Sketching out plans for ACE

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IMG_3861How do you prepare for a trade show? My mind is full of licensing... new collections... sketches in the note book. 

I'm recently returned from a trip to Marrakech which inspired me to fill a sketchbook with secret gardens, palm trees, geometric shapes and COLOUR.  The pendant in the picture features a paper plan motif from a forthcoming collection. This will include other more organic designs too - I'm looking forward to announcing more on this soon.

It's all good inspiration to carry with me up to Harrogate later this month for the Association of Cultural Enterprises conference and exhibition. My plan is to meet existing stockists and, in particular, to talk to buyers about bespoke design and licensing opportunities.

For me, ACE represents an opportunity to dig deeper into the world of gallery and museum retail spaces. Over the past 12 months, I've been expanding the design and manufacturing consultancy that I've undertaken in this sector and I've been researching production techniques, developing suppliers and resolving sustainability issues along the way. 

Licensing and bespoke design is managed differently by each institution. It can mean working in collaboration with a curator or solely with the buying team. It's always a gorgeous privilege to get a tour of a gallery or museum with one of the curators - it's like wearing a magic pair of specs and SEEING things in extraordinary focus.

Producing a new season's work and developing exhibition-specific collections has also given me the advantage of regular 'fresh starts'. That blank white page in front of me is sometimes scary but more usually, exciting. In 2020, this is going to mean new techniques, new collections.

Hold on to your hats! You are going to see more of my flights of fancy.

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  1. Jo McBeath

    When are you in Harrogate - world be lovely to meet up?

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