New Designers 2018

So it’s that time of year again, when all of the graduates from all of the art schools in the UK exhibit their degree shows at the renowned New Designers Exhibition. I love it, and actually closed the shop for the day to make sure I could go. It brings back so many memories of when I exhibited there as a fresh-faced graduate of Edinburgh Collage of Art, umm…let's just say, quite a few years ago.

2018 is the first year I have visited the show as a gallery owner and it was a lovely feeling to talk to all of the students, knowing that some of them may be displaying their work with me in the future. It really is a place to discover the next ‘big thing’ and the atmosphere at the show is palpable.

At last year’s show I spoke with Sonya Chauhan and Monique Jeffrey-Jones, who both now display their jewellery at Varoshe.

Sonya Chauhan ~ 'BURNT OUT', silver threader earrings

Monique Jeffrey-Jones ~ 'HAWKS TOR', silver gilt ring with garnet

The work on display is so different and exciting, and often has a sort of sculptural feel to it. There is a real sense of playfulness at New Designers, which I find so inspiring. Sometimes it is just what I need to wake me up from my summer stupor!

At this year’s show, I had the pleasure of talking with Eli Chang, a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, whose work was beautifully sculptural. I especially loved his clever LED drop earrings, which light up when they swing in the wearer’s ear.

Eli Chang

Another designer that stood out was Anna Peake, a graduate from the UCA, Farnham. Her use of layers and mixed materials gave an incredible sense of depth to her work. Maybe not the most practical of pieces to wear daily, but it is so fun to see the possibilities and the broad scope that the word ‘jewellery’ encapsulates.

Anna Peake

It is definitely a show that I would recommend that you put in your diary, and is well worth the trip up to London. If nothing else, it is nice to support the new and up-and-coming designer/makers of the future! Unfortunately the first week has now finished (Textiles & Fashion, Costume Design, Surface Pattern Design, Ceramic, Glass, Jewellery and Contemporary Design Crafts), but the second week is about to start on Wednesday (Product Design, Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Spatial Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation Motion and Digital Arts). If this sounds up your street then you can find out more on the New Designers website,

Watch this space to see which ‘New Designers’ will be showing their work at Varoshe later in the year!

I look forward to seeing you in West Malling soon!


Clare X