Presented by the Crafts Council and celebrating its 20th successful year, Collect is one of the world’s most influential contemporary craft and design fairs. Showcasing innovative, museum-quality works from 400 of the 21st century’s finest artists, specialist galleries, dealers and collectives from around the globe, the event runs from 1st -3rd March (with a private view on 29th March) at London’s Somerset House. This year, internationally acclaimed furniture, lighting and accessories company and The House Directory member OCHRE has sponsored and designed the luxurious VIP lounge. Here, managing director Jeff Charlton tells us about the project.

OCHRE - moodboard
Image: OCHRE – moodboard for VIP Lounge

Q: Can you tell us about your collaboration with Collect 2024 – what is it that you’re most excited about with regards to the partnership?

A: At OCHRE, we have always had a passion for exquisite handmade objects and our whole ethos revolves around the creation of high-quality, unique, timeless and collectable pieces. This meant that for us there was a natural synergy with Collect, a fair that continues to champion an exceptional selection of outstanding artists in the world of contemporary craft and design. With this in mind, we were delighted to become a part of the fair’s 20th anniversary celebration and we’re really looking forward to curating the space for its many visitors.

Image: OCHRE Gaia Pendant – double tier, 3 pebbles

Q: What was your design concept for the VIP lounge and what kind of space did you want to create?

A: Our aim for the VIP lounge was to make sure that the space was welcoming and calm – somewhere for people to take a break from the show, gather their thoughts and relax. We chose a colour palette of soft pink, orange and red fabrics, which are set against buff-coloured walls that provide a serene backdrop. Together they create a wonderful feeling of warmth and harmony. Our focus throughout was on sustainable, natural and recycled materials such as oak, hand-blown glass and horsehair, which were used to create a range of individually crafted pieces including the Drifter light, the Gaia pendant and the facias of the bar and window plinths. These were all designed to ‘sing’ together. From a practical perspective, we wanted to ensure that the space was flexible and so we included a variety of moveable seating options that allow for intimate gatherings and cosy conversation as well as giving larger groups the opportunity to convene.

Image: OCHRE – Furniture Moodboard for the VIP Lounge

Q: Can you tell us which artists’ work was chosen for the VIP Lounge this year and what is it that you love about it?

A: In the lounge is a small group of artworks that we selected in collaboration with Fair Director, Isobel Dennis. These pieces were carefully chosen to represent the breadth of international artists showing at Collect, to highlight how cultural heritage can influence process, materials and storytelling and to showcase the craft skills involved in creating the stunning pieces. We particularly love the silver and copper pieces by Kye-Yeon Son represented by Craft Alliance, that recreate natural forms with such delicacy and precision. With its beautiful shape and raw, earthy colouring, the Porcelain Plate by Oh Man Chul, represented by Han Collection is also a highlight, and Flow 2023, a vegetable-tanned leather vessel by Junsu Kim from Siat Gallery and The Rise of Women, a canvas by Batool Showghi from Jaggedart are amazing works that incorporate immaculate attention to detail. Together, they present a range of incredible techniques and materials that when placed in an interior setting work beautifully with our concept.

Image: Flow 2023, vegetable-tanned leather by Junsu Kim from Siat Gallery
Innatus Forma, Steel, Rust, by Kye-Yeon Son represented by Craft Alliance,
Image: Innatus Forma, Steel, Rust, by Kye-Yeon Son represented by Craft Alliance

Q: Where does inspiration come from for OCHRE’s own pieces and how does the company partner with craftspeople and designers?

A: All of our designs are inspired by the innate beauty of natural materials and a respect for traditional hand-formed techniques. We work on a made-to-order basis with a series of specialist workshops in the UK and around the world, and our partners are chosen for their exceptional craftsmanship, as well as for their commitment to preserving skills, and training a new generation of apprentices. Pieces are crafted in FSC approved woods, by-product leathers and horn, bronze, glass, porcelain, and natural fibres. For example, OCHRE Wild Rugs are hand dyed and knotted by master weavers, dyers and spinners in West Bengal, India using only naturally grown materials and centuries-old techniques, while our Drifter lights are hand-carved in London from sustainable European oak and bound with contrasting leather strips. We are also excited to launch our new Clochette pendant light, a delicate piece made in London featuring a fine porcelain shade and a hand-blown glass centre that houses an LED. Overall, the most important thing for us is the trusted partnerships we have with the various craftspeople, as well as our mutual respect for the materials and time-honoured, specialist techniques.

Image: OCHRE – Huggy Chair, sheep-skin; Sungaya Table Lamp, putty.
The Ochre Wild Orange Chime Rug is in the background, with the Kerala Pink flatweave rug on the floor.  The three Wisp tables are 26cm, 36cm and 46cm in diameter, and are featured in our new leather colours colours - Lychee, Paprika and nutmeg.
Image: OCHRE – Wild Orange Chime Rug in the background, with Kerala Pink Flatweave Rug on the floor. The Wisp Tables are 26, 36 & 46cm diameter, in new leather colours – Lychee, Paprika and Nutmeg.

Collect runs from 1-3rd March (private view 29th March) at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. Tickets are on sale now at somersethouse.org.uk

Collect 2024 – VIP Lounge Sponsor – OCHRE

We hope this insight into the collaboration between The House Directory member OCHRE and Collect has proved interesting and inspiring. If you have enjoyed it, do check out some of our recent blog posts here.



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