Why we are voting to REMAIN in the EU…

Never talk about religion or politics. The standard dinner party etiquette that many adhere to as quite frankly, they are the largest confrontation points we could have in general conversation. Not everyone wants to discuss the finer details of China’s one child policy over a prawn cocktail. And to some point, this is fine, but we live in political times and with the EU referendum coming to a climax, we thought we would state our views. We want to remain in the EU. And we are proudly flying the flags in the window of the studio.

Studio Loo Vote Remain

There are many reasons for this, but as our studio concerns are related to circular economy design and marine litter, we can safely say that all things environmental are very much in our life and work ethic. We try to do stuff not better, but best wherever we can – from where our studio energy comes from to the materials we specify on our project. We feel we are a tiny bit of a much larger whole. A global whole.

Because sometimes we think that people forget that we are all spinning on the same planet – regardless what corner we are in, the language we speak or the gods we pray to – if any. Borders can be raised, but planet Earth has her own agenda which flows, heats and cools with no thought to these barriers. From our seas to our air – everything is connected in ways we are only just starting to understand.

And the more we know, the scarier the picture is being painted. We truly believe that we can only begin to tackle the global issues of environmental degradation, extinction, waste and climate change if we work together. In fact, a huge amount of positive environmental regulation and reform has come about from the formation of the EU, let alone the peaceful foundations.

If we leave the EU, we are separating ourselves out at a time we need to be working together on so many huge issues. There is no ‘I’m alright Jack’. Sorry. You won’t be.

Take a choir. You will have an end goal in sight – perhaps a prestigious concert, but at the first rehearsal each voice and part gets some bits right and some bits wrong even if you have the same song sheet. It sounds like a shambles and you can despair, but you try again. It sounds better. You turn to your neighbour who can sing a bit you’re having trouble with and they give you some tips. Next time round, you get that bit right too. So does the person in front of you. Little by little, things come together and before long, the glorious harmonies far outweigh the bum notes. But this only comes with working together. The person that wandered off to rehearse on their own is still bumbling though the tricky passages.

So. We are voting to Remain in the EU, because we want to be better singers in the choir of Planet Earth. Come sing with us.

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! 

2015 Eco Open Houses a great success!

Last weekend we were delighted to be part of the 2015 Eco Open Houses trail in Brighton – opening up our workspace, Studio Loo to the public. This is the second time that we have been part of the trail as we opened for visitors in 2014, when the studio was about 80% through it’s conversion from derelict wc to the eco office space it is now. It was great to look back over the past year and recall the photos from the construction period.

claire potter design studio 2

And it was also great to welcome back people that visited last year – many had returned so they could see how we had finished the space. For instance, visitors last year saw the reclaimed parquet flooring as individual sticks in bags, but this year they got to see it down, sanded, polished and lacquered – and complete with a years worth of little scratches and dents from use.

But it was also great to welcome a load of new people to Studio Loo – many of whom had travelled a fair distance to see our converted wc and talk to us about their own projects – and how what we have done could be applied to their spaces.

eco open houses 2015

We discussed recycled paint, solid insulation, solar gain and glazing, timber certification and we even gave away a few of our secret spots for finding reclaimed furniture and materials in Brighton and the surrounding areas. 

On Saturday we had a visit from MP for Portslade and Hove, Peter Kyle, who was with us for almost an hour discussing the merits of great design and the reuse of abandoned buildings, and on Sunday we had a visit of nearly 40 people in one go, courtesy of Cara Courage and the Brighton and Hove Urban Ramblers…eco open houses 2 2015

Another great weekend of chatting about all things sustainable design and architecture – we are now gearing up the studio for our next public opening as part of the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses – watch this space!

(images by claire potter and courtesy of Cara Courage and Eco Open Houses)

September window – the Lorax makes an appearance at Studio Loo…

Since we moved to our new home, Studio Loo, which we converted from an old public wc building last year, we have loved having windows out onto the street. We get to see the toing and froing along Portland Road in Hove, wave at familiar faces we see walk past and be part of street life. What is also great is that we now have three windows that face onto the road – allowing us to indulge our creativity every few weeks or so. And at the moment, we have the Lorax.

the lorax window

Like some of our projects, our current window came about after a collection of things were sourced or discovered – and brought together under a theme. We inherited a blow up globe, then found an executive black and grey globe in a local charity shop for £5. Claire then found a stack of Wallpaper city guides in the local Oxfam bookshop.

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We decided to hang the inflatable globe. Then the black one sat underneath as the ‘future’. It was too low, so the colourful guides were added – listing cities around the world – we are all in this together. Nice composition, but it needed a written message – what did we want to say?

As fans of Dr Seuss in general, quotes from the fantastical series have found it onto the window more than once, but for this one, we needed a clear, snappy environmental message that could be read in the time it takes someone to walk past Studio Loo (about 6 or so seconds). We needed the Lorax – the 1971 tale of a creature who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler.

‘unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. it’s not.’ 

It worked. Plus, as we are next to a junior school, this is the message we need to spreading to young and old. What is delightful is that we have seen adults explaining it to kids. Or sometimes just kids taking photos of it. It’s brilliant.

However, this does put a bit of pressure on for the next one…ah.

(images by claire potter design)