the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 20 – Urban Foraging Cocktail workshop…

Ever wondered what edible things you walk past each day in Brighton and Hove? Not sure how to spot them or what to do with them? Well, for another of post free gift options in our Eco Gift Guide, we are shamelessly plugging one of our own events, but it will be a cracker! Join us for an introduction to foraging and a few top tips of where to find useful things, culminating in a HUGELY popular foraged cocktail making session using flavours gathered from the city of Brighton itself…

This special event led by Claire Potter (claire potter design) is part of the immersive experience at Patterns Bar, Brighton. Step through a transformed mystical entrance, and discover an enchanted forest filled with nostalgic treats and immersive visual feasts inspired by Britain’s woodlands and the wild outdoors in Winter.

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The ground floor bar will be transformed into a winter wonderland reminiscent of scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia, brought to life by a multi-level digitally projected and interlinked forest, complete with softly falling snowflakes, inquisitive wild animals and scents of the forest air. Inside, you’ll find festive treats such a boozy hot chocolate menu and Hot Buttered Rum to enjoy as you watch a flock of birds fly around the room or a snow fox dart in front of you. Imagine watching the sunset from a discarded Chesterfield in Narnia with a warming cocktail in hand, dancing amongst the swirling snow in the glow of a Victorian lamppost and you will be half way to Woodlandia.

 

Claire will be leading a talk and discussion around urban foraging, but the best bit is that there will be a foraged cocktail workshop in the second half of the workshop – hands on making and sampling too!

Plus, as it is in February, the post Christmas and New Year detox will be over. The lovely cocktails we will be making use the very best of the new sprouts and shoots of the season, and as local as you can probably ever get…

Tickets on sale now – £15 per person on our Eventbrite page

(images via claire potter and woodlandia)

the Ecospot Eco Gift guide 2016 – day 19 – Magazine Brighton voucher…

Most postal dates for gifts in the UK are looming today or tomorrow, but do not panic. You can still give a gift that is thoughtful and supports good people. For instance, the joy of a new piece of print is something that should not be underestimated, but magazines can be very personal. We love discovering titles from small independent publishers – something different. Off the wall. Intriguing, or even challenging. Fortunately, we have the rather fabulous Magazine Brighton in the city, which has a fantastic selection of well known and little known publications. It is a lovely place to visit, but if you can’t make it to the store, you can still find them online…

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So if you know someone you loves discovering new print, then this could be the perfect gift. Stocking around 95% of the titles they have in the store, this is as good as you can get if you are not South Coast based. Search by name if you know what you are looking for, or search by category and find something new. Discovery is a wonderful thing.

Recently we discovered the Ocean issue of Wilderness, which blew us away. We also picked up a copy of the Stress Report from Do Books and also regular copies of our favourites – from Ernest Journal to Another Escape and more. We cannot fail to find something remarkable.

But as we have said, magazines are infinitely personal purchases. Grab one of the Magazine Brighton Gift Vouchers and give the gift of exploration for another.

(images via Magazine Brighton)

the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 8 – Lulu by Designosaur…

It’s day 8 already on our Ecospot Eco Gift Guide and we have chosen a very special gift indeed. We are all about the strong statements, and if you know someone who also has something to say and doesn’t mind being stopped at least three times a day to be asked where they got their necklace from, the strong, bold laser cut jewellery of Designosaur should be on your radar. With a range ranging from duck billed platypus to velociraptors, via Miami beachfront cafes and a barrel full of monkeys, Designosaur’s designs are wonderfully individual and creative. But for day 8, we are featuring a very special necklace in their range – the wonderful Lulu…

Orca Necklace. Killer Whale Statement Necklace. Whale Pendant. Endangered Species Necklace. World Cetacean Alliance Fundraising Jewellery

Named after a real UK orca that became entrapped in abandoned ghost gear, Lulu is a necklace that tells a story –  a story where over 100,000 mammals a year lose their lives due to becoming caught, or ingesting synthetic netting, rope and other plastic based debris. From the turquoise net that is laid over her body to the beach cleaned rope from which she hangs, Lulu is a necklace with a deep meaning.

Made as a fundraising piece for the World Cetacean Alliance, Lulu is an orca with a mission, with 25% of every sale going directly to WCA to aid in global cetacean protection.

