Artist research part 1

Anna Kyyro Quinn

Born in Finland, based in London. Quinn specialises in interior textiles (mainly sound absorbing wall panels) made of felt. She also sells some accessories ie. cubes cushions etc. Very simplistic designs based on the natural world formed by pleating, twisting and applying industrial felt shapes or pieces. All the pieces ‘are cut sewn and finished by hand’ and ‘each product is conceived as a gesture of simplicity yet, we make space for bold colours, rich textures and striking motifs’ (

Examples of her work:

loop wall panel 2001

Loop wall panel 2001: Made as a sound deadening wall panel this design is so delightfully simple. Strips of felt sewn in a grid like pattern leaving loops. I really enjoy the playful texture. The green colour is very calming.

tulip wall panel 2004

Tulip wall panel 2004: This time applied petals create this flower based design. Each petal being added seperately in a regular circular pattern. Again a very simple idea but on a very large scale, very impressive

pleated wall panelpleated wall panel detail

Pleated panel: This huge piece is just so impressive. I think you would just have to touch it! I like the way that the coloured diamonds add colour to an already interesting piece, peaking through as if from behind. Or like little tears in a curtain.

I am really quite taken with her work. I quite like using machine heirloom sewing techniques and particularly some really old Singer sewing pintuck and gathering feet to create texture and manipulate fabrics and have in the past done quite a bit of this type of folding but on a very small scale. Maybe it is time to scale it up?

I have placed an order with Amazon for her book which I will review when it gets here:

Felt Furnishing by Anne Kyyro Quinn (2009-03-25)

Further reading and sources:

Felt Furnishing by Anne Kyyro Quinn (2009-03-25)

Giles Miller

Giles Miller is again a London based designer also specialising in interiors. ‘Interested in light, reflection, texture and the manipulation of all three of these elements to create subtle and functional artworks.’ (

Materials used include: Ceramic tiles, Leather, wood, cardboard and etched metal.

The studio has recently (according to the studio’s blog) ‘initiated a new programme of investigative projects called RAD Friday, whereby we spend 1 day a week experimenting on new self-directed projects.  The first will be extremely playful – sand murals!’ Which sounds like lots of fun to me too!


Examples of work from The Giles Miller Studio include:


Mural for a private showspace in Greenwich Peninsula designed by Elle Deco editor at large Talib Choudhry. Ceramic tile. The tiles appear to be falling and collecting at the bottom of the piece. I’m not sure that I would want to sleep under it but it is a very striking and effective piece.

‘Step Inside Bar, Clerkenwell: The studio was commissioned to create a temporary bar in a disused petrol station in the heart of Clerkenwell, as a showcase for Clerkenwell Design Week.Using our signature techniques of manipulating surfaces to display form and imagery, we angled 1,400 ceramic tiles off the surface of the curved bar structure to create opposing swirls in the surface of the bar.’ (

I find this work intruiging. It is interesting to see the textures created by turning the tiles at various angles to create light and shade. I am not sure that it is something I would want to feed into my own work as it is all a little hard and clinical to my eyes. I may have to have a go at some sand murals when I am down in Cornwall in a couple of weeks though. Unfortunately the south coast which is nearer to me is pretty much all stones and hardly any sand!

Sources and further reading:


Grace Tan


Grace Tan is an artist born in Malaysia now living and working in Singapore. She has a Diploma in Apparel design and Merchandising from the Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore and although creating differentforms of art such as her exhibition pieces she still designs clothing too.’With her refreshing approach to fashion design , Grace Tan stretches the limits of the fashion industry in Singapore as she stitches up her version of ‘anti fashion’.’ (


One of Grace Tan’s wearble pieces; layers and layers of fabric undulating around the neck of the wearer. I like the way the piece is made in a neutral clour so it does not detract from the form of the piece.

‘Grace Tan founded kwodrent in 2003 as an inter-disciplinary practice specialising in spatial and wearable fabric-works. Her recent developments include paper compositions and objects constructed from sheet metal inspired by the tactility of fabrics.’ (, 2012)

Examples of Grace Tan’s work I have been looking at include some from her the truth of the matter exhibition of 2015. This exhibition is described as below on the fost gallery’s press release:

‘The paper and pigment constructions are a result of an attempt to seek deeper dialogues with the materiality of the chosen media. At the same time, they look back to the origins of the kwodrent series by staying true to the fundamental ethos of working intuitively with the hands, to allow the medium to guide and formulate new methods in the process.’ (


I like this piece as it reminds me of standing stones and stone walls. I like the way the tower undulates making it look a little unstable as though it will fall over yet the colour makes it feel very grounded, a little heavy and permanent.


This piece looks as light as a feather, as though it would fly away with just a breath. The pure white colour gives it a light floaty appeal.


Sources & further reading


Jule Waibel

German designer Jule Waibel based in Stuttgart and London, creates the most wonderful pleated ‘origami’ dresses and other wearables as well as interior pieces. Materials used include paper, leather, cotton, silk and felt.


One of Jule Waibel’s folded dresses. In what looks like silk there is a better view of it below:


The simple shape of the garment shows the pleating off a treat, in a way that would not work in a tailored garment. It looks to be very cool and lightweight to wear and the contrast of the crisp folds and the soft fabric is such an interesting concept.

Below is a very simple design for a leather purse by Jule Waibel; I love the simplicity of this design and it is very practical as well. I also found an ‘in development’ picture which I find very interesting. A very clever and practical use of folding techniques.


I have really enjoyed looking at Jule Waibel’s work it has a joyous fun feel and is so clever. I am very sure that my folding skills would never allow me to produce something similar but that’s what makes it so challenging to the eye, trying to work out how it is achieved.

There are some similar folding techniques in ‘Folding techniques for designers by Paul Jackson’. This book is on our reading list and I am now about a quarter of the way through it. Such an interesting book to have around and one that I will certainly be dipping in and out of. I notice that a lot of the exercises in the first part of this course are taken from this book so I am sure I will be using it a lot for reference in the future.

Sources and further reading:

Folding Techniques For Designers, From Sheet To Form – Paul Jackson                     ISBN: 978-1-85669-721-7

Mathias Bengtsson

Danish born and London based, Mathias Bengtsson experiments with industrial materials and techniques to create unique furniture. These techniques include using computerised laser cutting machines to crate pieces from plywood & aluminium.


image (1)

Above: Slice Chair 1999 – Plywood precision cut with a computerised laser cutting machine. Size: H750mm W890mm L750mm

His slice pieces particularly appeal to me as I regularly work with wood, cutting it using large saw benches with our traction engine for displays during the summer. We regularly produce very interesting slices of wood due to rot, knots or growth imperfections and when they are stacked they look very similar.

Mac 2004 chair aluminium

MAC Couch 2002 – Chromed aluminium, Size: H780mm W1500mm L1000mm
Such a great use of aluminium. This really does look as if he is pushing the boundaries of what is possible which he has said himself on his website: “My furniture is about challenging your senses: that is its function.” (

growth chair 2012, cast bronze 73x100x75

Above: Growth chair 2012- Bronze casting Size:H850 W1050 L760 mm

Another example of this is his ‘Growth’ series of furniture and jewellery. I really like the way that he has adapted this design to produce such different scale of works from casting chairs from bronze to tiny intricate items of jewellery in silver and gold (below).


Above: Growth Bracelet 2015 – Cast in Gold, available in different sizes including armbands and rings.

Sources and further reading:


About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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