Chute Lodge, Wiltshire | 1st October

Chute Lodge, Wiltshire | 1st October

We will be displaying our best pieces in a bedroom of this beautiful Georgian grade 1 listed house in Andover, Wiltshire. This is an art fair to raise funds for two important charities; Alzheimer’s Society and Wharf Kids. There will be activities for children, including cake decorating, a concert at 5pm and lots to see and do. Tickets are limited so get yourself one here  before they all go!  ...
Holidays

Holidays

We have added some great bargains to our sale page. Kate and I are taking some much needed time off to be with our children over August. We will be back with lots of exciting events and product news in September when our children go back to school. We are holidaying on the Dorset and Welsh coasts this year. I hope you enjoy August whether its work or play, rain or...
Spirit of Summer | House Fair | Olympia, Kensington

Spirit of Summer | House Fair | Olympia, Kensington

Join us and hundreds of other independent designers and boutiques. Spirit of Summer Fair in association with House & Garden, the shopping event for stylish living, will return to Olympia London from 22nd – 25th June 2016. Discover a thoughtfully curated collection of 450 independent boutiques and distinguished designers presenting interior accessories and furnishings for your home, summer fashion, original gifts, artisan food & drink and much more. Tickets include entry to The HOUSE Fair and complimentary workshops from award-winning chefs, London’s leading florists and...
Bloomsbury Pop-up Shop

Bloomsbury Pop-up Shop

Our shop has had an amazing array of lovely visitors from Lily Allen kitting out her children’s bedrooms, to the artist Mark Hearld dropping buy to get a gift, and the founder of BlueBella choosing cushions for her new home. We have one more week left in Bloomsbury. Thursday 26th will be late night shopping until 8pm. Next up after our pop-up will be the Spirit of Summer Fair in June. Details to...
London Pop-up Shop

London Pop-up Shop

Kate and I are just back from Mexico and are excited to reveal new designs and products at our pop-up shop. From the 3rd May until 31st May. Open every day except Sundays from 11 – 6pm The shop is located just off the beautiful, boutique shopping street of Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. We are next door to the gorgeous design shop Pentreath & Hall. Address 17A Rugby St, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3QT...
Wahaca Day of the Dead Festival

Wahaca Day of the Dead Festival

We are taking part in the market at this epic Day of the Dead Festival in London. The line up is amazing, with live music, talks, films, art, street food and a market. Personally I’m excited about hearing Mexrrissey – the Mexican Morrissey band! Day of the Dead is an important festival in Mexico – dia de los muertos – which creates the opportunity to stop and remember those we love that have died. It is a celebration of life as much as an acknowledgement of death. An alter is created in your home with marigolds, candles, sugar skulls and offerings of your dear departed’s favourite food or drink. In Mexico many families and friends create an alter on the graves of family members to encourage the souls to visit, and sit up at night to keep them company. I think it is a friendlier and more meaningful version of our Halloween which just emphasises the abstract ghoulishness of death. We created thousands of meters of this bespoke handcut paper bunting (‘papel picado’) which will be strung up over the whole event. Sergio, our papercut artist in Mexico, cut this out with a range of different sized chisels from tissue paper. He has a steady hand! Come find us on the Tobacco Docks, London next...

Make your own Mexican embroidery

A perfect gift or a fun summer project, we have just launched our Mexican embroidery kits. Already proving popular, you can make a stunning embroidered cushion with pompoms or an adorable hoop art frame to hang. We have attached the pompoms for you already, as that can be the tricky bit. And we will be uploading video tutorials next week to guide through the making.   Happy summer...

Walled garden summer fair

We are looking forwards to taking a selection of our Mexican wares to the magical Pythouse Kitchen Garden for their Summer Fair. If you have never been to Pythouse, it is a special place – a walled garden full of flowers to explore and a stylish restaurant serving British food with products from their garden. They have even got a shed full of toys so you can relax under an apple tree while your children play. Pythouse Summer Fair:  SATURDAY 11th JULY from 10am – 6pm Pythouse Kitchen Garden, West Hatch, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire: SP3...

