An Interview with Jo Angell

Jo Angell is preparing for her upcoming show: ‘Awash’ here at Of Cabbages & Kings. Featuring new works from a recent series of prints and paintings; abstract pieces, reflecting the interplay of land meeting water. The inspiration has come from landscapes as diverse as the harbours of Iceland to a riverside Essex village. Her images break the world down into bold graphic shapes, and the melding of texture and colour often reflects the interaction between industrial materials and nature.We’ve asked her a few questions and she talks us through her inspiration and processes.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
All of them in combination! It really depends what I’m working on. With my digital prints I often create shapes, textures and line elements with paintbrush and pens using black ink. I then scan these into my computer and start to work in a digitally creative way, to add colour and layering. With my paintings I use acrylic paint on canvas or plywood. I’m experimenting a lot with paint at the moment, with different brush sizes, substrates and acrylic mediums.


How long have you been printing and painting for?
Following a long career as a graphic designer, I did an MA in Textile Futures at Central St Martins in 2006-2008. It was during this course that I got back into screen printing (actually for wallpaper designs) and become involved with the digital revolution for print on textiles. This progressed into creating all sorts of surface pattern products. One of these was a collection of greetings cards which Tate Modern bought for their shop. I started to think of these as graphic prints as they were popular. This got me hooked into making archival quality digital prints. I also won the opportunity to create some work in a new gallery and further experimented with a set of prints for this. I’ve always painted, but in the past few years I have more felt the desire to experiment with paint and create one off pieces. Acrylic paint has suited me as I love how quickly it dries, and how rapidly I can create layers and textures.

How do you start building up an image?
With some of my paintings I have become interested in a less structured process. This might involve sketching on the canvas and painting a first rough layer. Then I like to allow myself to be more free and respond with the colours and space in any way which takes my mood at that moment. I find this interesting as sometimes this fails, and sometimes something unexpected and fresh emerges.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Travelling and finding new places always inspires me. I take a lot of photos and having just looked at them, there’s a strong theme that I’m always drawn to remnants of bygone eras or worn remnants of industrial bits and pieces. The textures on worn metals, woods and rope. In the past few years, I have been lucky enough to spend time painting in an Essex riverside village called Wivenhoe where boat shapes, rusted chains, buoys and worn wood gives me inspiration aplenty! I’m really inspired by the post war artists who went to St Ives in Cornwall such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon who sought to create abstract work about the feelings of immersion in a place rather than be representational, using different materials.

Do you find having a background in Graphic Design influences your work?
To me, design and my art are linked. It’s all about balance of form, space and colour. I heard a quote from the artist Ben Nicholson recently which really resonated ‘Abstraction should be a vision of order like good design.’

Your work has a very distinctive set off repeating forms. Do you find yourself drawn to certain shapes and colours to explore a theme?
Definitely! I think most people doodle the same thing when they doodle. Mine tend to feature curves, reflections and rotations of these shapes which could be related to my textile design and pattern making background.

What’s your favourite takeaway?
Is this a foodie question?!
If it is, I love Thai vegetarian curry from Tootoomoo!

To see more of Jo’s work check out Jo Angell’s page on the OC&K site.

Advertisements

Introducing Studio Nilli

Studio Nilli is the brainchild of industrial designer Huw Williams. Based in North London he produces 3D printed plant pots from bioplastic, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastics.

Huw Williams creator of Studio Nilli

These little pots are stylishly designed and celebrate the ribbed texture created by 3D printing. With a nod to Scandinavian design, they are minimal, light and elegant. We stock three colours of the Studio Nilli pots, White, Dark Grey and Teal.  With five different sizes to choose from, there is sure to be one to fit any corner of your home.

The Medium Geometric Planter and the Tag Legged Planter

We have asked him a few questions about his process and inspiration as well as looking at the pots in closer detail.

