*** EVENT – Earth Hour at Silo Brighton ***

Many of you will know about the fantastic restaurant, Silo in Brighton – the brain child of chef Douglas McMaster, which operates as a pre-industrial food system and is best known as being a zero-waste operation. It is one of our favourite places to eat in Brighton and we are always delighted to visit Silo, whether as a speaker at a Silo hosted event, or showing design students just how passion for a sustainable system can work in real life as a business.

As the Silo ‘Story’ states:

SILO WAS CONCEIVED FROM A DESIRE TO INNOVATE THE FOOD INDUSTRY WHILST DEMONSTRATING RESPECT: RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, RESPECT FOR THE WAY OUR FOOD IS GENERATED AND RESPECT FOR THE NOURISHMENT GIVEN TO OUR BODIES. THIS MEANS THAT WE CREATE EVERYTHING FROM ITS WHOLE FORM CUTTING OUT FOOD MILES AND OVER-PROCESSING WHILST PRESERVING NUTRIENTS AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE INGREDIENTS IN THE PROCESS.

Well said we say. 

SILO earth day 1Plus, as well as being an outstanding place to visit at any time (and in our top 10 places to visit in Brighton) the events at Silo are fantastic – and we are seriously gutted to be missing this one (as we will be travelling back from France)

For Earth Hour on Saturday 19th March, join Silo for a special raw menu meal in the dark. And you have to admit, that menu looks pretty awesome…SILO earth day 2Book your tickets, which are priced at £38 per head here. It’ll be a night to remember for sure. Just don’t tell us and rub it in. *sigh*

(images via Silo)

We’re leading a Spring Beach Clean for Surfers Against Sewage!

In the latest of our events, we are delighted to announce that we are supporting Surfers Against Sewage and Parley for the Oceans for the Big Spring Beach Clean 2016. We will be leading the Hove Beach Clean on Sunday 10th April, starting at 10am on the beach behind the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove. (we know the poster says the 11th – 17th, but that weekend clashes with the Brighton Marathon, so we are starting early!)

We will be scanning and removing from the beaches all pieces of plastic, netting and general rubbish for two hours, and we would love you to join us from 11am if you are about! Just turn up.

So why do we think, as designers, that this is something we need to be involved with?

Well, we have spoken repeatedly here on The Ecospot about the issues with marine litter, plastic and ghost gear netting – including our most recent project in association with the World Cetacean Alliance which resulted in our Ghost Gear Chandelier.

Ghost Gear Chandelier 4

And given that there is an estimated 40 million pounds of plastic floating about in the North Pacific alone – and every piece of plastic, unless we have incinerated it, is still on the earth, this is a huge environmental and health issue for both the oceans and us, as the ingested plastic travels up the food chain. From a designers point of view, this is a huge, barely tapped resource of possible raw materials. This is what really excites us.

So, as well as cleaning up the beaches to reduce the impact of marine litter on both wildlife and humans, the Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean is this year being run in association with Parley for the Oceans, who will be recovering the bagged litter for reuse and recycling. As part of our own studio research, we will also be recovering some of the plastic and ghost netting for use in some exciting projects we have in the pipeline – using the Parley A.I.R. strategy of Avoid, Intercept, Redesign.

A I R.jpg

the cycle.jpg

We will be releasing more news in the coming weeks about just what we are doing with this plastic we are recovering – and where you can see the resulting pieces and our current research results…

And we  would love you to join us for the Big Spring Beach Clean – if you are available on Sunday 10th April from 11am – 1pm, pop down to the Hove seafront with a sturdy set of gloves and get involved. Look out for me – I’ll be in this t-shirt!

Big Spring Beach Clean t-shirt 2016

Any questions – give us a shout at hello@clairepotterdesign.com

(image by claire potter, SAS and Parley)

 

Creations for Cetaceans – the Untangled Project for the World Cetacean Alliance… pt1

At the start of the year we hinted at a few of the exciting projects that we were going to be part of in 2016… and we are delighted to announce the first of these – the Untangled Project for the World Cetacean Alliance. 

World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear 1

Regular readers of the ecospot will know that the studio has been getting more involved and researching the area of marine litter and plastic over the past year and how, as designers, we respond to these as challenges. We have looked into the issues of microplastic, examined our own relationship to plastic in our work and championed projects who seek a solution to the issues – including those working with Ghost Gear – abandoned or discarded fishing nets which continue to catch and kill as they drift around our oceans. And in late 2015, we launched our popular Ghost Gear Baubles which contained rescued netting from the beaches of Brighton, sold during our Artist’s Open House open studio, with all proceeds going to Surfers Against Sewage.

