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If you love well-designed, quality furniture, and have spent time and money filling your home with it, the last thing you want to do if you need to move house is to risk it being damaged or broken in transit when you move house. The trouble is that moving house for anyone with more than one room in a share-house to pack up will always involved help from other people. And those people may well mess up, even if they are seasoned professionals with experience of packing up and moving many other people’s homes. When that happens, it can be distressing and expensive. If that precious piece that you saved so hard for, and admire so much, is damaged in a move, it is hard to feel much charity towards those who caused it. So, what can you do to prevent this from happening? And if it does happen, what can you do to get some compensation for your loss?

Choosing a Removal Firm

The first thing to think about is where you get your moving quotes from. If you have any particularly expensive or delicate items to be moved, then you may find some firms which specialise in doing so. Remember to get quotes from a few different firms, rather than just settling for the first one you call. It is important to look at more than just the financial part of the quote. The price is, naturally, important, and you know what budget you need to stick to. However, you also need to look at exactly what the removal firms you get quotes from are prepared to offer. Ask them for their policy (in writing) on damage to your items. Also ask them if their staff have training in how to move fragile items, and what precautions they take to ensure that such items survive the journey intact. Such questions should be fairly revealing about how they will treat your favourite pieces.

Ensure Insurance

If the worst does happen, and even with the best care in the world, it may do, what can you do? Any reputable firm will have public liability insurance which should cover any such eventuality. In order ensure that you will be able to get back the cost of your furniture, check before booking any firm that they do have such insurance. If they don’t, do not even consider using them. Apart from the actual problem that you’ll have if they do cause damage, it is likely such a firm will be cutting corners elsewhere too (regard any particularly low quotes with a degree of healthy suspicion for this reason). If you need to make a claim on their insurance, then you’ll need to liaise with the removal company to do so. It’s best in these situations to keep calm and be reasonable. Of course, you won’t get your antique dresser or designer mirror back, but as long as the company (and you) have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that they were protected, you have to accept the breakage. Human error will always occur. The aim of making an insurance claim is to get compensation for your loss with which you will be able to at replace it with something similar, even if it’s not the same.

You could also consider taking out your own insurance. If you have a really valuable item to transport, then it might be worth thinking about doing so. Sometimes, your home insurance policy will allow you to insure particular items as an extra even when they are out of your home (although of course, if you are moving home you will need to make sure the insurance applies to your new home too). Generally, a removal firm’s insurance should be all you need to cover your goods, but your own insurance might give you extra peace of mind.

The Last Resort

If the worst comes to the worst, and you have booked a removal firm who don’t have insurance, and they have then broken or damaged your prize possessions, then the best option available to you is to pursue them through the small claims court. Remember, they are in the wrong, and should have had insurance, so you have a reasonable claim to make. Of course, if your broken item is more of sentimental value than financial, it may be best just to lick your wounds and learn your lesson, but otherwise? Make sure you get your money and buy something even more fabulous!

 Author: Izzy A. Woods

STROKE.02 | 2010

Categories: Events
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Announcing the forthcoming STROKE.02 Urban Art Fair, Munich, Germany, 27-30 May 2010.
Stroke.02
Hype, trend or subculture? Urban art is part of our dynamic cultural development. Despite its increased popularity over the last year it is economically still nowhere near the level of the classic art market.

STROKE’s organisers want to change that and at the same time set some new trends. Urban art is being shown in galleries and museums, handled by auction houses, and is part of a new global art movement taking place outside of the establishment. It is probably the first art movement whose history, relevance and potential is continuously changing, existing in direct correlation with worldwide distribution via the media and the creators themselves. It is also arguably the first art movement where national borders or cultural differences have no role to play.
Stroke.02
More detail at the Stroke.02 website.

Lighthouse Brighton are organising a project called 30 Seconds of Fortune: a user-generated video project with content created by the public on the theme of Fortune. Submissions to YouTube, and the best will be shown in Lighthouse on 24 October.

Lighthouse BrightonHave you got 30 Seconds of Fortune in you? Want to make a video to be exhibited in a gallery for White Night Brighton and Hove 2009? 30 Seconds of Fortune is an open submission video competition, which will result in 30 of the best and most original videos being selected for exhibition at Lighthouse as part of the White Night celebrations between 6pm and 2am on the 24 October 2009.