Huw William’s 3D printer in action, producing a Studio Nilli pot

How did you get into 3D printing?
I’ve always been interested in 3D printing a tool for designers to prototype and test their concepts, but I didnt get the chance to experiment much with one whilst I studied Industrial Design and Technology at Brunel Uni. I bought a cheap kit printer from China to learn more about it back in 2016, and through testing the boundaries of my machine and experimenting with different printing techniques I started printing pots for my plant collection (which was fairly out of control back then).

How does your design process start? Through drawing or digital?
The design process is pretty fluid for me, but I do like to start with sketching as the main medium. I have several sketch books, but mostly I draw with whatever is available when something triggers an idea. Once I have an idea sketched out, I’ll make a card model or jump onto the computer and start drawing on Illustrator, or onto a 3D design package.

What inspires the shape of your designs?
The original origami pot shape I started Nilli with was a natural progression from some origami textures I modelled for a project at Uni. After graduating I experimented with casting cement into single use card moulds, even did some slip-casting moulds for ceramic pots, before deciding it would be a great form for the pots I 3D print now. The leggy pots come from a love of mid-century modern design and Scandinavian influences. I think the main thing that excites and influences me is how to use the materials and process of 3D printing in a unique and novel way, contrasting with other materials and textures, using the process to produce forms that would not be possible with other forms of manufacture.

Tell us about the bioplastic you use?
So the plastic I use is a common 3D printing material – PLA or Polylactic Acid. It is a bioplastic, which means that it is produced from organic materials like sugarcane or cornstarch. This is fermented to produce lactic acid (the same stuff that gives us cramp after too much rigorous exercise), which is then polymerised – lots of lactic acids chained together – to make polylactic acid. The main benefits of using this plastic is that it is a renewable source of material, does not use petrochemical fuels as a base so is non-toxic, so when printing it doesn’t release any harmful gases – it actually smells like sugar when printing. It will also biodegrade faster than normal plastics, over around 500 years it will break down naturally, or it can be industrially composted and it will return back to its base organic compounds in a few days. I also recycle waste that I produce into jewellery, coasters and hopefully larger items soon. It’s a minimal amount, because 3D printing is an additive process and there is not much waste involved, but I think its important to use as much as possible!

Lets take a closer look at the pots:

The Large Geometric Planter

The Small, Medium and Large Geometric Planter’s have a strong graphic shape, almost origami like. These pots sit flat on a surface, with a cork base to stop scratches. They are not only plant pots, perfect for those succulents and cacti! Use them for anything from storing pens and pencils on your desk, to a tidy for make up brushes or accessories.

The Short White Legged Planter and the Tall Dark Grey Legged Planter

The Tall and Short Legged Panters are the curvaceous cousins of the Geometric Pots. Clean and modern shaping, with a distinctly mid-century modern feel.  These pots sit proudly on two sizes of beeswax finished wooden legs. The plump curves, satisfyingly hugging the legs, create a pleasing synergy between the two materials. The White Planters have beech legs and the Dark Grey have walnut, giving a complimentary natural feel.

Find more Studio Nilli planters at ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk

Shop for more Studio Nilli Planters online at ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk

 

 

An Interview with Underway Studio

Ahead of their upcoming show: Printed Spaces: East London Edition at Of Cabbages and Kings (12 April – 5 June 2019 and kicking off with a Private View – 7pm – 9pm, 11 April 2019) we have asked them a few questions.

Underway Studio is a collective of four artists based in Brixton, London. They work collaboratively on screen printed works, with a strong graphic feel that often has an architectural theme. With ‘Printed Spaces: East London Edition’ they explore the architecture of London’s cultural spaces, featuring new prints with an East London focus.

Underway’s, Melissa North, Caitlin Parks, Anna Schmidt and Aiden Barefoot.
There are currently four members of Underway Studio, how did you meet?
We all studied on the same Illustration and Visual Communication degree, but across several years. After graduation, we set up our own studio space to continue working in screen print and it has evolved from there. Initially the studio was a space to pursue our individual practices, but we started to collaborate on a few prints and soon developed a strong collective voice. After having a few different homes across London, we are now based in Brixton where we produce our own work and teach workshops.

