Friday, 19 October 2012

In her own words - Juli Foos

One man‘s trash, another man‘s treasure
I have tried to discover things among all the garbage that no one else sees. I have transformed the trash without really making any changes. The result, in the end, were rugs or carpets that consist of beautiful graphical patterns and at the same time tell something about our throwaway society.
I like the thought to leave the trash where it usually is - on the ground - but arranged it in a certain order.

When the thrown away things are multiplied, collected and brought into a certain order, the trash can be seen in a different context and its image changes. From everyday garbage like plastic or paper bags, ordinary packagings for sweets or tissues and caps from drinking bottles, just to mention a few, I created textiles that consist of graphically interesting patterns. All the objects have different and individual qualities, but every single one is telling its own story. Because of the materials some of the rugs are perfect for outdoor or bathroom use and some are more considered to be in the living area.
The rugs don‘t have any other special use, they are just carpets. Beyond that they are nearly pieces of art that tell something about our society: What we throw away, what we are consuming and what kind of trash we have in the end. The stories are always about people and products. The objects offer the opportunity to see all the amounts of waste at once, brought together with old handicraft techniques like weaving, crocheting, ironing or welding.

 What makes me an eco-designer?
For me as a designer, the most interesting and exciting part of my work is to discover things not everybody recognizes at first. I always try to find a story behind everything.

What I really like about waste, is that it is always attached to a story because it comes from some person who has done something that produced the trash. The moment, when a certain object or packaging is no longer a packaging but turns into trash. When I was a child, I already felt sorry for objects or products that are not needed anymore and thrown away.

Within my project „one man‘s trash…“ I have mostly worked with real waste from the streets or from some shops or wherever I could get much of one certain type of trash. I tried to see not only polluted pavements in the streets but a huge material storage, free off charge. It was all a very big challenge because many artists and designers have worked with trash and recycling, but I think I am going my very own way now with arranging, ordering and connecting the trash and that‘s what I consider as the most important thing for a designer or an artist.

The so-called story of my success:
The story of my success probably is as long as I am doing creative stuff. I was always searching for „my thing“ and I always used to be interested in urban surroundings, street art, trash and all the things you can tell stories about. So this diploma work is just a logical conclusion of all the thoughts and ideas in my mind that used to be so uncoordinated at some points. I think now that I went through this project and i‘m still into it, I learned how to use my sometimes very autistic way to look at things.

I was working on a completely different topic for the diploma at first, but then I realzied that I have to change it very short in advance, cause the trash project was what I was actually really in love with. When I presented it to my professors and the first time to an audience, I put up an exhibition in a graphic design studio. The rugs were presented in a certain order that build up a story and you could go through the different rooms and follow the story. I placed rugs also in the kitchen and in the bathroom, just where they are supposed to be used. I had a brief talk and showed my short movie and everyone loved it and I never heard my professor talk like that and I was really touched and proud.

Then I was invited to present the project again, one week later at the EUNIQUE International fair for art and design in karlsruhe on a 70 squaremeter stand. I was really surprised and overwhelmed and we came up with an exhibition concept in 3 days and with the help of many people we built up a great stand on the fair and the feedback I got there was really extraordinary and amazing.
I talked to school classes, teachers, artists and designers, to children and to older people and it was so good to see that they all understand my point and liked my objects.
Some of the pieces will be taken into the kkaarrllss design collection (limited designs created by young german designers) and they can be bought from there or from upcoming exhibitions.
The Big Donut Rug has recently be shown in the Design Center in Kielce, Poland and I was told it was the „darling of the public“.

As I have been working for a summer theatre, I haven‘t worked on the project lately, but now, when autumn comes I want to get into it again and also travel a bit and find other trash in other cities and there are plans about creating a golden chandelier from the trash that a certain Black Forest beer produces.

The project has been awarded a scholarship of the german IKEA foundation to support my
diploma work and it has been nominated for the ZKM (center for arts and media in Karlsruhe)
advancement award.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

In her own words - Renate Schweizer

What makes you an ‘eco-designer’?
I am working and using recycling material as basic- material of my art since my childhood. As an
artist I am taking responsibility in using economical and recycling material for I want to take care
for the health of earth, of the nature, of life in its whole.
Studying arts in India and United states in the early eighties I found the awareness of recycling
material as basic-material for art in the childrem-museum of fine arts in Boston. There for example
people could buy cleaned old cups from yoghurts or bottles to create puppets and masks in
workshop with children. I was very amused about this, that people gave money for the cleaned
yoghurt-cups in the museum but didn't clean their yoghurt-cups at home... this would have been a
different worth-thing in their minds.
2004 + 2005 I have been artist in residence in romania 2005/6 I have been artist in residence in
New Delhi, India. There I started to dry and collect the teabags after drinking my tea. Back in
Germany I continued collecting the old teabags, and created a Kimono made of 600 teabagpapers
for my art-project „Come to dinner – evention to all nations and religions“ exhibition in Karlsruhe:

2007 I created a dress with teabag-papers from red tea

2009 I created the 1st Karlsruher Teebollenhut

Tell us about any obstacles you face and any commercial successes you've had
Until now I didn't really do the cloths commercial, just create them for my art-project „Come to
dinner – invention to all nations and religions“ because for dinner it's a must to wear special
For future I dream of creating more individual and crazy hats for Ascot and get the recomend of Charles Barnet and sell it for the happening in Berkshire.

