Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Get crafty...

I got a little over-excited about this tutorial on etsy the other day.... A friend came over and he and I had a go at it. It was really good fun.
Basically, you get some carrier bags, plastic ones like from the supermarket, cut off the edges, get about 8 layers, put these between 2 pieces of ordinary paper (like an old bill for example) and iron it... I'm excited for a number of reasons. Firstly, I just do not do ironing, and it gives my iron and ironing board a purpose in life. Secondly, the possibilities for this material are endless. It makes a sort of plastic fabric. You can control the thickness by altering the number of plastic sheets you use. It is fully waterproof, and you can stitch it together, or you can join sheets together by ironing them. I reckon you could make strips of it and weave them together. You could make baby bibs, make-up bags, plant-pot covers, sturdy re-useable shopping bags, mousemats, aprons, postcards, flyers, business cards, pen-holders, wallets, peg-bags, hand-bags, purses, things for in the boot of your car to stop the carpet getting dirty, lampshades, passport holders, jewellery..... Loads of things!!!
Thirdly, you can feel like an eco warrior, as you will be re-cycling the bags into something useful instead of creating more land-fill. And last but not least, a friend of mine went on a workshop to learn how to do this a while ago, and said she would explain how to do it but it was a bit tricky and it would take time. IT IS THE EASIEST THING EVER!!! How on earth it took a day workshop to get this across is beyond me... Try it! I hope it's not just me that finds this so much fun :)
But please, watch the tutorial, there's a link to it on this page, don't just follow my instructions or you might ruin your ironing board. I realise that there are a lot of people out there that would be much more upset about that than me...

City chick

I love looking at the architecture, shapes and symbols of the city almost as much as I love people watching whilst drinking coffee in the afternoon with friends. The city chick bowl was inspired by the cities of Manchester and London, their inhabitants, my old life (when I had to go into the city every day to work), graffiti, road signs, road markings, office types on their way to work, angles, geometry, suits and street-wear... She's not as cute as the lovebirds or the spring chicken; she's got a harder edge, a little more street-wise and less naive, but I think she's still pretty cute in her own way!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Raspberries are...

one of my favourite fruits. I love their flavour, and I love their beautiful colour. That is probably why I love this glaze so much! However, I had never tried it on any of my lacy bowls until this one.
I was pleasantly surprised at how it came out, and it really has a lovely fruity red feel to it. It's definitely a much bolder look for the lacy birds than the soft blues that I often use! It's surprising just how different their effect is in this colour.

Monday, 20 April 2009


My new shop on Supermarket is now just about open! I currently have only one item on it, and no store banner yet, but I'm working on it!
For those of you who haven't seen the Supermarket website before, it is an online market place, and their catchphrase is "Great design. Straight from designers."
I think that pretty much sums it up. I think it is fantastic, and every time I go on there, I start drooling over the gorgeous stuff on sale. They are selective in who they allow onto the site, and this makes the shopping experience easier I think. Don't get me wrong, I love the diversity that a site like etsy has, but it can sometimes be frustrating, when using the search for example, as there are soooo many makers, and the standard is so variable. The standard of work on Supermarket is very high, so it's a little easier to use. So if you haven't already, check it out. I promise you'll come away with a huge wish-list of goodies. I'm honoured to have been accepted amongst such amazing talent!

You either love it or hate it...

I love it! This humble side plate seems to create a reaction one way or the other every time someone sees it. It was made by Midwinter and is from a range called Sienna. It was made in the famous Staffordshire potteries in England, and the design was first made in 1962. Mine only travelled 50 miles to arrive on my table, but this design is well known accross the world. Midwinter's range was very fashionable in the sixties, and was much more cutting edge than many of the things that my grandmother's generation would have been used to. Whilst the masses still loved their chintzy florals, Midwinter brought something new. They were a leader in contemporary British style, and I believe that this type of abstract, geometric pattern has had a huge influence over the tableware that has followed. I have a range of Habitat plates given to me as a gift a few years ago (that I absolutely love) that in many ways remind me of this plate. Their designs are now seen as classics (or hated) because of their geometric, modern/retro look. Midwinter was eventually taken over by Meakins in 1968 (and again later by credit crunch casualty Wedgewood in 1970) but their 1960's tableware lives on under my breakfast toast, and I think that their influence can still very much be felt today.
OK - so I have made my case for my little plate - what do you think of it?

Friday, 10 April 2009

Work in progress...

I don't normally show work in progress when it's a special order, but these are soooo cute that I couldn't resist. A very special lady has ordered a flock of eleven birds for in her wall, and four of them will be slightly different from the rest. They will have her childrens' names embossed into the surface, and will have a slightly different glaze in the texture. They go in size order according to their ages. I just love the concept. I wish my family had had a flock with our names on when we were kids! Of course they look a little rough around the edges at the moment, but they'll be smoothed off in due course. There are two more obviously, but I can't show them all or there would be no surprises left when she opens the box :-)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Today I am famous!!!

Because it is the first time anything I have done through Princedesignuk has been published in print! Yay :)
So here it is... If you squint and look really, really closely you can see my starry eyed lovebird bowl there! It is featured in this month's Simply Knitting magazine, thanks to Hunkydory Home which is an online shop featuring some of my work. Fantastic!

Monday, 6 April 2009

My flying duck obsession continues...

Some call it OCD; I prefer to call it art. Well design anyway. I thought they'd make a cool image for dinnerware too, so here are my first flying duck dessert plates...
The ducks were stamped into the surface of the clay, and then filled with coloured glaze. I added a glossy clear glaze over the top surface to make them nice to use for food. As I'm vegetarian they are the only ducks you'll find on my plate :) I love the seven inch plate size; it is the size of plate I use the most as I am a real snack addict. It's a nice size for a sandwich or a crumpet or two...
I thought I'd try them out in blue and green, but I'm temped to try other colours too... Red or black maybe. Opinions are welcome as always!