 

How do you work on an idea collectively?
For the past 6 months our work has predominately been focused on the architecture of London’s cultural spaces. We wanted to start this portfolio as both a celebration of the rich culture we have in this city and to showcase the architecture of these spaces, much of which has been re-purposed and developed over the years. When we start developing prints we take a lot of photos and collage these together to see which subjects have the most interesting aesthetic, passing designs between one another until they are ready to be taken into screen print.
What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital, print?
Screen printing and collage. We love the way that you can play with scale and overlaying different colours and textures to create a completely unique result.

 

Tell us about the production side of things and how you produce work as a collective.
We physically share the files and material of what we are working on together. Print designs are passed between the collective until they are finalised and ready to screen printed. As a result, the artworks have an impression from each member creating a unique aesthetic. 
National Theatre by Underway Studio
Where do your influences come from for your subject matter?
Much of our work is influenced by architecture, form, texture and colour. Using a physical print process means that our visual language is both playful and distinctive, embracing any happy accidents along the way.
You have a very distinctive, bold use of colour. Is the colour influenced by the subject matter or come from somewhere else?
Colour lends itself extremely well to screen print.  Overlaying layers and textures creates interesting results that inspire and drive our work. We experiment in the studio doing test prints and playing with different colour combinations and this often leads us to our final palette.

 

What are your favourite takeaways?
We are all massive foodies and will eat anything from pizza to ramen. Honest Burger in Brixton is a particular favourite of ours, but you can’t beat South London staple Morleys to get us through the long printing hours!

 

To see more work by Underway Studio take a look at our website here. If you do get a chance come by the shop and check out the show.

How to make Paper Pots using the Paper Pot Press

This ingenious little Paper Pot Press from Creamore Mill is the perfect way to introduce a sustainable way of gardening when planting out seeds and saplings.

These Paper Pot Presses are made in the UK from oiled sustainable beech. They are the perfect environmentally friendly way to make paper pots for seedlings from just newspaper. While also recycling it helps reduce plastic waste by using biodegradable materials. The press makes pots approximately 5cm x 5cm x 5cm, perfect for starting off seeds.

Follow this simple guide in how to use the Paper Pot Press and you will see how easy it is to make a change from plastic to paper pots in your garden.

1. You will see the Paper Pot Press comes in two parts a cylinder form for shaping the pots and a round base which helps seal the paper pots underneath.

2. To start you will need strips of newspaper 16cm wide and approximately 40cm long.

3. Fold your strips of newspaper in half along their length.

4. Roll this strip around the cylindrical part of the press with the folded edge at the top. The newspaper will overhang the bottom of the press.

5. Roll until the entire length of the paper is rolled around the press.

6. While holding the rolled paper around the press scrunch the overhanging paper at the bottom and tuck it inwards under the press.

7. Now take the press and place it over the base.

8. Push down firmly into the base and twist to crimp the paper pot base.

9. Now slide the paper pot of the press.

10. You should now have a perfectly formed little paper pot. It’s now ready to fill with your growing medium and plant with seeds. Once the sapling has established there is no need to remove it from the pot. The paper pots can be planted straight into the ground. This way minimises damage to the roots and your pots will biodegrade naturally into the soil.

Introducing myBearHands

It’s always exciting news when we get new products and when we met Sally Haysom from myBearHands, we knew her jewellery would fit right in. With a strong ethical stance and great eye for design myBearHands will become a firm favourite.

mybearhands1

For seven years Sally has been making jewellery in her Bristol studio. With a background in illustration and a passion for playing around with new materials and techniques, she aims to make jewellery that is contemporary and wearable with an element of fun.

solder4
Soldering elements for the Geometric Shapes range 
1.SHAPES-NECKLACE-01-My-Bear-Hands-of-cabbages-and-kings
The finished Geometric Shapes Necklace

We are very pleased to be stocking myBearHands not only because it’s so gorgeous, but because of their strong ethical values. It’s something that we are very conscious of here at Of Cabbages and Kings. What’s better is they have a maker’s eco-pledge!

