next event – whether you’re a potential exhibitor or customer. Hopefully we’ve given a flavour of this well run & well attended show. We have a camper van fund that we’re trying really hard to build up, otherwise we would have left Home is in the North with a car packed with goodies. Tripod light, eight cushions, large quilt, table, glass dome, some tea towels, two pictures, box of stationery, set of mugs, three flower tubs – and a sofa!

Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart

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Square of Manchester tart on a plate on an orange background

I’ve been meaning to try to make a Manchester tart for ages. It’s a fairly local dish although not all that common to find… and consists a host of things we both love! Bananas, dessicated coconut, jam and custard. A Northern dish made from exotic ingredients like bananas and coconut!

I found and slightly adapted a Marcus Wareing recipe I found online. There are lots of stages – it’s not quick to whip up, but it’s a scrumptious, filling dessert – I’ll be making it again soon!

Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart

Serving Size: 6-9 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart


  • Base
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Filling
  • 200g raspberry jam ( I used some of the raspberry jelly I made in the summer )
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced
  • Custard
  • 560ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp custard powder
  • Topping
  • 50g dessicated coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4
  2. Lightly grease or line the base of an 18cm/7inch square cake tin with baking paper
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, then fold in the flour mixed with the baking powder
  4. Flatten the mixture into the tin using a small angled palette knife and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes
  6. Spread the dessicated coconut evenly on a shallow baking tray and toast in the oven for no more than 5 minutes. Shaking once or twice to get an even colour
  7. For the filling, spread the cooled base with the jam/jelly
  8. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the sugar to the pan and melt to form a caramel, swirling all the time
  9. Carefully add the rum (I had an unplanned flambé experience!), then whisk in the butter
  10. Add the banana slices and toss gently or turn with tongs until coated & caramelised
  11. Layer on top of the raspberry jam/jelly, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  12. For the custard, put the milk in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat
  13. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, custard powder and an extra splash of milk together until smooth
  14. Pour a little of the hot milk on to the mixture, whisk well, then add it back to the hot milk
  15. Cook the custard over a low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture is very thick
  16. Pour the custard on to the banana caramel mixture then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top
  17. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes until the tart is set
  18. Slice & serve