Monday, 20 June 2011

The Pattern of Life

What a weekend! It was a delight to welcome people into our home for this year's Artists at Home. Despite the weather on Friday and Saturday, somewhat drier Sunday, we had an excellent turnout.
On display were 26 of Jonathan's wood engravings, some gorgeous silkscreen prints made form enlargements of his engravings and lots of Starch Green products. We had well over 120 visitors.

We even sold a few Christmas cards to a few of our more organised customers! Jonathan was demonstrating printing in the shed on Sunday with people printing their own Father's day bookmarks - D for Dog and Dad.
What I enjoyed most was the way all the family helped out and made the occasion seem so relaxed and warm. I really felt it was a great example of our philosophy 'the pattern of life.' We made bread Saturday morning before we opened, slipped in baking a beautifully decorated (by Tansy) cake on Saturday afternoon and drank copious quantities of delightful Starch Green tea (a blend of First Flush darjeeling, rose, elderflower and cornflower).
The honeysuckle even obliged by coming out in a riot of sweetly scented blooms.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Almost ready...

Detail of 'Nine Interestitng Things' silkscreen print
Frenetic activity here at Starch Green studios getting ready for Jonathan's Artists at Home weekend.

Many Rivers to Cross, wood engraving
Lots of new wood engravings and some beautiful silkscreen prints using enlargements of Jonathan's engravings. 'Many Rivers to Cross' is named after the Jimmy Cliff song which includes the line 'as I travel along the white cliffs of Dover'. We're open 6pm-9pm on Friday 17th June (that's tomorrow!), 11am - 6pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June.
The King of Spain's Daughter, wood engraving
There'll also be the opportunity to buy Jonathan's designs applied to mugs, cushions, cards and the ever popular jam labelling kits. There's even a chance to get in early on your Christmas card buying. Do come along if you can.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Bedford Park Summer Exhibition

Children & Mothers, Silkscreen, Polly Mercer
We've entered some prints to the Summer Exhibition at St Michael's and All Angels as part of the Bedford Park Festival. We find out tomorrow whether we've got any in!
Moretonhampstead to Fingle Bridge, Silkscreen, Kate Fishenden

Detail of Moretonhampstead to Fingle Bridge
The preview is Friday 10th 6.30 - 9.00pm. The show runs 11th - 17th June.
Black Pollen (Anemones), silkscreen, Kate Fishenden

Detail Black Pollen

9 Interesting Things, Wood engraving, Jonathan Mercer

Lobster Again, Wood engraving,  Jonathan Mercer

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Favourite things at Pulse

We had the delight yesterday of both basking in the explosion of creativity and colour that is Pulse and bumping into friends old and new. Our first encounter was with the lovely Mrs Booth who I remember as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed graduate with an excellent and memorable portfolio in around 1989. I think, although I'm not positive, I bought a book from her then (something to do with lino cuts and mermaids?) Her lovely work for children is elegantly economical and evocative of simpler times. She is not only married to another designer I met when he was a graduate even longer ago, she is now living in North Berwick, one of our favourite places in the world.

We also caught our friend and fellow Artist at Home eating her sandwich. Linda Bloomfield has some beautiful thrown ceramics ( I love the subtle glazes on the interiors of the pots) and is branching out into some manufactured products, which were impressively sympathetic to her artistic aesthetic.

Two stands we liked, although we'd never met them before, were Bee & Tea, luscious water colours on ceramics and kitchen textiles, and Alison Hardcastle, rather nice hand printed cards, books and stationery.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Brown's Hill Quarry

Visited this delightful little nature reserve at Holwell in Leicestershire at the weekend. These thistles were magnificent and majestic. I love the halo of stamen radiating from the central flower head. As my sister said, "A touch of the Angie Lewin's". We were a bit too early to catch a Bee Orchid but there was a lovely show of Common Spotted Orchids in a variety of shades and patterns.