“As a maker, I want my jewellery to be beautifully designed and well made.  But I don’t want this to be at the expense of the earth or people who live in it.  Jewellery is a luxury item, and there is really no justification for damaging natural environments or exploiting workers in it’s creation.” Sally – myBearHands

As myBearHands develops Sally has implemented, and hopes to develop further, the ecological footprint of the company.  By trialing things like Bio-Resin: a resin made from sunflower seed, and soya bean proteins. This is a more ecological resin, though not 100% plant based yet, research is going in to improve this field and every step towards Bio-Resin helps.

She is also beginning to replace the silver with recycled silver. To avoid the environmental impact of mining for new silver, recycled or eco-silver is reclaimed from the jewellery and electrical industry, and melted down to be reused. It is exactly the same quality as regular silver, but better for the environment.

Even the boxes used to package myBearHands jewellery are made from recycled and sustainable board.

e066e1_420fd2cd1b7648cf9873d67f9939f9bd~mv2

Take a look at myBearHands on our website. We are currently stocking jewellery form two of their ranges. The Shapes range, a brass and resin series, with bold colour and striking design and the Line Dot range, a brass and silver collection of elegant and minimal pieces.

e066e1_cebe16c6ca12465a975709a805609d05~mv2

 

An Interview with Sarah Beaton

Ahead of her upcoming show IN + OUT at Of Cabbages and Kings, Sarah Beaton talks through the processes that go into creating her bold expressive brush strokes.

1-2
Sarah Beaton’s Studio in Shoreditch

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

I love the bleeding of water and paint – watercolour is probably my favourite.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?

I have enjoyed painting and drawing from a very young age. My dad was an art teacher so art was always a celebrated skill to explore in my family.

1
Brush stroke experiments with watercolour

Your pictures evoke landscapes. Do you start with that in mind or do you let the brushstrokes inspire you?

I am inspired by nature and find it to be my escape from the busy London life. I don’t usually have a particular image in mind. I enjoy being spontaneous and seeing what develops from the brushstrokes.

1.To_the_Edge_and_Back_-_sarah_beaton_-_of_cabbages_and_kings__25108.1533653706.1200.1200
To The Edge And Back by Sarah Beaton

Where did the idea for including the figures come from?

I was working in my studio listening to the Damian Rice album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy. On the album cover, there is a series of figures on a large wall with a ladder. I loved the illustrative nature of it and decided to try and make my own little images.

35179290_607521426286033_965236828250570752_n
A selection of brushes used to create various marks in Sarah’s work

You use a deep dark blue in your work, what drew you to that colour?

I love water and blue, for me, is the most calming of colours. It can be intense but also very tranquil. I enjoy the extremes of it.

2

You are also a theatre designer, do the two influence each other?

I feel they cross fertilise. Designing for theatre is all about telling stories through a visual narrative. I work in scale all the time and I feel this feeds into my watercolours: finding stories and compositions within an abstract image.

30855164_186884341939105_2429028207475818496_n
Each print is professionally scanned and printed onto Hahnemuhle German Etching 310 gsm

What is your favourite takeaway?

I love Thai food. So anything vegan and Thai is a winner.

You can see more of  Sarah’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Tuesday 14th August from 7-9pm to meet her in person, view the work up on the walls and enjoy a glass.

1.On_the_Crest_of_a_Wave_-_sarah_beaton_-_of_cabbages_and_kings__54159.1533654434.1200.1200
On The Crest of A Wave – Sarah Beaton

Collaboration with Reverie Studio

As many of you know, the name of our shop is taken from the Walrus And The Carpenter in Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking-Glass – And What Alice Found There.