World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear 3

And so we are very excited that we are working with Ghost Gear again, as part of the Untangled Project for the World Cetacean Alliance, which has brought together a huge range of artists, designers and makers to develop ‘creations for cetaceans’. We cannot wait to see what is being created.

But what are we doing? Well, we have a couple of things up our sleeve that we will be talking about here in the next two weeks or so, plus we are creating a video of our development, sourcing and making process. Taking the bauble we created in December, we are scaling up to something rather large indeed. 

World Cetacean Alliance ghost gear 2

Watch this space for developments of our process, and head over to the World Cetacean Alliance Facebook Page – Creations for Cetaceans to see how the other artists and designers are tackling the brief – and how you could own one of the pieces being created…

(images by claire potter)

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 – 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. 
http://shop.penelope-kenny.com/product/love-bees-silk-scarf

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
https://notanotherbill.com/shop/penelope-kenny-prints/

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 ***

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Peter James Field…

The Christmas Artist’s Open Houses is in full swing now, and next up on our interview series of Studio Loo exhibitors is the wonderful illustrator Peter James Field

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I am a 39 year old Brighton based illustrator and fine artist. I’ve worked for a huge range of clients across a ten year freelance career – including the likes of Vanity Fair, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC and Penguin. I love drawing and making things by hand.

Forever in Negative - copyright Peter James Field

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I’ve just started learning traditional etching in my spare time, and it is my new passion. I have an incredible joy and pride to be acquiring this new and very time-consuming skill in a digital world. I still look at the etchings I’ve produced and think ‘wow, I did that!’

Rainy Hove  - copyright Peter James Field

Ok – I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? £20 will buy you some great stuff. You’ll be able to buy my hardback book ‘No Bulb in my Lamp’ –  200 full colour pages documenting a 10 year observational drawing project. This is being offered at a very special seasonal discount of only £10. You can also buy a copy of my hand-produced risograph book ‘Peter Andre Saliva Tree’ – a guaranteed conversation starter and also available at a special price of £3. You could use the rest of the money to buy a couple more copies as they make great presents –  or alternatively you’d still have enough change pick up five of my exclusive greetings cards

Image of Peter James Field Greetings Cards

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I’m not very materialistic really, but I do love music. There’s a new Beach House album I’ve yet to hear…

Image of "Hove Beach" Giclee Print

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? If there’s brandy butter, then it’s Christmas pud all the way!

Thank you Peter! 

*** you can see all of Peter’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 ***

Our Christmas Artists’ Open House starts tomorrow!

It does not seem that long ago that we were setting up the studio ready for our first ever Artists’ Open House in May, and yet, here we are at the end of the year with Christmas Artists Open Houses starting at Studio Loo tomorrow!

amalia

We have a wonderful selection of artists and designers joining us this year, with an awesome selection of prints, jewellery, homewares, ceramics, lightboxes and much more. For a full run down of those joining us this November and December, take a look at our special preview page here – and keep your eyes open for our featured interviews with each of our guest artists and designers coming up over the next two weeks. apple prints

Plus, we will have some fantastic cakes, cupcakes and seasonal iced cookies on offer too from the fantastic and delicious Simple Pleasures Cupcakery.

simple pleasures cupcakery

We can’t wait. We probably won’t crack open the Bing and Nat CD just yet, but it certainly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And by shopping at an Artists’ Open House, you can be assured of a handmade, locally crafted one too.

(images by claire potter)

Pecha Kucha Brighton – Volume 22 – Good Grub…

The Pecha Kucha format is something that has to be experienced. It is a quick fire set of presentations, usually formed around a theme, where the speakers are limited to 20 slides, with 20 seconds per slide. Each one flicks on automatically, so if you are behind in your talk, you are in trouble. This is a brilliantly entertaining way to learn something exciting in a concise way, and we are delighted to announce that we will be taking part in the next Pecha Kucha in Brighton.

Volume 22 of Pecha Kucha Brighton on 22nd November will be around the theme of ‘Good Grub’, with a great line up of speakers talking about food in a variety of ways, from typography to crochet. Claire will be speaking about Urban Foraging and the rewilding of the city and it’s inhabitants, based on our Edible City escapades.

Tickets are £15 (+ booking fee) and include a light dinner at Silo, the venue for the evening, and Silo founder Dougie McMaster will also be talking about the philosophy behind the project – which is incredible both in concept and practice.

But even though the event is just over a month away, tickets are selling like zero waste organic hot cakes, so if you fancy it, head to the Pecha Kucha Brighton site sooner rather than later!

