SPOTTED – sustainable product design at New Designers 2016… pt2

On Tuesday, we started our pick of the best sustainable design we spotted at the recent graduate design show New Designers – and with over 3,000 exhibitors showing their work it was no mean feat to select our favourite. Tuesday saw our pick of the ‘different materials’ projects, where the designers have rethought a waste material into something new. Today, we are looking at ‘recycling and repair’…

Starting at the University of Brighton’s 3D Design and Craft stand, we were delighted to see a really interesting mix of well thought out projects, finished beautifully.

Helen Jones 5

The work of Helen Jones, entitled ‘Alternate Endings’ looked to challenge the throwaway culture we have, and endeavours to reinstate the value of a product with visible repair.

Helen Jones 2

The range of products shown were really beautiful – from plastic repairs to ceramic and metal restorations. A very poetic and powerful set of pieces.

Helen Jones 3

Also on the University of Brighton stand was the work of Ella Hetheringon, who immediately had us hooked with her investigations into ‘Forgotten and Future Foods’.

Ella Hetherington 1

Looking into how we could both eat sustainably whilst connecting with the seasons, Ella also created tools made from site specific materials. The marine plastic handled knives were a real thing of beauty…

Ella Hetherington 2

Whilst the detailing on the folded leather bowls was delicate and considered. A very nice set of works indeed.

Moving onto plastics, there were two recycled plastic projects which really stood out for us this year – and interestingly, both won New Designers Awards too. Is this a sustainable shift we see?

Jack Hubery 4

First up is the work of Jack Hubery, who tackled the issues with our obsessions with plastic by creating a kit system to allow people to reuse their own plastics at home.

Jack Hubery 3

The ‘Experiments in Recycled Plastic’ created a series of recycled plastic plates, made using a simple jig that fitted in a domestic oven. Would this type of plastic reuse increase the emotional connectivity with the material and encourage a more sustainable use of plastic? An interesting set of pieces for sure.

In a similar vein, Josh James from the University of West England was also using recycled plastic, with another ‘kit’ to allow plastic reuse at home.

Josh James 1

The pieces had a very appealing, sweetie style aesthetic, with colours and effects marbeled through both the geometrically moulded final products and the nuggets of sample combinations. We particularly liked the illustration of how much material went into a piece.

Josh James 2

And after winning the Not On the High Street Award, we will keep our eyes open for perhaps some bespoke recycled plastic pieces online soon…

So there we have it. Our top eight designers spotted at New Designers 2016 who were doing something sustainable and interesting. We look forward to seeing what they get up to next, and here’s hoping that we will have far more to cover next year.

(all images by claire potter)

SPOTTED – sustainable product design at New Designers 2016… pt1

Last week went rather quickly for us at the studio and like most days, we were wearing at least two different hats. Up at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London for the prestigious graduate design exhibition New Designers, our first role was with the final year Product Designers from the University of Sussex (who won three awards), co-coordinating the build of their stand and talking about the Design for the Circular Economy module we teach. The other hat was our blogging hat and we had a good hunt about for all the sustainably minded student design projects from over 3,000 exhibitors…

First up is our ‘different materials’ selection, comprising different designers who are using somewhat alternative materials to make new products.

Lucas Santos 1 New Designers 2016

With our own research area being firmly in the marine litter area, we were delighted to see Lucas Santos’s exhibit at the Edinburgh College of Art stand, which was designed to highlight the issues of discarded cigarette butts. Combining the butts with natural resins and forming it into a surfboard was a nice way to show the scale and environmental issues. It was just over a year that we discovered the NURDkit by Alice Kettle at the same stand, so there appears to be a marine litter strand running through the University of Edinburgh concepts…

Tereza A 1 New Designers 2016

Also on the Edinburgh College of Art stand was the work of Tereza Astilean, who won a New Designers Award for her project which looked into the waste created from the carpet and textile industry, and how it could be reused.

Tereza A 2 New Designers 2016

This is a very nice circular economy based design – taking the waste from another process and building into the ‘food’ for another process. The garments on show were also nicely put together, with a very utilitarian nod.

