I love finding quirky products from independent designers and makers. This artist and designer Jo Allen of Rare Radish from the Uk, creates the most amazing digitally printed cushions. Jo’s work is nostalgic, vintage. She says it is ‘a mixture of Downton Abbey, Gothic and Steampunk all rolled in to one.’
After licensing her art for several years she has recently launched her own brand. She says: ‘The name Rare Radish comes from the fact that radishes look pretty and pink but when you take a bite they are hot and peppery. I like using this element of surprise in my work. Rare are the treasures which have often been long forgotten and recently discovered.’
Jo carries a tiny notebook with her all the time and constantly writes down words and ideas that suddenly pop into her head. I meticulously place the treasures upon the surface and photograph them. I love the use of light and shadow and use as little photo manipulation as is possible. All the treasures I use on my designs are real tangible objects which you can touch, feel and hold.
Although there is a story for each design, Jo explains that she loves for the person who buys each piece to weave their story and memories into it.
The Baa Stool is a hand-made, luxury, sheepskin, hardwood footstool, with a removable cover. Michelle, a traditionally trained upholstress, first had the idea for the Baa Stool during a tea break from a particularly challenging chair whilst watching the sheep in the fields surrounding her Denbighshire workshop . She noticed that they looked like little footstools and the idea took hold, so Michelle set to work designing a prototype.
The Baa Stool frames and legs are hand crafted from locally and sustainably grown hardwood. The 7″ or 11″ legs are either turned to resemble sheep’s hooves or – for a more contemporary feel – plain and tapered. The covers are made from premium grade British sheepskin stitched into a sleeve that fits snugly onto the stool but it can be removed for cleaning.
According to Michelle, sheepskin is the perfect choice of cover for a footstool as wool resists spills, dries very quickly and is mildew resistant. It is naturally fire retardant, resists static, dirt and dust, is hypo-allergenic, renewable and sustainable. The stools are available in natural shades of ivory, dark brown, mottled creams and browns and even a special edition pink version.
Michelle says: “My aim with the Baa Stool was to make a quality piece of furniture, that could fit in anywhere but still have a real wow factor. I know that some people have gone as far as naming their Baa Stools, and to know that they have become part of the ‘family’ in that way, really is the ultimate compliment.”