When Reverie Studio approached us about doing a card collaboration we though that this could be an interesting idea to play with and what’s more we could tie the product launch in with our 10th Anniversary Party. We started thinking about what other children’s literary quotes there were and in particular, which would make great gift and birthday cards.

Having narrowed the list down to four quotes from two of our favourite children’s stories, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, Reverie Studio then kindly set about printing them up.

The cards are available in orange and pale grey and either singly or in packs of 8. As with all of Reverie Studio’s products they are recycled, recyclable and biodegradable. Some of the papers Reverie use are even recycled from coffee cups! Letterpress, one of the oldest forms of printing and still going strong today, is a method of relief printing. The text or image is etched onto a polymer plate, which is then inked and applied under pressure on a printing press to a piece of paper to transfer the ink. This often creates an embossed effect around the printed area and a truly handmade finish.

The cards are available now in the shop individually or in a pack of 8. The packs of 8 are also available online. Here are the quotes we chose. We hope you like them!

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“You’re mad, bonkers and completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret….. all the best people are.”

“Where should I go? Alice. “That depends on where you want to end up” The Cheshire Cat

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first?”

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

Of Cabbages & Kings Turns 10!

Founded in 2008, Of Cabbages & Kings is delighted to be celebrating its 10th anniversary this May.

Owner Jessica Widdows fills us in on the story so far …

Blopost
Photograph by Leah Band

Perhaps I always wanted to run a shop? As children, one of our favourite games was ‘villages’, whereby various make-shift camps were erected around the garden selling sticks, leaves and mud-pies under the banners of ‘Post Office’, ‘bakery’ and ‘café’. Later, I remember my mother returning from a trip to Bali with an antique puppet and thinking; what an amazing job – to travel the world collecting weird and wonderful objects and to sell those in a shop. I went on my travels. I didn’t set up a shop. Not for a while at least!

Art college took me to Bristol for 6 years. We made friends, we put on some shows, we talked a lot, we drank a lot, we worked hard and we had a good time. In 2006, after a year in Suffolk caring for my mother, I moved to London. Life had been on hold. It was all change. No plan. I took a job in a book shop and then tried banging on the doors of the publishing industry, but those doors remained firmly closed. It was at this moment I decided to go solo.

My principal strategy was ‘the more people I tell about this project, the less able I’m going to be to back down’. I scoured North and East London for a suitable premises. I had no money, but this didn’t seem to matter. Eventually I came across the little space on Kersley Road in Stoke Newington (just off Church Street). I rang the number in the window, persuaded my godmother to give me a cash advance and the bank manager that I had a viable business idea. To this day, I’m not sure anyone truly believed it was, but I was determined, and still am, to prove us all wrong!

The aim of the shop was to provide a ‘bricks and mortar’ selling space for emerging designers and makers. I knew a lot of creative people making interesting and beautiful things, but their outlets seemed limited. I picked a name – probably the hardest decision. After re-reading both the Alice books I settled on a quote from The Walrus and The Carpenter:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax—

Of cabbages and kings

I filled the space with some brightly painted 1950s kitchen cabinets on loan from a friend and set about gathering stock from all the local designers and makers I could find. We stayed at Kersley Road for over 4 years, at the same time hosting regular Market Days at Abney Hall. The markets were the perfect way to meet makers and source products, and this sense of community carries through to the shop today. We still have brands that have been with us since day dot: Mister Peebles for example, or Tom Pigeon (formerly Lovely Pigeon) who I’ve carried for years and who seem to evolve and reinvent themselves just as the shop does.

While the little space on Kersley road was perfect for finding my feet, I soon ran out of room. My toilet doubled as a store cupboard and over-stock was wedged in every available cranny. Not only did we need more space, but also a better and more attractive location. Things had to change.

In October 2012, Of Cabbages and Kings took up residence at 127 Stoke Newington High Street with new housemate Knit with attitude. Following a fruitful evening down the pub with owner Maya Bang, we came up with the inspired idea of ‘moving in together’. Art and yarn? Why not? Like me she was in a tiny spot off the main drag and looking to expand.