Tell us about your 'customers'
My customers are visitors of my exhibitions and they buy the hats, because they can used it in real in
summer. Also I give workshops in creating your own individual sun-hat with old teabagpapers.

Renate is a member of GEDOK Karlsruhe and International Association of Paper Artists and PaperMakers (iapma)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In Her Own Words - Weibke Goos

Currently, I’m concentrating on designing and producing wearable jewellery - unique pieces as well as small-scale series. My jewellery is characterized by the combination of innovative manufacturing methods, traditional gold work and very old casting techniques. Due to the different manufacturing processes the pieces obtain special surface structures and quite often an archaic charisma.

During my studies at Pforzheim University I have already launched the jewellery brand “Goos Jewellery”. I believe that social justice and the protection of our environment are as important as excellent quality and design. Therefore every piece of jewellery is manufactured from recycled or fair-trade silver, gold and gems. It is my aim to unify timeless and individual design, highest value as well as social and environmental responsibility.

Right after my last year’s graduation I opened the gallery “Goldaffairs” in Karlsruhe. It is the first German gallery for ethical jewellery and sustainable accessories. It is located in the east of Karlsruhe, in close vicinity to the old slaughterhouse. Currently, this area is on the move, there will be studios for artists and designers in the near future. Besides my own works I sell products from international designers and small brands. The accessories I offer are out of recycled materials or vegetable-tanned leather. The jewellery is manufactured from fair-trade precious metals and gems or recycled precious metals.

Trying to establish a business based on a holistic concept of sustainability and social justice is not always easy, but in my eyes it is worth trying in so many ways. In Germany, topics like “ethical jewellery” and “responsible mining” are not as widespread as they are in England, but the public awareness is increasing and the media presence is growing. I experience my customers to be very interested and receptive. Some of them come to my gallery because they already knew about my concept and would like to buy jewellery made of fair-trade gold or silver, others like my design, the personal atmosphere and the products I’m selling.
As I already implied highest quality in design and fabrication, the selection of unique and exceptional products as well as a distinguished customer service are my priorities. Fair-Trade and sustainability are therefore more like a topping that my customers appreciate and that makes my business remarkable.

For me it is more complicated, more expensive and time-consuming to buy fair-trade precious metals and gems. Furthermore, the production of my jewellery is costlier but I hope that this will change in the future. In the meantime, I am convinced it is worth dealing with these aspects even though one must make compromises sometimes.

 Last year, I won the “Heinrich–Blanc Förderpreis” which is awarded every year and honors exceptional academic theses to promote the progress in Baden-Württemberg. I developed an own manufacturing method to create a symbiosis of jewellery and packaging. Both elements interact and therefore are inextricably linked with each other. Every piece of jewellery is formed in its own mold which is, at the same time, the packaging. Thereby every item gains its very special charisma and uniqueness. (mein stein)
In the same year, I competed for the STUDENT DESIGN AWARD for rapid manufacturing and won the second prize. I presented an innovative jewellery concept working with generative design to create rings consisting of very complex organic structures (morphogenetic).

Creative Twins from Karlsruhe arriving soon!

Our Creative Twins from Karlsruhe are arriving at the beginning of next week. We are so pleased to be able to welcome them!

They are:
Juli Foos - 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' - Find out more on Juli's website

Weibke Goos -a jeweller creating a green alternative to conventional jewellery -

(photo: Petra Jaschke)

Renate Schweizer describes herself as an 'intermodal artist'. She is bringing recycled fashion this time
She has a YouTube channel showing her work here

Come and meet Juli, Weibke and Renate at Fantastic Futures 5-7pm at Designer Forum and  Designer's Resolutions 6 7- Midnight at Antenna on Tuesday 23rd October, and Inspire and Unite 5-8pm at Nottingham Contemporary on Friday 26th October

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Creative Twinning October Events 2012

Creative Twinning October Events - Join us for these unique opportunities to meet a variety of award winning Creative Businesses from the East Midlands and Nottingham's twinned city Karlsruhe in Germany, along with our supporting Partners; South Nottingham College, Design Factory, Designer Forum, Designers Resolutions, Future Factory & Nottingham City Council.
We have some very exciting creative events this October, we hope you can join us. Let us know which events you are coming to by leaving us a message at

Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer update

We are working behind the scenes on the Creative Twinning Showcase to be held at Nottingham Contemporary on 26th October 2012. Applications are sought from Karlsruhe designers who would like to visit Nottingham from 24th to 27th October. Please see the 'Opportunities' page or click here for more information on how to apply.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Back from Germany

Time has flown by since we returned from Karlsruhe for a second time! After a week in Germany Debbie and I (Jayne) have been rushed off our feet getting back to our own businesses and working on plans for later in the year.

I'll get a review posted just as soon as I can. In the meantime you can view images of our trip on Flickr by clicking this link. 

