Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Artisan Garden

We were thrilled when we heard of the introduction of the Artisan Garden category at the Chelsea Flower Show, as we are admirers and exponents of all things artisan. The RHS explained that it has asked designers to use natural, sustainably resourced materials in an artistic manner. "We are excited about the new introduction of artisan gardens, which, combined with urban gardens at Chelsea, will ensure that visitors will see some incredible designs highlighting innovation, creativity and sustainability," said RHS head of show development Bob Sweet.

The best Artisan Garden this year is, which seems curiously appropriate, a Korean lavatory, designed by Jihae Hwang. The garden is actually called Hae-woo-so and is 'the Korean word for the traditional Korean toilet. The inspiration behind the garden is that for centuries the Korean people believed that going to the toilet was a cathartic experience and considered it to be highly spiritual.'

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Neptune's Horses

While I was supposed to be doing something much more pressing, Jonathan just handed me this print hot off the press - wow! It's a wood engraving less than one and a quarter inches square. He's getting ready for the next Artists at Home weekend, 6-9pm on Friday 17th June and 11am - 6pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June. Do come along.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Latest addition to the Starch Green stable

Children & Mothers, a lovely screenprint from a paper-cut by Polly Mercer inspired by the gorgeous work of Rob Ryan. On sale soon.

Another new book

We recently receieved our copy of Barnett Freedman from Simon Lawrence at the Fleece Press. What a joy - the colour, the texture, the tipped in lithograph and oh! the typography.


Caravans, Eric Ravilious, © Estate of Eric Ravilious, All Rights Reserved, DACS
Our visit to the Fry Gallery was sublime. The Ravilious paintings are so lovely and we discovered a book we had missed,  Ravilious: Engravings by Jeremy Greenwood, published in 2008 by the Wood Lea Press. 
We also picked up our copy of the third in the Mainstone Press Ravilious in Pictures trilogy, A Country Life. Our bookshelf groans a little more - thank goodness.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Good month for magazines

Ties at Old Town
Two great issues worth mentioning. The May/June Selvedge packed with lovely articles has three that particularly made me sit up. First an article putting Norwich and Norfolk on the textiles map, one of our best loved areas, and mentioning a couple of our favourites Old Town and St Judes. Secondly Mark Hearld and his Beastly Habits, also a St Judes artist. And thirdly the beautiful Merchant and Mills. My daughter and my son's girlfriend made the Oilskin bag with Carolyn Denham at the Selvedge Christmas Fair - and loved it and her.

Jonathan's Ravilious inspired pattern paper, photographer Catherine Gratwicke
Then I turn to the June issue of Country Living. Mentions of St Judes, Merchant and Mills and Rob Ryan in the Emporium section and then a spectacular article about artist inspired goodies. The three artists in question are Henri Matisse, Ben Nicholson and Edward Bawden, all captured in a gorgeous shoot by our great friend Cath Gratwicke. Yum!

Three cheers for Selvedge and Country Living.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Spring Fling

Fishing, wood engraving by Jonathan Mercer on show at Spring Fling
The lovely Joanna Brendon, known to us through Artists at Home, is organising a Spring Fling fundraiser in her garden for InterAct Reading Service, a charity that uses professional actors to provide a reading service to support stroke recovery.
Dusk, Coniston Water, giclee print by Joanna Brendon on show at Spring Fling
The event sounds like good fun with musicians and art for sale:
Over 25 artists (including Jonathan) - paintings, prints, sculpture, photos, ceramics, jewellery
An Eclectic Mix of International Musicians throughout the day
...  and the Garden

Suggested donation £2.50

It's all on Sunday 22nd May, 2011, 11am - 6pm at 59 Emlyn Road, London W12 9TG.

We hope to see you there.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Daisies are our Silver

Daisies are our Silver, Kate Fishenden, April 2011
On seeing the daisy and buttercup filled meadow at Montacute on our way back from Dartmoor, I was reminded of one of my childhood favourite hymns:

Daisies are our silver,
Buttercups our gold:
This is all the treasure
We can have or hold.

Apparently written by 'Jan Struther' the pseudonym of Joyce Maxtone Graham, 1901-1953, and author of Mrs Miniver.