The challenge was to make these two shops sit seamlessly side-by-side. We adopted an aesthetic that suited us both. On one side of the room a wall of wool; boxes filled with brightly coloured balls of yarn stacked one upon the other. Mirroring this my wall of products, pictures and prints. Of Cabbages and Kings has always been colourful, but we got bolder and brighter.

One of the biggest advantages of moving into 127 was the new big white wall with a gloriously high ceiling: the perfect gallery wall! Over the past 5 years we’ve held numerous exhibitions with a whole bunch of talented artists from Hackney and beyond. Those years at art school did come in handy after all!

Whole

The community aspect of running this business is still the bit that matters to me and that I enjoy the most; feeling part of something much bigger than myself: the local community, the creative community, the shop team, etc. And it’s through working with local charities, hosting workshops, exhibitions and knit nights that we feel connected. The last 10 years have certainly been a challenge. There have been some incredible highs and terrible lows in this process, but the sense of achievement when it finally comes together makes it all worthwhile.

Yet again it’s all change! Well perhaps not all change. Our little shop has taken quite a beating from all this activity, and so to celebrate Of Cabbages and Kings’ 10th anniversary we’ve decided to have a bit of a spruce up. Then, on Friday 25th May we will be hosting an official 10th Anniversary Party, to which you are all officially invited. Please come and join us for drinks and nibbles and a goose at the new refurb from 4pm – 8pm at 127 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH.

Thank you so much for all your support – we couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 

 

Rachel Cox Studio Visit by George Cullen

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-24-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k

I visit ceramicist Rachel Cox in her studio in South West London and talk to her about her inspiration and process. She shows me the step by step methods used in creating her range of Tinto Ceramics. A surprising number of stages go into creating this collection and I’ve gained a new respect for these simple and elegant pieces and Rachel’s craft skills.

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-01-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kRachel’s ceramics start with a coloured slip, which is a liquid clay mixture of porcelain, pigment and water.

What inspired you to become a ceramicist? 

As part of my BA degree in the Applied Arts I undertook the Erasmus exchange programme at the University of Pecs in Hungary, where I studied ceramics solely for six months. During this period I was given a lot of free time to really explore the material and its potentials, I was researching surface pattern and texture at the time and thoroughly enjoyed developing my ideas through the medium of clay. When I returned to my degree in the UK there was no going back, that was thirteen years ago now. Clay is such a malleable and changeable material it can portray almost infinite qualities. It is also an incredibly challenging material to use, which will not allow you to force your will upon it, you must rather understand its chemistry and behaviour in order to control it. For this reason it is a fascinating material to work with and requires a life long commitment in order to fully gain its command.  

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-11-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kTo form the initial shape of the piece a plaster mould is used.

The mould can be separated into two pieces. The coloured slip is poured into the bottom part of mould and allowed to sit for a short time. The slip that is touching the plaster walls of the mould starts to dry and forms a skin on the inside. The excess slip is poured away, leaving a thin coating of coloured slip on the inside of the mould. Just like making a chocolate easter egg! The rough edges are then trimmed down and neatened off. 

Tell us a little about the process of creating your ceramic objects?

My designs always start as initial sketches on paper and later move into design software where they can be visualised three dimensionally. There are seven items in my collection, which I have developed over four years; I often design pieces together such as the carafe and cup set. When the designs are complete I make paper models in order to explore their scale and proportions physically. Most changes are made in the paper model stage as at this point I am interacting with the design and considering its functional and ergonomic qualities. This initial stage involves going back and forth between sketches on paper, computer designs and models. Later I will turn the final design out of plaster using chisels and specialised tools on a lathe, from this plaster 3D model I will make a two part plaster mould. The pastel colours are poured as liquid clay inside the plaster mould and are integral to the finished piece. Colour is also initially explored in my sketchbook through watercolour paints and is later developed in multiple series of ceramic colour tests, which involves mixing a spectrum of pigments in different percentages. The exterior surface of my pieces are very smooth and tactile, which involves multiple stages of sanding and finishing and are finally glazed on the inside with a shiny transparent glaze. 

