OC&K Curates – Love

Love is in the air and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner we are using this edition of ‘OC&K Curates’ to bring you some of our most romantic gift ideas. Don’t forget to be prepared for February 14th, the perfect gift could be right here. Like a print reminding you of happy times, a book to inspire new adventures or a workshop to create new memories.

It was believed that the heart was the the centre of our strongest emotions, including love. The heart became the symbol of love and we see it everywhere the closer we get to Valentines Day. ♥️ That classic heart symbol is a bit overused don’t you think? Get back to the science of it with this Human Heart print by John Devolle. A characterful giclée with the feel of vintage text book illustrations.

Human Heart print by John Devolle – £60

 

Show someone they mean the world to you with one of Roderick Vere’s Planetary Collection rings. This collection takes its inspiration from our solar system. Like this Earth Ring which is crafted by hand in solid sterling silver and finished with a satin sheen. A beautiful and stunning, fully-hallmarked piece of jewellery.

Earth Ring by Roderick Vere – £95

Did you know that Roderick Vere also hosts silver ring making workshops here at Of Cabbages and Kings? A perfect romantic gift, and one that doesn’t only result in you ending the day with your own silver ring, but also the memory of the creating it.

Workshops at Of Cabbages and Kings 

 

Where did you go on your first date? If it was in East London there is a chance that Marc Gooderham may have painted or drawn it. With great attention to detail Marc has a talent for capturing the life of a place and his prints are an evocative reminder of London’s gems. We have a variety of his prints of some of East London’s most iconic establishments, like this one of Wiltons Music Hall. A place that also won Best Historic Wedding Venue 2019 at the UK Wedding Awards. Check out his others here.

The Music Maker by Marc Gooderham – £165

 

Nothing beats a cosy evening in with a loved one. Set the mood with a scented candle. The Oakwood + Tobacco Soy Wax Candle from Hobo + Co is warming blend of smoky oakwood and musky tobacco, a great scent for creating a relaxed atmosphere. Plus soy wax is a much healthier alternative to paraffin wax, it burns cleaner and holds the fragrance better.

Oakwood + Tobacco soy wax candle from Hobo + Co – £22

 

Maybe you’re looking for a gift that might spark a next adventure. Like some of the couples in this book: London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater. Mike takes an intimate view of London’s iconic travel network. Documenting the loves, friendships and the day to day lives of the people that use it.

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater from Hoxton Mini Press – £16.95

 

Does a joint hobby connect you with your loved one? Coupling (A Good Book) – Edition A is from Tom Berry’s Daily Rites series. What’s more romantic than reading to each other? This bold yellow and blue pair sit embraced and entranced by their novels, a great reminder of a passion you share with someone close.

Coupling (A Good Book) – Edition A by Tom Berry – £75

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

Cyanotypes – Becoming Invisible by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype print of a coat. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Ahead of our upcoming exhibition with Liz Loveless of Factory Press we take a look at cyanotypes. In this show Liz presents us with a selection of artwork involving the cyanotype process. But what is a cyanotype and how are they created?

Dandelion and Grass cyanotypes by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype is a photographic process involving chemicals on paper or fabric that produces cyan blue prints. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a way of reproducing drawings and diagrams such as architectural blueprints. Cyanotypes are a type of contact print which means the actual image being reproduced is placed directly over the paper. This opens it up to a whole host of creative possibilities, not just reproducing drawings, but using 3D objects. Liz uses this to great effect in her cyanotype works. Everyday objects such as bikes, coats, bottles and vegetation are used to create prints with a unique one-off quality.

A bike being exposed under a UV light onto treated paper. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

To create a cyanotype a mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium are combined to create a photosensitive solution that is then applied to paper. This is allowed to dry in the dark to avoid exposure until it is ready to use. To create a print you must expose this coated paper to UV light, for example sunlight. This then creates a chemical reaction in the parts that are exposed to the light then darkening them. When fully exposed the chemical coated paper is then rinsed under running water. This washes away the unexposed chemical that was in shadow leaving a blank space, surrounded by the blue that was exposed to the light.

