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!

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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.

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An Interview with Lauren Mortimer

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Our next exhibition will be with London based illustrator Lauren Mortimer. The opening night is on Thursday September 1, from 7-9pm, and the show will hang until the end of October.

We love Lauren’s graphite illustrations that combine nature elements in unexpected ways, and so it was very exciting when we got to sit down with Lauren for an interview and find out more about the lady herself and her artistic process.Lauren Mortimer_Profile

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…
The pencil is pretty much my best friend!

You originally studied Fashion Promotion at Central St. Martins. Has that influenced your current illustration work?
I think that it must have influenced my current work on some level, though if it has, not purposefully. By not having an illustration background, it allowed me to have more freedom and find my style quickly. My work does lend itself well to the fashion world though… I do a lot of editorial work for instance for fashion magazines.Lauren Mortimer Prints_2Many of your pieces include visual puns and hidden meanings, as well as surrealist combinations. How do those themes come together for your pieces?
I think the wonderful thing about illustration is that you can create anything you like on a piece of paper. There are no limits. Though my work is very realistic, I like to mix themes and merge objects together to create something more visually exciting – something that isn’t a reality. Patterns and texture play a huge part of my work too. I like to change the meaning of the objects, and nature will always be huge starting point for me.
 

Some of the projects you’ve worked on include illustrating books. Can you tell us a bit about the process for a larger project like that?
I’ve got 5 books under my belt so far, and I’m working my way through the final artwork of my 6
th, a colouring book. The wonderful thing about big projects like these is that you have a physical product at the end of it with all of your artwork put together. You see it in a different context to the piece of paper you created it on, and you have that proud moment. When my two cocktail books, Tequila Mockingbird, and Gone With The Gin arrived in the post from the publisher, it was really exciting, and definitely a highlight for me.Lauren Mortimer_Gone With The Gin Cover GWTG_Lauren Mortimer_Blade Rummer

There is a slightly macabre and dark undertone to many of your pieces, is that something you find yourself consciously drawn to? Do you find that graphite lends itself particularly well to those themes?
I think that it’s just my style and my interests that come together that way. By contrasting an object that’s soft and beautiful with something that’s hard, for instance, enhances each of them, and creates something poetic in my eyes. For me it’s more about how the viewer interprets it. Everyone should take what he or she wants from it in their own way.

How long have you been making prints?
I’ve been producing limited edition prints for about 4 years now! Time flies!

What is your favourite takeaway?
That’s easy… Pizzzzaaaaaaa!  

Thanks so much! You can see more of Lauren’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Thursday the 1st to meet her in person, enjoy the work up on the walls and have a glass of wine.

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An Interview with Freya Cumming

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Spring is just about here. Or at least surely it must be close – we can almost smell it! Also, right around the corner is our brand new exhibition with one of Of Cabbages and Kings’ longest standing collaborators Freya Cumming. Freya will be traveling down from Dundee with her latest collection of screen prints fresh of the drying rack. The private view is on Thursday May 5th from 6:30 – 9pm. We hope you can make it along. In the meantime, we caught up with Freya and found out a little bit more about her art process and influences.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…
I use them all, but if I had too choose one, my weapon of choice would be a propelling pencil. I love ’em! 

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Your art features many repetitive motifs (hot air balloons, Victorian figures, the ocean, etc.). Do you feel like you work with themes or that you are drawn to a particular image?
I don’t think that I have any particular themes other than that most of the work I enjoy making has some form of pattern, however small a detail it is, it’ll be in there! The balloon images became a theme by accident, I lived in Bristol for seven years and I thought one day I might try a balloon print, as they are such a familiar sight in the city. I enjoyed the endless possibilities of patterns and colours within the balloons and so I got quite carried away and produced a whole series of these. 

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Your images feature many built up layers. Can you tell us a bit more about that process? 
One of the pleasures of screen printing for me, is the ability to play around with the opacity of the inks when mixing them. Printing in overlapping layers, in varying opacity can come up with colours and effects that I aren’t planned, but that make printmaking more interesting for me. I like making it up as I go along! It makes what can be a very technical process, much more interesting and spontaneous.  

Can you tell us a bit more about founding Snap Studio, the artists co-operative in Bristol?
It all came about very serendipitously. My friend Frea and I were manning a pop-up shop in an old hairdressers in Bristol for a few days. We were chatting about how amazing it would be to have a studio, gallery and printmaking facilities under one roof. The man who had the keys to the hairdressers, just so happened to be the founding member of the ethical property company, and owner of  a beautiful 16th century building across the street. He offered it to us at a really reasonable rate which allowed us to seek help from the co-operative development agency in Bristol and go on to form a co-op with six other printmaking friends. We are all either just graduated/ or graduating, so it was perfect timing. It was the perfect setting- post-uni to have somewhere to work. 

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

You recently moved back to your hometown in rural Scotland. Has this move changed or influenced your work? 
I’ve realised with hindsight that it did at the time. I’ve always been inspired by my surroundings so suddenly, instead of urban scenes, I was drawing chickens and squirrels. I found I missed the urban landscape and I realised there was a danger that my work was unintentionally becoming overly countrified, so I moved my studio from the village to nearby Dundee.

How long have you been printing?
I learned to screen print the same year I graduated in 2001 – so on and off, around fifteen years of squeegeeing ! 