I am lucky enough to have a Lulu, and I have lost count of the times I have been approached by complete strangers, asking about her and what she means. Telling the story of her creation and why marine litter is one of the most pressing issues we have for both our oceans and ourselves is a tale that breaks my heart yet gives me hope that people will also re-tell the same story and change will ripple out.

So – we are delighted to feature this very special necklace on our Eco Gift Guide today. It is a gift that gives back in so many ways…

*** PS we have ONE Lulu left at our studio for the Artist’s Open Houses – last weekend 10/11th December ***

(image by Designosaur)

the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 7 – Get Lost print by Hello Dodo…

Ah, Christmas. A time of joy, seasonal cheer and unbounded love for all, everywhere. Except it is not. It is stressful, rushed and often full of get togethers with people you haven’t seen all year, but somehow feel obligated to because it is Christmas. Bah. Wouldn’t it be nice to be out of the thick of it all, hidden away in a calm and peaceful setting… whilst also telling people to just leave you alone. If you feel the same as us sometimes in the season, or know someone who does, you need this fantastic print by Hello Dodo in your life. It’s day 7 on our Eco Gift Guide and we have chosen the ‘Get Lost’ series by design duo Hello Dodo…

Get Lost Tote Bag, Funny Tote Bag, Adventure Print, Mountain Print, Screen Print Bag, Cute Shopper, Explore Print, Cute Tote Bag, Fun Gift

Often with cheeky double meanings, the bright and cheerful work of South Coast based Hello Dodo never fails to raise a smile, but we really love their new Get Lost collection. It has that classic vintage nod, but is not taking itself too seriously.

Get Lost Embroidered Patch, Funny Iron On Patch, Explore Patch, Mountain Patch, Hiking Patch, Nature Patch, Country Patch, Adven

Plus, the design is available in a whole raft of different configurations, to suit all types of people who either want to get lost themselves – or want to send a bit of a message to others.

Get Lost Sweater, Get Lost Jumper, Cosy Grey Sweater, Christmas Sweater, Mountain Jumper, Funny Sweater, Adventure Explore Sweater Jumper

Slightly glittery blue prints to patches, tote bags to jumpers, there is something for all. And to prove this, we had a visitor to Studio Loo – our open studio for the Brighton Artists’ Open Houses, (where Hello Dodo are featured) from Sweden who is well into his 80’s and he happily trotted off with a Get Lost tote after we explained to him the double meaning. He was very much looking forward to telling all his friends to Get Lost when he got home. Her wandered off roaring with laughter.

So. Get Lost with Hello Dodo. Seriously. Get Lost.

All items available (at time of posting) through the Hello Dodo Etsy Shop here. 

(image via Hello Dodo)

our Brighton Architectural Notebooks are now in Homage!

Yes – that is right! You can now find our Brighton Architectural notebooks in the beautiful home store, Homage, in the Seven Dials area of Brighton.

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Packed up in mixed threes, you can get a set of A6 notebooks made from 100% recycled paper, printed in Sussex with images of iconic pieces of Brighton Architecture – the Pavilion, the Palace Pier and our beloved West Pier.

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And check out the beautiful pieces they have in the store – from hand thrown utilitarian ceramic mugs to wide toothed combs, scented candles and hanging glass planters. We are delighted to be in such a lovely store. Go and say hi to Mark and Liza at Homage and check them out in their online store – www.homageonline.co.uk 

(images by claire potter and homage)

friday photo – hope…

Friday photo no21 – hope.

There always has to be hope. This photo was taken on our recent beach clean for Surfers Against Sewage – a lovely shot looking out to sea over freshly cleaned beaches and the new offshore wind farm that is being developed in the channel off Brighton. We need to work together to make this world better. We need to have hope to make that happen…

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(image by claire potter)

*** EVENT REPORT *** Surfers Against Sewage Autumn Beach Clean Series, Brighton…

It seems like barely yesterday we were leading the Brighton and Hove Beach Clean for Surfers Against Sewage back in April as lead volunteers, yet here we are in October, with Claire as a new SAS Regional Rep and another beach clean under our belts…

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The Autumn Beach Clean Series from Surfers Against Sewage, running across the UK throughout the whole of this week will see over 250 beach cleans completed by thousands of volunteers – taking marine litter off our coasts and into our recycling systems.