A large palm leaf  being exposed in sunlight. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

The most simple way of creating a cyanotype print is to lay objects on to your coated paper and then expose to sunlight. You can experiment with any objects. The more solid an object and the closer it is to the paper the more crisp a result you will get. Further away or less solid an object you will begin to get fuzzier edges. This is most apparent when using natural materials like leaves and flowers. Their 3D quality creates an unpredictable silhouette that fades from crisp dark blue to pale blue blurs. After the cyanotype has had an appropriate time in the sun (this can vary depending on the strength of the sunlight) it is then rinsed under running water and left to dry.

Finished print being rinsed. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Liz Loveless will be exhibiting more of her cyanotype prints at Of Cabbages and Kings in the show ‘Becoming Invisible‘, which runs from 6 February to 31 March 2020.

You can also book a spot on our Cyanotype Workshop – 2-4pm Saturday 14th March 2020.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

OC&K Curates – Gold Circles

On a grey January day with heavy clouds and the ever-present threat of rain in the air, we can start to long for sunnier times. In a series of blog posts titled ‘OC&K Curates’, Of Cabbages and Kings takes you on a themed tour of some of our favourite products. We have wandered the shelves and explored the print racks to put together this curated selection to chase away those dull days. The first of these posts looks at Gold Circles, pleasing circular shapes that remind us of a glint of gold and the warmth of the sun.

The straw colour of these Orla 11 Earrings takes the colour theme of gold, but with a softer more muted tone like hay bales in the evening sun. These classic link earrings are handmade by Wolf & Moon in their London studio. Made from painted wood they are lightweight enough to be worn all day. With the right amount of movement they are elegant and the colour is perfect to brighten up a dreary day or to complete a spring outfit.

Orla II Earrings in Straw by Wolf & Moon – £45.00

Taking inspiration from glamorous 80s beach parties, the gold circle in Sol Dawn by Tom Pigeon lends itself to an artistic interpretation of the rising sun. The shimmering gold foil print dramatically shines out from a pale background, like the sun emerging over the horizon on a misty morning. A minimal yet atmospheric addition to your home.

Sol Dawn by Tom Pigeon – £35

Two gold plated rings shine here and join together with cleverly design details in this Gold Rings Necklace by Brass & Bold. Hanging at either end of a chain they are secured as the chain passes through one of the hoops. A stylish piece perfect for day and evening wear. Each piece of Brass & Bold jewellery is handmade and designed by Elsa Gomez in London with an emphasis on exploring the simplicity and honesty of materials.

Gold Rings Necklace by Brass & Bold – £22

Ectopia is a print by the Brixton collective Underway Studio. Caitlin Parks and Melissa North both of Underway collaborated on this print which formed part of an art installation. Circles radiate around different animals and plants referencing the interconnection of all life.

The original project consisted of a multi-sensory installation exploring the appeal of Utopian thinking. It envisages a sustainable and better future for our planet and Society. The installation was featured in The London Design Festival 2016 and went on to showcase in the Porto and Belgium Design Biennale.

The illustration takes inspiration from a quote by Jason Hickel, ‘If we are to chart our way into a sustainable future, we will need to abandon our ontology of individualism and relearn this ontology of connection. We will need to rediscover the basic truth that our existence as individuals is bound up with the existence of others, and that our fate as a species is bound up with that of the fish, the forests, the bees, and the oceans.’

To read our interview with Underway Studio see the OC&K blog post.

Ectopia by Underway Studio – £60

These Form Circle Earrings in Yellow by Tom Pigeon mirror brass and coloured Formica. Inspired by mid-century modernist art and handcrafted using layers of yellow Formica and solid brass, this simple asymmetrical pair celebrate the circle. Tom Pigeon work closely with a family-run etching workshop on the West coast of Scotland to produce the bespoke metal pieces for their jewellery, which Tom Pigeon then polishes and assembles by hand in their studio.

Form Circle Earrings in Yellow by Tom Pigeon – £30

Circles are dominant in this Reykjavík 2 print by Jo Angell. The Reykjavík series are a collection of prints inspired by the artist’s trip to Iceland and in particular its harbours and the sea. This print reflects abstracted shapes reminiscent of life buoys or port holes on a ship, set against a warm palette of sand and gold. The original images were made using bold brush strokes and pen and ink drawings mixed with rough textures in contrasting dark and light colours.

To read more about Jo Angell see our interview with her on the OC&K blog post.