Here's the amazingly talented CT designers at the press night at Eunique 
(L-R: Suet Yi, Jayne Childs, Debbie Bryan, Rachel Lunn, Michele Arieu, Ashi Marwaha, Gillian Lee Smith, Lucy Harding and Kit Anderson)

Monday, 30 April 2012

Off to see our Creative Twins

We can't wait to meet up with our Creative Twins in Karlsruhe this week. We're back there showing at Eunique Applied Arts Fair for a second year. This year our ranks have swelled to ten, with designers joining us from across Nottingham and the East Midlands.

Debbie and I are also joined by Mandi, Kate and Georgina from South Nottingham College, who are hoping to set up a student exchange of some kind and are going to see exactly what opportunities there are. Hayley Banks from Design Factory, who have generously supported the ten designers, will be there to make links with creative organisations from across Baden Württemberg and beyond.

We'll be looking for Karlsruhe designers to join us in Nottingham for a reciprocal visit in October 2012 and catching up with Angelika, Brigitte, Nora and Philine from last year's twinning events. As you may know, I (Jayne from JC Middlebrook) have started to work with Brigitte making Nottingham Lace in silver. We hope this year's trip will produce more joint enterprises and design collaborations.

Wish us luck, we'll try and update you whilst we're there. See you soon

Friday, 20 April 2012

Creative Twinning 2012

We're in the midst of last minute preparation for Creative Twinning's visit to Eunique Applied Arts Fair in Nottingham's twin city of Karlsruhe. The original Creative twinning designers Debbie Bryan, Hannah Lobley and Jayne Childs will accompanied by 7 designers from across the East Midlands. You can find out more about the designers showing at Eunique here.

We'll also have representatives from two of our supporting partners Design Factory and South Nottingham College. Alongside the fair we'll be busy making links with creative organisations from the Karlsruhe area in preparation for the Creative Twinning showcase we are already planning for October 2012.

We took time out yesterday to take part in some German Language and Cultural Awareness training from the fantastic Jo Small at Optima Training. Our supporting partner Future Factory at NTU hosted us for the day as we prepared our language skills for the trip!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Creative Twinning next stage plans

We will be meeting with some of our supporting partners and designers this Friday to get acquainted and start planning our Creative Twinning trip to Karlsruhe in May. As you may know ten designers from across the East Midlands will be exhibiting at Eunique Applied Arts Fair in Karlsruhe. We hope to also offer partners from Design Factory and South Nottingham College the chance to meet up with their 'Creative Twins' from that region of Germany.

Then we are planning to invite some German designers to return to Nottingham in October 2012 for more exciting events and a design showcase. Later on this year we will be focussing on bringing on young designers so are working on plans with South Nottingham College to help mentor and encourage them, with the aim of involving the young people in the 2013 exchange.

We'll tweet some photos on Friday so don't forget to follow us @creativetwin

Monday, 20 February 2012

‘Creative Twins’ meet up in Munich

JC Middlebrook designer Jayne Childs has just returned to Nottingham from Munich where she visited her ‘Creative Twin’, jewellery designer Brigitte Adolph at the Inhorgenta international jewellery fair.
Brigitte's stand at Inhorgenta

Jayne met Brigitte in May 2011, when she exhibited at Eunique Applied Arts Fair in Karlsruhe. The trip was Creative Twinning’s first trip, and culminated in three German designers making a reciprocal visit to Nottingham in October 2011. Jayne and Brigitte were reacquainted during this visit and decided to start collaborating on some lace designs for jewellery.

JC Middlebrook lace in real silver!

Brigitte has developed a range of silver jewellery from Jayne’s lace designs and the show was the first opportunity for Jayne to see how the designs had worked in the precious metal.  The pair took some time during Jayne’s stay to work out some technical issues with the designs and plan new work for the coming months. Jayne is returning to Germany with Creative Twinning in May, alongside nine other Design Factory members for Eunique 2012. The pair hopes to have more work completed by then, alongside some special pieces to be incorporated directly into Jayne’s textiles.

About JC Middlebrook – Jayne Childs began making lace under the business name JC Middlebrook in September 2010. She is inspired by the history of machine made lace in her home city of Nottingham and uses original designs from the former factories as a starting point for her lace textiles.

More information about JC Middlebrook at and Brigitte Adolph’s lace jewellery can be seen here 

About Inhorgenta - Inhorgenta is an internationally renowned industry forum offering the most comprehensive overview of current and future developments in the world of jewellery and watches. Inhorgenta covered a total of 66,000 square meters of space, divided over six exhibition halls at Messe München International and around 30,000 trade visitors made their way around 1134 trade stands.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Creative Twinning 2012

We're so happy to be returning to Karlsruhe in May 2012. This year, we have partnered with Design Factory to offer 7 additional East Midlands designers the opportunity to showcase at Eunique Applied Arts fair.

The Creative Twinning/Design Factory group will include:

It will be so exciting to introduce these designers to this fantastic arts fair, and to Karlsruhe, where we received such a warm welcome last year. We'll have more news in the next few weeks, so watch  this space!