TEL: +44 (0)167 482 0746

Collect 2021
The Best of Contemporary British Design
The Best of Contemporary British Design

Blue Flow III & IV by Fenella Elms, Image from

The 17th edition of Collect, the international art fair for contemporary craft and design founded by the Crafts Council, was held virtually between 26th February and 2nd March. Collect is always a highlight on our design calendar and although it wasn’t the same as roaming the halls of Somerset House, it was still a delight to view exciting and innovative artworks from the comfort of our home. Here’s our round-up of the best in British contemporary design this year.


Dandy Parakeets Cocktail Chair, image from London Connoisseur
Image from

Artist-designer, Jacky Puzey, who specialises in digital embroidery, exhibited with Design Nation this year. Design Nation is a portfolio that showcases the work of acclaimed designers and craftspeople producing their work across Britain.

Jacky’s beautiful Dandy Parakeets Cocktail Chair was displayed at the virtual fair. We were fortunate enough to physically view this gorgeous cocktail chair at Decorex in 2017 where Jacky also exhibited with Design Nation. This sumptuous piece is crafted from digitally printed and machine-embroidered velvet, traditionally upholstered onto a wooden frame and embellished with custom-dyed feathers.

“I was very excited to be selected to show at Collect 2021 with Design Nation. My signature Dandy Parakeets Cocktail Chair is a gorgeous functional artwork, a collector’s item as well as a bespoke crafted chair. ” – Jacky Puzey.
Jacky Puzey in her studio

“The Dandy Parakeets Cocktail Chair speaks both of opulent escapism and dynamic contemporary urban environments,” explains Jacky. “Conceptually my embroidery designs explore visual collaborations across cultures, from multicultural graffiti’d cityscapes to historical textile motifs and traditional cloths. The Parakeet Cocktail Chair is my luxurious embroidered response to the sight of wild exotic birds flying across grey London skies.”

This exploration across cultures can be seen in Jacky’s Red Squirrel and Peacock Footstool which is inspired by classical landscapes. The design evokes a stately garden run riot, with red squirrels and peacocks roaming amongst the overgrown foliage and ripe, red pomegranates. The rich imagery is brought to life with the use of embroidery and a mixture of luxurious materials such as velvet, faux fur for the squirrel’s tail and peacock feathers.

Red Squirrel & Peacock Footstool


Waterfall Bench, image from

Using timber from a collective sustainable woodland five miles away from his workshop, designer-craftsman, Angus Ross, handcrafts his unique, sculptural furniture pieces in Aberfeldy, Scotland.

As a Design Fellow for Design Nation, Angus showcased his stunning Waterfall Bench this year at Collect. The Waterfall Bench is a steam-bent piece made from ash and features delicate walnut detailing to celebrate traditional jointing techniques. The design of the bench is inspired by the soft, babbling waterfalls of the burns surrounding Angus’ studio-workshop in Perthshire.

Many of Angus’ designs feature fluid and flowing shapes, a characteristic he accomplishes through a variety of techniques, the most significant being steam-bending. This is how he has created the beautiful curve of the backrest and arms.

“In troubled times the beauty of the exceptional handmade object is held in more esteem than ever: we feel sure that our selection of exhibiting artists will have beautiful and striking works to please everyone.”
– Clare Edwards, Director, Design Nation.⁣
Angus at work, image from

We love that Angus has chosen ash to make this bench. He often chooses ash for one-off sculptural pieces to elevate its reputation and highlight its ecological importance. Ash is often viewed as an ordinary wood and not as a material for fine furniture making.

Ash has a vital role in British forests. As a common, native species, its early, nutrient-rich leaf fall allows sunlight to reach the forest floor that is essential for numerous wildflowers and insects as well as providing a food source for many animals, particularly moths.

Ash is currently under threat of a disease known as ash dieback, a fungal disease that originated from imported intensively bred saplings. This threat highlights the serious impact of transporting congested, exhaustively grown trees and the need for a focus on sustainable practices in the design of furniture which Angus is championing.


Flying Fish Vase & Brooch, image from

Silversmith, Bryony Knox, exhibited with Gallery TEN, a modern and contemporary art gallery in Edinburgh. From vases to sculpture, decanters to tumblers, Bryony handcrafts eccentric and functional silverware, always with a delightful twist from her workshop in central Edinburgh.

Many of Bryony’s charmingly whimsical pieces are inspired by animals, particularly birds, which can be seen with the exquisite range showcased this year. The one-of-a-kind Flying Fish Vase & Brooch is crafted from hand chased silver, stainless steel wires, and a bespoke sea-green glass vase. The flying fish have hinged wings and can be removed from the steel wires to be worn as brooches. Bryony’s pieces always feature dynamic and engaging multifunctionality.

Hoopoe Sun Worshipper Box, image from
Hummingbird Trio Rosebowl, image from

The silver bird sculptures of the Hoopoe Sun Worshipper Box and Hummingbird Trio Rosebowl also feature dynamic movement in their articulated wings as they sit beautifully on the bespoke, grey glass bowl forms. The Diving Swallows & Flying Fish Tumbler is handcrafted from chased silver and features a gilt interior.