Reykjavík 2 by Jo Angell – £90

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Beat The Blues

There are many things here at Of Cabbages & Kings to fill your whole year with new discoveries, experiences and learning. What better time to find a new obsession! Here we present a collection of our best new year ideas, from learning a craft or getting out and about, to decorating your home interiors.

Learn To Screen Print

Ever thought about trying screen printing or wondered how it was done? Then look no further then these Screen Printing Kits. Great for creating your own t-shirts, tote bags or prints, they come in two sizes A4 and A3 and are perfect for starting a screen printing adventure at home. For a how-to-guide follow our simple instructions: How to Screen Print with Stencils.  They include: a 43T mesh count wooden screen, a wooden square 75 shore squeegee and 100ml white and black water based screen printing ink for printing fabric, paper or card.

Want to take your screen printing to the next level? Try this Screen Printing – The Ultimate Studio Guide from the team at Print Club London. Expert tips for for printers of all levels of experience and ability.

A4 Screen Printing Kit – £36

A3 Screen Printing Kit – £48

Screen Printing – The Ultimate Studio Guide – £24.95

Take A Workshop

Workshops are a great way of gaining an amazing experience and learning directly from talented teachers. Of Cabbages & Kings along side our sister shop Knit With Attitude offers a wide range of workshops ideal for learning a new skill in 2020.

Roderick Vere is a silversmith based in Somerset who, with his keen eye for detail and creativity, designs and hand makes contemporary silver jewellery. He also offers Silver Ring Making Workshops here in Stoke Newington. In a 2 hour workshop you will be taught how to cut, shape and finish your own silver ring. The workshop is the perfect introduction for anyone keen to try jewellery making using traditional silversmithing techniques. At the end of the session you will have a completely unique piece of silver jewellery made entirely by you!

If you are looking for something a little different, Knit With Attitude offer various yarn based craft workshops. Like Learning to Knit or Beginners guide to Crochet.

Make a Silver Ring workshop with Roderick Vere at Of Cabbages & Kings – £50

Workshops at Knit With Attitude

Learn Some Local History

We stock a wide range of books that take a creative and insightful view of our surroundings. Being based in East London we are especially interested in books with an East London focus and local history or art projects in the neighbourhood give us the most inspiration. Collector’s books like the East End in Colour series by independent publishers Hoxton Mini Press provide a photographic snapshot into how the East End looked between the 60s – 80s and 80s – 90s, while Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane looks at the documentary photography of Paul Trevor, capturing the life of Brick Lane during the 70s and 80s,

The Gentle Author in East End Vernacular presents a magnificent selection of pictures – many never published before – revealing the evolution of painting in the East End and tracing the changing character of the streets through the twentieth century.

The East End In Colour 1960-1980 by David Granick – £16.95

The East End In Colour 1980-1990 by Tim Brown – £16.95

Once Upon a Time in Brick Lane by Paul Trevor  – £25

East End Vernacular – £25

Keep A Diary

While dates are important, keeping a diary in 2020 doesn’t all need to be about birthdays, and dental appointments, it can also be used as a journal for day-to-day memories, dreams, ideas and inspirations. These Layflat Weekly Planners by Ola come in two colours: Navy Shapes and Orange. They are designed with undated pages so you can start at any time year, making them great for both the calendar or academic year. Featuring 52 undated weekly spreads, each minimally styled with columns for to-do lists, room for evening plans as well as free space for notes.

Layflat Weekly Planner – Navy Shapes – £18

Layflat Weekly Planner – Orange – £18

Go On A Walk

Getting out and about is even more fun with a sense of purpose and destination. Try these themed London Maps and go on a voyage of discovery. With an architectural look at the capital, one side is printed with the map and the reverse contains facts and images of each of the buildings featured. Subjects include Brutalism, Art Deco and even the London Underground.

Brutalist London Map – £8

London Underground Architecture & Design Map – £9

Art Deco London Map – £8

Get Crafty

Crafting is a great way to challenge yourself this new year. From the most simple to the more complex, craft provides a mindful way to while away the hours.

We stock Design Stencils that allow you to recreate the iconic shapes and typographic styles of the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Bauhaus movements. They’re ideal for all sorts of craft projects, such as card making, scrapbooking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks.

