Talent spotting: Do Shop launches its favourite new designers' products

Talent spotting: Do Shop launches its favourite new designers' products

Graduate designers relish chance to sell to a discerning clientele at contemporary interiors Do Shop in London's Covent Garden

By Abby Trow
Dyslexia ceramic mugs by Henry Franks of Northumbria University

The Do team selects design graduates' products for its annual DO MASTERS exhibition which it feels are innovative, sustainable, useful, beautiful - and crucially, commercially viable. Products from eight 2013 graduates go on sale in store and online on 14 September and are available until 31 October. Pictured above are ceramic upside-down mugs by Henry Franks of Northumbria University from his Dyslexia collection.

It's all very well designing prototype pieces in college workshops, but will your product cut the mustard on the shop floor? Because, let's be honest about it, designing things that people want to buy is the ultimate test of a designer's skills.

The Do Shop in London's Covent Garden, which sells contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories, gives new designers the opportunity to test the retail market with its Do Masters exhibition. The store's team visit graduate shows at universities around the country looking for new product that will appeal to its customers, and this year it's chosen pieces from eight designers.

So, if you are on the look-out for some innovative, quirky, useful items for your home, you might be tempted by Kingston University graduate Delina Evans' iron-shaped Necessitea ceramic teapot, which when filled with boiling water (or tea...) gives sufficient heat to iron one shirt. Perfect for those who need to find a very good reason indeed to get the iron out for their one and only non drip-dry raiment.

 

Two-sided spoon by Matt Marshall, graduate of Kingston University
Matt Marshall's two-sided wooden spoon collection is a boon to cooks
Delina Evans of Kingston University designed the Necessitea ironing teapot
Gil Muller's table has a useful stand on which to hang or store things
Or keep books to hand under the table top - Gil Muller, Camberwell College of Art
Hand-thrown ceramic vessels in earthy hues by Latvian Laima Grigone, who's graduated from Falmouth University
Ceramicist Laima Grigone, Falmouth University. Photo: Ben Mostyn

It's easy to see why Matt Marshall's Big Spoon Little Spoon collection caught the Do Shop team's eye. These useful wooden spoons include one with holes at one end, perfect for getting that piece of pasta penne out of a boiling pan to see if it's al dente, while another has a spatula at one end. It makes life so much easier to simply turn the spoon over in your hand to perform a different task than endlessly ferreting in the drawer or utensil pot for more implements. Marshall studied at Kingston University.

Multi-functional furniture is always popular and Gil Muller's discreet wood and metal Antennae Side Table shows good thinking because it has a frame that allows things to be stored under the table top - books for example, or you can hand headphones on it. Swiss-born Muller graduated from Camberwell College of Art.

Ceramics feature in the line-up, including beautiful hand-thrown vessels by Latvian Laima Grigone, who's graduated from Falmouth University. Her pieces have a tactile earthy quality inspired by the Cornish landscape.

Meanwhile Royal College of Art graduate Bilge Nur Saltik has designed a very modern collection of serveware - white china containers angled at the bottom to make it easy to share food. And so you can't miss them, Saltik has given the containers bright neon orange bases.

Henry Franks, graduate of Northumbria University, has already won acclaim for his Dyslexia collection of objects, which he's designed to help educate people about dyslexia. They include mugs that look as if they've been made upside down - illustrating the inversion and flipping of letters.  

 

Share.Food ceramic serveware by RCA graduate Turkish Bilge Nur Saltik
Share.Food bowls by Bilge Nur Saltik have bright neon orange angled bases
Ceramicist Bilge Nur Saltik
Ceramic salt and pepper pots by Norwegian Ragnhild Marston, graduate of Staffordshire University

Do Masters coincides with the London Design Festival (14-22 September) and the new products will be on sale from 14 September to 31 October. And of course, any best-sellers will be kept on. 

Viet Nguyen of Do Shop says Do Masters allows new designers to see if their products sell and to receive feedback from customers. Designers receive 90 per cent of profits from sales of their products, with Do Shop taking 10 per cent to cover its costs.

Prices of all the products featured will be finalised by 14 September and they can be bought in store and online.

Do Shop, 34 Shorts Garden, London WC2H 9PX.

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