Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tinsmiths - we don't do useless

On our way to Hay-on-Wye last Friday we stopped off in Ledbury to visit the marvellous Tinsmiths.
Tinsmiths is a shop that is a gorgeous melange of fabrics, housewares and artists prints with a slight smattering of stationery.
As they say, "we try to stock beautiful and timeless things and we are very keen on things that function well; we don't do useless."
We had a lovely chat with proprietor Phoebe Clive, and as we mutually admired the St Judes prints around the walls, she mentioned how great it was to work with Angie and Simon Lewin as they are such lovely people. 
We agreed that business with lovely people is soooo much better!
We also spotted merchandise from the lovely Merchant & Mills by two more friends of ours, Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field (who we then bumped into in Hay on Sunday).
Tinsmiths showroom, built in  a little space between the higgledy piggledy buildings of Ledbury, is a masterpiece of inventive creativity by Alex Clive. It is both quirky and homely, whilst also being modern and fresh - a shed-full of contradiction.
The interior is a stage set of modern British living, a bit like one of the room sets from the Geffrye Museum - inviting, precious and delightful.
Tinsmiths enjoys championing the work of illustrators such as Kate Farley, who has an exhibition coming up next Summer, and printmakers such as James Brown. One of my favourite new illustrator-artists at the moment is Alice Pattullo. Besides her work on the walls of Tinsmiths, she has done some lovely work for Cecil Sharp House in Camden. I notice from Tinsmiths Facebook page that they have just received some new work by Alice inspired by the tradition of the Harvest of the Sea festival linked with London's Billingsgate fish Market.
From Ledbury it was less than an hour's drive to Hay-on-Wye through some lovely lush green countryside, hedgerows dappled with May blossom and cow parsley, the sky rather leaden with 'soft, refreshing rain."