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Ever since we returned from NYC in June last year, Paul‘s been hard at work preparing for his show Tone, opening this Thursday at the newly re-dubbed Stevenson Gallery (previously Michael Stevenson).

I never use that word ‘humbling’, as I’m not really sure what people mean by it, but I kind of feel like using it when I describe my husband’s work and his work process, because it’s amazing to me that this normal bloke I live with has these vast capacities at his disposal that I don’t really understand at all. Whereas I find my a great deal of my motivation in all the encouragement I get from my blog, shops, and the general healthy state of my business, Paul is one of those rare humans who is able to simply work because that is what he does. It’s not about deadlines or expectations or financial reward, but just about the work. And the work is beautiful.

I never say ‘respect’ either, but I’m saying it now.

Pitch – linocut

For Tone, Paul’s been working with the idea of music elements and relationships, and this is what he says about it:

“From elements which are often non-narrative, mostly repetitive and largely abstract, we extract or assemble meaningful experience. In a series of pencil drawings, a linocut and two sculptures, using only line and its sculptural analogue, edge, I explore visual and metaphorical correspondents for music and sound, and their constituent parts.
Like music, the works reward and thwart expectations, as overlaid lines and stacked edges produce tone, timbre, volume and contrast. The works and their various elements evince attack and decay, echo and reverberation, harmony and dissonance.”

Working within this framework, he’s produced three series of intensely time-consuming and carefully-made pencil drawings, called Tone, Pitch and Field, as well as a large format linocut (above) and two sculptures. See all the work at the Stevenson website.

From the Tone series

From the Pitch series

 

From the Field series

Visit Paul Edmunds’ website to see more of his work, and the Stevenson website for more about this show.

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Via Friday’s post on Design*Sponge I discovered the work of illustrator Ping Zhu, and I swear, I pored over every drawing in her portfolio. I luff, luff, luff it all.

Inspired by some drawings on her blog that used photos from The Sartorialist blog, I pushed the keyboard aside and spent the rest of my Sunday hunched in front of the PC with my sketchbook, using the Sartorialist‘s amazing pics as reference. My efforts aren’t even in the same ballpark as Ping‘s drawings, but here you go anyway:

I think the next one was my most successful sketch, and so I turned it into a more finished illustration with the help of Photoshop:


While I’ve been putting together this retail space of mine, I’ve been trying to work out exactly how one goes about making a unified mood and feeling. It’s had me looking very hard at things, especially at rooms that I feel work well. I have to say that the more I attempt this, the more respect I have for decorators and stylists, who do this kind of thing all the time. It’s really, really difficult! Here are some of the images I’ve been collecting and sketches I’ve been making along the way:

Next week will be the big reveal, and you can tell me close I got to achieving what I wanted.

Happy weekend, everyone.

I really had imagination failure about those dog bowls, didn’t I ? (see previous post) A few failed experiments with fruit placement, and I just gave right up. But the dog bowls seemed to get my readers’ imaginations racing, evidenced by the wild DIY ideas in my comments section!

Now, realistically, I’m not going to get particularly craftypants with my dog bowls anytime soon, so probably won’t be showing off my inspired solutions here. But your ideas were so inventive and fun, I thought something had to happen with them, and so, I present:

 

Jesse‘s suggestion of using the biggest bowl for floating my ceramics transfers is, I’m afraid, the most inspired I’m able to get right now. But what a brilliant transfer floater bowl it makes. Thanks, Jesse! If you’d like a bowl for your transfers, I’ve got lots! Otherwise, I might take you up on your other suggestion and donate the extra dog bowls to my toddler neices, nephews and godkids 🙂

I feel like a different person after having taken (more or less) four days away from the email deluge to spend working on a very exciting design opportunity to which I simply haven’t had time to pay attention.

It amazes me how taking charge of a situation (no time to design) by changing the rules (stop answering emails) somehow carved out exactly the space I’ve been desperate to find. The change wasn’t big, but it had big effects. It’s been so long since I’ve just played around with design ideas, I was afraid I’d battle. But it was fantastic. I opened the floodgates and ideas poured out, and even spread sideways, with my blog and logo getting a bit of a shakeup too.

I suppose it’s all about changing the way you do things by cutting other things out. Kind of like I did on Friday while removing the vinyl around some stickers I’d had made. I stuck the negative space onto some of my fabrics, and suddenly, a whole new design appeared.

Must try to remember this lesson: cut things out and other things will appear.

At long last, my new tea towels are ready to roll, and  as I’ve been wanting to start a Supermarket Store for a while, I thought I’d launch the store and this new range of tea towels at the same time. So, here they are, all available in my Supermarket online shop.

This one is called Shadow Glass, available in smoke and in bottle green.

I came up with the design after visiting the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York, where there was an amazing exhibition of glassware curated by Ted Muhling. Photos were not allowed, so I sketched a lot, them made a paper cutout afterwards. Also, I took photos of the shadows cast by Roman glass at the Metropolitan (see below), and both these ideas came together in Shadow Glass.

When Everyone Came to Tea is available in wedgewood grey and china blue.

I’d been dying to do a cutout of tea cups for ages, and had lots of fun doing this on one of my Making Fridays (see cutout below). It took me a while to work out exactly how to put the cutouts together as a design, but I had a brainwave when looking at all our teacups and mugs were piled high after Paul’s birthday tea.

My Leaves design is available in autumn gold and winter grey.

Leaves is such an old cutout of mine – I did it for an exhibition in 2006 (see below) – but I was glad to use it again, as I always liked it.

Visit my Supermarket shop to see more pics of all my new tea towels, as well as a couple of old favourites too.

And don’t worry, my Etsy shop still exists, and I’ll be selling yardage and limited runs of things from there.

I share a studio with two painters, and have to pass through Medina’s space all the time. It may be that her space is so much clearer and plainer than mine, and it may be that her abstract paintings influence the way I look, but I always feel my eyes find so much to see in there. On Friday it was a drop cloth that she left to dry on a chair. So beautiful, and I couldn’t help framing bits of it with my camera.

When I picked up my freshly fixed watch from the watch shop on Friday, I had my camera with me, and they let me behind the glass counter so that I could photograph all the hundreds and hundreds of little drawers and boxes where everything is perfectly categorised. Well, almost everything is perfectly categorised: it took them a while to find my watch.

We watched a DVD of Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus on Monday night. It’s a kind of documentary of a mood, following Jim White through the juke joints, prisons, trailer parks, coal mines and pentecostal churches of the Southern USA in a junked up car with a wooden Jesus in the boot, listening to the music and stories he finds. I enjoyed the music, but most of all, I loved the cinematography (by Andrew Douglas).

Every shot has a kind of greenish, silver light – the kind of iced light that makes you feel Autumn has just arrived – and is composed and considered in a way I just can’t fathom. How does a photographer transform a junkyard, a grimy hotel curtain, the view through a car window, the legs of a trailer park mom and daughter, in a way that doesn’t alter them, but just gets their essence? The things are not beautiful, but the way they’re shown is.

Since watching this movie, I find myself “composing” as I look at things around me. The spaces between things seem to be particularly important.

See more of Andrew Douglas’ photography at his website, where there are loads of stills from the movie in the South section.

At the studio on Friday, I brought in a piece of fabric from Lula Fabrics (find it here) and Medina brought in a book cover. We teamed it all with one of my mugs, and suddenly felt we were starting a trend.

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