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LCW22: The Future of Craft at OXO Tower Wharf

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Inside the Exhibition - London Craft Week May 2022

Virtual Tour: 8 Min Read
 Gina Pipet The Future of Craft Oxo Tower Wharf

 Photo Credit: Ollie Rudkin

This year London Craft Week returned in full swing to its regular date in May for its 8th edition. I decided to celebrate this occasion by accepting the challenge of putting on my largest exhibition of work to date at London’s Oxo Tower Wharf for The Future of Craft.

I was delighted to have been invited by Louisa Pacifico, Director of Future Icons, to take over my own room in the Bargehouse, giving me an opportunity to share my latest works and demonstrate how my craft embraces innovative digital technology.

A true showcase of 'work in progress' the event gave visitors an opportunity to discover my tricks of the trade as I presented our new scarf design alongside a selection of fabrics, colour tests, and digital presentation works. Visitors were able to see how I translate my designs onto a variety art prints, and enjoy our recent commission with Coin Street Community Builders installed on The Bargehouse itself.

 

Gina Pipet The Future of Craft Oxo Tower WharfPhoto Credit: Ollie Rudkin 

The following images are from the LCW exhibition, displaying works at different stages of the development process. From colour consistency to innovative digital rendering, each description highlights how these valuable ‘tools’ play an essential part in achieving the highest levels of quality needed for our bespoke fabrics and premium accessories.

If you missed us at the show, then read on for a 'Virtual Tour' inside our joyful world of print!
 

The Future of Craft at OXO Tower Wharf

 
Pipet Design Colour Blanket LCW22
 
Colour Blanket
Pipet Design, Digitally Printed on Silk. England, UK

A colour blanket is a physical reference that allows you to see how your artwork will be printed on fabric. It is used to compare actual colour output from the printer to that seen on your monitor.
 
Changes over time in suppliers of dyes, chemistry and the evolving nature of technology means changes in the colour hues are inevitable and may affect repeat print tests over a period of time. The studio prints a blanket for each new fabric base as well as new project. Investing in a one-meter colour blanket can save many tests and provides an accurate indication of how the final print will look on a particular fabric base.
 
This blanket is created from digital file consisting of hundreds of coloured squares. Our Master File has been adapted over time, adding the colours from each new collection for comparison.

 

Pipet Design OXO Scarf sample LCW22

Photo Credit: Ollie Rudkin 

OXO Scarf Design, V1.
Print & Fabric Test Panel, Pipet Design
Digitally Printed on Silk. England, UK

 

The low minimums offered with digitally printed fabric gives greater flexibility and creative freedom to small practices. A fabric test print allows trials to be made in quantities as little as one meter.

As with the Colour Blanket, it is often necessary to make a test print on fabric during the development stage and before going to production. This test print often includes smaller sections of multiple designs, and numerous colourways. It is useful to see how the design will translate to that particular fabric and a good stage to check the clarity of smaller details such as fine lines, motifs or brand logos.

This piece features our initial design for our OXO scarf. Despite creating a digital visualisation, it proved necessary to make a physical test print too. In trying this scarf on the body, Gina deemed the scale of the elements too large, prompting a complete rework to the current design, V2.

 
Pipet Design The Future of Craft LCW2022
Photo Credit: Above, Jonathan A Milton

 

Pipetdesign Oxo Scarf 90cm Silk 2022
OXO Scarf Design, V2.
3D Rendered Digital Visualisations, Pipet Design
 
3D Rendering helps us tell our story and test designs through high quality visualisations. Being able to imagine a product before it exists has helped refine our design process, making our practice even more sustainable.
 
Whilst not a replacement for real-life product photography, it is an accessible means of building a cohesive product range, obtaining a good sense of what’s to come through realistic product shots. Working with these digital tools as a guide, Gina is able to experiment with different elements of a design, check colour combinations, and test the style of a scarf when wrapped or draped, before committing to physical samples.
 

Pipet Design Oxo Silk Scarf Ollie Rudkin Photography
  Photo credit: Ollie Rudkin
OXO Scarf V2.
Pre-Production Sample, Pipet Design
Digitally Printed on Silk Twill. England, UK
 
Through our contemporary approach to craft our unique silk scarves are revered by those seeking to distinguish themselves in a modern, elegant way. Since the launch of the PIPÉT brand in 2012 we are proud to have created all our products locally, working with professional printers and heritage makers in the UK. Celebrating fine British craftsmanship all our products are printed and handmade to the highest standard in small quantities. In keeping our collections small we are able to ensure exclusivity, creativity and uniqueness in every piece.

