A pitstop at Nude Espresso on Hanbury Street set me buzzing for my favourite London Design Festival destination, Tent London. The more established SuperBrands and international zones on the ground floor soon merge into the fresh, fun and less formal stands typically from younger or emerging designers. My first rendez vous was not with an exhibitor, but with potter and designer Isatu Hyde. I bought some of her medium-sized stoneware bowls, inspired by those from a monastery in Harrogate, at the New Designers show earlier in the year. The bowls are in demand, so much so that Isatu asked to borrow mine for Design-Nation Presents at the Southbank Centre Terrace Shop. Tickets are still available for the Meet the Maker evening on Tuesday 7th October, but you can see the work on show until 31st October. Unburdened, I was free to roam. The understated elegance of Mater immediately caught my eye. Founded in 2006, Mater (Latin for mother) is a high-end Danish furniture and lighting brand with a philosophy based on design, craftsmanship and ethics. Contemporary design is combined with support for local craftsmen, their traditions and careful material selection. A member of the UN Global Compact, and supporter of local sustainable business projects, Mater strive to minimize negative impacts, creating durable and desirable products that they home their customers will cherish. Pictured are the Luiz pendant lamp, made from natural FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) cork, suspended above the Bowl Table. The table top is made mango wood, felled once the tree has reached the end of its productive life, and another planted. The top is hand-turned on a lathe by craftsmen from the Kharadi community. The top is finished with a lead-free, water-based polyurethane lacquer. The hollow steel legs can be removed for more efficient packing and transport. Mater products are stocked by Skandium in the UK. Exploring the story of the object, Second Sitters upholstery installation workshop was a chance to appreciate the skills, techniques and materials of upholstery up close, and hands-on as you could delve into boxes of horsehair, hessian and more. Furniture Magpies revive furniture in a different way. Literally deconstructing unloved pieces and reconfiguring them to more contemporary tastes while retaining their character and story. The coffee table made of cross-sections of banister spindles was particularly striking. Upstairs were two of my favourite makers, both launching new collections. Galvin Brothers were presenting their new Cross Lap collection. A clean and contemporary collection of tables, benches, consoles and stools in native steamed beech and American black walnut, and finished in water-based lacquers. Described as “modern rustic”, and in colours close to Carefully Curated’s own palette, how could I not be a fan? Here is Matthew Galvin, just completing a piece to camera for Casafina’s round up of Tent London, which also features, Sebastian Cox. London Design Festival was a busy week for Sebastian Cox with the Wish List (and workshop) at the V&A, scorching and swilling pieces for the New Craftsmen, on Radio 4 with Sir Terence Conran, and the nominations for the Wood Awards, and Elle Decoration’s Best British Sustainable Design. In the midst of this exciting flurry, Cox’s stand had an air of calm, matching the quiet serenity of the newly launched Underwood Collection, all made from hand-coppiced Kentish hazel and well-managed British ash. The collection is called ‘Underwood’ as the pieces use coppiced hazel ‘in the round’, that is usually considered waste. In the foreground are pictured the ‘Hewn’ tea table (£195), bench (£300), and trestle (£170 each). The Mop stick ladder (£210), shelves (£790) and Peg hooks (£55) are in the background. A true celebration of British hardwoods. Nearby, Daniel Heath launched his Art Deco collection. The geometric motifs are etched onto reclaimed Welsh roof slates transforming the discarded into decorative interior surface materials. The geometric shapes of Tracey Tubb’s wallpapers are inspired by origami. Each sheet is hand-folded from a single roll of paper. Tracey assures me the paper does not attract dust. The pattern’s on Seascape Curiosities‘ Sealace wallpaper are by their nature more fluid. Hand-drawn illustrations inspired by our beautiful underwater landscapes. Using FSC approved and 100% recycled papers, Sara cuts intricate floating marine forms by hand creating three-dimensional wallpapers. The works drew particular attention from Chinese, Japanese and Korean visitors, whose cultures have established traditions of paper-art forms. Paper pulp from old newspapers is the fodder for Crea-Re’s ‘Copermicus’ lighting collection. 100% recycled, the paper mulch is mixed with ochre, or left grey, shaped, and left to dry. The irregular, cracked shape with small holes or craters, means when the “Luna” light is turned on, the light creates a unique, mottled shadow. While I missed the visual impact of the Material Council’s display of material cubes from 2013, this year, ‘Nooks, Niches and Cranniesʼ, featured Trash Glass from Diana Simpson, the first in a series of products developed using reclaimed waste as raw ingredients. With my Welsh connections, I was delighted to catch up with Blodwen‘s founder Denise Lewis. All Blodwen’s new blankets are woven at a 180 year old mill in the Teifi Valley, west Wales, not far from the National Woollen Museum. The Heritage Blanket Collection (£345 each), inspired by a weaver’s pattern book dating from the 1700’s, are woven on the original 1930’s Dobcross looms. The striking patterns caught the eye of recent fashion graduate, Sarah Hellen. Inspired by the traditional skills of Welsh artisans, Hellen used some of Blodwen’s Heritage geometric ‘Hiraeth’ pattern for her menswear collection. From baskets to traditional Welsh clogs, Blodwen is committed to the preserving and reviving the rural crafts and skills of Wales. A last word on some accessories. The beautiful A-Z of edible flowers, A Matter of Taste, from Charlotte Day, which pique interest in some overlooked varieties and remind us of nature’s beauty and bounty. I shall have to invest in one of Mary Goodman‘s Seating Spheres, a large wool covered exercise ball, described as a “sculptural addition to contemporary interiors” for use as a footrest, or seat. I have used an exercise ball as my office chair for years. The subtle instability stops any slump at the computer, and rolling around helps keep the blood flowing. All the yarns are ethically sourced, with hard-wearing British wools such as Herdwick, Swalewick, Jacob and Axminster rug wool used for the spheres. Mary Goodman will be showing her work as part of Campaign for Wool Interiors Collection at Southwark Cathedral, 5th -12th October. London Design Festival ended on a high note at Tent London!