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I've always promised myself that I'd sign on for one of these 100 day creative projects, but until such time as I get may act in order, have a look at British ceramicist Anna Whitehouse's take on the popular concept.

Starting on January 1, 2018, Whitehouse created a decorative clay bottle every day for 100 days. Each press-moulded bottle in the #100bottles100days series is uniformly shaped and sized and formed the perfect blank canvas for her to experiment on. From perforations to floral motifs, the now completed collection of 100 clay vessels showcases the artist’s fascinating array of experimental techniques.

For her, developing the patterns was fairly easy. To come up with her designs, Whitehouse referenced her sketchbooks filled with the many unexplored pattern and texture ideas she had accumulated over many years, and used anything she could to make the patterns and impressions including non-standard clay tools, pen lids, tweezers, scissors, and even a string of beads. In some instances, she would use the same tool each day but in different ways: pressing it at different angles, scraping in through the surface, or layering it with a different texture. This experimentation enabled her to create particular marks and she either referenced her sketch book to decide on what she wanted to make each day, or continued with an idea from a previous bottle. The project was a great way for Whitehouse to experiment without the fear of making a mistake as there would always be another bottle to play with the following day. 

She chose to record the 100 creations on Instagram, creating a visual digital record and a way to review her progress, but making her pieces public in this manner also meant she had to be accountable as people were following her progress. Whitehouse feels this sort of creative challenge can be constructive as it pushes development of skills and ideas and moves the artist away from the compulsion to produce something perfect. Having a more experimental mindset and the freedom to create mistakes can lead to new and exciting ideas that would never have come about any other way. 

The 100 bottles in 100 days project is being exhibited at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery, Leeds, UK from January 8 through to April 20, 2019.

These lamps are actually 3-D printed lighting created by a coterie of emerging international designers. This type of printing technology is rapidly democratising design and manufacturing as it offers luxury-quality lights at an attainable price with little to no waste.

Our favourite of the group is the Float lamp by designer Viviana Degrandi who wanted to create a light that was flexible, simple, and would fit in any room of the home. The lamp was inspired by Japanese glass fishing floats which rest on the surface of the sea and help attract fish to the nets. The lamp was created to be versatile. It can be hung on the wall or lain on its side.

This contemporary twist on the traditional Windsor chair is a collaboration between Hayche and Brighton-based branding agency Studio Makgill. The WW Armchair is a bright and playful seat whose colour-blocking and wire-wrapped sides elevate what could be a pretty standard piece.  The chair is available in six different colours.

Sleek and smooth, the Blackline rolling pin is made from sustainably harvested white oak which has been oxidised to give the tool its dark colour. The piece has been treated to make it food safe and the surface will naturally patina over time. The hand-carved utensil is pretty and simple enough to be left on display in any modern kitchen. Made in the United States.

Architect John Hix has designed a hotel complex called Hix Island House in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The most recently completed guest house on the property is called Casa Solaris and it is entirely complete off-grid and runs entirely on solar power. 

As with the other buildings on site, Hix designed Casa Solaris to take advantage of the natural elements in Vieques. He uses openings to capture the trade winds that flow across the island by the use of strategically-placed walls and windows. The house is built of block and reinforced concrete - a common material in the Caribbean because of its strength and ability to withstand hurricane-force winds - and the unpainted exterior surface makes for an interesting contrast to the lush surroundings of the property. In keeping with the environmentally-friendly theme, the bathrooms recycle grey water from sinks and showers to help irrigate the surrounding landscape which includes native plants like hibiscus, banana, key lime, and ginger.

Kid Made Modern

This set of fifteen two-toned, octahedra crayons from Jonathan Alder's side project Kid Made Modern look like mini sculptures. They feature multiple points and edges which allow for endless combinations of colours, lines and widths. The crayons are non-toxic and sized perfectly for smaller hands.

On October 1, 2018, Google celebrated the 230th birthday of Bermuda-born slave Mary Prince with this illustration.

Born in 1788 in Brackish Pond, Bermuda, Prince was sold several times during her life. She ended up on the island of Antigua in 1815 where she joined the Moravian church and at the age of 29 learned to read. Although she married, she and her husband were shortly separated thereafter because Prince’s family moved to England taking her with them. This act turned out to be fortuitous from Prince because following the passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, slavery was no longer allowed in England, although the institution of slavery continued in the British colonies. Prince was legally free on British soil, but she had no means to support herself. Under the prevailing rules of the time, if she tried to return home to her husband, she would risk being enslaved again.

In 1829 Prince became the first woman to present a petition to the English Parliament, arguing for her human right to freedom. That same year some of her associates in the anti-slavery abolitionist movement introduced a bill proposing that any West Indian slave brought to England by his or her owners must be freed. While the legislation did not pass, momentum began to shift in favour of the abolitionists' cause. 

Two years later Prince published her autobiography, making her the first black woman to publish a slave narrative in England. Her book played a decisive role in turning British public opinion against the centuries-old institution of human enslavement. Published in 1831, the book caused a sensation, going through three printings in the first year alone. In one of the book’s many heartbreaking passages, Prince recalled being sold “like sheep or cattle” on the same day as her younger sisters Hannah and Dina were sold to different masters.

“When the sale was over, my mother hugged and kissed us, and mourned over us, begging of us to keep up a good heart, and do our duty to our new masters. It was a sad parting; one went one way, one another, and our poor mammy went home with nothing.” 

On August 1, 1838, some 800,000 slaves living in British colonies throughout the Caribbean were finally set free following the passage of Great Britain’s Slavery Abolition Act, which was passed by Parliament two years after the publication of Prince’s book. Not much is known of what happened to Prince in her later years; she may have stayed in England or returned home to the Caribbean.  Despite not having received a formal education, Prince is recognised as a National Hero of Bermuda for her work to abolish slavery. She has been commemorated with a statute and recently a national holiday has been proposed to celebrate her life and achievements.

1980s power dressing.