Abbie Karrington 1 New Designers

Heading over to the University of Plymouth stand, we spotted this very interesting concept from Abbie Karrington. Named VEGtables, reclaimed table legs were combined with an undulating surface made from waste vegetable peelings mixed with a 100% natural resin. The surface was very tactile and visually appealing (no pun intended). We would like to see it a bit thicker with a ground down smooth surface too – similar to Solidwool (who we will be featuring here on the Ecospot very soon).

Meg Walker 2 New Designers 2016

Last up is Threadbear from Meg Walker, who was an intern with us last year and has just completed her final year in Product Design at the University of Sussex. Meg’s concept is very circular economy based, with extensive research into items that get consigned to landfill. Soft toys that have lost their labels are one item that are seemingly worthless as they cannot be re-sold, so through a meticulous disassembly and transformation process, the Threadbear fabric was created.

Meg Walker 1 New Designers 2016

Using everything from disassembled soft toys, the new woven fabric includes threads from the fur and spun polyester filling, with added colour and texture from the fur itself. A very handcrafted process, the Threadbear fabric is high concept, but is certainly something that could be scaled…

It is always incredibly heartening to see student designers taking on environmental issues with their projects – and each year we hope to see more…

Keep your eyes peeled for our next SPOTTED from New Designers – coming up this Thursday.

(images by claire potter)

Remarkable Magazine – does exactly what its says on the tin…

We love print. Ok – perhaps it is not the most eco friendly of reading choices, but there is something quite special about the whole experience that cannot be replicated online. The feel, the smell, the touch. And so, we often frequent the wonderful store Magazine Brighton, which stocks a dizzying array of short run, independent and overseas publications – always on the look out for something gorgeous. Our latest find is very special indeed – Remarkable Magazine – which has the tagline ‘Live better. Harm less.’ We were sold.


So what is Remarkable?
‘Remarkable is a digital gallery, magazine and marketplace showcasing remarkable humans doing and making remarkable things to help people live better and harm less.
We understand that our global population grows while resources shrink, but we believe the solution lies in making simple, graceful and thoughtful choices. Our mission is to inform when you ask why, inspire when you ask how and be there when you’re ready to make a remarkable change.’

And it does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a remarkable read, with inspirational features, beautiful infographics, wonderful calls to action and a very nice design. From fast fashion to Being an Unfucker (more of that in another post…), to smart cities and moving yourself more.

It is an eco magazine for the design conscious.

This may seem a rather odd statement, but in actual fact, despite the fantastic contemporary, sustainable and circular economy designs that are happening all over the globe, by many different types of designers for all sorts of reasons, quite often sustainable designs / products are segmented into a special ‘green’ edition of a design publication, or collected into an ‘eco page’.

Remarkable showcases the range and variety of design led sustainability throughout – without being preachy.

We loved it.

But, with only two issues per year, we are going to have to wait a little more time till we can get out next print fix. In the meantime, we will be keeping a close eye on their online features over here, so ask yourself – do you want to be Remarkable too?

REMARKΔBLE from Remarkable on Vimeo.

(images via Remarkable)

the new Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium opens…

We are really lucky to live and work in Brighton. We have the sea on one side, the South Downs on the other and the city filling is a mass of creativity and inspiration with some fantastic individuals and organisations doing some brilliant work. One such example, and long standing friend of the studio is Emmaus Brighton and Hove.

Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium 4

Based in the former convent in the Portslade Old Village area of the city, Emmaus Brighton and Hove is the largest Emmaus community in the UK, functioning as a secondhand superstore, cafe, garden shop and so much more – with each former homeless companion living and working on the site in some capacity. It is helping hand – a family – and a wonderful place to visit.

Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium 5

We are always at Emmaus – finding pieces for our projects and clients in the vast rambling areas of the stores, having a cuppa or chatting with the staff and companions. So, it was with delight that we were invited to the special preview of the new Emmaus Emporium…

Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium 3

Situated in a newly refurbished part of the old convent laundry building, the Emporium is the destination for all the donated pieces which are a bit special – vintage, retro and antique. And the space is just fantastic.