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What is your favourite takeaway?
All of them?!. I live in the middle of nowhere though so takeaway is rare! No-one will deliver this far either 😦

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A Taste Of Morocco

That summer holiday may already be a distant memory, but some hazy recollection of glorious, sun-soaked interiors could be lingering. We’ve just received the latest collection of jewellery from Chalk House, all inspired by Moroccan tiles. These pieces sit perfectly between hot summer nights in Marrakech and the rich jewel tones and gold sparkle of the holidays.
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The tile work that is associated with the regions around Morocco, North Africa and Spain is an art form called Zellige. The mosaics are traditional created from coloured tile blanks that are cut into exact shapes and then assembled into complex tessellated designs. The highly geometric style originated out of Islamic faith, where the depiction of living things was forbidden.
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Chalk House’s Moroccan collection is inspired by a journey to Marrakech where they fell in love with the geometric patterns and bold colour combinations of the tiles. They have extracted and abstracted the patterns to create a range of necklaces and earrings at various sizes from small everyday earrings and pendants to large statement necklaces.
CHALK Tile sketch
Chalk House

From Malaika and Hazel: “We met while studying architecture. While at university, we started to make jewellery for ourselves applying materials and techniques used to make architectural models. We found that the pieces were very popular and the business took off from there. It helps that we have very similar tastes and we enjoy working as a team, constantly designing and bouncing ideas off each other.”us 4

All the Chalk House collections are inspired by architectural design and pattern. They like to play with scale and patterns to make ideas work on a relatively small jewellery platform, which is very different to the scale of a building.
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Marcelina Amelia Exhibition and Interview

Our next exhibition in the shop is with Marcelina Amelia on May 7, from 7-9pm and will continue through to the end of June. We will be showcasing Marcelina’s limited edition hand-pulled screen prints and original paintings.instagram_ofcabbages

Marcelina’s work combines painting, drawing and screen-printing techniques. Originally from Poland, she draws inspiration from Polish religious iconography, folk tales, childhood memories, dreams, sexuality and human relationships. Her works are an uneasy mixture of lustful darkness and adolescent innocence. Inspired by pot plants, trapped wildernesses in miniature, the overcrowded streets of London and never ending online content, this body of work examines the relationship between humans, individuals and their environment. Marcelina utilises nature as a metaphor for everyday feelings and headaches.

-What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…

I actually use all of them. I always start with the pen or pencil though, and then see where the work takes me. Because of my Fine Art and Illustration background, screen printing came in handy as I can mix both painting and drawing in one.

-What do you miss the most from living in Poland? 

I miss polish food, especially my grandma’s cooking. I also miss polish humour, it is very hard to translate it into another language. Believe me I’ve tried! I also miss the nature, in Poland we have both mountains and the sea, and beautiful countryside too –
and people, obviously.

Marcelina_cabbages_kings-How do Poland and London influence your work? 

Marlene Dumas once said that she never quite knows where she is. I have a similar feeling, that I’m always somehow divided between London and Poland, and that I’m never 100% present in a space and time. Suffering from a typical immigrant expat syndrome made me more aware of my own culture, and it became a source of the inspiration for my work.

Polish folk tales, religious iconography the aesthetics of School of Polish Poster, my own memories of growing up in Poland and the importance of family values have had a strong impact on my work. But, at the same time, London taught me a lot about the freedom of expression and being experimental, which gave me all those feelings that I would never experience if I stayed in a country that I was born in.

London is full of extremely talented people and interesting events, which motivates me. I also think that it made me grow up faster and made my skin thicker. But most importantly London, and its overcrowded alienation, is one of the themes that I find myself attracted to.Marcelina_cabbages_kings_girl

-A lot of your work seems to be very self-referential. Do you see it as a self-portrait?

Sometimes it happens unconsciously, I’m not trying to draw myself, but the final outcome resembles me. When I was a kid and I was learning to draw, sometimes because of the lack of the model around, I would sit in front of a mirror and spent hours drawing myself in different poses and expression just to practice. I would spent a lot of time drawing my younger cousins too, so every time I paint or draw a kid it has something that resembles one of them.

Usually I’m trying to tell a story or to illustrate a certain feeling, and a person that appears on a paper is just like an actor that is helping me to communicate the message.

At the same time, I can’t deny that my work is very personal.

-Do you find yourself returning to themes with your work?

Yes, I do often revisit the themes of my own and my family’s past, of growing up. I constantly find my family photographs as a great source of inspiration. Our relationship with the environment, where are we in terms of time and space, is also one of the themes I find myself going back to. I do often try to illustrate emotions.

– How long have you been printing?  

I’ve started learning about screen printing at the end of 2013. I took a fantastic course at Print Club London, and haven’t stopped printing since then.

-What is your favourite takeaway?

I’m trying to eat healthy these days, but I would not ignore a good kebab from Super Kebab in Stoke-Newington and I love sushi from Wasabi.
I do usually go out for coffee though, they have an amazing flat white in Haberdashery, and fantastic cakes in Bienvenue!

The Christmas Market 2013

Here are a few photographs from the big event. There were a lot of activities going on across London that weekend, particularly on the Saturday, and Sunday’s dreary wet weather left a lot to be desired. Regardless of this however, keen shoppers turned out in their hundreds to support our designers and makers and to gather their Christmas gifts. The hall looked proper festive (I think the paper chains just about held out to the last!) and thanks to the welcoming smiles and cheery chatter from the stall holders, a warm and buzzing, Christmassy atmosphere rang throughout.

Every so often on the Saturday, the chatter would stop, while London Acapella Choir Time At The Bar sang us a few festive numbers from their Christmas repertoire.

There was a sausage roll shortage on the Saturday, but a fried egg sandwich breakfast for the stallholders on the Sunday was an out-and-out winner. Well done Team!

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Tematrilla
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Bobbin & Bow
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Hanna Melin
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Jane De Bono
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De Ja Ooh
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Parasite Ceramics
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