Thursday, December 30, 2010


How would you specify the furniture and objects created by Oriel Harwood? Art furniture, designer furniture, functional art? No matter how you are going to name it her creations are inspirational and definitely eccentric and beautiful eyecatchers.
"Oriel Harwood's audacious pieces - neither furniture nor ornamentation, but something in between - are not made for meek persons or clinically Noughties interiors. They are heroic, flamboyant, unashamedly ostentatious outpourings from the creative mind..." (from her website)
What struck me most at first sight were Oriel's chandeliers which reminded me of those wonderful decorations you can find in the backdrops of films featuring fairly tales and other phantasy epics. The more I was astonished when I found out that these art furnishings were meant to be in a "normal" home.
The  art pieces are reminiscent of nature's eccentric formations as you can find them especially in winter time, when the ice is forming incredible sculptures. 

Being a great fan of fairy tales since my childhood I started to do some research and what I found were these wonderfully eccentric pieces:

(all images courtesy of Oriel Harwood)

Finally I found this marvellous mirrored paravent on the website of 1stdibs under furniture. Whether it is still available there I don't know:

(image source:

The New York Times wrote 1989 :
"Most people have a limited view of pottery, says Oriel Harwood, a ceramics artist. ''They think you either make things like mugs and ashtrays or you do sculpture.'' Ms. Harwood, 28 years old, makes large freestanding pottery pieces that are designed to be decorative. If they prove functional or sculptural, it is just a happy coincidence...."

"Ms. Harwood has incorporated extravagant baroque and mannerist elements into her ceramics since her days at Middlesex Polytechnic, where she graduated in 1982. Ms. Harwood's objects have been shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Orangery in Holland Park here, the Chelsea Flower Show, the National Garden Festival at Stoke-on-Trent and in exhibitions sponsored by England's Crafts Council."

''If you have a very straightforward interior, I think you need some quirky objects breaking it,'' she said. ''My work will probably become even weirder in the future.'' (from the New York Times)

Best you view this little video with Oriel made by the Media Center of the Deutsche Welle in November 2010. Oriel is talking about her art and how she feels about making her art. In Britain she is called the Queen of the Baroque which says it all...

Oriel's work is currently represented exclusively by the David Gill Galleries in London.

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