Monday, 30 July 2012

Sitting Down Sports

It's all true - with Team GB's first medal going to Lizzie Armistead for cycling 'pretty well' in the Women's Road Race, our success at sitting down is affirmed. The Australians may have started the idea as a jibe, but in true British style we have embraced the slight and turned it into a positive.
Jonathan was so impressed by this idea, and always willing to stand up for his pride in Britishness, he has created a set of five wood engravings celebrating Sitting Down Sports. At our Artists at Home weekend in June cycling and rowing enthusiasts were the first to snap them up. They have now come to the attention of architect, shopkeeper and general stylemonger, Ben Pentreath who writes,
"I have just discovered my favourite thing of all about the Olympics. Not #SirDannyBoyle; not even the Queen and Bond; nor the fantastic cauldron designed by my friend Tom Heatherwick displaying his genius for seeing things differently once again. No, it’s the small set of wood engravings by Jonathan Mercer over at Starch Green, Sitting Down Sports. Pure genius."
Wow! Here at Starch Green we loved Danny Boyle's celebration of genuine Britishness and found Tom Heatherwick's cauldron, and the fact it was lit by seven athletes of the future, really beautiful. But you know, if you say so Ben...
The limited edition wood engravings can be bought separately or as a set of five at a special price of £180. They are printed by the artist on his delightful Albion press, on Zerkall mould made paper, signed and numbered.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Artists at Home 2012



Jonathan was very happy to take part in Artists at Home for the third year. It takes a bit of heavy lifting to sort out the downstairs and clean enough to make us presentable.
Although it is Jonathan who is 'the artist' it's a family affair to get through the weekend!
We were down to only two helpers this year - our lovely Tansy, who did stirling work all weekend and made huge amounts of (very popular) fairy cakes every morning, and the divine Polly - who made rare but exquisite appearances!

Launched, and freshly printed, for the weekend was Jonathan's new set of witty and apposite prints,  'Sitting Down Sports'. Depicting the sports that the British are known to do well at, and turning an antipodean jibe into a positive attribute, Jonathan has created a beautifully designed collection of images. Over the weekend the first purchasers of the prints were keen cyclists and rowers.
The equestrian print is perhaps my favourite with the exquisitely decorative mane.
I also love the elegance and dynamism of the 'Sailing Gold'.
Also for the first time at Artists at Home was the Bespoke Social Stationery. A really lovely idea for a special occasion gift - perhaps a wedding present, a house warming, wedding anniversary or a significant birthday.
Extraordinarily popular were our Jam Making Kits - which sold out on Saturday and the ever lovely Kindness Jug.
Jonathan spent most of the time in the shed, surrounded by absorbed fans listening to him wax lyrical on the delights of spitstickers, scorpers and bullstickers and inking up blocks on the press. Occasionally he emerged brandishing his collection of vintage Parker fountain pens to let people test the superb writing quality of the paper in our Bespoke Social Stationery - very silky.
Everything is now up on the website shop for sale - and we'll be having another open day on Sunday 2nd December for all those pre-Christmas purchases.