The two main display pieces have been created by Simon Bottrell of 7 Creative, who has arranged the donated pieces of furniture in an incredible tower and wall piece of stacked tables, chests and shelves. With multiple display opportunities, the pale grey painted main ‘frames’ are able to accommodate the continually fluctuating donations whilst still remaining interesting and exciting – essential for any space. And the detailing is lovely – legs that appear to punch through tops of tables set below, items that float and even melt into the back wall…

Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium 2

Other display pieces use old ladders, repurposed counters and even a selection of upside down standard lamps – hanging from the centre of the space to give real impact to the room.

It is so fantastic to see the energy behind each of the projects that Emmaus Brighton and Hove creates – constantly staying one step ahead of what you would dream a ‘charity shop’ could be. The Emporium is the latest addition to the collection of shops at Emmaus Brighton and Hove – and a real feather in their secondhand caps.

Emmaus Brighton and Hove Emporium 1

Visit Emmaus Brighton and Hove’s website to find out more and how to get there… You will not be disappointed – we can guarantee that.

(image by claire potter design)

*** REVIEW *** a lovely cream table lamp from First Choice Lighting…

We have a bit of a thing for desk lamps here in the studio. We have amassed a collection of anglepoise lamps from the 60’s onwards that we use daily in the studio and regularly use them in our residential and commercial projects – they are just too nice to be reserved for the office. But sometimes a gentler slant is required, and we were delighted when we were asked to review this cream table lamp by First Choice Lighting.

First Choice Lighting 1

Created by manufacturers Där Lighting, the table lamp has some very lovely components – the hanging vintage enamel style shade and the elephant grey twisted fabric cable sit very well together indeed and offer up a contemporary feel. It fits really nicely with the more eclectic, industrial interior design aesthetic too.

First Choice Lighting 3

We really fell in love with the detailing however – the simple softwood frame features a delicately curved arm reminiscent of a branch, from which the cream shade hangs and rocks gently. Very lovely.

First Choice Lighting 2

So, looking for a feminine table lamp alternative to the anglepoise? This may be one for you.

Available for £69 at First Choice Lighting.

(images by claire potter – butterflybird print by Penelope Kenny, all other items studio own)

Mafia Bags – from Sails to Bags…

As our materials get increasingly more robust, intelligent and indeed, man made, we have a bit of a double edged sword. In many respects, the newer ‘engineered’ materials often have a longer usable life, but unlike more natural materials, they are often hard or impossible to repair or recycle. Then we have an issue with a waste material. As we move towards a more circular based economy, it is essential that we find uses for these materials that would otherwise become landfill or incinerator fodder. Why waste something that can be reused? This is exactly the ethos of Mafia Bags.

Mafia Bags 3

Based in San Francisco, Mafia take the discarded and defunct windsurf, kiting and boating sails that have reached the end of their water based lives and transform them into functional and practical bags (very much like studio favourites Freitag do with truck tarps).

Mafia Bags 2

The resulting pieces are not only functional and make excellent use of a ‘waste’ material, they are completely individual. Nobody else will have the same configuration of materials as you in your bag. In a world of supposed sterile homogeneity of brands, we certainly celebrate this individuality too.

With a good selection of styles, colours and sizes, there is a bag for any occasion. Duffel bags to laptop covers, and very nice new additions to the Discover Backpack range. See one you love? Grab it before it is gone. It will be the only one. (race you all to the one below)

Mafia Bags 1

Got a sail yourself? You can donate it to Mafia and let them know what you would like it to be made into. And if you have a Mafia bag, they will repair it or replace it if it fails – for life – and for free. This is in the same vein as the Patagonia Repair Your Gear programme, where technicians will repair your beloved apparel so you can use it for longer.

mafia bags 4

This is what we need in brands. We need brands like Mafia and Patagonia who do not just want to sell to us, but believe so strongly in their products that they are willing to help us keep them, and love them longer.

Reusing waste material is an excellent start – keeping that second-life product in use is the future. 

