Designer Desire: Barbara Brown

Collage of Barbara Brown textile designs | H is for Home

I went to a Barbara Brown exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester last week. I was already quite familiar with her work, but seeing them up close and in the flesh I was completely blown away!

Seeing images of her designs in books or online can never do them justice. The sheer scale of the many op art patterns – 1¼ metres wide – make the mind boggle!

Originally from Manchester, Barbara Brown attended Canterbury College of Art and then on to the Royal College of Art. It was at her degree show in 1953 that she was discovered by Tom Worthington, Artistic Director of Heal’s. The rest, as they say, is history. She produced many designs for the company (where she was a contemporary of Lucienne Day) in her two-decade career with them. Her designs won the Council of Industrial Design (COID) award on three occasions.

You can usually find lengths of her fabrics (and ready made soft furnishings if your sewing skills are anything like mine) on eBay and Etsy.

Barbara Brown textile designer © Graham Copekogacredit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | V&A

Etsy List: What’s the angle?

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'What's the angle' Etsy List curated by H is for Home

I could never get my head round geometry when I was at school. Pythagoras, pi, trigonometry, algebra, calculus, equations… it’s all Greek to me! 🙂

I loved all the tools in the Helix Oxford maths set that my parents had to buy me; the divider, protractor, set square and compass. I made lots of pretty drawings, but perhaps I should have been spending the time actually listening to the teacher instead!

Nevertheless, I might not understand any of it, but I can still admire the forms and patterns, shapes and angles that are created!

What’s the angle?
Curated by H is for Home

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In Orbit

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vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup & saucer | H is for Home

WOW! How about this for an eye-popping bit of orange Op Art loveliness?

vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup maker's mark | H is for Home

This cup & saucer is from the Orbit range produced by Burleigh in the 1960s. It’s superb and quite uncharacteristic of their usual output which is normally very traditional. Someone must have had a rush of blood to the head (or taken LSD) that week. It’s quite a rare pattern and doesn’t appear for sale often.

vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup & saucer with sugar lumps | H is for Home

It’s a great display piece, and would also provide the perfect pick-me-up start to the day filled with strong coffee. We’ve got a few for sale and they’ll appear in our webshop soon.

Charity Vintage: Op art curtains

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vintage op art curtains for sale on eBay for Charity in support of Age UK South Lakeland
(ends 3 Oct, 2013 19:20:17 BST)

There are 2 pairs of these fantastic vintage op art curtains for sale on eBay for Charity this week. 100% of the final price goes to Age UK South Lakeland* (one of our favourite parts of the country!). If you’re not after a pair of curtains (each pair is being sold as a separate lot) the fabric would be great for turning into cushions, a bedspread/duvet cover, tablecloth or even a dress or skirt! Each curtain measures a very generous 61 inches long by 67 inches wide.

*Age UK South Lakeland offers help and support to older people living in the rural community of South Lakeland, enabling them to retain their independence and choice. They have: A commitment to volunteering and campaigning and providing services to all people aged over 50.

Coaster to Coaster

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selection of vintage 1960s/70s patterned tin coasters

Part of our bulk buy from Wooden Donkey included a whole host of lovely vintage drinks coasters.

selection of vintage 1960s/70s patterned tin coasters

There are a variety of makers, but all date from the 1960s/70s with classic Op art designs & colourful & bright stylised flowers.

selection of vintage 1960s/70s patterned tin coasters

Here are our five favourites – we’ve kept a set of the orange ones top right!

vintage 1960s/70s tin coaster with a red heart on a pink background vintage 1960s/70s tin coaster with orange and yellow stylised flower on a white background

vintage 1960s/70s tin coaster with concentric blue, green and yellow dot pattern

vintage 1960s/70s tin coaster with pink, purple and yellow flower on a dark green background vintage 1960s/70s tin coaster with op art pattern in shades of green

Others have been put on our website or will arrive there soon.

Prize in the Post

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Bridget Riley exhibition catalogue still in its brown postal envelope

Adelle entered an online competition recently. Up for grabs on the Vintage by Hemingway blog were 3 copies of a Bridget Riley catalogue – and she won!! This is the package that arrived this week.

Bridget Riley exhibition catalogue just taken out of its packaging

The catalogue has been produced to accompany an exhibition of the artist’s work being held at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.

letter of congratulations for winning the catalogue from Vintage Wayne Hemingway's return address label

And, taking a quick peek inside, here are a few of Bridget Riley’s classic & influential designs.

page from the Bridget Riley catalogue showing "Shift" page from the Bridget Riley catalogue showing "Movement in Squares"

page from the Bridget Riley catalogue showing "Cornflower" page from the Bridget Riley catalogue showing "Vespertino"

We’ll enjoy reading our copy – thanks to the guys at Vintage by Hemingway!

P.S. – The exhibition has just been extended until 31st December 2011.