If you’ve wanted to take up drawing, or just like to doodle in style then choose one of Ola’s Layflat Notebooks and a Set of Colourblock Pencils. Using Ola’s stylish patterns these soft cover notebooks are crafted with a sewn layflat binding, allowing you to work across two pages simultaneously, and the book to rest open at a chosen page. Ola’s Colourblock Pencils are cleverly colour coded between different grades and we have them in 3H, HB and 3B. For more information on pencils check out our Pencil Guide blog post.

Art Nouveau Design Stencil – £12.50

Bauhaus Design Stencil – £12.50

A5 Ruled Layflat Notebook – Kaffe Print, Brick Red – £11.95

Set of 3 Colourblock Pencils – HB – £6.00

Grow Something 

The year has just started but there’s no reason not to start dreaming of warmer months, getting out into the garden and what to grow this year. Even if you don’t have a garden houseplants can always do with a bit of TLC. Two things to set this dream in motion are Seed Collecting Kits and House Plant Care Cards.

Seed Collecting Kits are designed for organising and storing your seeds. This handy tin contains 20 wooden seed labels, 20 seed envelopes, a mini plant dibber and pencil. Time to tidy up the shed!

Take proper care of your plants with House Plant Care Cards. Always failing to keep things alive? Well with this ultimate guide to growing happy plants you can’t fail. The Houseplant Care Cards are a boxed gift set containing 35 cards packed full of advice and tips for botanical success indoors.

Seed Collecting Kits – £14.50

House Plant Care Cards – £12.95

Have Some Big Ideas

Jump-start your brain in the new year with the Thames & Hudson The Big Idea Series of books. This innovative and informative series take a look at the fundamental ideas that impact our lives and world today. Cleverly designed to make the reading approachable and engaging. The series features: Is Masculinity Toxic?, Is Gender Fluid?, Is Democracy Failing?, Will AI Replace Us?, Is Capitalism Working?, Should We All Be Vegan?, What Shape is Space? and Is Medicine Still Good For Us?

The Big Idea Books – £12.95 (each)

Make Some Scented Candles

Are you a fan of scented candles? Ever wondered how you can make some yourself? Make Your Own Candle Kits of course! A great way of chasing away the January blues, not only rewarding in their making, but also in their use. These kits make two 9cl Votives so you can make one for yourself and one for a friend. Scents come in Rose Geranium, Fresh Fig and Christmas Spice.

Each kit contains everything you need to create two scented candles: Soy wax flakes, fragrance oil, glass jars and wicks. The simple instruction leaflet explains exactly how to make your candles with ease, making this a thoughtful gift for any creative person.

Make Your Own Candle Kits – £18 (each)

Take Care of Nature

Looking after nature is a rewarding past time. Every little way we can encourage wildlife is a positive one and there are many ways in which we can do this, like giving homes to solitary bees or providing food for small birds in winter.

You can encourage solitary bees into your garden by using bee hotels like this Bee Brick by Green&Blue, available in Charcoal and White. Solitary bees don’t produce honey or live in hives, but they are responsible for a third of all the food we eat, because of the vital pollination they carry out. Bee Bricks are inspired by the natural way bees reproduce and so contain cavities in which solitary bees can create their nests. One female solitary bee will potentially use around 5-6 cavities, laying 5-7 eggs in each one.

To feed the birds try these stylish Birdball Belle Feeder’s by Green&Blue, designed to take suet fat balls. Made in the UK this feeder allows small birds such as tits, sparrows, nuthatches and finches to feed while deterring larger birds and available in four different colours.

Bee Brick – £27

Birdball Belle Feeder – £26 (each)

Learn Some Art Theory

Want to learn more Art Theory this year? Then this series of Art Essentials Books by Thames & Hudson is for you. Focusing on key artistic movements and ideas, these clearly written books are more than just informative, they also beautifully designed with full colour imagery throughout. They will certainly make your book shelf look smarter! A must for reading before the next pub quiz, or for brushing up on your Mastermind specialist subject. The series includes: Surrealism, Modern Art, Women Artists, Pop Art, Key Moments In Art, Street Art, Looking At Pictures and Impressionism.

Art Essentials Books – £10.95 (each)

Decorate Your Home

The new year is a great time to address that troublesome bare wall in your home or get that print you’ve had lying around framed up. If you’re looking for the perfect artwork for your interior then shop for Prints online or come visit us in our Stoke Newington store. With an ever changing series of exhibitions and events you are guaranteed to find something that catches your eye.  Check out our Shows Page for current exhibitions.

