Gifts Today magazine

Barbican Makers initiative

Kate Trouw announced as second maker to be showcased in the Barbican Shop

London-based architect turned artist Kate Trouw is the second emerging designer-maker to be showcased as part of the Barbican’s Makers initiative, an open call for new designer-maker talent. Her striking range of clay jewellery, including several exclusives, is on sale in the Barbican Shop until June 2017.

The range includes a selection of earrings and necklaces of polymer clay and natural waxed cotton cord, all handmade in Kate’s studio in London.

Combining architecture with geology, Kate Trouw uses simple materials and geometric shapes in her range which is inspired by the surfaces of the city. Continuing to explore some of the ideas she first became interested in when working as an architect, she is influenced by her daily walks through London; facades, pavements, hoardings, scaffolding. These surfaces, which were once meticulously designed, now often bear unintended patterns created over time by weather, wear and adaptation and so reveal the life of the city.

Kate explores these ideas using polymer clay as a primary material. During the rolling out and folding of the mixing process the clay goes through an unrepeatable series of transformations before becoming fully mixed. The end result is a collection of elegant yet playful statement pieces which can be worn every day.

The range is showcased in the recently expanded Barbican Shop, and includes earring and necklace pieces exclusive to the Barbican.

Kate Trouw says: 'When I saw the opportunity to apply to be a Barbican Maker, it seemed like a natural choice - I spend a lot of time at the Barbican. It’s great that there’s space in the new shop to give a platform to emerging makers who haven’t yet figured out exactly what their business could look like.

'My commission features some new shapes, inspired by the curvy bits of the Barbican flats. My current range is designed around simple geometric compositions in speckled pastels. I’m trying to make elegant yet playful statement pieces which can be worn every day, and the new pieces hopefully reflect this idea.'

Applications have also now opened for the next Barbican Maker. The successful applicant's work will be on display in the Barbican Shop from June to August 2017, and the Barbican will work closely with the maker to identify the best space for their work within the store, how to display it, and will promote the work through its marketing, press and social media channels. This new opportunity underlines the Barbican’s commitment to working with emerging talent and supporting their artistic development. Applications close on 31 March.

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