(images via Mafia)

*** REVIEW *** Memobottle – the paper sized reusable water bottle…

Plastic has become rather an obsession to us in the studio, especially single use plastic bottles that are consigned to the bin mere minutes after they have been used. Way back in August last year we reported on the Project Ocean exhibition and initiative in Selfridges, London, where single use water bottles were removed from sale and replaced with good, strong reusable water bottles instead. Given the fact that 5,000 single use plastic bottles enter the waste stream every 15 seconds in London alone, this small action means more than it may appear. Reusable water bottles are the way forward.

memobottle 2

And this is why, back in April 2015 we featured the Australian designed Memobottle – possibly the world’s first ‘flat’ water bottle that had received funding on Kickstarter and was encouraging people to commit to refilling rather than buying more plastic and discarding it.

Of course, there are many water bottles available on the market, in all shapes and sizes, but what really pushed our buttons with the Memobottle was that it is sized in the same way as paper (A6 / A5) and is FLAT, so it fits in a laptop bag or satchel. This simple change is ridiculously useful.

memobottle 4

So we were delighted when the lovely people at Memobottle dropped us a line to say hi – and send us an A6 bottle to use…


Wrapped in lovely printed brown card (so the card can go straight into the recycling), the Memobottle guys have thought about far more than the average water bottle manufacturer, and much more than the shape change. The brown card packaging guides you through the importance of reuse – along with a thank you, and a gorgeous internal booklet takes you deeper into the issues. memobottle booklet

The Memobottle itself, made from crystal clear BPA free plastic comes with two caps, white and black, so you can tailor it to your preferences (or have a spare for when one goes walkies) – again, packaged with thought and care.

memobottle 1

We have taken out our A6 bottle quite a few times (as it sits nicely in a satchel) and as their story is so engaging and well communicated, we have been able to re-tell the Memobottle story to others. This is how it should be – with great brands doing great stuff, with great stories told well.

Well done Memobottle. 

*** want your own memobottle? check out their store locator here ***

(images by claire potter)

2015 recap – September – Zero Waste Week and Silo Brighton…

We are in the last week of our 2015 recap now, and for today we are casting our minds back to September, where we were mostly talking about zero waste…

(first published 10 Sept 2015)

Continuing our look at zero waste for zero waste week, today we are featuring one of our favourite places in Brighton. Silo, which opened in the North Laine area of the city earlier this year is heralded as a ‘pre-industrial food system’ which, as well as producing beautiful and delicious food, also produces zero waste.


Now, for a restaurant to declare that its is ‘zero waste’ is a huge achievement, but as founder of Silo, Doug McMaster points out – if you design and create ‘backwards’ – ie with the bin in mind, you can begin to eliminate waste before it has been produced, rather than dealing with it at the end. This is effective and clever.

Silo demonstrate that by working with producers directly, you can choose items that have been produced locally, in reusable / returnable vessels that continue to be in the loop once the contents have been used at the restaurant.

silo brighton 2

But reducing the packaging that you use is one thing. The largest, and most pressing waste produced from a restaurant is the food waste itself. Scraps, peelings, left overs – where does all this go? At Silo, they have Big Bertha – a composting machine that sits just inside the entrance to the side of the restaurant and converts everything into compost and liquid feed in an astonishingly short amount of time.

The 50-60kg of compost it produces overnight is distributed back to the growers that they get their raw goods from – literally closing the loop. As you enter the restaurant, one shelf is filled with boxes from the Espresso Mushroom Company, happily sprouting their brown and pink oyster mushrooms from the mix of recycled compost and locally sourced coffee grounds in the cool shade.

silo brighton 3

But it is not just the food that is zero waste at Silo – the pastries that greet you are served on multicoloured discs of plastic – melted plastic bags that have found a new use and the interior itself is a delight of the industrial aesthetic with reclaimed wood seating and reclaimed flooring used as tables.

