Those who are acquainted with TheEye will know that once she makes up her mind, not much can change it.      When invited by PADDLE8, the enterprising online auction house, to guest-curate her own design auction, naturally the first response was a resounding ‘NO, it’s not what I do’.

But PADDLE8 are a charming bunch of people – and a winning combination of gentle but persistent persuasion made TheEye re-consider, particularly when she saw the impressive line-up of previous Guest Curators – which included American Vogue icon Grace Coddington (fashion photography), Solange Azagury- Partridge (jewellery), man-about-town, photographer and collector, Jean Pigozzi and most recently stylish entrepreneur and eclectic collector Andy Spade. The awesome line-up made her feel ‘If they did it, why not me?’


International Contemporary Design is an auction of 73 works, encompassing conversation-starting furniture and tabletop décor by the Campana Brothers, Ingo Maurer, Tom Dixon, and others, with estimates ranging from $150 to $50,000. The online auction is open for bidding on until Monday 15th February, 2016.

The big challenge was seeking out affordable work that combined both established  ‘masters’ of their crafts, such as brilliant lighting maestro, Ingo Maurer, whose innovative, witty sculptural lights are highly covetable – and yes. TheEye is a bit of a groupie. Danny LaneTord BoontjeChristian Astuguevieille – who combines materials such as rope and string. The amazing Campana Bros – who transformed worthy recycling into something sexy using waste materials scavenged from favelas in their native Sao Paulo – TheEye is fortunate to include two iconic pieces – a special edition Multidao Stool composed of Brazilian dolls and the Sushi Chair 111.  Several others, all with formidable reputations (and commanding equally formidable prices). Out of the price reach of most, but TheEye sought them out and thinks she found some unusual and unique work at sensible prices.

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Campana Bros ‘Sushi Chair 111’ Rolled Sponge and steel frame.

Architect/designer Nigel Coates, Head of Architecture at the RCA from 1995 – 2011 designs a prolific range of  furniture, glassware and gorgeous lighting, chandeliers, mirrors and many other products. Nigel has his own, vibrant style or, in his own words,  ‘I interpret what I see around me adding a twist of the unexpected or seemingly unexpected.’

Pompadour Chair
Occhione Mirror




TheEye was keen to include talented but lesser known names. Mary Littlefor example, whose elegant table with a steel base and glass top with and a rim of silk organza also has six unique, hand made, comfortable chairs.



JAM (Jamie Ainley) stunning Corian Bench

TheEye has admired the work of David Amar since his days at the RCA after winning the prestigious Clore Bursary from Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. His strong, uncompromising, unique style (influenced by early Bauhaus principles) has earned him many private and public commissions.

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Raymond Stool/Table by the very talented David Amar

TheEye spotted the exceptionally gifted Gareth Neal at his graduation show at the Business Design Centre in 1999, where his work – combining traditional processes and digital manufacture – stood out from any of the other students. She invited him to exhibit at Sotheby’s and he is now highly regarded, with work in international, private and public collections, including the V&A. Zaha Hadid selected him to collaborate with her to design a vessel during the London Design Festival in 2014. Gareth is a senior tutor at Brighton University.

Gareth Neal large Ash wood vessel

Many lesser known design ‘names’ were spotted by TheEye in their graduation shows.

Kelly McCallum is a taxidermist (and TheEye doesn’t even like the art of taxidermy, but she can recognise talent when she sees it) who is also a jeweller and silversmith. Taxidermy is now enthusiastically collected as an ‘art form’ and there are many artists working in this area, but TheEye regards Kelly McCallum as the most accomplished and the least well known and, for the enthusiast, definitely worth collecting.

Emma Finch also RCA (ceramics) graduated in 2014 and TheEye fell in love with her striking pots with images of the London skyline and instantly bought one for herself. Now she is offering to ‘share’ Emma’s work with a wider audience. Stunning.

Emma Finch ceramic plate

The auction International Contemporary Design is open for bidding on until Monday 15th February, 2016.

To browse the auction and bid, click HERE


  1. Always inspired by your thought

  2. Great selection here- so well chosen

  3. Great selection – so well chosen

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