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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The New Ming Vase - Dutch Alchemy in Delft

The cosy city of Delft in Holland is known for it's iconic blue and white ceramics. Since the 17th Century, Delftware was being produced to cater to European demand for highly prised Chinese porcelains being imported by the Dutch East India Company. It's classic tin glaze has always therefore responded to the times, and De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles [Royal Delft 1653] continue this tradition today.

New Delft is a collection that combines hand made contemporary forms with modern patterns that are inspired by the historical markings and initials of Delft's original designers. The enigmatic symbols are surrounded by a cartouche, that echos the mark left at the bottom of pottery after being fired. New Delft is available from the Rijksmuseum and is currently on exhibit at Ultraloft's first plinth.

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Seat of Quiet Power

The Cesca chair designed by Marcel Breuer in 1928 is the epitome of a quiet diplomacy in design. The sort of chair you'd find in the canteen at the United Nations, or in Brasilia's Niemeyer designed Congress. It exhibits a soft power that exists in the background; playing a deliberately subtle role.

The chrome tubular frame is objective and intelligent, while the hand-caned supports are honest and reflect a level craft that is neither patronising nor dated. Breuer's B32, [as it was known before being renamed after his daughter Francesca] is the sort of chair you'd want to run for Prime Minister... but in the mean time, these Italian originals from the 1970's will serve Ultraloft exceedingly well.

Friday, 6 May 2016

How to Steal a Damien Hirst - Part II

Back in May, I wrote about how I stole a priceless Damien Hirst butterfly print from an Alexander McQueen store in Mayfair. Various accomplices later, and the delicate silk butterfly print, almost two meters in height, features as the flagship canvas in Ultraloft.

The steal of the decade, certainly. But here's the story of how I avoided spending time at Her Majesty's pleasure. For this heist, not only required careful planning, entrepreneurial zeal, and the right connections, but crucially, was done without breaking a single law. And you can do it too.

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