There is a distinct honesty to everything at Silo. The kitchen is open at one end, the flour is milled in another corner of the open plan space (although not when service is on as it is pretty noisy) and the jugs of water are filled with the visible offcuts of herbs from the kitchen. You drink the water from jam jars and lovely ceramic mugs, obviously.

silo brighton 1

Many people have baulked at the idea of a zero waste restaurant, confining it to the very ‘green orientated creatives’ that live in Brighton, but whilst Silo wears a lot of it’s ethics on it’s sleeve (and rightly so), it also does it rather quietly. There is no massive signage declaring how it is holier than thou. Ask one of the staff and they will enthusiastically explain the systems – even Big Bertha – but there is no ramming of information down your throats, even though this is the system that many more restaurants could be (and should be) employing.


Go to Silo for the delicious food – and realise how zero waste in the food industry is possible.

(images by claire potter design and via silo)

2015 recap – August – Project Ocean and more marine litter…

We are staying with marine litter for our most popular August post here on The Ecospot – this time with a review of Project Ocean at Selfridges…

(first posted August 15)

As I have mentioned here before, in a childhood long long ago, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I was fascinated by the sea – the abundance yet invisibility of the life. The variety and the scale of those underwater cities, filled me with wonder. Fast forward a few years, and even having decided that design and architecture was my calling, the childhood awe for our oceans never drifted away. This, coupled with the studio foundation in sustainable design is why the issue of marine litter – and particularly plastic waste holds such a concern for us. So – it was with delight that we found that this years Project Ocean exhibition at Selfridges, London, was to focus on this very subject…

Project Ocean 13

It may seem quite odd for a huge department store, which of course, is based on our insatiable appetite for consumption to hold an exhibition of this kind. However, where better place to educate the masses of the issues at hand? By situating the exhibition in a side section of the homewares section in the basement we were optimistic that it would be rammed with people keen to learn more.

This, unfortunately, was not the case. 

Having battled through shoppers on an end-of-the-week spending binge, we entered the exhibition under a ceiling installation of single use water bottles and into a beautifully conceived, yet ghostly quiet space. It was a real shock.

Project Ocean 4

But this was but one of many shocks we discovered at the Project Ocean exhibition. The ceiling of the entrance featured an installation by How About Studio, constructed from 5,000 single use plastic water bottles diverted from the London waste stream – representing the amount of bottles used by the UK market every 15 seconds, which was staggering. Of course, not all of these single use bottles will end up in the ocean, but considering the recycling rates are so pitifuly low, it certainly puts the issue into perspective.

Project Ocean 12

Turning left into the space, we were greeted by a large poster featuring the most dangerous species in the ocean, from a cotton bud sea urchin to a plastic bag jellyfish, again with sobering data on how long plastic waste persists in the water, and the damage it creates.

Project Ocean 10

Project Ocean is split into two halves, with the Water Bar and the main Exhibition – we headed to the Water Bar area, which concentrates on Selfridges own commitments to the cause. The long, recycled glass bar is clean and modern in shades of nautical blue and white and is where the resident ‘water sprites’ dispense free water to visitors, tinted with herbs, essences and fresh fruit.

Project Ocean 11

Behind the bar is a small yet intriguing collection of water vessels from around the world – from clay pots to aluminium French cycling bottles – all reusable, which contrasted well with the abundance of single use water bottles hanging over our heads as we entered the space.

Alongside the Water Bar was a small collection of the vessels that can be purchased from Selfridges, from bpa free plastic bottles to elegant glass carafes and chunky glasses. We were delighted to see that these were sat on a chunk of recycled plastic from Smile Plastics, which not only gave a very relevant nod to the Project Ocean focus, but looked wonderful. This is something we are very keen to promote – as designers it is up to us to specify these types of recycled materials to encourage others to produce materials from ‘waste’.

