Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Diem Chau

Diem Chau combines common materials and means to make accessible, beautiful items for story telling.
She combines embroidery and porcelain, crayons and carving for tactile, illustrative work.
A vietnamese refugee, she came with her family to Seattle, eventually studying art and has since exhibited her work extensively in the US.

She will carve a crayon for you. Just get in touch.

Click Here to Read More..

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Etsy Shop of the week - Dutch Door Design

As part of my one man campaign for "proper printing", because I like people who are so stubbornly swimming against the litho and computer print stream (and because I have a garage full of metal type woodcut card blocks and an old arab treadle press oiled and ready to go) and because the result looks so good - I like to buy cards and prints from letterpress printers.

We came across Dutch Door Designs in 'Greenwich Letterpress' shop in New York before Christmas and bought a few, then realised they sold their cards and prints internationally through their Etsy shop so should stock up my 'card drawer'.

This San Fanscisco based letterpress printing company describes themselves as

"two friends, two antique printing presses, a bunch of ink and a whole lot of paper....

Mara Murphy and Anna Branning, friends and co-workers for many years established dutch door press, a design & letterpress studio, in 2006 in a beautiful victorian house in San Francisco. we named our press after the entryway to our studio- none other than a dutch door.

With an affinity for rich color, vintage patterns, natural forms and symmetry we create unique and boldly colored designs for our greeting cards, posters, and invitations. all of our designs are printed by hand on our antique chandler & price platen press or our equally lovely vandercook simple precision 15 proofing press."

PS if anyone has an unused letterpress proofing press like a Vandercook (hand operated but self inking) standing unused in the studio or garage I'd be happy to relieve you of it!

Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, 23 March 2008


Visiting the Collect exhibition the other week, I came across a lot of fantastic makers and galleries which I hadn't seen before and will try and write up over the coming weeks, one of the most interesting was CraftScotland which is the official showcase for Scotish Craft. There is something about Scotland which seems to foster exciting makers and a browse around their website did make me look into the price of flights to Edinburgh as we haven't managed to get to Scotland for years. . CraftScotland is, amongst other things, a comprehensive website with details of makers, galleries, exhibitions and events.

Some of the Makers I saw at Collect that made an impression were -

Anna King - who was exhibiting coiled forms made from feathers which though beautiful and original were to me slightly unsettling with a touch of the surreal.

Hannah Louise Lamb - was exhibiting a group of brooches influenced by her cockatoos and home!

Grainne Morton - a jeweller who uses found objects to create trees and storybook landscapes

Deirdre Nelson - was exhibiting at Collect pierced plastic spoons inspired by convict love tokens We came across Deirdre Nelson in a fascinating and moving textile exhibition 'In the Raw' in Glasgow several years ago. She is an artist working with textiles and interested (I think) in historical themes of work, trade, and emigration.

Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Xenia Taler Tiles

Xenia Taler are partners Xenia Taler and Steven Koblinsky. Xenia designs the tiles, Steven crafts the clay and glazes in their Toronto studio.

The tiles are unusual, painterly and enchanting. A feature on your bathroom wall, they aim to make something that you want to save when it comes to redecorating.

Click Here to Read More..

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Myth and Legend at Contemporary Applied Arts

Mythology and storytelling provides the inspiration for this exhibition at Contemporary Applied Arts 2 Percy Street (off Tottenham Court Road)

Jeweller Zoe Arnold, Ceramicists Christie Brown, Claire Curneen & Catrin Howell , Textile maker Natasha Kerr, and Glass maker David Reekie are exhibiting pieces inspired by Myth Legend and storytelling at this exhibition. More information about the exhibition can be found here

CAA is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year as the home of applied arts and craft in London the gallery and has just acquired the Electrum Gallery as another outlet for jewellery.

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, 17 March 2008

Etsy Shop of the Week - Gooseflesh

We seem to be on a crochet theme at the moment - what seems to be good is that so many people are using crochet in original, discrete and innovative ways. . Gooseflesh is the Etsy site of Sydney Australian based artist Helle Jorgensen. Helle's etsy site sells crochet pendants and bracelets - mostly of corals and marine themes from the seas north of Sydney.

It is highly illegal these days to collect corals, even dead corals off the beach. So Helle's work is an amazing and original (and more colourful) alternative to found corals.

In addition the etsy shop Helle has a blog where she documents her lastest work - coral gardens and large plastic crochet creations, beach finds, sketches, embroideries and fascinating pictures.

Helle is crocheting a huge 'rubbish vortex' from discarded plastic bags for the Institute For Figuring - who, amongst other things, uses crochet to realise theoretical geometrical shapes. The IFF are exhibiting a coral exhibition in April in New York with the Rubbish Vortex. Website fascinating.

Click Here to Read More..

Search out paintings in your area - The Public Catalogue Foundation

Recently I have come across a superb series of books which aim to give us all more access to paintings in public ownership. This is a series of catalogues produced by a charity "The Public Catalogue Foundation".
The catalogues are beautifully produced and give a full details and illustrations of all oil and acrylic paintings in public collections in a given area or county.
I have bought the East Sussex edition, which covers large collections such as Brighton and Hove Museums, and The Towner in Eastbourne, through to smaller places such as the Seaford Museum. It is fascinating to see what is held in the collections.
Many are paintings that I have never heard about or seen and did not know were held in collections in my home county. I now just need to fine some time to go out and see them all. It reminds me what super works of art are held in our galleries and public collections.

