Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Creative inspiration: Ken Stradling Collection

As a part of my resolution to get back to blogging, I'm hoping to document some of the creative places I come across in hopes that I might share a bit of what gets me inspired! Last weekend I found a little creative refuge in Bristol when I attended the opening of the Ken Stradling Collection, a new collection and study library that is now open to the public every Wednesday in Bristol.

A new (but seasoned) addition to the Bristol design scene

With links to his professional history with the Bristol Guild, Ken Stradling has built up a very personal collection of 20th and 21st century ceramics, furniture, glass and more.  Now with thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding and the Gane Trust this remarkable private collection is open to the public.

Tucked away on Park Row, this eclectic collection is displayed over three floors. Because it is so varied, with everything from large pieces of original furniture to charming little one-of-kind ceramic works, the collection will appeal to a broad range of visitors. From designophiles to one-off browsers, the collection boasts plenty of design eye-candy for everyone... and if the objects aren't enough, it also hosts a design study centre for visitors to pursue their interests further.

My fellow opening attendees - getting serious about design 
A busy opening!

Though Ken Stradling has been collecting since the late 1940s, the collection is very much in its infancy as a display. It is refreshing to see that there is room for such interesting and personal collections in the Bristol scene and though the works on display are so varied, his passion for design visibly ties them all together.  I expect that this very personal angle will make the collection accessible to a wide range of people, from those unaware that home design has a fascinating story to seasoned design aficionados whose work has shaped the history reflected in the collections.

The photos show off the wonderful range of the collection:

The collection promises to display a regularly changing selection of work and also boasts a digital catalogue of significant items on their website. You can now visit the Ken Stradling Collection Wednesdays from 10 until 4, at 48 Park Row in Bristol... do pop in and check it out!