Project Ocean 3

But the Selfridges commitment also involves the removal of all single use plastic water bottles from their cafes and food halls, and the installation of a public water fountain instead – encouraging people and providing a source for people to refill their own vessels. The water ‘tinting’ will only last for the duration of the Project Ocean exhibition (until early September), but this action will hopefully make people consider their choices…

Join us for Part two on 19th August where we enter the exhibition part of Project Ocean…

(all images by claire potter)

Green Gift Guide – day five – subscription gifts…

Day five on our green gift guide and we are into the panic week where we all realise we have missed the last delivery dates for the lovely independent makers. Sooo… instead of panicking and heading to your nearest generic high street, why not think about a subscription to a great magazine, charity or supporting a good cause instead? And if a note doesn’t arrive in time to explain it to your giftee, well, write something in a card to let them know what is on it’s way. Plus, this is the gift that can keep giving throughout the year…

Welcome to day five – subscription gifts…

1 – a Protect Our Waves membership for Surfers Against Sewage – we are really proud to have a few SAS members amongst us – supporting this great charity who do fantastic work at not only highlighting and tackling the issues of water pollution around our shores, but do a sterling job in bringing marine litter to our attention, organising beach clean-ups and generally caring for our seas. Memberships can be bought for individuals, families and you can even sign up to help as a business too. Claire is a Protect Our Waves Guardian – see below for the great stuff you get in a membership pack, along with the lovely regular Pipeline magazine delivered to your door too… from £36 as shown 

2 – Adopt – a – Beehive – one twelfth share – buying a share in a beehive is a way to support bees and earn some honey too… because, of course, Bees matter. Most fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as food crops for farmed animals, depend on bees. But bees are in crisis with their numbers dwindling at an alarming rate.The problem is not so apparent in urban gardens, but in the countryside, where bees are under attack from viruses, pesticides and mites, but most of us don’t have the inclination or the opportunity to keep bees, so here’s an easier way for you to help: Adopt a beehive and help start a new bee colony. For each yearly share you get 1lb of honey made by your adopted bees in September each year along with regular updates from your beekeeper and each shareholder has the option to visit the hive too… £29.99 per yearly share from Nigel’s Eco Store

3 – Montezuma’s Real Chocolate Club – ok – so what could possibly be better than getting a selection of good, organic real chocolate through your letterbox each month? Not a lot. And using very nifty boxes that easily fit through the letterbox (so you will never miss it), you, or your giftee are guaranteed a lovely, delicious surprise. £19.99 per month (you can choose the length of your subscription too)

4 – Another Escape Magazine – just like we reported in our Green Gift Guide day two, print is certainly not dead, and another of our favourites is the quite stunning Another Escape. Outdoor lifestyle, creative culture and sustainable living? Three ticks from us. With engaging stories and eye-wateringly beautiful imagery, this is a real treat for the eyes and mind. Get a range of subscriptions on their shop page here, from current editions, past editions and future ones too…

Another Escape vol6 cover border

5 – Coffee subscription to Small Batch Coffee Company – as well as good chocolate, life is certainly too short to have anything other than great coffee. And here in Brighton we are really lucky to have Small Batch Coffee Company, who source great coffee cherries from reputable suppliers and wash and roast them with love. We are rather partial to their flat whites. But what if your giftee doesn’t live in Brighton? No fear, you can gift a subscription to their postal ground coffee service to someone for anything from 3 months, anywhere in the UK, where they will receive a fresh 250g bag of coffee every two weeks for 12 weeks. And you can choose how you would like it ground – from cafitieres, to stovetop makers… delish. From £42.50 for three months.

3 Month Subscription

So, missing the last postal date does not mean you have to panic. You can still gift something great…

(images via associated brands)

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Chris Murphy…

One of the most fantastic things about having lots of brilliant artists and designers with us for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses season in Brighton is the diverse range of things we get to have around for the month. Today we are talking to our only ceramicist at Studio Loo – Chris Murphy

Hi! can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? texture and colour are my thing with ceramics, I don’t like BROWN ceramics LOL they are too dull. I work out of my shed in my garden in Saltdean and I take inspiration form plants and organic as well as seascapes.

chris murphy 1

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I like the calligraphy Hare plates, they are pressed from calligrapher card and cloth which only last a few pressings before it becomes destroyed. Something magical about Hares…

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? Well, for £22 you can buy a recycled button tree made from old buttons and a book

chris murphy 3

What is on your own Christmas List this year? PEACE is on my Christmas list for this year

chris murphy 2

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Christmas pudding please

Thank you Chris! 