Don’t forget we also offer a framing service and can supply standard and custom sized frames for those tricky sizes. Contact us for more information and quotes.

Happy New Year!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Inspired by Architecture

We have seen recently a lot of design trends taking inspiration from architecture. Two styles that have proven popular are art deco and brutalism. Both rely on strong bold lines and confident use of graphic shapes, along with a creative approach to materials. The shapes and details that go into characterising these artistic movements are drawn upon by designers and makers, infusing their pieces, be it prints, jewellery or stationery with a unique twist or contemporary edge on a familiar style.

ART DECO

Art deco is a style of visual arts that originated in the 1920’s and developed into a major art movement across Europe and America. Influencing architecture, furniture, jewellery, fashion and cars, its aim was to be modern, with an anti-traditional elegance. Often simple and very graphic, with bold streamlined shapes, it is strong, powerful and celebrates modern materials.

Metro by artist Chris Homer is an abstract composition of screen printed gold, grey and black in a striking halftone and geometric pattern. The strong graphic style of Chris Homer’s work has a very modern feel, but still with an air of art deco elegance.

Brass and Bold are a London based brand founded by designer Elsa Gomez. Her designs are made from raw brass and painted brass, and explore the simplicity and honesty of materials. Taking inspiration from the clean lines and contrasting colour of the art deco movement, she produces stylish and contemporary jewellery perfect for your next cocktail party!

 

The 1920’s style of art deco is characterised by bold lines, shapes, and angles. You too can recreate that look, with this handy Art Deco Design Stencil. The art deco inspired typeface and shapes are perfect for all craft projects, such as card making, scrap-booking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks. A great gift for tweens to adults.

1.ART-DECO-STENCIL-01-Another-Studio-ofcabbagesankings-oc&k

City guides are aimed at the ‘urban explorer’. This two-sided folding Art Deco London Map features over seventy leading examples of art deco architecture in London – from Eltham Palace to the Hoover Building. Art deco landmarks such as Broadcasting House, 55 Broadway, and Senate House are included along with Charles Holden’s finest Underground Stations and more. The reverse side of the map features an introduction to art deco by Henrietta Billings, photos by Simon Phipps and details about each building.

1.ART_DECO_MAP_blue_crow_media_5_ofcabbagesandkings__44933.1474903671.1200.1200

Achieve a modern look with echos of a geometric art deco style. These brass Pineapple Pots and steel Convert Vases are ideal for adding a metallic touch to an interior. Made from a thin sheet of metal which is carefully folded and converted into shape by hand at Another Studio in London, the Pineapple Pots are perfect for holding a small succulent or cacti.

1.PINEAPPLE_POT_Another_Studio_ofcabbagesandkings_ock02grey__45364.1479300794.1200.1200

 

BRUTALISM

The mid-century architectural style of brutalism divides opinion. Descending from modern architecture it is characterised by monolithic block-like shapes, often celebrating the rawness of material, especially concrete. It is heavy, stark and solid.

1.HAYWARD-GALLERY-LONDON-01-Will-Clarke-ofcabbagesandkings__67196.1549992107.1200.1200

There are many examples of brutalist architecture in London and one notable building is The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Sitting along the banks of the River Thames it forms part of the Southbank Centre. The Hayward has become a brutalist landmark and artist Will Clarke has captured it beautifully in his detailed illustration. It is screen printed in two colours, a combination of black lines with luscious gold ink elements.

1.BETON-HOOP-EARRINGS-02-Tom-Pigeon-ofcabbagesnadkings-ock__03037.1539263513.1200.1200

Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete and Kirsty Thomas in 2014. Designing simple and well-considered products across accessories, prints, and stationery.

Among these is the Béton range of jewellery – a unique unisex collection from Tom Pigeon Studio. Popularised by Le Corbusier, the term béton originates from the French ‘béton brut’ or ‘raw concrete’ and this hand-crafted solid silver jewellery is influenced by the strong lines, hidden angles, and sharp shadows of brutalist concrete architecture. Its matt finish also gives a nod to the rough texture of raw concrete.

1.BRUTALIST-CLIPS-01-Another-Studio-ofcabbagesankings-ock__08229.1510054507.1200.1200

Produced to scale (5000 times smaller than the real buildings!) this bookmark set from Another Studio celebrates four fantastic London brutalist buildings: Trellick Tower, Barbican Tower, Space House, and National Theatre. A great gift for every architecture lover and perfect for a Secret Santa or quick stocking filler.

