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