Fold magic

September 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Francisca Prieto - Between Folds - Paris

Between Folds – Paris 1831 (c) Francisca Prieto

We were very excited last year when Francisca Prieto took part in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2011 with her work ‘Between Folds / British Birds‘. She was selected from over 11,000 entries to be hung at the Royal Academy of Arts.  Since then, she has been busy with many exhibitions to her credit.

Born in Chile and since 2003, after studying for an MA at Central Saint Martins, is now based in central London. Initially, she trained as a graphic designer, but Francisca’s main enthusiasm is for typography. By deconstructing type to create her own three-dimensional interpretation, she has created many unique works. We are lucky enough to showcase some of her limited edition prints of her deconstructed alphabet, inspired by the Latin alphabet on Raw Dice.

Francisca Prieto – Typography B

Francisca’s latest exhibition is on at the Mall Galleries, The Mall (near Trafalgar Square), London SW1. Running from 26th Sep – 9th Oct 2012. Open daily 10am – 5pm | Free admission. As part of the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition, which is UK’s leading showcase for contemporary figurative and representational art. This exhibition will showcase Francisca’s representation of Paris ‘Between Folds / Paris 1831‘.

Francisca Prieto - Between Folds - Paris

Detail from Between Folds-Paris 1831    (c) Francisca Prieto

Francisca’s works are collected by many private clients, as well as in major public collections, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (my personal favourite museum), the Tate Gallery and the British Library. I urge everyone to go and see the exhibition. I might even bump into you!

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One brass mind

August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Raw Dice - photo David E Baker

Shop fittings have always interested me and recently I happen to come across shelves made from copper piping. Can’t remember where it was, but anyway, I have mentally filed the idea away, to be used at a future date in some flat or house somewhere.

It is a shame that David will not totally let me loose on the Shoreditch flat. “Less is more” is all he ever seems to utter! Small brass items are easier to get past him and through the door though! We are in need of a Guest Book in the Shoreditch flat, for feedback of ideas for improvement etc. David got creative and sewed on the Brass Midori labels to the Cavallini Leather Journals that we sell on Raw Dice. Did I mention that we doing occasional letting of the flat through a company called One Fine Stay? More on this later.

Midori Brass Label sewn on Cavallini Tan Leather Journal

Hooks and more

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am pretty much hooked (sorry for the pun) on the Remodelista blog. I find out about new places to shop and eat in London and various other cities around the world. There are also some pretty good ideas to pinch as well in Steal This Look and DIY. This is where the inspiration for these hooks came from. Luck would have it that I was keeping the wooden toys that the kids had grown out of. My hoard of paint to be used for Stamping came in useful as did the MT Tape (used to separate the two colours) that we sell on Raw Dice.

So here are the pictures of the finished items.


Hopefully the wooden toy kitchen, dolls house, wicker pram, 3 storey garage and knights castle will come in useful one day too!

I must also confess that I first saw Japanese designer Oji Masanori’s products featured on Remodelista and Cool Hunting. We couldn’t find anybody that stocked them in the UK so we decided to have them for ourselves. Unlike the above which appeals to the whimsical side of my personality, Oji Masanori’s brass hooks symbolises purity and cleanliness to me. See for yourself.

FUTAGAMI Brass ZENMAI Hooks

The Life and Times of a Japanophile

July 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s funny how over years one is influenced by the tastes and cultural tendencies of one’s life partner. I have been with David for many more years then I care to mention. When we talk of bygone days, we quite frequently refer to time as BC (Before Cigdem) and AD (After David)! Prior to meeting David, who is a most definitely a Japanophile, I did not know much about Japan and its’ culture. Now, I am a lot more learned.

We haven’t  embraced a total Japanese way of life but elements often come to the fore, often in small ways. For example, I wasn’t aware before that taking your shoes of upon entering a house was a Japanese tradition, as well as a Turkish one. Customs and cultures can often intermingle. When habits are natural, one is unsure where it necessarily stems from. Whilst decorating the Shoreditch pad, these elementals did bear influence. As it does when making decisions on what to stock on Raw Dice. So, here we have our long awaited Japanese products… with more to follow next week.