Bryony’s bird designs are inspired by her time working as the Silversmith in Residence at Edinburgh Zoo, where she researched and explored the myths and legends behind the birds she sketched to add extra characteristics to her designs. We are honoured to curate some of Bryony’s unique avian designs in our collection such as the Flamingo Vases, Raven Pourer, and Hummingbird Bud Vase & Brooch.

“The Crafts Council did an excellent job at giving artists a virtual space to showcase their statement pieces this year. Having Collect online gave more people across the world a chance to see our work if they haven’t had the opportunity to visit the fair physically in the past.” – Bryony Knox

Bryony Knox in her workshop
Bryony Knox in her workshop
Diving Swallows & Flying Fish Tumbler
Flamingo Vases
Flamingo Vases


Marloes Strata, image from

Silver and metalsmith, Claire Malet, exhibited her new piece, Marloes Strata, with Vessel Gallery. From her rural Herefordshire studio, Claire produces ethical and environmentally-friendly sculptures and vessels made from reformed metal such as 100% certified recycled silver.

Marloes Strata, is handcrafted from a steel can that Claire has reformed into a stunning vessel. 22ct moon gold and 12ct white gold gilding are used to elevate this everyday item into an exquisite piece of sculptural art. Claire’s inspiration of natural forms is clear to see as this piece resembles what it is named after: the gray sandstone series at Marloes Bay in Wales which are layers of exposed sedimentary rocks (strata) that feature this beautiful, wavy-lined pattern.

It also could be said that this vessel resembles the texture of tree bark. The way in which the design reflects light and casts shadows is akin to light shining through the forest canopy onto the woodland floor.

Teasel Vessels
Claire Malet

Claire has used reworked steel in her previous work such as her Teasel Vessel and Eroded Bowl pieces, both featuring 24ct gold leaf interior gilding. These pieces, along with Claire’s recycled silver sculptures, Sylvan Relics and Autumn Husks, all display the inspiration taken from the woodlands surrounding her studio.


Beam Bench

Exhibting with London-based gallery, jaggedart, furniture maker Katie Walker displayed the Beam Bench which has been awarded the Furniture Makers’ Company Bespoke Guild Mark no.250.

The Beam Bench can be handcrafted sustainably from either ash or walnut and combines Japanese-style self-locking joints with curved legs. Originally conceived as gallery seating, the bench is sized for a domestic setting such as a hallway or foot of a bed.

Katie Walker

The rescued leather seat covering of the bench is handmade in Britain by Elvis & Kresse, held in place by removable stainless steel tubes so it can be changed. For the past 15 years, Elvis & Kresse have made luxury leather accessories from recycled decommissioned fire hoses from the London Fire Brigade. They currently use leather off-cuts to make their pieces generated each year by the global leather industry highlighting the need for sustainable, circular processes of material, not only in the interior design industry but the fashion industry as well.


Round Flow, image from
Blue Flow III & IV, image from

Fenella Elms is a British ceramic artist who handcrafts stunning wall-mounted porcelain sculptures. Showcasing with New York gallery, J.Lohmann, Fenella exhibited two wall-mounted pieces for Collect 2021.

Round Flow features numerous porcelain circular tiles that Fenella’s eye-catching work is known for, on a board with a round metal frame. The tiles create a dynamic pattern that almost resembles water, fish scales, feathers, fabric or sand. There is an effortless movement to her work that is soothing. Blue Flow III and IV are a pair showing the versatility in Fenella’s work with their square bronze framing and calming blue colouring that plays with light and shadow.

Teal Grey Flow, image from

We had the pleasure of meeting Fenella and being introduced to her unique work at Decorex in 2019. Fenella’s Ebb Installation piece was spread over the length of her upstairs gallery stand, showcasing the wonderful flowy nature of her work and how it can be customised to each space it is placed in so no two pieces are ever the same.

Teal Grey Flow was a piece on display at Decorex that year which was framed by one of AUTHOR’s makers, Tom Trimmins. Tom used steam-bent reclaimed walnut with a shaker-style swallow-tail joint to frame Fenella’s work beautifully. The teal grey porcelain tiles and dark wood pairing creates a warm, rich tone to the piece that would sit at home happily in either a contemporary or traditionally styled space.

The Crafts Council did an exceptional job of adapting the fair virtually this year and we were awe-inspired by many of the artists’ work that was on display. The artworks are still available to view until the 24th March. You can see more on the Crafts Council website.

What did you think of Collect this year? Get in touch through Facebook and Instagram to let us know.

Share this article:

About the Author


Written by Jane Adams, founder of Author Interiors. LinkedIn:

Read more about her here.

Featured In


Join AUTHOR Society, our ‘inner sanctum’ for
appreciators of exquisite furniture and home accessories.

‘Society’ members receive exclusive offers,
gifts, previews of new AUTHOR products and interiors advice.

Membership is FREE and you’ll get a £20 voucher to spend.