The top part of the mould is then stacked and fastened with a band. This builds up the mould allowing the next layer of the plain porcelain slip to be added on top of the coloured one. As in the coloured slip process, the slip is poured in and allowed to sit for a time, it is then poured out of the mould. This leaves you with a complete, perfectly white porcelain layer, covering the coloured part on the inside. 

The pieces are then neatened up and any spilled slip is trimmed off leaving a neater edge.

Whats your favourite part of the process?

The favourite part of my process is right at the beginning during the initial conceptual design and colour development phase, this process can take months and is a creative and exciting period. 

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-12-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kOnce out of the mould they are left to dry completely. Stacked on their rims to hold their shape. If handles are needed they are added once they are dry.

Handles are also made in a mould. They are applied to the mugs by first trimming the excess clay, then placing the handle against the mug and marking where it sits. These marks are then scratched to rough up the surface. Then like glue a mixture of water and slip is applied to the handle and mug. The handle is then pressed against the mug until it holds. 

The colour and form of your ceramics are very distinct, what were the inspirations for these?

The collection began while I was living in Barcelona and the shapes are influenced by the dining ware that I used on a daily basis such el vaso and la jarra on which I based the design of my contemporary cup and carafe set. The six complementary pastel shades of the collection emerged from colour surveys of my surrounding environment during that period and resulted in hundreds of ceramic colour tests being carried out to conclude the final six in the collection.

When the pieces are dry they can be hand finished. Out of the mould the rims and edges can be a little sharp and wouldn’t be pleasant to drink from. They are tidied up in a process called fettling. A wet sponge is used to work the rim into a more pleasing shape. This method of hand finishing ensures more control over the object. To make sure the piece is level it is rubbed rim side down, over a very even surface, covered in a damp cloth. Like sanding, this ensures the rim is level on all sides. A final finishing with a very fine sponge to make sure its even and to smooth out any join that might have appeared from the mould and any joins with the handle. 

How did the ‘Tinto’ collection get its name?

The name Tinto is a Spanish word, which originates from the Latin ‘tinctus’, meaning dyed, stained or tinted.

The next stage for the pieces are to be bisque fired. This is its first time in the kiln and its a process that hardens the clay so that it can be worked further. It also allows it to be glazed ready for its final firing. After they have been bisque fired they are all sanded down with different grades of sandpaper becoming finer and finer. This gives the pieces their characteristic finish and texture.  

Your mugs and cups sit very well in the hand. Does the way people interact with your pieces influence the design?

The design process heavily involves the functional considerations of the piece, such as how the piece feels to hold, its weight and material surface, how it sits in the hand and feels on the lips etc. The forms are designed with a consideration for balance and harmony, using glazed and unglazed ceramic surfaces I aim to produce items that are tactile and engage the user.

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-22-ofcabbagesankings-oc&kThe final stage is to add a transparent glaze to the inside. Then they have their final firing in the kiln and the finished result is revealed. This picture shows you a mug before the fettling stage on the left and one finished from the kiln on the right . As the moisture is driving out through the firings the piece shrinks to give you the final sized object.  

Your mugs are great for the perfect cuppa! Whats your favourite brew? 

It has to be a strong Earl Grey with a dash of milk.

 

1.RACHEL-COX-Blog-19-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k

Georgia Bosson Studio Visit by George Cullen

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-02-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k

Georgia Bosson, a screen printer and textile artist based in South London shows me around her studio and talks about her inspiration and practice.  Her screen printed trays and patterned notebooks, as well as collaborative prints with Cecily Vessey are now available in Of Cabbages and Kings.

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-01-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k
Ideas and experiments are pinned up behind her desk.

How long has the Georgia Bosson Studio been running?

