Wintry Festivities: Harmonious Warmth
Wintry Festivities: Harmonious Warmth
The winter solstice, marking the official beginning of winter with the longest night of the year, is one month away. Winter can be simultaneously festive and dispiriting, joyous and intimidating. Stepping into the season of winter means that Christmas is approaching, only a few days behind the winter solstice; a buzzing anticipation seems to tingle under the chilly air. While the shorter days and frosty weather are often associated with bleakness, cold, colourlessness and darkness, the festive season recalls delightful celebrations, warmth, vibrance and radiance.
This dichotomy of wintry celebrations permeates different cultures. As an example, winter solstice (Chin. 冬節 Dongzhi; Jap. 冬至 Tōji; Kor. 동지 Dongji) is celebrated in East Asia following the Chinese lunisolar calendar, with foods or activities tied to sweetness, family, unions and warmth: in China, the day is celebrated with festive foods like Chinese glutinous rice balls, a homophone for reunion symbolising the union between family members; in Korea, a sweet red bean soup is served to family members; in Japan, people take a citrusy yuzu hot bath. The beginning of winter is acknowledged as the ultimate day of ‘yin,’ in the terms of the philosophical concept of interconnected yin-yang forces. Festivities in winter then fulfil our craving for warmth during the cold, and the light which appears brighter in the dark.
The festive winter season is a harmonious synthesis, gathering loved ones in a cosy, toasty celebration to intercept the long winter. Giving on this occasion is a way to share warmth — a reminder of tender human connection, care and affection in spirit and emotion. The thought behind each gift brims with excitement for the reunion with family, friends or lovers, packed with the anticipation preceding Christmas celebrations that prolong the festive season.
Handcrafted objects capture the hearty rumination in gift-giving, as each unique piece presents a material connection between maker and user, echoing the affectionate ties between giver and receiver. In particular, our 2022 Christmas Collection presents a selection of objects corresponding to the intimate act of giving and spreading warmth that embrace the harmony of winter festivities.
Light in the dark
Illuminating the dark, Kerry Seaton, Ram Rijal and Florence Hill create precious jewellery pieces, adding a softly shimmering touch of gold, the lustre of pearls and brilliance of gemstones.
Jae Jun Lee’s simple oil lamps have a calming presence in their quiet perfection, the flickering flame providing a soft glow which sets the tone in a room.
The gleam of silver and bronze on coarse textures of clays subtly catch light in Annette Lindenberg’s silver droplets dancing across cups, sake sets and jars, and on Yoko Ozawa’s textured ceramics recreating the rusty metallic shine of old bronze surfaces.
Warmth in the wintry weather
Items that help keep warm are favoured in this season for its practical function but also its appeal to the warm feeling of affection and appreciation. Tea bowls, tea pots and vessels in clay and glass by Jennifer Morris, Popalini and Jezando, Sofie Berg, Tetsuya Ozawa and Celia Dowson offer various textures and materials to the experience of cupping a soothing warm drink.
Hats and scarves by Album Di Famiglia, lead by Monica Rusconi, are exclusively made in small Italian workshops. The minimalist and essential pieces are comfortable to touch and made with consideration for the intimacy and attachment to garments.
The cosiest nights come from staying in with loved ones, protected from the cold frosty elements outside. Decorative pieces add an expressive soulful touch to the lived-in space.
Bold and beautiful jugs by Nicola Tassie and Iva Polachova liven up the interior, while hand-turned trays in woods both burnished and bare by Pacha Designs form an ideal accompaniment to display treasured tea ware.
A hint of colour and a gentle reminder of nature can be a thoughtful addition to a space; vases and vessels by Ann Van Hoey and Sophie Cook, and miniature vases by Masako Nakagami contain a whimsical playfulness and delightful charm.
Josephine Cotrell’s monotone prints bring a sense of tranquil peacefulness and serenity to longer evenings spent inside, inspiring a calming and meditative contemplation.