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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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!

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Georgia Bosson Studio Visit by George Cullen

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

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Ideas and experiments are pinned up behind her desk.

How long has the Georgia Bosson Studio been running?

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

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Georgia’s process starts with sketchbook drawings that are then converted into vector graphics and applied to film.

How did you become interested in pattern and screen printing?

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

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A stencil is applied to the screen and then the ink is pushed though.

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

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

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A screen printed tray base.

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

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

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Georgia mixes her own colours at the studio and applies them to fabric. This way she can adjust and tweak the shades for her desired look.

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

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

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

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Greenwich- From The Wolfe Statue by Georgia Bosson and Cecily Vessey

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

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

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

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

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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!