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In Brighton and Hove this year we have 5 beach cleans in the diary, and we led the second of the two cleans yesterday from 12-3pm, which was attended by a group of people on their lunch breaks, people passing by and people who just want to see a cleaner beach.

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Even though the temperature has cooled and we are very much out of the main tourist season here in Brighton, there were the usual suspects in our beach clean. Cans, straws, food packaging and of course, single use plastic bottles. Each recyclable element was stripped out of the 12 bags of collected rubbish and sorted to allow them to get back into our recycled material stream.

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But, as with all beach cleans, there were also a few interesting pieces to be seen. A large chunk of cement and rope (that was actually collected from the beach by my dad!) had a bit of an appearance of a heart, or an angel fish, plus we also collected some pieces of aquarium plastic foliage (oh the irony) and even a bright yellow walrus.

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At the end of the clean we all tucked into specially iced Surfers Against Sewage chocolate chip cookies and spoke to the many passers by about the issues. One of our volunteers exclaimed that it was not rocket science – you just walked and picked stuff up… the passers by agreed and many took a small bag to do their own mini beach clean as they walked.

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We look forward to reporting the statistics from all the Autumn Beach Clean Series this year – how many tons of rubbish will be removed – and how many single use plastic bottles were recovered. If we had a deposit scheme for plastic we are sure that there would be infinitely less… *

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(images by claire potter)

*want to join the campaign calling for a deposit return scheme on single use plastic bottled? Check out the SAS Message In a Bottle campaign here

 

It’s the Surfers Against Sewage Autumn Beach Clean Series 2016!

It’s finally here! From 24th – 30th October, at beaches all across the UK, the Surfers Against Sewage Autumn Beach Clean Series will be mobilising thousands of volunteers at over 250 venues to clean up the scourge that is marine litter – and particularly plastic, which remains in the environment indefinitely…

Here in Brighton and Hove, we have a fantastic 5 cleans taking place, starting on Saturday 22nd October and running till Sunday 30th October, with a huge bumper beach clean and party courtesy of the English Disco Lovers at Hove Lawns.

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As Claire is one of three new volunteer Regional Reps for SAS in Brighton and Hove, we will be running the beach clean on Monday 24th October from 12-3pm, starting at the beach behind the King Alfred in Hove.

So – come along! Pop in for 10 minutes or three hours – whatever you can manage, and help on a beach clean to spread the word about marine litter. And if you’re not in the Brighton and Hove area do not despair – check the main Surfers Against Sewage Events page to find a clean near you…

(images by claire potter, SAS and Creative Bloom)

New Surfers Against Sewage Regional Rep for Brighton!

A very quick post for the weekend – we are delighted to announce that Claire is to be one of new Regional Reps appointed by Surfers Against Sewage and will be covering the Brighton and Hove area! With the studio specialism and obsession with marine litter, the link up with Surfers Against Sewage is great – and will allow us to do even more with beach cleans and research to protect our beloved oceans.

west pier SAS regional rep

As they say – watch this space for more!

(photo by claire potter)

Our ParleyAIR x Adidas marine plastic video…

There is nothing like a deadline. And yesterday evening, the end of July was the deadline for entries into the Parley x Adidas contest to win one of the concept pairs of new trainers made from recovered ocean plastic. As you can all imagine, with our studio obsession and work in marine litter (using the Parley AIR principles), these trainers are rather something special. We would LOVE to see a pair, let alone have the chance of having a set in the studio… So, we created a little video about why we think this is important and what we are doing about it and uploaded it to our Instagram account – something we have actually been meaning to do for a while. This contest was the nudge we needed. Our little vid is also a call to action if you will. Just think what we could achieve if we all work together…

Let us know your thoughts.

PS – we’ll certainly let you know if we get selected to receive a pair of the new ocean plastic trainers by Adidas and Parley – and be their ambassadors!

(video by claire potter design – shot using the MAVIS app)

***EVENT REVIEW*** – March of The Mermaids with World Cetacean Alliance…

Last Saturday, we were out and about again – this time with the World Cetacean Alliance at the March of the Mermaids in Hove, helping them spread the word about ghost gear netting and specifically, what you can do with it. Armed with a raft of experimental pieces of jewellery we created for our exhibit at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016, we were there for the day running making workshops with recovered netting from the beaches of Brighton. With attendees from age 3 upwards, we were busy!

