Thursday, December 23, 2010

Print, stick, write, seal; print, stick, write, seal; print, stick...

This year the little Japanese Gocco printer went to work on these single-sided greetings, printed in silver, powder blue and dark green and finished with a real Swarovski crystal on the bauble. I say 'the Gocco' got to work - the troops were in for their usual annual overtime, hunched over the printing machine and wondering about the next tea break.

The design is a simple silhouette of a little girl and her toy reindeer on wheels, reaching for the sparkly bauble hidden among the sharp nib icicles. It's evocative of a lot of the work I've done this year - silhouettes have featured heavily, with the work for the Robert Burns Museum (on the following blog) and the Harper Lee cover, to name but two, and since I'm a traditionalist who loves Christmas, it had to reflect the childlike wonder I still feel at the rustling of parcels and tree branches, and that feeling that 'something is different' on Christmas Eve.

Hand-printed on 700gsm GF Smith Colourplan, in white, with a rubber-stamped reverse, mostly stamped by Anne. John did most of the crystals, with startling accuracy.

They took hours and hours, covered all the desks, cost a lot to post, and used a silly amount of ink. But e-cards? It'll be a hot day in December before you see any of those emerging from the Mole HQ.

And with that rather rash statement, it's Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Inkymole!

Is four Christmas trees greedy?

As you might know if you read this blog fairly often, 2010 was largely dominated by the building of a new studio and gallery space at Inkymole HQ. Although still with some work to do, the new space is restful and makes practical use of what was already here, while incorporating land that hitherto lay unused.

The first show in the little gallery was Witches, a third and final showing (in October) of the project exploring the confessions of the Pendle witches. We were very taken with the trees that Tom Hare had built for this new installation of the show, using Ash to create three trees which looked for all the world as if they had thrust themselves up through the floor overnight. We liked them so much we decided to leave two of them in place for Christmas, and make them our Christmas trees.

Grandma's tree dominates the far left corner, and the usual modest-but-loyal Christmas tree will come out in a couple of days to sit out the rest of the holiday with the smaller baubles in the box (I'm a bit uncomfortable leaving it shut away in the loft...). So that's four. Too many? Never!

It's a shame it can't stay full-time, and I always get teary when it's time to un-decorate, but on the twelfth night they'll come down in readiness for the series of shows we've got planned for 2011, and be thrown joyously onto the woodburner. See? Nothing wasted.

The year in black and white.

This series of illustrations, for a 2011 calendar, was created for Atelier in the US, through Leo Burnett. They were tricky to do, since the shapes had to be very readable, and were inspired by this boot I'd drawn for Macy's earlier this year.

As is often the way with jobs that are a little punishing in both deadline and difficulty, I'm actually really pleased with the way they turned out. There's a classic drama in white-on-black, and the design leaves the illustrations a bit of breathing space. My favourite months are the July fan, the over-the-top August bottle, and the October necklace, since it hides a cheeky skull and a handful of other Hallowe'eny artefacts. I'm awaiting a few printed copies as we speak.

7 hours to London.

The snow came under an hour into our trip to London at the weekend. I've never been in a blizzard, so thank goodness we had the flask, four spare coats, a sense of humour and a healthy dose of realism.

These were some of the views from the car windows. Sparkly, eh?


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