It’s National Stationery week and to celebrate this I’ve dedicated my Folksy Finds to it. I just adore stationery and these wonderful hand made pieces fill me with joy, and they’re extra special as they are lovingly made by talented British designers.
1. Garden Birds Gift Wrap Set from Kate Broughton 2. Rupert The Beat Envelopes from Curly & Nibs 3. Turquoise Triangles Washi Tape from Ruby & Dig 4. A5 Handprinted Hare Notebook from Andrew Berwick Illustration 5. Turquoise Pencil Stud Earrings from Ruby Bijou 6. Custom Floral Return Address Rubber Stamp from Poumi Stamp Studio 7. Yellow Harris Tweed Pencil Case from LifeCovers
Last month I announced that my friends over at The Green Gables were launching their brand new monthly stationery subscription service; Happy Paper Club and they’d asked me if I’d like to receive one of their first boxes. As I love stationery I jumped at the chance to receive a box, and last weekend my Happy Post arrived.
What a lovely surprise it was to unwrap each layer in turn, discovering something wonderful and unique inside. March’s box contained a delicately illustrated notebook and notepad, joyfully bright cards to share with friends and a cute paper doll designed by an independent designer, which would make for a great gift.
These brightly coloured, positive cards, along with the notebooks definitely brought a smile to my face, I think my favourite has to be ‘ahoy’
In contrast to the bright postcards, the notebook and notepad are beautifully illustrated with fine, delicate details that are so pretty I can’t bring myself to use them just yet! I think I’ll save them, hehe.
If you’d like to receive your own Happy Post through the letterbox instead of bills and junk mail, then you better be quick, these little boxes sold out in just over an hour when they went on sale! The next Happy Paper Club box is available on 1st April and you can sign up for it here so you don’t mis out!
You can find out more about Happy Paper Club at www.thegreengables.co.uk/happypaperclub
Twitter: @happypaperclub #HappyPaperClub
In my final part of my Neon Workshop series, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here, I want to share more of their work with you. After last week’s mood board post I thought it would be nice to do the same again this week, as I think it captures the medium of neon well.
I love how neon let’s you be free with your designs, there’s nothing you can’t create. Each design has manipulated, twisted and folded to create a piece of unique art that will last for many years to come.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about Neon Workshops and would like to try your hand at creating your very own sculpture, Richard runs workshops throughout the year, from one day intensive courses, to 2 hour taster sessions, there is something for all levels – I may even see you there!
Finally I’d like to say a big thank you to Richard and the rest of his team for letting me visit their studio and share their work with you, it’s been great fun, and my new found love for neon is here to stay.
Last week I posted my first instalment in this month’s Artist of the Month series, featuring Neon Workshops. In this second part I’ll be showing you their work and explaining how they create these bright neon designs
At the moment Richard is exhibiting his latest work; Beautiful Hazards in the Neon Workshops gallery space. The exhibition concentrates on Richard’s interest with industrial hazard graphics and features both neon and mixed media.
The exhibition runs until 15th March, so you still have time to catch this great work.
There is a lot of time, effort and skill that goes into creating these pieces, along with a little touch of alchemy to add to the effect. Once a design has been decided, the real hard work begins. Shaping and cutting the glass over 800 degree heat is no mean feat, especially when there are no gloves! Then you have to carefully blow into the glass tube to stop it from buckling under the heat, but don’t inhale, otherwise your design will become deflated and imploding!
Next comes the fusing, where the electrodes are fused onto the ends of the neon, and to do this you need an electron bombarder, a machine that uses 20,000 volts to pump helium into the neon, creating a vacuum so you can then add your choice of gas depending on what colour you’d like your design to be. To begin with all neon lights emit an orange light…
and by adding different chemicals and gases other colours are created; adding hydrogen will give you red and a touch of mercury will give you a beautiful blue hue.
The list of colours and designs are endless, and with a little bot of imagination, there is nothing you can’t create with neon.
I’d like to introduce my first Artist of the Month: Neon Workshops. They are a great team of artists and designers manufacturing neon lighting for the creative industries, and also teaching the only public neon workshops in the UK.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting about this talented team, sharing insight into their art and what got them involved in neon.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit their studio in Wakefield, where I gained a wonderful insight into how neon began, how it grew commercially strong in the 1960’s, how Leeds was the epicentre for making neon lighting outside of London, and finally how neon is making it’s long overdue comeback.
Richard Wheater is the artist behind Neon Workshops and speaking to him, I got to see his passion for this medium and how he’s dedicated to teaching his skills not only here in the UK, but globally too. His love of neon started back at university, and where he found inspiration from the high rise glass buildings that were going up around him, from then on he never looked back.
Today Richard, along with a few local artists and designers, are helping to bring the art of neon back into the mainstream, and rid it of it’s stereotype of signs in seedy shops and 1980’s barbershops. Neon is more than light, it’s art, it’s sculpture, it’s anything you want it to be…
Many of these pieces were produced for exhibitions, with the focus of creating a talking point around each subject and propelling neon a little further into the mainstream.
I’m a huge music lover and tonight there’s annual music event that I love to watch – The Brits. Not only do I love the awards show itself, but I love the awards themselves. They are iconic and for the past four years they have been designed by some of Britain’s most famous designers. This year is no different, with the statue designed by Tracey Emin. The design is beautifully elegant, yet strong, featuring a rosette or ‘wings’ and also Tracey’s trademark handwritten message.
The previous years awards have been designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2011, Peter Blake in 2012, Damien Hirst in 2013 and Philip Treacy in 2014.
As you can see each award is as wonderfully unique and as individual as the designer who created them. I can’t wait to see what next year’s design will be.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Folksy Finds post, so to cheer up a chilly Monday, I’ve dedicated this Folksy Finds to things that make me smile. All designed and hand crafted by our lovely British artists and designers over at Folksy.
1. Wild Thing Lino Print from Simon Smith 2. ‘Owl Protect You’ side plate from Jimboart 3. Moon Pillow from Noodle Doll Nelly 4. New Orleans Shoes Linocut from Woah There Pickle 5. Upcycled Bronze T-Rex Planter from DingaDing Terrariums 6. Apostrophe Cowboy Screenprint from Beyong Thrilled Screenprints 7. Hand Printed Firefly Notebook from Chipper Designs 8. T-Rex Dinosaur Tea Towel from Jurassic Panda