Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Inspiration: Cuba

I've just spent the last two weeks in Cuba and the island is jam packed full of visual inspiration. Havana is a striking city in all its faded glory - intricate ironwork, crumbling walls and repainted ancient American cars from the 1950s are everywhere. We took the local bus down to Trinidad, the UNESCO World Heritage town on Cuba's south coast and that's also very photogenic whichever way you turn - colourful houses on cobbled streets and a slower pace of life:

vintage match boxes in a Havana street market
Old Havana

Poinsettia tree. Much better than in a sad old pot at Christmas

All photos by Asta Barrington

I do like these confidently coloured houses - Burano in the Venetian lagoon and Oaxaca in Mexico are two other kaleidoscopic examples of this that I just love.

It's a bit of a shock to be back in cold grey England.

Åry Trays at the Home trade show

I went along to the new Home trade show in London yesterday and it was really good to catch up with Joakim, Madeleine and Isabel who are in charge of selling at Åry Trays. The stand looked great - there are a lot of different collections in addition to the Alabasta ones for Åry, such as trompe l'oeil hand drawn spoon and feather designs by Michael Angove, supremely talented draughtsman and old friend of mine. Sales were looking good and much improved on last year's January show - more new shops have bought the Alabasta ranges which I will list as soon as I know the details. A good start to the year.

The next trade show Åry Trays will be exhibiting at is Ambiente - an overwhelmingly huge interiors show in Frankfurt in the middle of February. It's all systems go at Åry HQ!

Alabasta tray collections on the Ary Trays stand, Home trade show, January 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

'Home' trade show, London, January 2012

A belated Happy New Year! I've just returned from two weeks in colourful and inspiring Cuba and I'm now looking forward to some Alabasta related developments in the coming months. New home products have been sampled that relate to the current collections of trays and will be shown here as soon as they are launched.

Right now, however, Åry Trays are over from Sweden and have a stand (F12) at 'Home', the brand new London homewares trade show where retailers can see and order from the whole selection of their birch wood trays, including the Alabasta Blue Fish and Folk Stripe collections. Home is a new show from the organisers of the long established gift trade show Top Drawer and is running alongside it at Earls Court. It is being described as 'the definitive new trade event for homewares and interior accessories' and runs until tomorrow, 17th January. I'm going along tomorrow in my delirious jet lagged state to check it out.

A rather belated Happy New Year. 
49cm Alabasta Blue Fish tray.