London is so grey this time of year so my eyes pounced on these gorgeous and astonishing pictures of tulip fields by photographer Norman Szkop. You can view the entire set over at the Flickr address below - together with a bit of info about where they are if you fancy renting a helicopter and taking a look for yourself. I'm wondering whether they plan the planting according to the colour combinations or is it completely random....
Off to a slow start with the blog this year - sorry. Too cold and too much Xmas pud last month has made me sluggish.
Anyway, this project caught my eye recently and I'm looking forward to going over down to the design museum to look a the rugs in person (March 5th).
Designer and illustrator Chris Haughton and Akshay Sthapit set up Fair Trade rug business Node after Chris's rug designs were pounced upon by members of the design blogosphere (not surprisingly). Designers started to email to ask if they could design their own rugs and so their company was born. By connecting designers with traditional Nepalese carpet makers they can ensure fair trade and also help support of school and an orphanage which is very impressive. I've designed and made some rugs over the years for clients but always in India which doesn't have the best reputation, so I'm very keen to find out more about Node's work in the future.
Pictured are a rug by Sanna Annukka (we sell her beautiful cards in my studio) and two by Chris Haughton himself - very lovely.
The holidays are a good time to go to performances! To celebrate the season here's a little film of artist Alexander Calder performing his circus that I've always like very much.
When I first saw some pictures of eye jewelry I immediately thought it was made by a Surrealist from the 1930's. I was amazed it was that much older. Apparently it was a huge fashion in France and they later were used as love tokens in the UK. Sometimes they have pieces of hair of the beloved enclosed behind. The fashion persisted until the end of the 19th century, I saw a broach with a mans eye in it from 1905 but supposedly that's very late. Well I'd love an eye broach, they are rather crazed aren't they?
I do love an agricultural show - there are still a few around this weekend. Anyway what's more summery feeling than a hot tent filled with giant veg? I also really like rosettes and prize cups and often sketch them. Here's some of the highlights of my visits this summer. I might pop down to the Lambeth country show this weekend in London for one last fix of flower arrangements under canvas!
The other day my mum showed this story to me - she's a book dealer and in my family we all love everything book related. Last year a series of intricate, mysterious and very beautiful book sculptures were discovered in libraries and institutions in Scotland. As far as I can tell, the creator still remains anonymous. The sculptures are all made of paper and mounted on books. Each one comes with a note that includes the line "in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..." Hooray for that. I particularly like the sculpture celebrating film with an audience watching men & horses leaping from a screen.
The sculptures are on tour around Scotland currently
Also you can read about the whole story here:
I like looking at this website (link below) - they have some great things - also some rather disturbing things sometimes. Looking recently I saw this amazing patchworked silk suit and hat from 1920-40, perhaps from a vaudeville act. Also these little English statuettes of Siamese twins from last quarter of the 19th century. Odd and rather sweet.
I enjoyed this little film exploring the shapes you can make when you flatten various foods. I like it when something very ordinary can take you buy surprise. Like how crushing & filming an egg or marshmallow can become a beautiful kind of a dance.
If anyone ever invents a program called 'Desert Island Bookshops' where you have to choose your top ten bookstores, I would definitely put Persephone in there. It's on one of my favourite London Streets, Lambs Conduit Street which is filled with some great independent shops.
Persephone is not just any bookstore because they actually publish "neglected classics" mostly by women and each of their books is a design lovers delight. Oh and I've loved all the books I've read from there too. Each book has a light silvery grey cover with endpapers printed with a textile design from the era of the book - along with matching bookmark.
When I opened my studio up as a shop I was very inspired by what they've done at Persephone because their shop is somewhere I could happily spend hours in. If you live out of London you can get their 'book a month' offer, where they send you something every month, lovely!