Introducing new lighting designs

We are excited to showcase two bespoke designs for our Montes & Clark lighting collection. Working with a super talented London based lighting expert, Jolene Farmer, we have designed what we think are the perfect base to display our hand embroidered lampshades. Jolene Farmer is a specialist in antique lighting restoration, turning objects into fantastic lights and lighting design. She is also a talented painter and her workshop is based in Hackney.  Have a look at her fabulous new lampbases, made by hand in brass and steel, and only available from Montes & Clark.   She can make them with different coloured cord, if you’d like a complimentary colour pop to go with the shade. Next up is our new cone shape ceiling lampshades. Don’t they look fabulous! We can take commission if you have a particular size and colour combination, we can see what we can...

New collaborations

We have been preparing some exciting new collaborations on new products, soon to be unveiled on our website. In the meantime, our products are being featured on the lovely interiors blog – English Abode. We can also be found in The Little Black Book of design secrets on another stylish blog – Swoonworthy.   Enjoy browsing for inspiration.  ...
Women’s Day

Women’s Day

Does ‘Made in Britain’ mean better working conditions for garment makers? I was saddened to read an article on International Women’s Day that described the poor working conditions and poor pay of many UK based textile workers. The report looks at the textile industry in and around Leicester, which is substantial, with nearly 12,000 employees.  They are paying their workers, most of whom are women, only £3 an hour, which is not even half the minimum wage. Many work with worryingly bad health and safety conditions, no contracts and no maternity pay. The women are largely from migrant communities and are being exploited because they need to use their skills to support their families. There is something we can all do to improve women’s working conditions and respect around the world. We can buy from companies with ethical policies, that guarantee fair pay and worker rights, and we can pressure high street companies to improve. One of my favourite places to buy clothes is People Tree. At Montes & Clark we are proud to be working with an inspiring women-run cooperative. All the profits from sales of cloth that is designed and made by a network of women mostly working in their homes, go into training and support for the women. They can help negotiate better prices for the work and for their materials, and for some of the younger women the cooperative provides accommodation while they are in business training. This is just one of our suppliers and we hope that as we grow our business we can do more to support other networks of craftswomen in Mexico. Kate...
Happy New You

Happy New You

Christmas decorations tidied away, new years resolutions set, we are clearing our workshop up for the new year. We have opened our winter sale, so you can now justify buying that cushion you have had your eye on! A little bit of Mexican warmth on your sofa during these cold days. Last week our trusty buyer in Mexico City, Fleur, took a trip to the beautiful Pahuatlan to collect the latest embroidery made by some of the women living in the hills. This little town is a four hour drive to the east of Mexico City, in the centre of Mexico. While in Pahuatlan Fleur contributed to a puppet workshop that was organised for some of the embroiderers’ children. The workshop was led by Italian puppeteer Maria and was the idea of Miguel who helps us to communicate orders with the women.     Boys and girls gathered in the main market square with a pile of cardboard and second hand paper. They were curious how this heap of rubbish was going to be turned into a story. Maria started to tell the tale as they all sat in a circle. Slowly they all began to cut and stick until they ended up with fantastical eagles. The children were captivated for 4 hours and enjoyed unleashing their creativity. Happy New Year Pahuatlan!  ...

My true love sent to me…

This is the last week for ordering your christmas presents online. For the UK, make sure you place your orders by saturday 20th if you want to wrap and put under the tree on christmas day. Just in time for last minute gifts for a toddler, we have a new shipment in of gorgeous colourful cactus bags. Ony £10. Needing some inspiration? On the first day of christmas my true love sent to me….A yellow bird embroidered on a cushion   £47 embroidered by hand in Mexico. delivered to your door. On the second day of christmas my true love sent to me…Two embroidered turtle doves And A yellow bird embroidered on a cushion On the third day of christmas my true love sent to me Multicoloured hares   Two embroidered turtle doves And A yellow bird embroidered on a cushion   HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Lucy and Kate...
Mexican wedding inspiration

