The Long Room
in Tisbury is the real deal, a treasure trove of handcrafted homeware from Mexico, Portugal, Morocco and Milan with beautiful artisanal pieces to blow the mind.
Focusing on craft and colour this joint venture between Montes &Clark and Emily Pinsnet (three schoolfriends from the area), the shop is the kind of place where you’ll covet something new on every turn.
Let’s start with the intensely coloured hand embroidered wall hangings, which we ourselves are lusting after badly. They take 3 months to make and are embroidered by an artisanal cooperative of the Otomi women living in the central mountains of Mexico. Exquisite and highly coloured, each piece tells a story and the designs are inspired by drawings on local ancient caves. The women adapt the designs to reflect contemporary culture and you’ll find everything from cars to footballs on these amazing pieces, priced around £750.Montes & Clark
is an online collaboration between two friends Lucy Montes de Oca and Kate Clark.
In 2014 Lucy travelled around Mexico for 3 months with her Mexican husband and baby sourcing textiles and visiting cooperatives; on their return Kate used her experience as an embroiderer to turn the pieces into comtemporary homeware.
Montes & Clark and its Tisbury offshoot The Long Room, combines Mexican and local craft. So the cushions and throws are made from their Wiltshire workshop, lampshades are made by women in a Dorset studio and furniture is upholstered by Nicki, also in Wiltshire described as ‘a multi talented soprano and mother.’
This, then, is a lovely story, supporting female cooperatives in Mexico where indigenous women will provide the next generation of females with training in dressmaking, embroidery and design as well as incorporating clusters of local, largely female, South West talent.
At the shop there is much to arrest. Will it be a handful of the utterly gorgeous coloured-handled teaspoons (perfect present for me if anyone is wondering) or shjuzzing up your house with a shot of colour from a lampshade or throw?
There are beautiful handwoven baskets and beach bags, Danish hand-dipped candles, Moroccan rugs, bright ceramic plates, pared down glassware from Miilan.
Each piece in the shop has been chosen by Emily, a collector of textiles and ceramics, and to fit the brief classic meets cool which she has done to the letter.
The shop opened as a pop up just before Christmas but the people of Tisbury went mad for it so The Long Room has become a permanent fixture.
Be warned you’re going to want to take everything home.