March of the Mermaids 2016 WCA workshop

It was great to show everyone the issue up close and actually encourage them to feel the rope and see it as a material resource for new products, rather than something that should be consigned to landfill.

March of the Mermaids 2016 WCA workshop ghost gear jewellery

We knotted, weaved, plaited, threaded and combined the synthetic netting with simple jewellery findings and each attendee went away with a few new skills, loads of information and a new bracelet or two to help them tell the story to others. It was an encouraging sight.

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one of the ghost gear bracelets made at the workshops – complete with a nickel and zinc free little whale!

We also had time to catch up with the great guys and gals that make up the Brighton Etsy team, who have also teamed up with the World Cetacean Alliance to create new pieces inspired by their Untangled project brief. Launched at March of the Mermaids, the pieces range from patches to jewellery again – with a percentages of all the product sales from now until Christmas being donated directly to the World Cetacean Alliance.

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And one of them is Lulu – of which I am extremely proud have the very first prototype for. She always gets stacks of attention when I wear her and I’m delighted that I can now direct people to Designosaur’s shop to get their own!

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One of the purchases we made was this awesome print as a tote bag by Hello Dodo… just made us smile!

March of the Mermaids 2016 Hello Dodo

Take a look at their blog here to see all the pieces created by their members for WCA.

So, overall, a great fundraising and awareness raising day at March of the Mermaids for the World Cetacean Alliance – and watch this space for some more very exciting news about our work with WCA soon…!

(images by claire potter and the Brighton Etsy Team)

Studio Loo is getting ready for the Artists Open Houses…

It’s that time of year again. May is possibly one of the busiest times in the studio for events, and this year, we are not only doing the Brighton Artist’s Open Houses and opening our Studio Loo to the public, we are also doing Clerkenwell Design Week too. No rest for the wicked as they say. And now we are in the thick of our set-up for the Artist’s Open Houses, we thought we would introduce you to our guest artists, designers and makers this year…

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Linescapes were with us last year – with wonderful architectural prints of iconic buildings from Brighton and further afield, we will have a selection of prints and gifts at Studio Loo…

Keith Richards by Dave Friston

 

It is the first time fine artist Dave Friston is with us at Studio Loo, and we are really excited to be showing all four of his incredible Rolling Stones paintings, which use reclaimed pallets as their canvases. Prints will be available too..

Penelope Kenny is a huge favourite of the studio – with her exquisite screen prints of Darwinesque animal combinations. We’ll have a selection of prints from pocket money pieces to larger one-offs.

Ship Faced Tote Bag, Funny Tote, Drunk Tote Bag, Boat Tote, Canvas Shopper, Screenprinted Bag, Handprinted Cotton Shopper, Cute Tote Bag

Hello Dodo never fail to raise a smile with their brilliantly witty and bold prints and accessories. And this year, Hello Dodo will be launching a new range of prints at Studio Loo! Even we haven’t seen them yet! Come and check them out before they disappear.

Image of 'No Bulb in My Lamp: Selected Diary Sketches 2004-2014'

Local illustrator Peter James Field captures the delicacy and strangeness of life in a magical way. From cards to original prints and books, his is a world that needs to be explored…

Vintage Fabric Cushion With Woven Floral Stripe

Like reclaimed fabrics? You will love the work of Sue Milner, who is bringing a whole stack of one-off cushions to Studio Loo made from her extensive vintage fabric collection.

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Like many pieces of large furniture, pianos often suffer the fate of being discarded and left to rot. Mark Reeve rescues theses pianos, dismantles them and builds these wonderful creatures for his Piano Planetorium. Each one unique…

Brighton Beautiful Shoulder Tote Bag - Navy Linen & Ikea Print, Microscopic Bugs

Frances Derbyshire of Brighton Beautiful will also be showing a great selection of vintage fabric makes – in the form of bags and purses. Brilliant colours and fantastic prints and all unique pieces again.

Traditional Japanese wood block artist, Claire Cameron Smith will be showing her stunning prints in both colour and monochrome. Carved in cherry wood, come and see the detail in these gorgeous prints, which, due to the method of creation and the natural block, are all slightly different…

So – come along to Studio Loo at the Artists Open Houses for the next four weekends in May (7/8, 14/15, 21/22, 28/29) from 10-5 and have a look. Oh – there is cake too!

simple pleasures cupcakery

check out this page for full details! 

