Sunday, 31 December 2017

Sunday 31st December: Haeckels, Margate

You may have noticed Haeckels products along your Christmas shopping safaris in different cities.   Here is the home and hub of the ethical enterprise in Margate, Kent with the boutique situated right on the seafront.  These ocean inspired perfumes and cosmetics developed to heal, care and scent the body are derived from the local seaweed botanicals.  Haeckels have a licence to harvest their own marine minerals for their "Thalassotherapy" practise which bases it's products on properties from the ocean.  The range of hand-made luxury goodies are packaged in sustainable, exquisitely designed boxes and glass vials - absolutely no plastic bottles here!!!!!  Each eau de parfum comes in a 100ml amber bottle which is laser etched with the GPS coordinate, the day they first went to it and the weather on that day!

Head over to their site to see more from the series of incense, candles, balms, serums, scents, bath salts and even tea!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sunday 24th December 2017: Grayson Perry's "A House For Essex", Wrabness

I took on the Rapha challenge to cycle 500k over the week between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  For my first outing I chose a destination that I've wanted to visit for such a long time.  As I was at home in Essex I was in the right county to scoot across!  Here are my snaps from a very, very cold windy day so I had to be quick about it because I couldn't have my hand out of my glove for any time before the journey back home!  But I'm so glad that I ventured out to finally witness the majesty in person.  The tiles that Grayson Perry hand-designed in clay cover the entire building with a copper roof, a little bit like a ginger bread house so it was the perfect Christmas outing!  The shapes within the architecture of "A House For Essex" follow themes of triangles which are reminiscent of Sir Thomas Tresham's buildings, constructed to symbolise his Catholic faith (thanks mum for the historic insight).  Head over to English Heritage to see his Triangular lodge and the National Trust to see Lyveden lodge.
Head over to FAT and Living Architecture to find out more about A House For Essex in the Stour Valley.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Thursday 21st December: Emma Aitchison Jewellery workshop for Hackney Arts, Part 2

Following on from the previous post at Emma Aitchison's jewellery studio to her wax ring workshop for Hackney Arts.  In the two hour session we got to discover the process of this traditional craft and also see Emma's work to inspire us to find our own style to sketch a design.  From using the selection of tools I sculpted the jewellery wax to translate my 2D drawing into a 3D model.  With this original carving, Emma then took it back to her studio to turn into a finished polished metal.  Here is my final piece which I'm in love with and can't believe that I managed to make from scratch without knowing the technique beforehand.  That's the beauty of this initiative.  It's not necessary to have previous knowledge of any of the arts featured so you can turn up on the day to experience something new and create a tactile result to take away.  

Find out more about the Hackney Arts manifesto in the previous post and check out the timetable of upcoming events here.

Thursday 21st December: Emma Aitchison Jewellery workshop for Hackney Arts

We're all watching Blue Planet from the comfort of our couches, witnessing Polar bears and Walruses struggling to find some ice to sit.  It's heart-wrenching facts that we feel totally useless and unable to do anything about in reversing the effects of devastating pollution.  It shouldn't take a David Attenborough documentary to really bring these issues to our attention.   I'm sure if the world's leaders didn't have anywhere to rest, they would do something about it straight away, but until it's on their own doorstep its going to be scarily slow progress.  

So it's encouraging to see that it's not only campaigners communicating this situation but also artists and craftsmen.  Here is the studio of Emma Aitchison who is a dedicated "planet conscious sustainable brand" and bases her designs on weather systems.  Here you can see bangles formed from NASA satellite maps of lost ice and glaciel retreat.  They are beautiful shapes derived from natural narratives such as mountain gradients or volcanic lava molten rock.  Emma's interpretations of natural phenomena are hand crafted from fairtrade materials for a completely ethical package.  Her ethos and methods start from the hand-made domestic process to the wrapping in recycled packaging.  As a member of NDG (No Dirty Gold) all sourcing of metals and gems is sustainable to ensure conflict-free materials.  In this way she's simultaneously promoting ethical practise in addition to her concepts of climate change patterns in the aesthetic.

Each collection and commission is unique as every piece is individually hand-crafted.  Thanks to Hackney Arts I had the opportunity to learn some of these traditional jewellery techniques with Emma at her wax ring workshop tailored for the programme.   Her talents are just one from a wide range of multi-disciplinary designers teaching their skills via the Hackney Arts platform.  The scheme has been set up to give creative opportunities to residents, providing a platform for local artists to share their work. The social enterprise uses the power of creativity to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals within the community by bringing everyone together.   Studios are opened for viewing and local landmarks host the events such as the Geffrye Museum for the wax ring workshop.  Closed spaces are opened for investigation and there is even a session of wild wood foraging in the next term of classes!

Head over to the site to see the full listings from floristry, herbals, Henna design, graphics, ceramics and poetry to tie-dying!  There's also another chance to take part in Emma's workshop .............. see more in the next post.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Wednesday 20th Decemeber: Dropbox "Creative Energy" murals in Shoreditch

Four artists murals for the Dropbox "Creative Energy" project have just been painted in Shoreditch including (top to bottom):  Camille Walala, Jamie Julien Brown, Pref and Will Gates.  Head over to High Snobiety to find out more and see all behind the scenes and work in progress.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Tuesday 19th December: Amnesty's Beautiful Art Raffle 2017

These "TOTEM" sculptures are ending their tour this week at Gallery 46 in Whitechapel, to be raffled for Amnesty on Wednesday 20th December at £5 per ticket .  The group show  inspired by International Peace Day has been curated by They Made This in association with Protein Studios.   I love them all for their own distinct characters from the illustrative faces of John Booth's ceramic slip to Damien Poulain's graphic painted woodwork .......... a new invention since his own Totem collection from 2009!    The other artists in the mix of eleven include:  Emily Forgot; Rude; Gemma Tickle; Rhoslyn Butler & Kester Hoefkens; Isabel & Helen; Bompas & Parr; Morag Myerscough and Marcus Walters.  

Head over to the Amnesty site to make your bid now, before tomorrow!  Or shop the prints here.