Fans of the movement will certainly love this Brutalist Calendar 2020. A limited edition monthly celebration of some of the most awe-inspiring and influential examples of brutalist architecture from around the world, it will provide connoisseurs of concrete with twelve months of brutalist bliss!⁠⠀

1.BRUTALIST-CALENDAR-01-Blue-Crow-Media-ofcabbagesandkings

For those brutalist adventurers who are keen to explore these pick-me-up maps are ideal. Also featured in the range are Washington, Paris, Sydney, and London.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

 

Organic Cotton Wraps From Ola

An exciting new product from Ola has landed at Of Cabbages and Kings. These are Organic Cotton Wraps are inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. They make a perfect reusable alternative to paper when wrapping a gift.

Not only are these organic cotton wraps long-lasting making an ideal alternative to throw-away, single-use wrapping paper, as they are tied there is no need for plastic tape and unnecessary plastic waste. The wrap can also become part of the gift, perhaps taking on another life as a pocket square, hair scarf or table napkin. Each wrap measures 500mm x 500mm and is decorated with one of Ola’s unique patterns. The range includes four designs: Turquoise Shapes, Forest Green Lines, Salmon Blocks and Indigo Shapes.

The wraps are made in collaboration with Re-wrap, a social enterprise in India whose aim is to create sustainable livelihoods for rural women. With a philosophy of Re-cycle, Re-claim and Re-invent, they create hand-crafted textile products designed to have a positive impact on people and the environment. Rewrap are part of the World Fair Trade Organisation. Their goods are shipped by sea to minimise impact on the environment and they use Global Organic Textile Standard approved cotton. Organic cotton uses organic farming methods whereby farmers become more climate resilient, reduce carbon emissions and create healthier soil, and healthier people.

If you are unsure on how to tie your cotton wrap, don’t worry, included with each cotton wrap is an instructional gift tag, allowing you to write your recipients name and who it’s from. The tag is removable and can be repositioned wherever you like.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Three Facts About Pencils

Looking for the perfect stylish pencil to add to your pencil case, or give your office desk a bit of flair. Look no further! Contemporary stationery brand Ola make some of our much loved notebooks and wrapping papers and they have now applied their great eye for design to pencils!

These cleverly designed pencils are colour coded, which makes them easy to recognise when they are stood in the pencil pot. Never reach for the wrong pencil again! We have three grades 3H, HB and 3B and each grade comes in a pack of three. Below we have put some handy facts explaining these three grades and what they are best suited for.

First up we have the 3H. This is the hardest of the collection. Pencils along the H scale stand for hard. This means they have more clay than soft graphite in the core. This gives you a harder pencil which results in a finer, lighter line. The hardness also minimises smudging which makes this pencil great for everyday writing or simple sketching.

Next up is the HB. This trusty pencil is what most people are familiar with. It has equal measure graphite and clay, giving you a middle tone line which is softer than a 2H, but harder than a 2B. The H standing for hard and B standing for bold. An all round pencil, great for everyday writing and sketching.

Lastly we have the 3B. This is the softest of the collection, having more soft graphite than harder clay in the core. This gives you a softer darker line. Great for expressive sketching or shading and will smudge easier, allowing for interesting mark making.

We hope this has inspired you to explore writing and drawing with pencils. Don’t forget if you need a notebook we also have a great selection. Come visit us in our Stoke Newington store or online and find the perfect gift.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

How to Screen Print with Stencils

A recent addition at Of Cabbages & Kings are these handy screen printing kits. They come come in two sizes, the A4 Screen Printing Kit and the A3 Screen Printing Kit, and are perfect for printing at home with stencils. The kits contain a wooden screen (43T mesh count), a wooden square 75 shore blade squeegee and 100ml of black and 100ml of white water-based ink. Ideal for printing on tote bag’s and t-shirts, or creating your own prints and stationery on paper and card.

We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide to get you started creating your very own screen prints.

