Sunday, September 13, 2009

The clearout continues: new home needed for plan chest and paper shelves

I thought this might be useful to someone.

As you might know I'm having a BIG clearout for the new studio we're having built. I'm selling a bespoke-built paper/plan chest unit which I had made for the studio five years ago, as it's not migrating to the new space. Brilliant for a home office or studio like mine!

This very sturdy unit was hand-built to store samples of illustration work in its bottom drawers and store supplies of SRA2 paper stocks on the top shelves.

Built of 3/4 inch MDF, the unit has outlived its purpose here and is being replaced by a bigger one on our new studio. It is ready for painting or sealing, thought we preferred it in its unfinished, matte state.

It stands 8ft high, 13" deep, with 15 shelves each approximately 2" apart, wide enough to store SRA2 paper plus an inch or so at either side. The top shelf space is 13" high. The 5 soft-close drawers range from 4" (top) to 8" (bottom) in depth, with silver handles.

The unit will need to be collected due to its weight, and will be supplied dismantled with all screws, drawers intact and handles attached).
If anyone wants it, it does need collecting as we don't actually have a car at present! Sorry. And also because although it will be supplied dismantled, it's fairly big. (We're based in Hinckley, LE10 0DW; around 100 miles north of London).

We're extremely reluctant to take this item to the tip, which'll be the only option soon! Let me know if you're interested - make me an offer. Cost £400 to have built, but anything at all will be considered!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Are you sitting comfortably?

Just a quick one. I've kicked off The Big Antidote's 'Tell A Story' project. One illustrator starts, then more come along and finish it, up to a maximum of 10 stories each with 10 illustrators. 100 illustrations. Those images are then going to be screen-printed in glorious colour and put into an exhibition in 2010.

Anyone can volunteer to contribute a chapter, and the illustration-loving James at Cure Studio (who is running the project) will choose from the submissions (Note: you don't actually have to produce anything until you're picked; just send in your details).

So. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A Book About Death

My friend Anthony Saint James and I have contributed a piece to this exhibition opening in New York on Thursday 10th September.

Though I enjoyed quoting the author of my favourite book in the universe, this image is really ALL about Anthony's photograph. (There is more of this to come - but more on that over the coming weeks). On the back is a quote by another one of my favourite writers, Buddy Wakefield, whose line was chosen for its interesting parallel with Emily Bronte's quote and the world she inhabited - every day lived overlooking a graveyard and watching her sisters, brother and half the village succumb to consumption in their twenties.

Death though was virtually an additional family member in Haworth during the 1800s. Looking constantly over the shoulders of the villagers, down whose only street ran the toxic effluent of a pre-drainage era, Emily must have looked rather less fearfully into the grave than we would, as of course, she was off to meet her sister Anne and two older siblings before her. Perhaps death is the great big lie-down after the graft of a long life well lived - as opposed to a constant threat or thing to be feared.

And the notion that the earth would actually quite like to hang on to us a bit longer is charming, if not another good reason to be buried in the earth coffinless and un-embalmed with a sapling and a microchip over us (my plan; yours might be different).

So 'let go', as Buddy says. Because I don't know about you, but 'I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of not living'. (Exodus 77).

The show is on till 22nd September, and you can read more about it here.

(Oh come on, after the pretty fruits and records, you were expecting some darkness, surely?)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Than Kew

You might remember Tom Hare, the willow artist who collaborated with me on The Witches project for TBWA. I've just done some signs for his enormous sculptures in Kew Gardens. They make up the Seed Walk, built to celebrate Kew's 250th anniversary and the Millennium Seed Bank there, and are built of willow and steel; giant poppy seed heads and Cocas de Mer jostle for attention at the gates of Kew - see some of them here.

These had to be done in a real rush using Hard-to-Buff ink on Tom's home-chopped oak, painted with just a touch of Osmo oil to help preserve them. No varnish. They were done in 'one take' - pencil could not be rubbed out from the wood as it stained it, so the words were put straight on without outlines or guides. Ooof. They're a bit up-and-downy, but I think they do the job! I wrote off four brushes as the ink ruins everything it touches...but that's because it has some serious gumption.

'The Witches' is being shown again with additional pieces in London this October, where you can see more of Tom's work. Mark your diaries for October 28th!

Tom Hare
Kew's Seed Walk
Tom Hare talks about the project

England's pantry

Just look at these beauties. We had to stop and photograph this breathtaking assortment of produce today as we stood in the kitchen unwrapping bits and pieces.

It's all in season, and it's all English too. From left to right, we have tomatoes, cabbages and runner beans from Rickards' Farm in Congerstone. Fresh-picked on the morning you order the box, which is £5 for enough to feed a family of five. Or two greedy people. There's no website, and no, you can't email in your order. It demands a 20-minute drive to the farm every week! They're organic too, but you won't find a Soil Association mark on them - the family have been growing veg this way for three generations, but they aren't in a hurry to apply for any sort of kitemark - they're too busy growing!

Next to that we have Kent Cobnuts bought from Berwick Street market, Soho, London. Picked them up at the weekend along with some juicy dates (which we've already eaten.) You peel off the green skins and crack them like nuts. They're lovely. The sweetcorn is also from there, as Rickards' own cobs aren't ready yet.

The big Bramley apples are from our friend Boyd's family's back garden. We live at 71, they live at 3. Boyd and I were at junior school together. His Mum brought a massive bag round which we turned into a gingerbread apple pie. That got driven to London, where Boyd lives, and we fed him a taste of home - with custard!

The obscene carrots are from Rickards. They like to pick out the handsomest, or the ugliest - depends on Chunk's mood when he picks them out. These two are definitely in the Handsome category.

Finally, FINALLY... a bowl of damsons from the neighbours' felled damson tree (the wood is in the wood store for forthcoming autumn chills), next to a bowl of its rounder cousin allegedly called a damseen - though I can't find a trace of these on Google. Anyone know anything about them? The plums I had to photograph for their vivid colour.

Colours, shapes, tastes, shiny skins - sometimes I am at a loss to understand why anyone at all chooses to buy fruit and veg from a supermarket. Why have a pineapple in December when you can let the seasons surprise you, and provide a continuous flow of fresh, home-grown goodies?

(ps anyone spot the silly face?)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Noise of Art

I've decorated a record for the Noise of Art show of 12"s at East End Arts Club, Swanfield Street, London.
Mine's the one with the blue Swarovski crystals - but you might have to look closely for them!

The show opens this Thursday, 3rd September from 6-9. I'm going to try to be there, work permitting!
Work is for sale with 5% going to charity (bit mean if you ask me, but at least it's something).

Other artists include Ulla Puggaard, Stuart Semple, Swifty, Kate Garner, Hazel o'Connor and the mysterious but fabulously-named Daniel Diggle.

Click here for more info.

Tools of the trade:


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