Somerset House

Yesterday I visited Somerset house to see the Print Club London's film poster exhibition. I got there to find that there was also the AOI world illustration awards exhibition - Bonus!

There was some absolutely stunning pieces of illustration work in the exhibition, and there were some lovely books to look through too, I think my favourite piece was the one above by Nicholas Stevenson, I love going to exhibitions and finding new artists, illustrators and sources of inspiration. 

The exhibition is on until 29th August at the Embankment galleries in the south wing, also, on Thursdays there is an 'Artists show and tell'.

The Print Club London film poster exhibition is on in the East wing galleries, which was such a beautiful light setting, amongst old fire places and plants, it had such a lovely feel to it.

The prints all relate to a film which is shown each night on a large screen between 4th-17th August, and you can buy the prints and other cool things in the little shop at the exhibition. Who doesn't love a look round a gift shop?!

There are events, workshops and demonstrations happening through out the exhibition and a film reel of the prints being made at the Print Club London Studio.

The exhibition is on until 17th August in the East wing galleries.

Risograph Print workshop

Today I went to a really fun 2 colour Risograph print workshop. It took place at Hato Press which is a London based Risograph printer and publishing house.

 

I have recently been noticing some lovely Risograph prints at craft fairs and online, my favourites are by Printed Peanut and Scout Editions - they're lovely, and just have an extra special quality to them.

The process has similar qualities to screen printing, the machine looks like a photocopier and to an effect it is, we used the hand made process as opposed to using a PDF to print from. The designs are individually placed upon the screen bed, as you would do to photocopy something, then making sure the correct coloured 'drum' is in the machine (like a big printing roller full of ink) the machine then creates a master using a special film, this is where the similarities to screen printing are (but instead of light this uses heat to burn on the design) once the master film is created this stays attached to the roller and ink is pushed through the areas which have been burnt (the areas where you have made marks on your design)

Then the process is repeated for the second colour, so you have both masters ready, then it is a case of printing both at the same time, the alignment may not be correct at this stage so using the arrow keys on the machine you can move the position of the drum and keep testing the print until you are happy with the position.

So, back to the workshop, I arrived a little early and had a look around the little shop area where they have books and prints. Once everyone had arrived we were told how the risograph printer works and we all made a few scribbles on some paper to see the process, and how each different pen or pencil mark would come out.

Then it was time to create our designs, I had something in mind and had some basic ideas in my sketchbook, I drew out the design first and then decided on colours and arrangement, to create the final artwork we had to draw one colour on to a piece of paper and then using tracing paper make the second layer/colour.

Then we put the coloured drums in to the machine, I decided on teal and orange, and a few tests to get it all lined up and my final print was ready. It was so quick and simple but the outcome is beautiful, I really enjoyed the process and will definitely work in this way again.

If you're interested in Risograph printing and live in London I would really recommend this workshop, it was only £30 and such a fun afternoon. 

 Close up of my print

Close up of my print

 My final print

My final print

Here's a little clip of my work printing.

Find a better explanation of the process and information on workshops here

 

Mint madness

So, I've got this thing about Mint, any shade really, greeny mint, bluey mint, seafoam, teal etc etc. So I have decided to photograph all the lovely things I spot which come under the umbrella of MINT. 

Yesterday I was in Norwich (for other reasons than to spot minty loveliness) but I managed to get some photos of these amazing old metal chairs outside a chip shop. 

There were lots of other minty goodness around but it was a busy day with lots to do and unfortunately not much time for photographing. 

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A video in my studio

If you are visiting my blog, I am assuming you have seen the video on the homepage of my website. If you haven’t seen it go to my homepage or click here to see the video on YouTube.

It’s a short video showing me in my workshop/studio doing what I do best. You see me go through the process of making jewellery from start to finish, starting with sketching and transferring the design to the computer and finishing with cutting out the pieces from acrylic and finally attaching them all together.

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The videographer was the super talented John Barker, he did a great job and as scared and nervous as I was he made me feel at ease. I did feel really silly at times, and I think at one point in the video you can see me giggling away when I'm pretending to press buttons on my laser cutter.

The filming process took about 4-5 hours, and then John shot some extra bits around the studio after that it was time for the dreaded interview. This was the bit I was not looking forward to and actually suggested the video shouldn't have any narration, but John insisted, so he attached a microphone to me and we had a 30 minute 'chat' where he forced me (in a nice way) to say my name, so people can hear how to say it. Once that was over I had done my part and the rest was down to John.

We did the filming and interview, and in a super quick turnaround I received the video in my inbox, it was so exciting but I was so scared to watch it (having heard the rumour you put on 10lbs when you’re in front of the camera) but I loved it.

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I am really nosey and enjoy seeing where people work and what they do so I'm glad to share my little story and creative process.

If you’re interested in doing the same I would really encourage you to contact John, he is super talented and so friendly, you will have a really fun day and get something amazing out of it.

You can visit John's website here, and see the blog post he did all about the making of the video here.

Art Trail - 100 Cats

Following on from my previous posts of my 'Art trail' (you can see the other exhibitions I visited here and here) our last exhibition of the day was 100 Cats.

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The title alone was inviting enough. it was an exhibition of feline themed art and illustration at the Hackney Downs Studios in the A-Side B-Side gallery.

