I recently had the great pleasure to spend an evening at The Make Lounge on their Screen Printed Textiles workshop. I first tried my hand at screenprinting at the Print Block in Whitstable, during the Oyster Festival and I’m starting to think I might have caught the bug!
The Festival of Britain took place from May to September 1951, and was designed to commemorate the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It celebrated Britain’s achievements and potential; engaged people with the arts, science and industry; and provided a tonic after the austerity of the Second World War. It was promoted as a ‘national village fete’ or ‘a tonic to the nation.’
A sketchbook is a great way to collect and explore ideas – and of course the best thing is to keep one on you and get into the habit of using it every day. I’m usually terrible at remembering, but I do always make sure I find the time when I go on holiday. On my latest two trips, I tried to push myself to develop my ideas as well as just recording what I saw – and also to feel more able to take risks and make mistakes.
‘Hygge’ (pronouned heu-gah) is a Danish concept. The nearest literal translation into English is ‘coziness,’ but it’s so much more than that. It’s a state of warmth and contentment; a sense that all is right in the world. A freedom from anything that might annoy, worry or overwhelm you. It’s time spent with close friends and family, just enjoying their company. It’s good food and good wine. Its being indoors on a rainy night in front of a log fire in a candle lit room. It’s being surrounded by soft comfortable textures. It’s just stopping, and really enjoying the simple things in life, enjoying the now.
Two of my many lovely design-related Christmas presents were sets of stamps from Yellow Owl Workshop all the way from San Francisco. I supplemented them with an alphabet set from Muji and immediately got to work making my thank you cards. I’m really proud of them, but credit must go to Yellow Owl Workshop for the beautifully designed and made stamps.
I love Tom Raffield’s beautiful steam-bent wooden creations – they are so clearly inspired by my favourite corner of England; the wild West(country). He very sweetly agreed to an interview, which is as inspirational as his creations…
I’m fed up with buying the same old presents from the same old shops every year. So this year, as well making some teacup candles myself, I’ve spent some time researching unusual and original presents that (hopefully!) will be warmly received and cherished for years to come, rather than swiftly ending up as landfill. Here are the fruits of my labour.
I met Penelope Jordan at this year’s TENT and immediately fell in love with her quirky brand of 3d textile design, which cannot help but make you smile, so I was over the moon when she agreed to answer a few questions for me.
I’m always very inspired by seeing the spaces creative people work in; the tools they use, the things they keep around them for inspiration, the effect of their environment on their work – so this is the first in a series on that very subject; featuring the Bernard Leach’s studio and the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall.
Inspired by Kirstie’s Homemade Home and an increasing cynicism about the annual Christmas cycle of shopping-presents-landfill, I decided to get crafty and make my own Christmas presents this year.
Tent 2010 favourite, Zoe Murphy, lives by the motto ‘love what belongs to you.’ Inspired by the fading glory of her seaside hometown Margate; she lovingly breathes new life into discarded mid-century furniture and vintage textiles – creating colourful products you’ll want to keep forever.
The highly magnetic brass metre-high ‘coin’ supposedly “fell to Earth from a giant’s palm.” The idea is that as people add pennies to the surface, it becomes textured copper and raises some money for Barnardo’s in the process.