(image via Pecha Kucha Brighton)

*** EVENT *** our next Urban Foraging Walk in Brighton is up…

cherry plum foragingFancy a bit of guided foraging in Brighton? join us on our next Urban Foraging walk in Brighton on Sunday 6th September – check out our Eventbrite page for more details here…

*** EVENT *** Urban Foraging in Brighton – 2nd July 2015

Hooray! Only a couple of days to go until our next Urban Foraging event in Brighton and Hove! Starting at the Dyke Road Cafe, we will wind out way through the parks and streets of Brighton and Hove over two hours, identifying the fantastic things that are abundant and edible in our urban hedges. What can you use? When can you use it? How do you use it? We will cover all of this, plus the legal requirements that need to be taken into consideration when foraging…

cherry plum foraging

Join us for a bit of an educating walk, get reconnected with your urban environment and enjoy a bit of a foraged drink at the end.

A perfect way to spend a Sunday morning!  Click here to go to our Eventbrite page with all the details…

(image by claire potter design)

Studio Loo is open for the Artists’ Open Houses in Brighton!

Yes – you may have heard us banging on about how we are open for the Artists’ Open Houses this May in Brighton, with our very special selection of design, graphics, illustration and homewares, but if you haven’t, we are open… why not pop along?

More details, map and stuff here…

AOH 2015

 

First weekend of Artists’ Open Houses at Studio Loo a success!

As you have probably seen here on The Ecospot, we have been rushing around somewhat over the past week or so getting our little Studio Loo ready for the Brighton Artist’s Open Houses in May. With over 200 or so locations and the work of over 1000 artists, designers and makers, the Artists’ Open Houses event in Brighton is huge – and a real highlight of the cities festival season.

Sophie Shohani cushions

For this year, we have opened our doors too for the first time and have a fantastic range of work on show, both by us and a selection of special guests. We even have an illustration by the very talented Kate Forrester on our central window – directly on the glass!

Kate Forrester illustration live

With a little bit of everything, from illustration and typography to lighting, jewellery and homewares, Studio Loo has got a real design led focus of stuff – and we were inundated by visitors over the first weekend.

designosaur 2

At some points, our little studio was overrun with people – which was great and really changed the dynamic of the space. It was fantastic to showcase brilliant designers whose work we adore – many of which were here invigilating over the weekend with us.

Designosaur 1

This is the real joy of the Artists’ Open Houses – being able to get up close and personal with a huge variety of work and being able to speak directly to the artists and designers – one piece came in after framing with the designer and left minutes later with a very happy customer!

A to Z Kate Forrester

We had a last minute addition to the studio with the ‘Piano Guardians’ – individual creatures created from old piano pieces made in collaboration with local craftsman Mark Reeve – two winged their way out the door over the weekend, but more are on their way, including two new designs…

Piano guardians

As of the second weekend we will also be joined by the Intrepid Camera Company plus two other designers yet to be announced…

Kate Forrester 2

Visited Studio Loo over the weekend? You can vote for us in the Best Open House category here!

(all photos by claire potter)

in praise of the refurbished…

We are very lucky at the studio to be located along a very long road in Hove that can only be described as ‘eclectic’. With Portslade Station at one end, and well into the reaches of Hove in another, Portland Road is about a mile or so of houses, schools, a park and a variety of retail spaces (plus our little studio, based in the old public toilet). But theses are not any old retail spaces – they are all mostly small, independent shops and cafes – all very different. But what struck us recently whilst walking to the Post Office (6 minutes from studio) was how many great examples of repair, refurbished, service based industry and reclaimed goods shops there were on Portland Road.

dyson city

There are two launderettes. A sewing and alteration workshop, two computer repair shops, a cobbler, an refurbished oven place. A scattering of secondhand stores, a hardware store and the Bargain Vacuum Centre, to name but a few. And it was in the last store – the Bargain Vacuum Centre that we found the latest addition to our studio – an almost new, refurbished Dyson City vacuum cleaner.

Complete with all the bits and bobs – and a 9 month guarantee, this little vacuum only set us back £50. ‘Any problems and whizz it back’, we were told. ‘Sure, we replied – we are just along the road’. And this is what is great about this type of ‘High Street’ – the mix of people, skills and services – all independent and backlit acrylic sign free – offering the personable experience that is not found elsewhere. This is what we love and this is why we are very proud to be part of Portland Road.

We need to save these types of road, because there is very little that we are not able to access within a 7 minute walk of the studio – and we are very aware that this is a precious rarity. Chains have their places, but these are the roads that can offer us repair, reuse or leasing – on our doorsteps…

Here’s to the refurbished.