I started the studio in 2013 after being offered a place to trade at Crafty Fox Market with my first batch of products, mostly cushions and a rainbow of hand screen printed tea towels. Since then I have taken on a huge variety of projects from developing my own line of products, to designing an outdoor canopy for a gallery and everything else in between! I am currently working on some new ideas after a trip to Mexico last October and I have just a launched a website for Makers House, a show that I curate and which I have big plans for in the coming months!

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-04-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k
Georgia’s process starts with sketchbook drawings that are then converted into vector graphics and applied to film.

How did you become interested in pattern and screen printing?

I first screen printed whilst studying for my A-levels and always returned to it as a means of laying down colour and texture over a large surface before adding more intricate details during my Embroidery degree. I love the immediacy of the process and I really enjoy that there is a certain level of restriction within the design process especially when I am working through ideas with paper stencils.

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-05-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k
A stencil is applied to the screen and then the ink is pushed though.

You seem to be keen on the hands on process of making, how does that affect your practice?

More often than not I design through making, I’ll usually have a series of drawings in my sketchbook that I then convert into hand cut paper stencils to be screen printed. I then continue to develop these ideas often bouncing around between a variety of imagery and generating lots of samples before settling on a few key ideas that are really working. This allows me to be less constrained and enables happy accidents such as inadvertently overlapped colours to occur, which often end up in final designs! My screen printed work always feels like it has more energy than the digital work and I love the idea that almost everything I make is unique in some way.

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-07-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k
A screen printed tray base.

We have recently started stocking your trays and notebooks, where did the inspiration come from for the design and patterns on those?

The notebooks were inspired by the remnants from industrially die cut felt that I have been working with since starting my business. It is a weird and wonderful material that is the waste product from when felt washers are cut out, the aim was to capture the shapes created when the patterns are overlaid. All of the books were riso printed and bound in London and are a limited edition of fifty. The tray pattern designs came from a series of drawings exploring the textures and patterns on a typical British beach, and the trays themselves were inspired by the sea defences in the sea side town where I have spent every summer since I was one!

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-06-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k
Georgia mixes her own colours at the studio and applies them to fabric. This way she can adjust and tweak the shades for her desired look.

You have an interesting colour palette that runs through your work, are there certain colours you are drawn to?

I love colour in any form, one of the best bits about screen printing is taking the time to mix colours, I have hundreds of scraps of fabric that are covered in colour swatches from past projects – they are one of the best archives of my process and I can never bear to throw them away. At the moment I am working on a new colour pallet based on a trip to Mexico, so currently there are lots of pinks and oranges on the print table spiked with soft teals and greens.

I am always drawn to an acid/mustard yellow and you can’t go wrong with a beautiful slate grey. When settling on the colours for a design I always think about the use of the final object and where it sits in the home, I felt I was able to be much bolder with my trays as they won’t necessarily be on display at all times and will usually have something on them!

1-greenwhich-01-georgia-bosson-cecily-vessey-ofcabbagesankings-ock__38832-1519666257-1200-1200
Greenwich- From The Wolfe Statue by Georgia Bosson and Cecily Vessey

We also stock your collaborative prints the ‘Landmark Locations’ series, a collaboration with Cecily Vessey. How did the idea for these come about?

Cecily was my mentor for my first market and since meeting we have worked on various pop up events and projects together including a live collaborative mural of the View from Peckham, which was done over a weekend at Crafty Fox Market. After the success of the Peckham mural and print we decided to look at expanding our collaboration and ended up working on twelve prints that we funded on Kickstarter. Whilst there are no plans for any more collaborative prints we are currently working towards a 100 mile bike ride together so I am sure some fresh ideas will crop up during the many training hours!

Your trays will be perfect for for serving drinks at summer parties! Whats your favourite cocktail?

In the summer an Aperol Spritz – very specifically served in a big glass preferably somewhere hot and sunny. And in the winter you can’t beat an Old Fashioned!

1.GEORGIA-BOSSON-Blog-03-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k