*** you can see all of Chris Murphy’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***


Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Designosaur…

We have a bit of a thing for dinosaurs, so it is no wonder that we are huge fans of the brilliant, local jewellery duo Designosaur. With fantastic designs and a cheeky attitude, their pieces always raise a smile whenever and wherever we wear them. In fact, Claire was wearing her Plesiosaur necklace when she found a piece of Icthyosaur vertebrae on a recent trip to Lyme Regis – channelling her inner Mary Anning… Anyway, we caught up with Designosaur who are showing a huge selection of their wares at Studio Loo for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses…

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hey! We’re Karli and Jacques of designosaur and we make laser cut sometimes dinosaur inspired jewellery, accessories and recently homeware! We’re Brighton based and design and make everything ourselves from concept to finish product, Jacques does our laser cutting which means we can experiment more with materials and techniques.

Velociraptor Skeleton Dinosaur Necklace. Laser Cut Wood Dinosaur Raptor Necklace. Bones Jewellery. Statement Necklace. Jurassic Park. Bone.

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I love the Sabre Tooth necklace, it’s big and I wear it with everything. Jacques’ wears a lot of brooches as he’s not a necklace wearer, the platypus is one of his faves, I think because he likes to tell people they sweat milk, and it’s easier to get to that conversation if you’re wearing one…

Platypus Brooch. Duck Billed Platypus Pin. Animal Jewellery. Animal Brooch. Australian Badge.

Ok –  I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? ROARballs! This is our very own Christmas decorations featuring, you guessed it, dinosaurs! There’s six different designs and four colours, and who doesn’t want a dinosaur on their Christmas tree?! Oh and they are only £7 so you can buy three, which is £21 but you can make it £20!

ROARballs. Dinosaur Christmas Holiday Bauble. T-Rex Santa and Triceratops Reindeer. Acrylic Laser Cut. Holiday Decoration.

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I’m quite easy to buy for I think, if it’s bright and colourful you’re on to a winner! I do love a candle too, I picked up one of the Coconut Parkminister ones from Studio Loo the first weekend and it’s lush, so I’d love another of those! I can just hear Jacques saying PS4 over and over, which he’ll have to ask Santa for! He also said boots and clothes, that boy is expensive! I also happen to know he loves the framed magazines at the Studio, so if anybody needs to buy Jacques a present…

Stegosaurus Drop Earrings. Dinosaur Dangle Earrings. Jurassic World. Plastic Earrings. Animal Earrings. For her. Bridal Earrings.

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Jacques says cake, I really don’t like either but I do love a mince pie or a Yule Log!

Thank you Designosaur! 

*** you can see all of Designosaur’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Suzanne Snow…

We are thoroughly enjoying getting to know more about the lovely people who are exhibiting at Studio Loo this year for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses. Today we have had a chinwag with paper cutting extraordinaire Suzanne Snow

Image of Lighthouse print.

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? My name is Suzanne and I am a paper cutting artist from Brighton. My work is all done by hand, which is time consuming but very therapeutic. I began paper cutting while living overseas and being homesick. Creating mini worlds was a way to connect me with home again.Image of Camera lightbox

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? My favourite piece of work at the moment is “Time returning” a layered, back lit paper cutting in a box camera. I love the different shadows the layers create. The idea behind it is that we are all connected,  each having a unique path but following a universal rhythm.

Image of Time returning.

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? I would go for four mugs with the seafront design on. Perfect for hot chocolate on a cosy winters afternoon with friends.

Image of Seafront mugs.

What is on your own Christmas List this year? SNOW! I am still waiting for a white Christmas.

Image of Wolf in the woods. Turquoise background.

Christmas cake or Christmas pudding? Pudding every time. Christmas cake doesn’t even exist to me!

Thank you Suzanne! 

