lenneke wispelwey ceramics

:: by Lizzie


New SMUG designer Lenneke Wispelwey founded her studio in 2008 in Arnhem. Her porcelain, pastel-coloured work is recognisable due to its geometrically patterned appearence. Wispelwey is also known for the use of different shades of one colour and for playing with the contrast between biscuit and glazed porcelain. Lenneke finds that a basic, simple approach to techniques and materials and a low-tech way of designing is vital to communicating her vision and her way of working. She prefers creating families of products because, as an only child, she always wished for a bigger family. Wispelwey feels her work should make people smile. We at SMUG are feeling very smiley about it and are proud to be representing Lenneke exclusively in London. Below is a short interview with Lenneke focussing on her new collection which is available now at SMUG.




Your ceramics are well known for having such beautiful tones of one colour. If you had to choose one tone/colour to best represent you what would it be and why?

I think that would be a deep petrol tone. For me a colour with character
and a story. Like a chameleon, very versatile, in every light another


You have a lot of complex geometric shapes in your designs but talk about  a low tech approach to designing. What is your process in creating these beautiful and complex looking ceramics?

As a child I was fascinated by the overdecorated glassware in my
grandmothers cupboard, so this was my inspiration when i started this
collection. I started collecting this glassware from fleemarkets and
triftshops and created a glass library. I combine parts of the glassware
(that I cast) with new shaped forms. Old and new coming together.


Have you always worked with porcelain? What is it that you like about it?

What I love the most is the fact that you start out with water and powder and that a beautiful high quality product comes out of the kiln at the end
of the process.


Do you feel your work represents your personality?

Hmmm, good question. I think it does. My work arises from my crazy
collections, inspiration and chimeras. Also the colours are all mixed by
hand so sometimes reflect my mood at that moment during mixing.
All the facets that seem very complex are actually not that hard when
you take the time to find out more about it.


If you had to choose one shape from your collection at SMUG what would it be?

Hmmm I think that would be the little star vase. Beautiful as an object
but even more interesting when you put a lovely flower in there. A found
flower during a lovely walk in the park or just one from your garden.



Lenneke’s collection at SMUG has recently been featured in Elle Decoration and continues to be as popular with the press as it is with SMUG’s team and our regular customers. To see the Elle Decoration feature take a look at our news page here.



June Solutions_1

ella mccabe barton’s top 10 SMUG picks

:: by Lizzie


SMUG’s weekend manager, Ella McCabe Barton, is a textile specialist, yoga enthusiast and an all in all good living lady and SMUG team family member. Here she shares her favourite SMUG pieces.


Orange & Grey porcelain tea bowl designed by Scholten & Baijings, £45

I first fell in love with these Ceramics last year when I saw them at the design museum and was incredibly excited that Lizzie had chosen to stock them at SMUG. Colour and texture is applied so beautifully, with the contrast of matte and glazed porcelain.


ISH. Blanket 02 designed by Mae Engelgeer, £315

Mae Engelgeer’s work I have admired for a while… I really like how she applies subtle but also quite bold accent colour within the ISH collection. This blanket I love the most because of its handle. The mixture of mohair, merino wool and cotton work so well together, and create a lovely texture and depth to the fabric, that defines the design.


Green Moss Candle, £34

Even unlit, this candle smells amazing!  It is made from 100% vegetable wax and completely renewable resources…. Even recycled glass containers. It is really great to see more products being made with sustainability at the forefront of designers agendas.


Bora Da Square Cushion Willow Reverse, £70

Donna Wilson and SCP have collaborated in creating a series of woven textiles that seek the best in British craft. I absolutely love Donna’s contemporary take on traditional welsh tapestry.


Navy Agenda, £20

Beautifully simple and very practicle.  Being dateless makes it almost like a custom made diary and not a page gets wasted!


Abbey Horn Butter Knife, £11

I admire the craftsmanship that goes in to the production of Abbeyhorn Products and its all made from sustainable rescources. The natural colour and pattern that occurs is so beautiful.


Another Escape Magazine, £8

A beautifully curated magazine, that is inspiring in so many ways.  It’s a magazine you can keep going back to.


We all get those moments in life when we experience, if only for a second, something that utterly inspires us; we want to be a musician, a dancer, a bee keeper, a circus performer. It may be the overwhelming desire to collect new experiences, travel, or learn a new skill or language. But what if we actually played on these inspirations-turned-aspirations?’


This magazine is full of people doing just this!


Grey Illusion Wool Blanket, £47

This blanket is my all time favourite, not only does it look great, it is extremely cosy.


Chalk Pitcher, £18

The canteen collection by jars is all so beautiful and it was hard to choose a favourite piece, but I went with the pitcher…  it doubles up quite nicely as a vase!


Esme Winter Frequency Blue wrapping paper, £2.50

I’m a big fan of Esme’s work, she has a great eye for pattern and colour and I especially love frequency blue from her latest collection. I’m excited to see her collection of men’s accessories she had created that are coming out later on in the year.


Links to products on the SMUG website:

1. Tea Bowl, 2. ISH Blanket, 3. Green Moss Candle, 4. Willow Reverse Cushion,

5. Agenda Diary, 6. Horn Knife, 7. Another Escape Magazine, 8. Grey Illusion Blanket,

9. Chalk Pitcher, 10. Frequency Wrapping Paper.


illustrator interview – charlotte trounce

:: by Lizzie


Do you use old school or new school tools when creating your work?

I try to stay as old school as possible, so I make all my work using pencils and paints, however I do have to touch up and arrange compositions on the computer.


Show and tell your piece of work. Describe your submission for Old School.

My submission for Old School is a gym-themed, illustrated alphabet. It’s colourful and fun, and perfect for teaching ABCs.





What is your creative process?

I start any new project by first gathering lots of beautiful imagery to help inspire me. I then grab a pencil and scribble down lots of ideas in my sketchbook, and once I have settled on an idea I develop it as much as possible, before working on the final artwork in acrylic and gouache paints. I tend to paint every little element separately and then work it all together on photoshop.


Does your work represent your personality?

I think my work and I are a good match.


Describe your studio space.

I recently moved into a great new studio space in Dalston, to work alongside lots of other illustrators and designers. My desk is still a little bare, I think I need some plants to brighten the place up.


charlotte_trounce_desk_zoom copy


What’s your earliest memory of drawing/creating?

I’m not sure about my earliest memory, but in my last year of primary school my teacher would keep me in at break and lunch times to create extravagant displays for the classroom, such as a giant papermache spot cream tube when we were studying The Diary of Adrian Mole.


Did you have an imaginary friend?

No, but my sister and I were constantly playing imaginary games when we were younger.


Did you know at school what you wanted to be?

I think I always knew I wanted to do something creative. Other avenues I explored were wedding dress designer, cake decorator and architect.


What advice would you give now to your ‘old school self’?

Make the most of all the creative facilities school and art college offer and experiment as much as possible.


Smug’s colour is yellow. What colour best represents you?

I’d probably be a slightly dirty shade of red. I love colour, but something slightly more reserved.


If you had to choose one Smug product what would it be?

The green formica school desk please.






As well as Charlotte’s A-Z print, SMUG sells a collection of her wrapping papers commissioned by Wrap Magazine.