The theme is FORTUNE. A broad and inspiring theme, entrants are given the opportunity to interpret and represent this in their own unique way, perhaps ranging from the very obvious physical wealth of riches or a lottery win to the more abstract images and sounds that portray a sense of ‘fortune’. It is completely up to the creators/makers to decide, but the more original, thought provoking and exciting the better. Anyone is invited to create and submit a video to the project. Videos must be no longer than 30 seconds and must have been made by an individual, a group or an organisation. Video taken from television, film or internet made by another film-maker, artist or company will not be eligible or shown.

Videos that best respond to the theme of Fortune and are considered to be the most original will be shown in Lighthouse’s gallery space on a projection screen throughout White Night. The evening will run from 6pm until 2am and selected videos will be shown on a loop repeatedly through the night – 30 films at 30 seconds, which means the loop will be a maximum of 15 minutes long, hence 15 minutes of fame!! Videos will also be linked to the 30 Seconds of Fortune playlist on the Lighthouse YouTube channel. And finally, to calm any nerves, there will be a bar during the evening between 6pm and 12am!

Trereife ParkTrereife Park in association with Hidden Art will be hosting the Cornish Design Fair for 2009. The Fair will be held over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd August in the grounds of this historic manor house. With direct access onto the main A30 this should prove to be a very popular venue and attract a large audience.

AlatkaMaja Mesic, an industrial designer from Croatia, recently won the Red Dot award for his project Alatka, a drawing instrument.

As opposed to the restrictive form of pencil-shaped drawing tools, Alatka’s ergonomic form has been devised to allow a more natural and expressive approach to drawing.

AlatkaDespite the fact that the dot is the basis of every drawn line, form or coloured surface, one does not draw millions of dots to form a line or shape. Instead, these lines are created with the drawing tool, which moves in sync with the hand. However, most of the drawing tools available on the market are primarily created for writing, and are not suitably adapted to drawing.

If one wants to colour a surface, one needs to fill the surface with lots of lines. This is because the stick-type tool can feel unnatural to draw with; it restricts the movement of the hand.

AlatkaAlatka presents an innovative approach to drawing with a form that can adapt to drawing lines as well as coloured surfaces. With its tear-drop form, it allows the wrist to be free without having to conform to the movements dictated by other more restrictive shapes.

The user is able to naturally use Alatka and position the hand as they wish. The movement of the wrist is more fluid and thus, the user is able to achieve balance and stability by easily adapting to its form.

Bryan Illsley SculptureBryan Illsley, exhibiting at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, is a well-established artist, whose diverse practice includes painting, print, sculpture in metal or ceramic, and also jewellery.

Working variously with colour, texture, form and structure, he absorbs abstraction with intensity. Unlike many artists, there are no preliminary working drawings or sketches to guide him through his meditative paintings.

Neither are there maquettes to steer the course for his rugged sculptures. Relying on spontaneous impulses, he picks up his brush, his clay or a handful of rivets and begins to work, often with a ‘wildness barely controlled’.

With a serious mind, and resolute spirit, he continues to develop his raw abstract creations with unrelenting vigour.

Bryan Illsley was born in Surbiton in 1937. He came from a working-class background with no interest in the arts. In the early 1950s, he became apprenticed to a monumental stonemason and later attended evening classes at Kingston School of Art in Kingston-upon-Thames.

In 1963, he moved to St Ives and worked part-time at the Bernard Leach Pottery. In 1968, he established a partnership with Breon O’Casey in St Ives, making studio jewellery. He now lives in London.

Bryan Illsley has contributed to numerous jewellery exhibitions at Arnolfini in Bristol, Ewan Phillips Gallery, Pace Gallery and Electrum Gallery in London. Mixed media shows include Oxford Gallery, Oxford, and The Maker’s Eye, Crafts Council Gallery, Waterloo Place, London. Solo shows include Bryan Illsely: Work in Wood, Metal & Paint, Crafts Council Gallery, Waterloo Place, London and Uncertain Joys at Barrett Marsden Gallery, London

Work in public collections includes amongst others, Contemporary Art Society, London; Kettles Yard, Cambridge and Plymouth City Art Gallery.

The exhibition is curated by Ralph Turner at the Craft Gallery, 2 July -11 October 2009.

For more information on the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery visit http://www.glynnviviangallery.org.

witch's bottleNews reaches me that London based independent design circus, La Boca, has designed the book and CD versions of Anna & The Witch’s Bottle by Geoff Cox, which features illustrations by Rohan Daniel Easton.

The limited-edition of 300 will be published by Black Maps Press in September 2009.