The exhibition was curated by illustrator Laura Hughes, and was made up of 100 illustrations of all different types and styles of cats by 36 different artists.

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There was such a range of styles and they were all great, artists involved in the exhibition included Faye Moorhouse, Lorna Scobie, Laura Hughes, Sandra Dieckmann, Emma Block and many more.

Art trail - Print Club London Blisters 2014

Blisters: The sound Sessions was the second exhibition of our weekend Art trail, if you didn't see the first one you can see that here.

The Print Club London is a print studio in London that often put exhibition on, this one was the 5th of its kind. 

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There was 40 exhibiting artists each with an edition of 40 signed prints for only £40 each.

The posters were all inspired by music and all so different in style and colour. The exhibition was held in MC Motors which is a large events venue opposite the studios, it was filed with an array of vintage props including a portrait of the Royal family which was hung at the very top of the very high walls.

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This Rose Blake print was my favourite of all the prints, but I also liked the two below, maybe it's the matching colours? 

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Unfortunately the show has now finished - I will be sure to go again next year, maybe i'll even have some money to buy one - as it was supposed to be a free art day I couldn't really buy one this time. 

Art trail - Howard Griffin Gallery

On Saturday my friend Liz and I decided to have a free day of art, and as it was the start of Design week there was plenty to chose from.

We started by seeing an exhibition we didn't mean to (stupid timeout with its out of date information) at the Howard Griffin Gallery on Shoreditch High Stree. The exhibition was called John and George, and it had a really nice story,

John was a well known homeless man who used to sit on Shoreditch High Street, he used to talk to the commuters and telling them about his life and he used to sell drawings he had done to pass the time. 

He would draw the buildings around him and also George, his dog. 

His first exhibition was at Howard Griffin in 2013 and he has returned this year for his second show. 

The first thing we saw was a giant drawing of George the dog, and then glancing over to the desk at the front of the Gallery was the real George - so that was nice, apparently John sometimes leaves George at the Gallery for an hour or so.

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The space was really nice, big and was full of exposed brick work, it really suited the work, which was mainly line drawings and screen prints of the buildings around Shoreditch.

At the back of the space were three walls covered in A4 sketches of George hung on bulldog clips, these were on sale for £50 and it already looked like lots had been bought.

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It's a really nice exhibition to look round, and I think knowing the story makes it even better, if you want to take a look you will need to hurry as this is only on until 21st September.

Cornershop

Recently I visited a cornershop in Bethnal green selling all the usuals you would expect. The only difference is this was actually the total opposite of what you would expect.

The 'Cornershop' is an art installation of around 4000 everyday items made from felt. Lucy Sparrow, the maker of this wonder, has spent over 7 months making each and every product you would find in your local convenience store.

From penny sweets in jars, to cigarettes, dirty magazines to frozen chips and ice lollies, it really is an amazing thing to see.

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It was so difficult to pick a favourite, they were all so great, I did really like the sweets, chocolates and crisps, but then these are all my favourite things any way.

If you fancy a visit, the shop is at 19 Wellington Row, London, E2 7BB and open everyday in August 10am-7pm. Don't worry if you can't make it, there is also a shop online where you can purchase all the items which are on sale in the shop

Shepherd's Rest

I don’t know about you but I always struggle when it comes to buying presents for boys, one year for Ant (my boyfriend) I made a list of things he liked or wanted, some just in passing conversation. This resulted in the most bizarre collection of gifts, including ones he couldn’t remember ever mentioning  (I remember there being a gold fish pencil sharpener, and a fluffy computer screen wipe in the shape of a lion)

Anyway this is massively off the point, It was Ants birthday in June and instead of buying him pants and socks, or something even more boring – I booked a weekend in a Shepherd’s Hut.

Our special weekend finally came and it was amazing. I booked it purely off the photographs on the website - Canopy and Stars. It was pretty, vintage and very charming. I hadn’t looked any further in to it than how far it was to get there.

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The Shepherd’s Hut was in a lovely field with ducks and chickens (and absent sheep) there was another hut beautifully decorated with antiques which had a large dining table and cooking area, and there was another hut with toilet and showers facilities.

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The hut itself – ‘Shepherd’s Rest’ was small but wonderful, it had a little fire, table and stool and a nice big comfy bed, with plenty of storage underneath.

All this was in Foulsham in Norfolk, but we didn’t need to know anything about the area because the friendly owner had a book full of information, from the local farm shop and pub down the road to places further afield, all the coast towns and even seal watching.

We had a browse through and decided on Wells-Next-The-Sea, a beach with over 200 beach huts, all individual and unique, with their own paint job and fancy names, although one or two have sadly been neglected and are half under the sand. When we got to the end we walked back through the forest which was just behind the beach, it was a great contrast, and gave us some great photography practice with lots of flowers and bugs.

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We drove back and had a little picnic – finally using my amazing basket with strawberry fabric, which I’ve had for ages. Once we'd filled up on some tasty food we headed out to Holt, which was a nice little town with pretty shop fronts, and plenty of vintage and antique shops for me to lust over.

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Once we got back to the Hut we played scrabble and fired up the BBQ, cooked some lovely food (halloumi is my absolute favourite for a barby) and to finish off a wonderful day we toasted marshmellows which I had made with some of my Instagram photos on from a new online company called boomf

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It was a wonderful weekend, I'm really sad it’s over, but I know we'll go back there again.