Friday, 7 October 2011

On the weekend

I popped into the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery whilst wandering from Regents Park, to South Bank killing time a few weekends ago. Enjoyed a root around in their shop's collection downstairs. It's funny how you get drawn to your favourite artists, with some maker's aesthetics being so distinct.

I really like how much Lina Peterson seems to take so much joy in her use of colour and material, and although I'm usually more drawn to her work involving stitch and textiles, there were some newer rather understated plastic broaches in the cabinet I would of like to have been able to look at up close.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On the Kent coast

This weekend I visited a few places along Kent's east coast, and came across a beautiful shop in Margate's Old Town called Blackbird, owned by textiles artist Maxine Sutton.

Margory 2008, Flower/back 2008, Cowtree/Tufty 2008 screen printed, embellished and embroidered tea-cosy

If you ever get a chance to visit go next door to The Greedy Cow deli, (which serves amazing homemade burgers), and like the Blackbird boutique it also celebrates the old and the new with it's eclectic interior and contemporary artists work on the walls.

I couldn't afford any of Maxine Sutton's framed pieces but was able to buy a screen printed cushion I'll take a snap of soon to share.

Sad Bird 2009, Hungry Bear (detail) 2009 screenprinted, needlepunched and emroidered textile

Riffling through Sutton's achieve images I am reminded of an old course mate at Brighton who's work is inspired by folk style imagery, and bold yet selective use of pattern.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

colours of summer

I first saw Zoe Murphy's work at what must have been the 2008 New Designer's Exhibition, together with printed textiles, she recycle's vintage furniture - rejuvinating it with strong blasts of colour and contemporary etched graphics.

Now in August and a long awaited cycling trip to Kent's coast looming, for me Zoe Murphy's work reminds me of that fresh optimism crazy summer days with friends can bring.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


My creative itch was awoken recently by an article on London based stylist/ shop owner Emily Chalmers, in the Australian magazine Frankie. Showcasing her home, a converted industrial space, and her store Caravan where her eclectic, vintage inspired sensibilities have found a place to flourish.

Which leads me on to introduce some more creatives/ crafts practitioners whose work I admire.

Claire Coles I fell for the patchy lustre work and textured surface design when I first saw these vases at a Cockpit Arts Christmas open studios a years back, but settled for a brooch from her odds box

I discovered the work of MMU grad Eve Bennett at the 2008 Islington New Designers. I enjoyed the humour in her narrative style, and the way she chose to exploit faded colours eluding to the poignance of remembrance and the delicate passing of time. The way her loose sketches shine through in her hand-building and mark making especially appealed to me, as I too enjoy disturbing a drawn line by wetting felt tips or ink pens, giving the image a lightness of touch.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunshine and Kew

Caught the sunshine Friday just gone with a much anticipated trip to Kew. My boyfriend and I foolishly left the 'Tropical Extravaganza' exhibit, housed in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, to the end of the day, rushing round just before closing.

These photographs my brother took have been tweaked a bit, nevertheless the orchids and other vividly colourful flowers were amazing.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

linen envy

Working in the Linens section at a department store, being a lover of textiles & surface print, and mad for colour, it's becoming hard not to spend my pay cheque on our own products.

This Australian company Kas have some really punchy designs and they're youthful unlike some of the fussier florals we stock from the longer standing brands. The strip of machine embroidery running off centre caught my eye, that and the pintuck detailing used to balance it out. Gonna get me some fuchsia pink indian cotton to make a quilted bed runner from - I like it loud.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

good reading

My previous post was kicked off by a birthday present, a fantastically colourful interior design book, Bazaar Style by Selina Lake, written by Joanna Simmons and photography by Debi Treloar

Selvedge magazine filled the remainder of a lazy Sundays reading, with a feature on Toni Meneguzzo research project following a trip to India into Hindu 'Holy Cows'.

'...they proudly wear the embelishments of Hindu's seemingly kitsch spirituality, with its grand and garish objects, baroque frames and old honking motorcycles, fetishes and plastic flowers, part Bollywood, part Taj Mahal.' (pg. 76, issue 38, Selvedge, Jan/Feb 2011)

An aspect that really excited me when visiting the Hindu Temple in Neasden. Western views on vivid colours or conotations relating the use of certain materials in relation to religious memorbilia lay in stark contrast to my childhood at a Christian Church school.

Figurine from the Neasden Hindu temple

gifts and precious hand-me-downs

Growing up in a creative household I've always collected and cluttered, sometimes things get pretty busy because of it. It's taken a focused few years to learn to be a bit more selective in what I choose to hang on to.

99p shop - Brighton - this place matt used to be tucked inside my room if ever i left it out
in communal areas of my old student house, it's kitsch-ness offended people

Peacock candle a friend bought back from a trip to India on a antique Coalport saucer bought in Lyme Regis

Underglaze pencil doodles two slipcast cups with yellow stain

I'm not the kind of girl to swoon over flowers, but when a friend had dug up this plastic daffodil and pearlescent vase to pot it in for me I was over the moon, here it sits with a Mac Donald's Happy Meal Barbie, and an old test tile of cocktail swords

I get rather sentimental over certain material possessions. I'd like to say it's because of the people or places I acquired them from, and that does become part of their story, but really it comes down to an impulsive towards their colour or texture that satisfies me. Old and worn, shiny and new, mass produced 99p shop finds are as dear as a one-off handmade present.

If it's not distinct enough to display in its own right, it'll be sorted by colour, boxed up, and kept safe for later.