 

Gina Pipet The Future of Craft LCW22 

 “LCW is the perfect occasion to show a ‘behind-the-scenes’ and emphasise the details in the making – not just the final product. This time it’s all about Process, and on display is my forthcoming scarf design mid-point in its development. I wanted to share how I combine state of the art technology with more traditional materials, and some of the tools that help us be as streamlined and sustainable as possible throughout our design, development and production processes” Says Gina.


 Pipet Design Oxo Scarf Panels copyright©pipetdesign2022

OXO Scarf Panels in Various Colour ways
Pre-Production Test Print, Pipet Design
Digitally Printed on Silk Twill. England, UK
 
Gina is early adopter of digital fabric printing. She has witnessed its stirring emergence into the fashion industry, to its current-day standing as a readily available go-to production method. As an independent designer-maker, having access to industry level digital fabric production is a game changer. Low production minimums mean no excess waste or overstock, and by working with UK manufacturers we are able to keep our carbon footprint low with local travel, benefiting both business and the environment.
 
Over the last 10 years we have built relationships with the best print facilities in the UK, keeping us at the forefront of digital print technology as it evolves. These advancements in digital print allow us to achieve very fine quality products, including our luxury silk scarves.
 
The centerpiece shows our forthcoming scarf panels printed on a traditional silk twill fabric. Once checked and approved for colours, this pre-production test run is the final step before placing our order for production printing.

 

Pipet Design Thames cushions The Future of Craft LCW22Photo Credit: Jonathan A Milton

Cushions from theThamesFabric Collection
Bespoke Fabrics & Accessories, Pipet Design
Printed and Made in England, UK
 
Each year we add to our library of in-house fabric designs which can be custom printed to suit both fashion and interior projects. These cushions feature patterns from our latest ‘Thames’ fabric collection, which looks to the iconic buildings along London’s popular South Bank. The collection includes references to the heavy board-formed concrete shapes of the National Theatre and the branded lights of the OXO Tower as key inspirations.
   
 Pipet Design Printed Wood Panel Oxo Tower Wharf

Dream No Small Dreams
Pre-Production Test Print, Pipet Design
UV Flatbed Printer, Marine Ply. Onward Display, London, UK
Oxo Court Yard Project, Coin Street Community Builders

 When asked to produce several large scale artworks to be installed on The Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf it was important not to detract from the industrial character of the building. With the help of the team at Onward Display we have been able to remain sympathetic to the surroundings by combining state of the art print technologies with traditional materials.

Using Marine Plywood for the first time it was important to understand how the print would look on this particular ground. This full-scale section was produced to check for colour, clarity and sizing of the image before the final panels were put into production.

 

Pipet Design at Onward Display Printers OXO 2022

"This new printing technology uses ultra-fine ink which is dropped directly onto the wood and cured with UV light. In order to achieve the rich and vibrant colours required, two base coats of white ink were applied to the naturally dark wood surface before adding the final design". 

Creating custom artwork for these panels using vector graphics means that these are completely scalable without losing any detail or diminishing the quality of the design. This flexibility enables Gina to undertake diverse projects such as this installation, and opens up new opportunities to produce work at a much larger scale.

 

Dream No Small Dreams Gina Pipet Oxo Tower WharfPhoto Credit: Jonathan A Milton

Dream No Small Dreams
Oxo Tower Wharf Installation & Artworks


Commissioned by Coin Street Community Builders, this installation is a tribute to one of London’s most significant cultural & historical landmarks, Oxo Tower Wharf. Each panel tells a story, encouraging self-belief, individuality and creative expression through a series of 5 cheerful artworks.

A culmination of two years work centred around our ‘Thames’ print collection, it was the perfect event to launch this project and dedicate a whole room to these colourful designs. Click below to discover all about our Dream No Small Dreams commission.

You can download the full press release here

 Gina Pipet Dream No Small Dreams Oxo Tower Wharf 2022

Future Icons The Future of Craft Oxo Tower Wharf LCW22
Future Icons members at The Future of Craft 2022

A huge thanks to everyone who attended throughout the week and helped celebrate the launch of The Future Of Craft at our private view night. I really couldn’t have imagined such an amazing turn out, and it was wonderful to see so much interest for the works and craft on show here this LCW22. It was the perfect place to launch our OXO inspired designs and pay homage to the place where I have lived for most of my London life.

The designs you see will be coming as finished scarves in the next few months, so keep an eye out on our newsletter for those. It was great to share our recent installation on the Bargehouse, and I couldn’t be happier that several of my new prints are off to new homes too!

Thanks to Louisa at Future Icons, Sophie and Annette at Oxo Tower Wharf and the whole team making this happen.

Gina Pipet The Future of Craft Oxo Tower Wharf Ollie RudkinPhoto Credit: Ollie Rudkin

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