Robert Welch - Design: Craft and Industry

Robert Welch Alveston tea set | Design Hunter

Laurence King publishers recently sent me a pre-launch copy of a new book about Robert Welch by Charlotte and Peter Fiell.

Inviting me to review it is hardly a big ask as Graham and I have long been fans of both the designer and the company and have often given each other selected designs (both historical and current) as gifts at Christmas. As a result we've accumulated a modest sized collection of Robert Welch tableware, candleholders and other pieces.

Robert Welch - Design: Craft and Industry documents the incredible and prolific outputs of Robert Welch, one of the most talented and respected British designers of the twentieth century. It charts his life, from early beginnings at Malvern School of Art and Birmingham School of Art and then onto the Royal College of Art before setting up a successful design practice, workshop and store in Chipping Campden.

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5 minutes with... Fabien Nauroy of Native Union

Marble iPhone case by Native Union | Styling by Hege Morris and Deborah Gordon
Fabien Nauroy | Native Union

The boundary between our working life and our leisure time and social life has become increasingly blurred in recent years. I love how technology has created new ways of working and allowed many of us to now have the freedom to work wherever we are, and it's interesting to observe how designers have responded to this change by creating products that not only support modern ways of working but are also covetable lifestyle accessories. Native Union's minimalist tech accessories, designed in a range of luxurious materials, being a case in point. Established in 2009, the brand has created a collection of handsets, speakers, cases and charging accessories with a refined aesthetic that is rooted in simplicity and utility.

For a smartphone addict like me their marble iPhone case is an accessory every bit as desirable as the latest watch or the Celine sunglasses I recently splurged on. When I came across it on Instagram via a collaboration they recently worked on with stylists and bloggers Hege Morris and Deborah Gordon (who created these beautiful images), I wondered how it might be possible to create a phone case made from real marble that was light enough for everyday use. After trying one out - Native Union were kind enough to send me a sample - I was amazed to discovered that it actually weighs no more than a regular phone case. Using new techniques and advanced materials they've been able to take a 0.3mm slice of solid marble and create an incredibly slim, lightweight, shatterproof design.

Heading up the design team at Native Union, and leading them to critical acclaim within industry since he joined the company in 2010 is Fabien Nauroy. Fabien grew up in Avignon, France, studying at Creapole-ESDI in Paris where he graduated with a masters degree in Industrial Design. Here he shares some of his influences and inspirations and an insight into the company's design philosophy.

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A modern rustic kitchen

Modern rustic kitchen by Sebastian Cox for deVOL

deVOL have teamed up with Sebastian Cox to create this beautiful modern rustic kitchen featuring sawn timbers, woven coppiced beech, solid oak worktops and a hint of copper.

Utilising sustainable British timbers and combining modern innovation with traditional techniques the result is a carefully considered mix of classic and contemporary design.

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