***EVENT*** Big Spring Beach Clean for Surfers Against Sewage…

Each Spring and Autumn, Surfers Against Sewage mobilise thousands of volunteers across the whole of the UK to undertake beach cleans – and this year, we were delighted to be the Lead Volunteers for Hove, organising the Big Spring Beach Clean last weekend. We care very deeply about our environments – global and local – and coupled with our continuing studio research into marine litter and plastics, this was something we just had to do. Big Spring Beach Clean 7Sunday morning dawned bright blue, clear and sunny, which, when you are running volunteer events, is an incredibly welcome sight indeed. With such important causes, you will always get people who will turn up, but the sun certainly helps. By 10am, we were set up on the Promenade behind the Kind Alfred Leisure Centre, with boxes of marine litter we had previously recovered, sets of gloves, a box of homemade brownies and the largest chunk of rope I have ever seen, that we hauled off the beach minutes before. And people arrived – single people, couples, sets of friends, families – even a few passers by who were recruited into the cause too. A quick briefing from Claire about marine litter and it’s global impact, a safety briefing and a tide briefing and people scattered East and West along the beaches of Hove. Big Spring Beach Clean 5

About an hour later, the first of the volunteers popped back, with the first bag of marine litter – a mass of coloured plastic, bits of metal and fishing gear clearly visible through the transparent bag. We chose to use these plastic bags for this very reason – we wanted passers by to SEE what the volunteers were picking up so we could discuss WHY this was an issue and just how big the issue was. Many people stopped to take photos of the bags as they piled up over the two hours of the clean.Big Spring Beach Clean 3

By the ‘official’ end of our Big Spring Beach Clean, our fantastic volunteers had recovered 25 bags of marine litter from the beaches of Hove, weighing an estimated 40-45kg. This was everything from plastic bags, bottles and packaging to fishing gear, bits of single use bbq’s andrandom items. We had a black lacy dress, a pair of broken sunglasses, a baseball cap, knitted pants and one flipflop. Nearly a complete outfit, if a bit random – even for Brighton standards. Big Spring Beach Clean 1

One volunteer decided to just concentrate on palm oil, which we have had washed up in huge quantities recently in Brighton and Hove. These chunks of white fat pose a serious health risk to children and dogs, who can become fatally poisoned if they consume them. Many of the people we spoke to on the prom didn’t know what palm oil was, so this was another great educational opportunity.Big Spring Beach Clean 6By midday, with the wind blowing and the tide coming in, all our volunteers were safely back at our temporary HQ and were thanked with more homemade brownies and one of our Brighton architecture A6 recycled paper notebooks each. Everyone looked rosy from the wind and delighted at our collective efforts. Big Spring Beach Clean 2

A great day. Thank you to everyone who came and cleaned, for those who stopped to talk to us about the marine litter issue and of course, Surfers Against Sewage for getting us all out there for the Big Spring Beach Clean. Watch this space as we use some of the material we recovered in new designs which will feature at our first ever Clerkenwell Design Week exhibition at the end of May…

(images by claire potter)

***EVENT*** The University of Sussex Product Design Degree Show…

As well as running the studio, I am also an associate tutor at the University of Sussex, where I teach circular economy design to the final year product designers. And for this week only – come and see the University of Sussex BSc Product Design Degree Show, where the final year designers will be showing their products developed over the past 12 months.

Product Design Show 2016

From a money tracking app for students to a circular economy based method for the reprocessing of soft toys, there will be a huge range of projects on show, along with their creators who will be on hand to answer any questions…

Product Design Show 2016 invite

Find out more at the University of Sussex BSc Product Design Degree Show site.

CPD project update – the Preston Circus Planter…

We have been working on this project for a little while now – a new external planter for the landscaped area outside the Duke of York’s Cinema in Brighton, and this week, we finally saw it jump out of our screens.

Preston Circus Pocket Square NEW SCHEME small

Based on the huge amount of converging lines that meet up in this part of Brighton, the new planter has been commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council to replace an old, defunct standard structure. The geometric shape that has emerged from the road lines on the plan has now been built locally from 20mm steel which will be galvanised for durability. The external faces are due to be clad in reclaimed decking from the Palace Pier in Brighton and are being bolted to the frame to ensure that each piece can be replaced if required.

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The planting will be a selection of hardy perennial and the whole piece is set to be installed in the next month or so. We will keep you updated on the progress…