Brass Bottle Opener Mikaduki [Crescent]

Brass Trivets – Tsuki, Ginga, Taiyo and Hoshi

Brass Knife Stand - Designer: Oji Masanori

Brass Knife Stand – Designer: Oji Masanori

Turning Japanese: almost here

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Carrying on the Japanese theme from the previous blog, we are eagerly awaiting delivery of designer Oji Masanori’s Futagami and Harimi range of products. It is been shipped over as we speak. here is a sneak preview;

FUTAGAMI Brass Knife Stand

Futagami Brass Bottle Openers on a Kakudo Walnut Dish

FUTAGAMI solid brass trivets with crude casting surface

FUTAGAMI Brass ZENMAI Hooks

Kake Tosaka Broom

Harimi small dustpan

KAKUDO Octagon-shaped, walnut wooden dishes in small and medium sizes

Turning Japanese: here and now

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

japanese brass fine ballpoint pen (packed)

In the Baker household we are obsessed with all good things Japanese. At home, we have a multitude of origami paper, on Raw Dice we stock copious amounts of MT tape in various colours and have recently added various types of Japanese stationery to our list. I think we are naturally drawn to the ethos of Japanese design. It seems that our purchasing decisions for Raw Dice are pretty biased towards finding objects that we like to have in our home and work environment. I would describe our style as not so much as ostentatious but we aim to be as honest as possible. A product to be of good quality is always paramount to us as individuals. I think we are naturally drawn to clean and simple lines, with a view of the aesthetic.

I am no expert on Japanese design but it seems that cultural differences are prominent in all aspects of Japanese aesthetics . Theories behind Japanese design are based on 7 principles of Kanso, Fukinsei, Shibui, Shizen, Yugen, Datsuzoku and Seijaku.

Isabella, who is our budding craft maker is always busy making origami boxes, cranes, frogs etc. At the age of 11, she is already pretty entrepreneurial, having set up stalls on a couple of occasions to raise money for good causes. Selling  origami boxes filled with sweets is always a hit with her client base!  MT tape gets used to make pencil cases and books etc. Once we have a good art and craft portfolio, I shall post some of her creations here.

Here are some new stylish products we have in stock, which include pens, kraft envelopes, rulers, pencil cases, notebooks and brass implements such as number clips, label and index plates.Visit the website (Raw Dice) to see the full range.

Japanese brass ballpoint pen

Midori Kraft envelopes – set of 6

Shoreditch: Part Three

June 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

This weekend we will be busy looking for mirrors and lighting to put the finishing touches to the bathrooms. Currently, the walls are bare and rather austere looking.

Just today I found a gorgeous looking antique French mirror with its original glass circa 1880, but alas my client (David) is not too keen on the price! It also might be a bit too big for the space. Given that the en-suite shower room is ultra modern we thought we would balance it with some antique pieces. As a general rule, I think you can’t go too wrong with a French style mirror (the grander and o.t.t. the better).

Ensuite bathroom – Fired Earth Limehouse Retro Metro Tiles with Aesop soap

Notice the Aesop hand wash bottle? Not so long ago we were in the Aesop shop by Borough Market. It is really nicely fitted out, plain wooden boxes on the walls displaying all the Aesop bottles and huge old looking mariners rope coiled on the floor. Could have bought the whole shop there and then, but had to be content with a few bottles instead. Feeling very clean and pure now!

Ensuite shower – Fired Earth Limehouse Retro Metro Tiles

Ensuite bathroom window with Surface View map of local area

David and I have been collecting old maps for years. When we moved into the cottage in the country we kept on buying original art for the walls and quickly ran out of wall space. I am trying to convince David that the collection of old maps needs to come out now and see the light of day again. I think it will look good in the Shoreditch pad. Our obsessions have not bated, when we discovered that we could decorate the bathroom window with a map, we just had to go for it.

Bathroom metro tiles with Ikea lights – just waiting on mirror

Need to cheat from time to time. The Hollywood dressing table style lights/mirrors can be a bit on the pricey side. This one from Ikea fits just as well. I have a plain mirror to go up this weekend. We toyed with the idea of plastering the walls in the bathroom with old comics but  decided on the metro tiles instead. The cast-iron bath was handmade and hence when it arrived it was a tiny bit bigger than the technical specifications. We had to create a bit of wall space for it to fit into. Hence a little shelf for bathroom accessories (well done David!).

Bathroom – Winchester Bath – Farrow and Ball painted base

Men are from Mars, women from Venus? Are the battle of the sexes to be held in the bathrooms of London? David and I differ on the styling aspects of the bathroom. Typical girl that I am, I like to fill the shelves with all manner of toiletries and vases of flowers on the shelf above the sink. Alas, typical man, David thinks one bottle of bubble bath, shower gel and hand wash is all one needs in the bathroom. I know who will win in the end!!

Reclaimed box detail in ensuite

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