Newdigate at West Elm

Over the years you may have noticed that I'm a major fan of the beautiful ceramics of South African designer John Newdigate since I really can't stop blogging about his work (see, here and this interview)! Last summer I hinted at his upcoming collaboration with a store closer to you - West Elm - and I'm now psyched to report that his goods have hit their shelves (both real and virtual) just in time for a full two seasons of lovely weather. These pieces would be perfect for an outdoor dinner party among friends and if you live close to the ocean than you kinda just have to get these since the entire collection is ocean-inspired!

I recently asked John what it's been like to collaborate with a mega-business like West Elm and this is what he had to share: "It has been amazing to have my work produced on a larger scale, to free up my time, enabling me to concentrate on my strengths - coming up with new designs and colour-ways, and making big one-off pieces. West Elm is doing a great job of promoting me along with my designs, which I appreciate enormously. My work has always sold well but I have been unable to meet demand as a studio artist ceramist, so this collaboration is enabling my work to reach more people, which pleases me to no end!

I especially love two things about this collaboration: first that this isn't just a case of a mega-business being "inspired" by something from Africa and reproducing that "inspiration" on a large scale without a single soul from the continent being involved and/or benefiting. Instead in this case, there is direct and close collaboration with the artist and really highlighting their work which I just find to be overall right up my alley in terms of "good business practice." Second, I think such collaborations are so in line with the creative energy coming out of South Africa (and the continent in general) right now, highlighting exactly why a city like Cape Town is the newest World Design Capital.

{Photos: West Elm}

No comments: