Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Kate Forrester…

Back in May, when we opened Studio Loo for our first Artist’s Open House, we were delighted to have the very talented Kate Forrester with us. And Kate not only exhibited a fantastic range of prints and cut lettering, but also hand illustrated our central window with a beautiful, intricate design which ended up being there far longer than the month of May it was initially planned for! Kate is back with us at Studio Loo for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses, and we caught up with her for a chat…

Hi!  Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I am a freelance illustrator living and working in Brighton. I specialise in hand lettering and ornate, decorative illustration for book jackets, packaging and advertising etc (eg. check out the whole of Waitrose Christmas range this year!)

The Fold

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I am really happy with my animal alphabet print. I originally designed it to be sold as individual letters and the full alphabet print was an afterthought. But it’s gone down really well with my clients and makes a great gift for a child’s room.

Paper Alphabet

Ok. I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? An intricate paper cut letter to give as an Christmas pressie (the unframed ones are £15!)

Paper Alphabet

What is on your own Christmas List this year? Pretty things! I live in a house full of boys and get fed up with cars, swords and smelly shoes everywhere.

Mendola Calendar - May

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? I’m not a fan of either. I’d rather have a satsuma. They really smell like Christmas to me!

Thank you Kate!

*** you can see all of Kate Forrester’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 ***

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 ***


Can you believe it is the LAST of our open weekends this Saturday and Sunday for the Artists Open Houses in Brighton? We have curated a great selection of design, illustrations, graphics and homewares in our little pop up shop for the festival – come and say hello!

We also have the most marvellous organic tea, coffee and really special cake too…

More details, map and stuff here…

AOH 2015

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)

Weekend words – feel the fear…

Today we have the first in our new series of inspirational images and words for our Weekend Words series – and we are starting a new photographic range – with all photos taken by the studio…

Our first image was taken on a recent trip to the French Alps and is one of our favourite quotes about fear…
Linga feel the fear


(image and photo by claire potter design)

World Book Day – a great print from Page Rager…

Well – happy World Book Day everyone. We have to say, every day for us is a book day as we have a possibly unhealthy obsession with all things book and print – from the very new to the very old. However, we are fully aware that the invention of the good old internet has (to many) made the book a little redundant. We do not agree totally as there is something extra that a book can always give you – as an experience – over a screen. Texture, pattern and history are just a smattering of these things, but if a book has little ‘value’ could we use it for something else instead? Oh yes. We have written before on The Ecospot all about people who have made lovely things from old books and for World Book Day we have found another…

Bill Murray Print Dictionary Page Original Unique giftt book page art print up cycled

This fantastic print by Page Rager combines many of our favourite things – prints, recycling and Bill Murray. There really is not much to not like!

Available now from the Page Rager Etsy shop for a very reasonable £6 or so plus delivery. Not loving the Groundhog master as much as us? There are plenty of other prints available, from Audrey Hepburn to Yoda.

But we can’t get enough of Mr Murray…

Bill Murray Ghostbusters Collage 8x10's LARGE Print Dictionary Page Original Unique gift book page art print up cycled

Don’t cross the streams Ray.

(images via Page Rager)

2014 recap – December – Not Another Bill…

Ok – we know it was not that long ago – and that Christmas stuff feels a bit weird in January, but that said, there is something for getting a nice surprise in the post, regardless of the time of year. So, we are recapping back to early December today, and our very popular post on Not Another Bill…

first published 2 December 2014…

Today on our December wish list we are looking at a bit of a service. Something with the element of surprise that can last longer than the 30 seconds on the 24th or 25th December when you rip off the carefully folded paper. There is something rather delightful about getting an unexpected package in the post – and there is a lovely service, that for a monthly fee will deliver a beautifully wrapped and highly considered package to you every 30 days or so. Something unexpected in the post that, as their name says, is Not Another Bill.

not another bill

Now, Not Another Bill is not a new service as it has been around for a while, but as a concept we think it is rather marvellous. It is also an ideal gift for those difficult people who either have everything or are just a nightmare to select a present for. My brother falls into both these categories, so you never know bro. This could be winging its way to you this Crimbo. not another bill chopping boards

The subscription service is also very easy to set up (either as a gift for someone else, or even for yourself). Select your preferences, likes and dislikes, select how long you would like to subscribe for, on a sliding scale from £24 per month, then wait. not another bill necklaces

The gifts are tailored around your selected preferences and are, quite simply, beautiful. High quality designed objects, jewellery, prints, decorative things, practical things – some specially commissioned by Not Another Bill. Really nice surprises indeed and items with a higher monetary value than your subscription price each month. One of their stated aims is to ‘introduce our subscribers to great artists, designers and brands’ Hooray to that we say.

So – stumped for what to get someone this December? Why not take a look at Not Another Bill and hand the selection process over to someone else.

(images via Not Another Bill)

december wish list day 9 – a personalised moleskine from Urban Cottage Industries…

Today, I was part of a photoshoot of ‘makers’ in Brighton, where we were all photographed in a portrait fashion with items representative of our craft. First off, I thought that this would be rather hard, but when I looked at the items I used on a near daily basis, there were a few that stuck out. My mechanical pencil, my hard hat and my little black moleskine notebook. 


And I am certainly not alone. Many designers become very attached to their notebooks even though we are also surrounded with digital devices that can record our thoughts, notes and musings. There is something special about a bit of paper and a pencil.

But what is more special than a black notebook? How about a personalised moleskine notebook, with your choice of message, embossed in the traditional way? Well. Our friends over at Urban Cottage Industries have just the thing…

Their personalised moleskine notebooks come in a variety of sizes, colours, plain, lined and as diaries or address books and once you have chosen your 30 character message, it will be embossed using a 1930’s sans serif font. They really are things of beauty.

Want to ensure that nobody steals the notebook? Or want to gift a creative a notebook with an inspirational message on? This is the place.

Plus, there is something even more special about receiving a personalised gift, as the giver really has to think about what to put. There is extra thought in there, and with this very traditional, hand-made process, you are giving something with history and tradition of craft also.

Really stumped as to what to put? Don’t worry. They also do gift vouchers

(images via Urban Cottage Industries)

Wednesday walls – MissPrint’s Fig Wallpaper…

We are huge fans of MissPrint’s wallpaper – as not only is it printed on PEFC registered paper, printed with organic pigment inks, they are designed and printed here in the UK. And they also have fantastic prints and patterns.

We have used MissPrint’s wallpapers in a number of our projects and whilst sourcing a wallpaper for a new concept project in Brighton we discovered their new Fig print, which we think is fantastic. It has a definite nod to the fruit based illustrations of the 1950’s, which is no bad thing in our book.

‘Fig’ also comes in a subtle range of colours which stay true to this mid-century feel, with olives, greys, blues and a smattering of mustard too. ‘Sterling’ above, is a cool grey, whereas ‘Cygnet’ below is a cool white on white – perfect if you are looking for a bit of pattern, but don’t want to go full hog with lots of colours:

This, pearlescent colourway will pick up the lights in a space beautifully and shift with the changing levels throughout a day. It would be great to use in a quiet, reflective sort of space, such as a bedroom perhaps.

And at £59.95 a roll, it is very reasonably priced given the fantastic quality and eco credentials it has.

(images via MissPrint)