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Barbara Chandler

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Glass, interactive lights and an eco-van


I love glass, old and new, so Reflect, the London Glass Fair in Kensington Town Hall, was a sheer delight. My old friend and glass artist, Adam Aeronson, had a stand with beautiful new work, including sculptural bottles with heavy twisting shapes and vivid colours. He regularly holds glass-making workshops ( The next Fair is in Cambridge on 25 September – could be worth making a special outing (details are on
Chalky I popped into Pulse – the trade show for gifts and accessories – and had a warm reunion with my mate Jason Allcorn who was manning his new creation, Chalkyvan (right). Eco-action group [Re]design, founded and run by Jason and his partner Sarah, have given an old VW Campervan a complete eco-makeover. Now it runs on reprocessed cooking oil, uses solar power, has low-energy lighting and is kitted out with eco-friendly materials.

It is also a mobile workshop and event/exhibition space, inviting comment/posting slogans on its blackboard exterior ( Chalkyvan will move to Bishopsgate, EC3, 8-9 July, as part of the Big Draw and City of London Festival (; and Then Chalky motors over the Channel to run through some pretty nifty eco tricks for the French.
OLED I’ve also seen a wonderful one-day installation of Philips’ OLEDs in Shoreditch (it stands for organic light emitting diodes – but don’t worry about it too much). These are wafer-thin lights, in small rectangles or squares. A huge wall of them was doing fancy tricks, controlled by a computer. On one programme, the lights reacted to the movement of the viewer, showing a hand, face and so on (see picture).

And I popped into Designers Guild on the King’s Road to see a special show of ceramics by first-year students at the RCA, chosen by Tricia Guild, who recently re-vamped her entrancing store, improving the layout and freshening up the paint. I loved huge urn-like vases made from plaster moulds by Zemer Peled – she was inspired by Sevres 18th century porcelain in the Wallace Collection. And I just had to snap Tricia Guild’s shoe/sock combo – an artwork in itself.
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Wow! An eco-friendly van! I want to know what wonders are in it and how will it really help our eco system.

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