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Sarah Oates is a young artist living in North-East England who works with furniture to create objects of symbolic and practical signifance. Her latest pieces are a collection of glass and steel tables fitted with throwaway objects such as wine bottle corks, foam and striped vinyl tape. The most captiving amongst the collection is perhaps her Polo Mint table – rows of the white mints have been fitted under a pane of toughened glass for a cool and sleek effect.

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Objects With Light’s latest release is a novel lamp at the junction of sight and sound. The Tweeter lamp uses reclaimed parts from stereo speakers arranged in a spherical or semi-spherical shape surrounding a bulb. Once the light is plugged in to an electrical source the lamp lights up and the speakers begin to play whatever music they are hooked up to.

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Rene & Edgar have created this outdoor storage unit for dutch design market Frozen Fountain. Called “Herbal House”, it’s intended as an open cabinet in which to store whatever herbs you may wish to grow, from domestic staples such as Rosemary or Thyme, to more illicit varities of shrub. The wrought metal calligraphy adorning the sides of the cabinet consist of 12 English herb names often used in European cuisine.

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While Ryan Frank’s Hackney Shelf takes its inspiration from the East End, it is an adulteration of urban contexts. The brutalist shapes, squares cut out arbitrarily, recall the brash and vulgar Malaga of the Cubists, the overbearing weight and height Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, while the cheap plywood & chipboard surfaces recall rain-glazed favelas in Brazil. That is where Frank’s input into the system ends. The rest of the credit for these shelves must be granted to the anonymous street artists and vandals who spontaneously decorated the blank wood panels – deliberately left out at night in illicit locations around Hackney and Bethnal Green.

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The Arts Council have produced a range of limited edition travel wallets designed by some hot contemporary artists. The wallets are standard British Rail size so perfect for credit cards or your London Oyster Card. Tracy Emin has done one, featuring her infamous pet cat Docket, as has uber-lesbian Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. The wallets are available at Oxfam stores in Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove (my ‘hood!) for a limited period of time, and will also be released to the public for free at a couple of PR stunts ’round the nation. If you can’t get to any of these places, then they’re also on Oxfam’s Ebay shop, but be quick – some of the best designs have already gone!

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These lights glisten like winter flowers suspended on ethereal branch-like wires. The light element uses translucent envelopes fitted with electroluminescent film upon which one can write messages that will glow in the dark with a soft, ambient light. Using a dry erase marker, the messages can be wiped clean or kept on as long as one desires. The lights stand on either white marble blocks (recovered from the making of the Arco lamp) or a bundle of pure wool felt moulded into unique shapes.

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The Wurst Gallery, that’s who. Last month they announced a load of one-off art products based on the theme of man’s best friend. Luckily there’s still quite a few of these unique artworks left.

The German Shepherd

This piece is entitled “A Policeman’s Best Friend”, it includes a B&W can with a bold logo and motto emblazoned onto it. Inside, a lump of Chris Ofili-esque ‘poop’, that seems to be made from papier-maiche. This one is designed by Emil Kozak, costs $100 and is available here.

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This paper-like, tulip-leaved locket of love belies its rather strange origin. Though it looks soft and silky, the necklace is actually made from Hytrel, an industrial byproduct usually discarded in the process of manufacturing something else entirely. Studio 1a.m., left-field design group from Chicago, have embraced these emitted shavings and used their completely random and unique shapes to make a stunningly simple and sculptural necklace.

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SuckUK’s Solar lamps are back. The sun jars sell out immediately wherever they go on sale but i’ve tracked down a supplier who still has a few left. They are made from an old fashioned killiner jar – traditionally used to store jams – a solar panel, rechargeable battery and an LED light. Simply leave the jar out in the sun during the day, and watch it come on as it gets dark. Perfect for those late summer nights when you don’t want the sun to set.

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The Piece and Peace greetings card is one of the latest productions coming from Japanese graphic design duo D-BROS. The card recycles a variety of discarded mixed media to create a rough yet charming assemblage. Torn magazine pages, a tea doiley, lined paper and a Polaroid are amongst some of the scraps used to achieve the unified whole.

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Tejo Remy’s concept chandelier is selling on Dutch by Design at the moment. The iconic hanging lights can be bought individually to create sole focal point or as a cluster forming a striking milk-float effect.

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Staying in L.A. but moving into slightly more expensive climes, this one-off special edition of ‘The New Shopping Bag’ designed by Dutch artist Amie Dicke for designer Susan Bijl is currently available at Peres Projects. Bijl has had huge commercial success with her concept of re-usable shopping bags and has displayed in New York and Tokyo. This one-off collaboration celebrates Bijl’s artful & stylish approach to neccesity by positioning the bags as works of art in themselves whose colours, contours and materials constitute a pure aesthetic form.

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I’m going for a handbag marathon today, and I am starting off with Anya Hindmarch’s iconic “I’m not a plastic bag” model. You may have seen the likes of Keira Knightley and Alicia Silverstone clutching one of these limited edition, environmentally friendly alternatives to the supermarket plastic bag, but now it’s your turn to own one. After the initial batch was sold out Hindmarch got to work on making more and these will be made available imminently.

***UPDATE***

After going on sale today (25th April) in the UK at Sainsburys, the bags sold out completely before 10am. The next chance to get your hands on these rare bags is the US release in June. You can pre-order your bag for $15 by calling one of the 4 US Anya Hindmarch Boutiques. The bags will be issued in a special blue colour, while a further release is scheduled for Japan, where the bags will be lime green.

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What I Do

Apropos Pig is a voracious truffle hunter finding the rarest, most unique and special items in the world. Things i like include Books, Artworks, Clothes, Accessories, Gifts, Furnishings and whatever else takes my fancy as i wander through the forest of goodies. Think of me as your very own personal shopper, gift finder and trend setter. Check back for my daily recommendations.

Piglets in the Sty

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