These large format catalogues are well priced at £20.00 for softback and £35.00 for hardback.

For details and catalogues available see

Phone to order catalogues on 01235 465577

Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Alex Binnie at Ink-d Gallery

Tattoo Artist and ex-medical Illustrator Alex Binnie returns somewhat to his roots for a show of new work at Ink-d Gallery in North Road Brighton (almost next to Bills)

Alex's first solo show is called 'Anatomies' - Showcasing the body, the 3-week exhibition presents a brand new collection of his highly original drawings

The body is one of the main themes of all art, and all of the Alex's work focuses in some way on the body in its various stages - the tattooed body, the distorted body and the dead body. Alex believes such themes question the transience and futility of life and as such, presents us with a brand new set of images for the show that are funny, beautiful, disturbing and erotic.

The work Alex has produced for this exhibition is exclusive to Ink-d - the exhibition continues till 29th March. Alex's screenprinted work including the erotic? 'Boned' series (themes of death and the maiden) and some flash designs can be seen on his website .

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, 10 March 2008

MANOS - Karin Erikssons New Shop

Good luck to Swedish ceramicist Karin Eriksson who has opened a new shop 'Manos' at her studio an old glasshouse at the Overjarva Country Estate near Stockholm.

(Karin's Tealight holders and notebooks)

Of course we haven't managed to get there (or to Sweden) yet but I do feel a little envious by the look of Karin's fantastic studio, the setting and glimpses of the Swedish lifestyle one gets from her blog.

Karin in addition to stocking shops and galleries throughout Europe, and selling from Manos also has her own Etsy site where she sells one offs, trials, seconds and other work.

Good luck with the new shop.

(Daniel Reynolds Ceramics)

Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Brighton Art Fair - MADE08 decision time

We're entering the decision phase of Brighton Art Fair and MADE08 which happily gets more and more difficult every year - the applications get better and better and are increasing every year so we should be able to put together quirky, diverse and high quality shows. The downside is that the committee find it difficult to go to gallery openings or artsy events for a few months as every year we have to turn down 3 times as many artists as we accept due to lack of space in the hall and so feel a little unpopular! However it is very exciting opening the envelopes or on-line applications and seeing the images, websites and artists statements. Then the difficult job begins of choosing 90 artists who are different enough from each other, produce high quality work, are passionate about their art and will appeal to different groups of people. It's looking good though!We are delighted that Elle Decoration will be sponsoring the Brighton Art
Fair this year. We are confident that this partnership will help bring a
wider audience to the Fair, promoting the event as a wonderful opportunity
to buy top quality art direct from the artists.

Click Here to Read More..

Etsy Shop of the Week - Irregular expressions

This etsy shop Irregular expressions is nominated by Sarah who has been working with crochet a little in her dolls as well as crocheting Japanese Amigurumi and other things.

Irregular expressions produce beautiful and unique necklaces, cuffs, brooches, bracelets and other items from freeform crochet, found objects and buttons and beads.

I don't know the name of the artist but she is from Istanbul, a mother and is inspired from nature, traditional Turkish arts, crafts and freeform fiber artists. All the work is one-off.

Since posting this I got a message from Ayesegul giving more information about her mother.
'All creations belong to my mother. She is a retired teacher. She work in a totally improvisational way. She starts with an idea, then she tries new techniques and colors until she is satisfied with the piece. She constantly does, undoes, redoes, at the end she ends up with something she loves, something very different and unique. And her motivation and energy come from generous compliments like yours. '

Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, 2 March 2008

British Rock Artists Group at Pelham House

Brighton based group British Rock Artists Group is exhibiting a group show of gig posters and others in the refined and stylish setting of the Pelham House Hotel right in the centre of Lewes.
The show is on till end of April and Pelham House is a good place for a drink or a coffee whilst you're at it!

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Winter Break in Wales

(view across the estuary from Graig Wen)

This post is not really about Art or Craft. We have just come back from a week in Wales at Graig Wen, the campsite/guesthouse/holiday cottage bought by ex-Brightonians Sarah and John in September.

Sarah escaped? from her successful PR company specialising in the arts (such as publicising Brighton Art Fair) for 40 acres of 'cool' campsite (ie proper camping,- peace, quiet, real camp fires and basic facilities - no kids clubs or swimming pools) in Snowdonia with the Mawddach estuary bordering the bottom of the site and Cadair Idris the top.

(Lifting the cycles into the lower camping field)(Hightide at Griag Wen - Guesthouse halfway up hill, and lower camping field at right other camping areas up the hill and in the woods)

They have also worked hard over the winter transforming the buildings into modern, comfortable and stylish accommodation. Being February and 'Nesh' we stayed in the cottage expecting long rainy days of reading and scrabble in front of the wood burner but actually we had lovely weather and got up the mountains on some days and cycled down the old (flat) railway from the campsite on others. We'll be back to try out the yurts which they are erecting at Easter later in the year I hope, possibly with a seakayak to explore the rivers coast and estuary. But I can recommend both the site and the area to visit for a outdoorsy holiday.

(Hillfarm on the lower slopes of Cadair Idris)

(Arthog Waterfalls)

(View of Cadair Idris)

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