*** you can see all of Suzanne’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Hello Dodo..

One of the lovely things about the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses is that we get to surround ourselves with lovely things for a whole month in the studio. Not that all everyone here isn’t lovely (of course), but it’s great to have some bright splashes of fun about. And bright splashes of fun do not come better packaged than the great work of our next interviewee – the brilliant Hello Dodo

Christmas Card Pack of 6, Funny Shark Christmas card, Weird Holiday card, Merry Christmas Shark, Jaws Christmas cards, Happy Holidays Shark

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hello! We are hello DODO – AKA Ali & Jam and we are playful printmakers and designers. We create bold, colourful screen prints, cards and badges featuring lots of silly puns, typographic tricks and animals, most of which are smiling!

Lion Screenprint, Lion Print, Bedroom Decor, Kids Bedroom Art, Typography Quote Poster, Animal Poster, Kids Print, Funny Poster, fun nursery

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? Our Pigeon & Tonic screen print is quite a new design and still has us chuckling to ourselves! It also helps that we’re fond of both pigeons and gin & tonic!

Pigeon and Tonic Screenprint, Gin Poster, Gin and Tonic Kitchen Art, Alcohol Print, Funny Screen Print Poster, Pigeon Print, hello DODO

OK.  I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? Wellllll you could sort all your close friends and family out with some pretty unique and hilarious Christmas cards (if we do say so ourselves)….we have sharks, flamingoes, DINOSAURS….all the best unexpected festive animals!

Dinosaur Birthday Card, Raptor Birthday card, funny dino birthday card, Jurassic Park card, Velociraptor card, funny boyfriend birthday card

What is on your own Christmas List this year? Each year the majority of my Christmas wishlist is from my fave jewellery brand (and Brighton besties) designosaur…who you can also find in Studio Loo! They’ve just brought out some Bauhaus inspired earrings that are AMAZING. Jam says he’s happy with chocolate and vinyl!

Dinosaur Button Badge Pack, kids party bag fillers, dinosaurs buttons, pinback badge set, Jurassic Park button badges, fun dinosaur brooch

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Jam says Christmas cake! I’m a bit of a scrooge on this one because I’m vegan. Can I opt for bombay mix instead?!

Thank you Hello Dodo! 

*** you can see all of Hello Dodo’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Penelope Kenny…

Christmas is certainly a time to stretch your imagination, for young and old alike, and one artist who has a wonderful imagination is the next up on our Studio Loo Artist’s Open House interviews – the fab Penelope Kenny

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I make hybrid creatures inspired by our relationship with other animals and tampering with the species boundaries. I print my work by hand at a studio in central Brighton, using water-based inks that I make by grinding up pigments and metallic powders and mixing them with screenprinting mediums. I make limited edition books, wallpapers and prints and have recently begun to produce digitally printed textiles.

Limited Edition Love Bees Silk Scarf. 90x90cm. Made and printed in South East England. Now available in my shop.

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? Of the pieces available at Studio Loo this Christmas ‘The Transgenic Cabinet’ is my favourite print and was probably the most challenging to create. It has thirty-seven colours that were each hand-mixed and printed separately. It took two solid weeks of work to make and print the edition and was made especially for my first solo exhibition.

Coevolutionary Mutualism (100x70cm). Screenprint on Fabriano 5 paper. Printed with metallic and interference inks. Hand coloured with watercolour, inks and gouache. Edition of 4.

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? For £20 I have a special Open House selection of things. There are sample 45x45cm silk squares, digitally printed in East Sussex on 100% silk crepe de chine and hand-finished in Brighton. Or alternatively there is a box of small prints of hybrid creatures ranging from £3- £12 that would make excellent stocking fillers and gifts.

Rhino Beetle. Limited edition screenprint with hand made metallic inks on fabriano 5 paper. Produced for NOT-ANOTHER-BILL

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I haven’t made a list yet, but I am keeping my eye out for something  locally made and that is ethically and sustainably produced.

Love Bees (25x25cm). Screenprint with metallic inks on Fabriano 5 300gsm paper. Edition of 10.

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Christmas pudding and Christmas cake 🙂

Thank you Penelope! 

*** you can see all of Penelope Kenny’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***