Mexican wedding inspiration

We recently provided Arabian Tent company with furnishings to create this gorgeous Mexican wedding shoot, for the magazine Mr&Mrs Unique. You can hire an incredible Mexican themed wedding marque from the Arabian Tent company, furnished with Montes&Clark lampshades, throws, cushions, table cloths and napkins.  I love the bright colours against white, so pretty. Flashback to my own wedding in 2009 which was a lovely mixture of English and Mexican – with papercut bunting, mariachi band and margharitas as well as English hedgerow flowers, white tablecloths and elderflower cordial made from local flowers. If you are planning a wedding, have a look at our papercut bunting or our napkins and...
Shedding light on new music

Shedding light on new music

A unique collaboration between Montes & Clark and Belle Rose Events created a special atmosphere for a night of live music, cocktails and Mexican food in the Wiltshire countryside. Entering a barn from a foggy November evening guests were greeted by our vibrant paper cut bunting,  a warm log fire, and delicious Mexican street food.  Two bands, ‘Towers’ and ‘Jasper in the company of others’ played to an energetic audience in a space that was illuminated by our hand embroidered Otomi  lampshades. They appeared suspended above the crowd as lanterns of rich texture and colour in the vaulted ceiling, adding a unique feature to this already stunning venue. The lampshades got a shout out from ‘Jasper in the company of others’ while the lights were flashed on and off during the chorus to shouts of approval from the crowd! We look forward to collaborating with Belle Rose Events at Ashley Wood Farm in the future and have already booked tickets for the next ‘Gig in a Barn’ in...
Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Montes & Clark have supplied the brilliant Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca with many hundreds of meters of handmade papercut bunting. This was commissioned with a special Day of the Dead design for Wahaca, and made by the papercut artist Sergio in his workshop in Mexico. Day of the Dead is becoming ever popular outside of Mexico. The striking catrina women – in elaborate dresses with skull painted faces – light the imagination. In London it is almost overtaking traditional Halloween fancy dress costumes. But the festival is much more than a dressing up theme for a party. Day of the Dead is an opportunity to celebrate and remember family and friends who have died beyond the single event of a funeral or wake. An altar is prepared, covered in flowers and fruits, where you can bring the favourite food and drinks of the dead you wish to remember and light a candle in their honour. The London Mexican community gather on November 2nd at the most authentic gathering at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. And here I love to see the intermingling of messages for ‘my nan’ accompanying a cup of tea and a cigarette, along with traditional Mexican food and tequila for departed relatives. If you have never experienced Day of the Dead, then come along on Sunday November 2nd. It’s free and family oriented with craft making, day of the dead themed face-painting and live music. Bring along a momento of someone you wish to honor and remember. And head to a Wahaca restaurant if you want to taste authentic, fresh Mexican food (rather than the unappetising...

The stories told in every cloth

Over the past 6 months I have been knee deep in Otomi embroidery and have never been happier.  With our business, Montes&Clark soon to be launched, fairs and pop up shops imminent, my workroom has been filled with embroidered cloth in all colours of the rainbow. The graphic foral and animal patterns peer back at me from the ironing board, ready to be made into throws, cushions and lampshades. Every cloth tells its own story and I feel fascinated by each craftwoman and her story. This particular embroidery design came about after a drought in the 1960’s devastated the agricultural economy of these Otomi communities in central Mexico. The women needed to find an additional source of income with a design that used thread resourcefully. A bold and distinctive embroidery style arose out of this economic necessity, because of the women’s inate sense of design and understanding of cloth, skills practiced by Mexican women for centuries. In a recent delivery from Mexico, and opened up an exquisitly stitched yellow cloth that tells such a touching story of parenthood and general day to day life that I am reluctant to let it go.  As a fellow embroiderer I completely appreciate the time and artistry that goes into each piece of cloth and I have a huge amount of respect for the woman that make them. My own passion for Otomi embroidery started nearly 10 years ago when I worked with Chloe Sayer, a well known author and lecturer on Mexican Textiles at the Bermondsey Fashion and Textiles Museum.  At that time I was working at the Royal School of Needlework...