You will need:

• A simple image to trace

• Freezer paper or grease proof paper

• A sharp scalpel

• A cutting mat

• Something to print on – paper, card, a t-shirt or tote bag

• An iron if printing onto fabric

Start by choosing a design. Bold graphic shapes work best and remember you will end up with a monochrome image so greyscale tones will not work. Something that is straight forward to cut with a scalpel also makes creating the stencil much simpler. You can draw out a design first or choose an existing design to trace. Shading in the parts you want to cut out makes it easier to visualise the finished design.

You can create your stencil from freezer paper paper or grease proof paper. Freezer paper will give you more detail and a finer edge and is available online and in some craft shops.

We are using a light box to make the tracing process clearer, but it is not essential. If your image has a high contrast you should be able to see it through the paper quite easily. It is also possible to draw your design directly onto the paper. If you are using freezer paper make sure you have the mat side up and the shiny side down.

Once your design is drawn out begin to carefully cut out the parts you want the ink to pass through. Take time over this process as neat and rough edges will reflect in the finished print. Top tip – If you over-cut you can patch up an area with tape on the reverse and re-cut. 

Once all the pieces are cut out and you are happy with the design you are ready to print. Choose a sturdy flat surface and lay down the fabric or paper on which you intend to print. If you are printing onto fabric make sure that it is ironed flat. You may also want to place a piece of card between layers of fabric, for example a t-shirt or tote bag, as this will prevent ink bleeding through. 

Place your stencil onto the paper or card making sure it is flat and that there are no creases or wrinkles. If you are using freezer paper the shiny side should face down.

Now place your empty screen over your stencil mesh down, making sure not move the stencil out of place.

Apply a generous amount of ink (as some will be absorbed by the paper on your first pull) along the top edge of your screen. 

With the help of a friend or using a firm hand, hold the screen in place so it wont slip and slide around. In the other hand hold the squeegee at a 20 degree angle from the vertical position. Apply even, but firm pressure and pull the squeegee across the screen in a downward motion. Repeat again ensuring the ink covers the whole of the design. 

Lift your screen gently off. Your stencil should now stick to the screen ready for the next print. 

Stand back and marvel at what you have created!

If you are printing onto fabric and wish to cure the ink, after it has air dried place a tea towel over it and iron for 3-5 minutes with a hot iron.

Happy Screen Printing!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

The Make Bank: Tackling Creative Poverty

b40mxyQA

We are very excited to tell you about a new social project aimed at addressing some of the issues surrounding ‘creative poverty’ and young people’s access to art and design subjects and careers. The Make Bank has been set up by Kirsty Thomas, a former art and design teacher, and founder of creative studio Tom Pigeon. Kirsty’s research revealed that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of secondary pupils dropping out of creative subjects. She discovered that while some pupils were being advised that the creative industries did not offer a viable career path and that perhaps they should get a ‘proper job’, on other occasions it was because they simply didn’t have, or couldn’t afford the tools they needed to complete the course. This is where The Make Bank comes in.

Kirsty+Thomas_headshot4
The Make Bank Founder Kirsty Thomas

By providing Art and Design Kits for disadvantaged pupils, The Make Bank can help students who want to pursue creative education. Working with schools across the country The Make Bank has created quality art and design kits devised to meet the needs of all young people aged over 13 following the National Curriculum in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. For pupils studying GCSE, A Level, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications they have created five subject-specific kits, so whether it’s art, design, photography, textiles or ceramics the students have the right tools for the job! Any pupil can apply for a Make Bank Kit in partnership with their teacher and it will be sent directly to their school.

art+kit_web

Alongside the kits the project also works with industry professionals to share inspiring stories, creative journeys and career advice, nurturing, inspiring and encouraging creative talent in young people and helping them recognise the wealth of opportunity that exists within the creative industries. To raise money for the kits Kirsty has teamed up with some of UK’s most exciting artists, illustrators and designers on the Make Bank Print Project, some of who we know very well here at Of Cabbages and Kings. You can find these ones, The Language of Colour by Stuart Gardiner (below), in our shop too. However, if prints aren’t you’re thing and you would like to donate directly just follow this link

 

We love this project, however materials alone will not create a new and diverse generation of creatives. Young people need guidance, support, inspiration and knowledge to enable them to pursue a creative career. The Make Bank is calling on everyone within the creative industries and beyond to stand up and do something about Creative Poverty. This is our opportunity to create a thriving industry that is equal, diverse and fair.

Would you like to get involved?  Visit the The Make Bank

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
 

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin