Wednesday, 12 December 2012


.... apart from a good rest, which I won't get because the only candle we'll be burning at both ends this Christmas will be in the workshop on production... is that for 2013 to carry on in the same vein as the latter half of 2012.
It seems a rocket has gone off at Jessica Light Trims and Tassels and hurtled us into a stratosphere of order after order after order. Hurrah.
Our diffusion range, available on Jessica Light Shop, has been a cosmic success with weekly sales. In fact we haven't been able to make them fast enough and our passementerie jewels have been orbiting the globe. From Aus to US, Ireland to Holland, all over the UK, hotels to homes are have been invaded by bright, bouncy aliens of the tasseltastic species.

Our diffusion key tassels.

The bespoke side is also flourishing and one's weavers thighs have had a wonderful work out this year with a plethora of orders from new and old clients. The Old Codger and I wove until exhaustion and very nearly came to blows, and could have done with some loom counseling, but we treadled our way though the meteor shower.
A bespoke trim being woven.

Going into 2013, an order for 24 bespoke rosettes for a dining room in Palm Beach, Florida

Out and about I did a live weave at The Cottage Project pop up space in The New Balance Olympic hospitality suite at the top of The Millbank Tower. With it's beautiful 260 views of London I insisted on pointing out the hospital I was born in to anyone who came within a 20m radius of me

The Old Codger
Above, dressing the loom.
Below, weaving.
Both images copyright The Cottage Project

A lovely London summers day
You can see the hospital I was born in in this picture
London at dusk

We also showed independently during The London Design Festival collaborating with Precious McBane on Gone to Earth. We presented two new collections in an interior instillation which featured The Tassily chair.

The Tassily

Looking ahead through the fringe of Christmas future to 2013 we see on the horizon an exciting product launch for a major retailer in February, the unveiling of a second diffusion range in late spring and many more trimalicious comets taking off from the Urban Croft and swooshing through the sky to the outer reaches of the Universe. The futures bright- The futures green.

The Tassel Queen Of Bethnal Green
wishes one and all
Merry Yuletide and a Happy New Year

Saturday, 10 November 2012


It's not often than that we here at Jessica Light Trims and Tassels get to see the fruits of our labour so it was lovely to visit Violet And George's new shop recently and see what magic they had conjured up using our bespoke trims.

Cushions trimmed in bespoke ruche.

Lampshades using bespoke trims as decorative features.

Interior tailors Violet and George are renown for their original and creative interiors. Set up in 2009 by Nicky Mudie, the Violets soon established themselves as the by-word in delicious soft furnishings using Nicky's keen eye for sourcing sumptuous textiles. Their design flair has been carried through to a range of unique products and the opening, in September, of their beautiful shop.
All products available from;
Violet and George,
57 St Helens Gardens,
London W10 6LN

All images copyright Violet and George.

Monday, 1 October 2012


The London Design Festival is always a thriving hive of over 250 exhibitions and events, big and small, celebrating the creative diversity and talent this country has in abundance.
This year for the first time Jessica Light went off-piste, teaming up with interior designers Precious McBane to host Gone To Earth, an instillation in an old machinists shop in Clerkenwell.
Visitors were greeted by 'The Tassily', a reinterpretation by McBanes Sophia Wimpenny and Jessica Light of the classic 'Wassily' chair by Marcel Breuer. Their take was inspired by how to showcase Light's new Potsdam collection and the furniture of Carlo Bugatti. A case of not up-cycling but luxe-cycling.

Below left, the Gone To Earth window. Below right, The Tassily.

Below, detail of The Tassily showing Jessica's horsehair trims.

The visitors journey then encountered more of the Potsdam collection in the form of  a majestic tieback holding a swathe of Olicana linen which led to a cabinet of curiosities.

The Popova Tieback

Cushions made from Chinese burnished indigo highlighting more trims from the Potsdam collection.

The cabinet display, designed by Sophia Wimpenny, was a feast of bizarre nature under bell jars or sitting regally on miniature cushions. Trims were contorted to resemble undiscovered exotic flora, fauna, and marine life. A magical tableau to represent the themes behind Jessica's 2nd new collection, Frome

All images above, examples from the cabinet.

Finally more luxe-cycling in the form of two Bertoria chairs trimmed with delicate shredded fringes from the Frome collection.

Below, the Bertoria chairs

Everyone who came to see us,
Precious McBane,
House and Garden, Elle Decoration, and HeartHome for their support,
my intern Ffion.

What's hatching for next year?
You'll have to wait and see.

Like a salmon going back to it's river to spawn I had to visit Tent London. It was strange going there as audience rather than performer but it confirmed what I've always thought about this show- that it's like the Red Arrows flying overhead- loud, exciting, and breaking the sound barrier.
If last year was about textiles, this year was about process, materials and sustainability, which determined many designers product outcome. Three good examples of these themes were Morie Nishimura's exquisite hand-cut metal mirrors- hinged circles of highly polished brass were settled on his stand walls like golden butterflies basking in the sun- Afid Design's traditionally crafted oiled oak furniture that felt cool and silky and Mini Moderns new re-cycled paint range.

Chairs by Afid Design.

How on earth do you recycle paint? I thought, conjuring up an image of it being laboriously scraped off walls, to then be boiled down in large vats in a lab similar to the one in 'Carry On Screaming' manned by Kenneth Williams and Fenella Fielding. Actually it's much more major than that as Keith from the Moderns explained. We throw out tons of unused paint every year that is just dumped into landfill and it is this which gets recycled into their new  range. A lively fresh colour palette, with names like Tangerine Dream, is coordinated with Mini Moderns other products, but all the shades stand up well on their own.

Mini Moderns new paint range.

Of course there was still the off the wall idiosyncratic element that Tent is known for like the colourful woven bamboo [more eco-friendly materials]chairs from W&Q seen below [I'll also have one of their clutch bags please]

I didn't show at Tent this year, but like a red wine stain, you just can't get rid of me and I snuck onto Curiousa and Curiousa's stand in the guise of the 2.5m depth dip-dyed fringe we wove for Esther and the tassels she used to adorn her hand-blown glass shades.
Above, 2.5m long fringe on Curiousa and Curiousa

Every year I always come away inspired and impressed from The London Design Festival, but there is usually one thing that always sticks out for me. Last year it was Front's beautiful carpets and their stands at SuperBrands and Decorex again wowed me speechless. This year though it was a print that caught my eye, Garbo's Eye in fact, by The Cecil Beaton Fabric Collection printed by Beaudesart. Taken from a drawing of Greta Garbo's eyes in Cecil Beaton's sketch book the resulting print is a surreal mass of wide eyes following your every move and reflects Beaton's obsession with Garbo [there are even suggestions that the two had a very unlikely affair]

Garbo's Eye

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


For London Design Festival 2012 Jessica Light Trims and Tassels will be launching two new collections. They will be shown in an interior instillation devised by interior design company Precious Mcbane in their studio, an old Clerckenwell machinists shop. 
Our two new collections are Frome- inspired by the illustrations of Jan Pienowski, thread bare linens and fantastical insects in magical shades of ecru, eau-de-nil, raspberry/cherry, jet and yellow- and Potsdam- Russian Contructivism meets Aladdin Sane in a masculine, luxe-glam, graphic range incorporating leather, linen, metal and horsehair in muddy khaki, earth, rust, sand, and cardboard grey with flashes of violet, gold and silver.
We will also be featuring fabric from Olicana Textiles, John Boyd and Chinese burnished indigo from Slow Loris.

Samples from the Frome Collection

Gone To Earth is the hunters cry when the pursued fox has fled underground out of danger. It is also a 1917 novel by Mary Webb, who takes this title as an allegory for the ruthlessness of mans
aptitude for destruction and a lone characters personal response to her circumstances and events.It also sums up the Precious Mcbane and Jessica Light collaboration- a step back to realign and re-present our collective creative outlook. 
Having shown for the last four years at the nurturing homestead of Tent London, Jessica felt it was time to leave the campsite and pitch her Winnebago in uncharted terrain. A move she's simaltainiously excited and  apprehensive at doing.
Pairing up with design company Precious Mcbane seemed an ideal choice as both parties share an idiosyncratic and independent aesthetic view. So expect specific areas to reflect the genre of each collection, a classic piece of furniture made trimtastic, and specimen jars filled with passementerie.

15-23 SEPTEMBER 2012
11-6, FRI 11-9

Monday, 30 July 2012


The Cottage Project is the exciting brainchild of product designer Osian Batyka-Williams and weaver Holly Berry, who have self-converted a derelict building in New Cross Gate into a micro-department store. The premiss is to support and celebrate British artisans though retail, exhibitions, lectures, events and workshops, as well as promoting interaction in the local and wider communities to the processes of across the board making.

Images copyright The Cottage Project

Their first event is a pop-up makers space [which yours truly will be weaving live at] at sportswear brand New Balance's Olympic hospitality suite in London.
New Balance are a unique brand in that they still manufacture their trainers in this country at a factory in Flimby, Cumbria. They are also actively promoting global makers from all walks- musicians, artists, sports-people, designers etc- with their Excellent Makers programme.
One of my pet subjects is British manufacturing and it warms the cockles of my heart to see a major brand supporting and promoting the quality and craftsmanship of products made in this country.
We can't compete with the cheap prices of the Far East and we will never manufacture on the same scale we once did. Our traditional heavy industries such as coal, steel, and textiles are now just a vague and misty memory, as are, very sadly, the communities and culture that surrounded them; but it's factories such as Flimby which should be our blueprint for the future. Compact, involved, skilled and passionate about doing what we do best in the U.K- British Craftsmanship- this is our way forward.

The Cottage Project launches Autumn 2012.
If any press would like a taste of what's to come please visit their showroom by emailing

Random change of subject and for all you wildlife boffins out there. While in Suffolk recently we came across two giant moths which we believe to be Privet Hawk Moths. I've never seen a moth so big in this country before so had to share it, probably to a chorus of - Oh I see them all the time. They're really common-

Sunday, 1 July 2012


A few years ago I started work on a tassel making book with photographer Katherine Fawssett, which unfortunately had to be shelved due to my workload. I always loved the pictures Katherine took of my tassels made from anything and everything, and when we were discussing the layout we found we had a blank space that needed filling. I flippantly declared I should write  some poems inspired by the tassels and materials, which for some reason Katherine thought was a brilliant idea. She suggested that they should also be inspired by the Victorian nonsense verse found in Edward Lear's work and The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
So here we are- three lovely images taken by Katherine and three poems of utter nonsense.




Wednesday, 20 June 2012


This year Jessica Light Trims and Tassels are doing something a little different for London Design Week 2012. We will still be launching two new collections but as part of an interior instillation concocted with dynamic design company Precious McBane at their Clerkenwell studio.

A sneak preview of samples from one of our new collections, Potsdam.


Our second London Design Festival project is another collaboration, this time with Rebecca Chitty, the brains behind Product Of Your Environment. A lampshade that combines the everyday throwaway with luxe hand-woven passementerie. 
We will be showing these unique lights in various venues throughout East London in a Light Trail.

Keep checking our blog for information and updates.

Available now from Jessica Light Shop, our first collection of trinkets.
Below, a soupson of various treasures

Monday, 28 May 2012


I love the Barbican. It's one of my favorite places. It rockets skywards into the London skyline like some bizarre rock formation. A man-made urban Monument Valley. 

In winter I'll sit in the library reading the periodicals and in summer I'll have coffee outside in the middle oasis by the fountains. At anytime I'll be winding around their art galleries soaking up whatever is on offer.
The latest morsel for consumption is a comprehensive corral of textiles, glass, ceramics, furniture, and architecture from that most celebrated of design schools The Bauhaus, which was founded in 1919 by architect Walter Groupius. It's intention was for all arts and crafts to become anonymous design directed towards production rather than individual creative expression. The Bauhaus went though three destinations of Weimar, Dessau and Berlin before being closed by the Nazis in 1933 for being too radical, revolutionary and left-wing.
The Bauhaus's obvious legacy is it's influence on Modernism and the idea that design and function have to go hand-in-hand to be taken seriously...yawn...zzzz...sorry dropped off there for a second but 'Art Is Life' seems to contradict a lot of the bollocky-boo that surrounds these ideas of what constitutes good design. Many of the exhibits, especially the early output, and the numerous photographs show a surprisingly playful, brave, and highly expressive creative approach to not only the art and design side of the school but life in general. There were regular concerts, performances and parties. The girls cut their hair short and wore trousers and there was even a Bauhaus jazz band, and this sense of happy and mad freedom is reflected on every level throughout the exhibition.

Above, a madcap costume for 'The Triadic Ballet' by Oskar Schlemmer, 1922.

If you would like to add a touch of bonkers Bauhaus to your home why not go for our braids and tassels from the Newport collection.

11cm 'Vision On' braid
left 'Miles' tassel,
right, rosettes

The best thing about Bauhaus -Art Is Life? The textiles, and a chance to see their wonderment in the flesh rather than pawing over their images in books. I've always been smitten with the Bauhaus weavers output especially Anni Albers and Gunta Stolzl who are to weave what Shakespeare and Marlowe are to theatre.
Stolzl was instrumental in setting up the weaving workshop,and at first the students had to self teach the rudiments of weave- dressing looms, drafting pattern structures and how different materials reacted to being woven. Unlike the other workshops, which had a technical master and a 'formmeister' who over saw the design development, the weavers, because there were no qualified tutors available, were allowed to weave anything they liked- hangings, cushions, upholstery fabric and carpets- and the early textiles were boldly coloured, abstract and geometric, and a complete departure from the naturalistic and figurative ornate textiles of pre-First World War design.  

Above, two examples of Stolzl's weave designs.
Below, the lady in question.

Above, two designs by Anni Albers.

Anni Albers came to the Bauhaus as a student in 1922. Unable to get into the glass workshop she opted for weave and soon became completely enamored with it's infinite possibilities. She was very influenced by pre-colombian textiles, especially the extra warp/weft and inlay structures. She also experimented with new materials e.g. the mixing of cellophane with linen.
She emigrated to America with her husband Josef Albers, a Bauhaus master, in 1933, to teach at The Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Anni continued to develop and design woven textiles, as well as writing and later printmaking.

Below, Anni Albers

For all their creativity the weavers also adhered to the Bauhaus doctrine that all design had to be able to work for production and that the structural and practical qualities were as important as the aesthetic i.e. trying new fibres and playing with texture to see what their properties were as regards to light reflection, sound absorbency, and durability. They were also one of the most successful of all the workshops selling designs to textile manufacturers in Dresdan, Berlin and Stuttgart.

Bauhaus weavers on the stairs. I'm somewhere at the back.

Loom Heaven. The weave workshop.

The influence of the Bauhaus weavers can be seen in the work of any weaver worth his or her salts- and yes there are his weavers out there [check out Travis Meinolf AKA Action Weaver]. In fact in some parts of Africa weaving is purely a patriarchal occupation, which scuppers Freuds -who's in my top ten of all time misogynist windbags- theory that weaving was invented by women as a subconscious reaction to percy [and yes, that is a euphemism]envy. 

The magnificent Mr Meinolf sets his loom up in fields, parks and motorways- bringing weave to the people. He's even organized weave parties with warps hanging down from the ceiling so you can weave while you dance. On a more serious note Travis has very interesting theories on the politics of weave and it's potential usage as currency.

Pictures of me weaving taken by Alun Callender last October for a shoot for Homes and Gardens magazine.

On your visit don't by-pass the Barbican's other exhibition, the complete antithesis of Bauhaus modernism -clutter- in Chinese artist Dong Song's 'Waste Not' in the Curve Gallery. An instillation of 10,000 household objects collected by his mother over five decades which are laid out in series of connected items like an idiosyncratic market of unwanted but potentially useful goods.

 Recommended reading,
On Weaving.
Anni Albers.
Wesleyan University Press, 1965.


Bobs gone

Pucks arrived