Out & About: Cambridge Open Studios

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Eclectic Mix Team have been busy visiting Cambridge Open Studios this month. We saw Clare Maria Wood, who does amazing abstract landscapes of the Cornish landscape, Sasha Garrett showcasing her fascinating, quirky ‘fordite’ jewellery and Andy Mckenzie at Burwash Artist’s Marquee who was showcasing some new lines of coasters, mugs and prints. Also we met some other lovely artists including Emma Malfoy and Laura Chaplin at the Marquee, producing very professional and attractive work.

We are always on the lookout for makers using unusual materials, and it was at All Saints Craft Market where we came across a lovely jewellery company, ‘Little Troubles’ who make sustainable striking jewellery from coffee pod foil tops. How cool is that!

We were so pleased to be invited to the launch of Pam Wessen’s new ‘pop up’ shop on Mill Road, called Fantasia. Chock full of all things retro and vintage; if you are fan then get along to her outlet to have a good rummage. You may come away with something ‘old but new.’

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Artist in the Spotlight: Art Students

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With the pop-up event this Saturday fast approaching, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our art student sellers: Yulei Zhang, Kezia Hulse and Joana Pinto, all students at the Cambridge School of Art. They will be showcasing and selling their work at the pop-up, and here they will share a little bit about themselves and their work.

Where are you from?

Yulei: Wuhan, China

Kez: York, North Yorkshire

Joana: Porto, Portgual

What course are you studying?

Yulei: MA Children’s Book Illustration

Kez: BA Illustration

Joana: BA Illustration and Animation

How would you describe your work in a few words?

Yulei: Dreamlike, secret world, solitude

Yulei Zhang's image from The Attic story
Yulei Zhang’s image from The Attic story

Kez: Lively, Fresh, Humorous

Kez Hulse's Adventures of the Escaping Beard
Kez Hulse’s Adventures of the Escaping Beard

Joana: Playful and expressive

Joana Pinto's Cityscape of Porto City
Joana Pinto’s Cityscape of Porto City

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Yulei: I will bring some postcards and a tiny concertina booklet, the images are selected from two of my recent picturebook projects, The Attic and The night story. The Attic tells a story about a girl who has an adventure in her dream. The Night Story comes from my experience of sketching in the pubs of Cambridge, the story deals with the subject of loneliness.

Yulei's products for the pop-up event
Yulei’s products for the pop-up event

Kez: I will be selling some limited edition screen prints which I printed for a final project; to illustrate T.S Eliot;s poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I will also be selling postcards which are a mixture of recent drawings and designs.

Kez Hulse's limited edition screen prints
Kez Hulse’s limited edition screen prints

Joana: I’ll be selling a collection of postcards inspired by Portuguese flora and caprine breeds, three prints and a collection of stickers. They all depict different animals, either explored in an aesthetically pleasing sense, particularly in the case of the prints, or simply created to display playful characters, especially with the stickers.

Joana Pinto' stickers on sale at the pop-up event
Joana Pinto’ stickers on sale at the pop-up event

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Yulei: For me the most interesting part is to try different kind of techniques and mediums, to find the best way to telling the story. During this process I usually get a better understanding of what really interests me most. The worst part is having limited time.

Kez: The best part is drawing and scribbling ideas down and being able to create images that put forward ideas or messages. The worst part is when you want to draw but you don’t have any ideas!

Joana: The best part is definitely sketching, playing with shapes and trying to figure out what kind of character will come out of the end of the pencil. I don’t usually think before I draw so the result always comes with a bit of a surprise that makes drawing all the more fun. As to the worst, well, that’d have to be colouring. Not that I hate it but it’s the longest part of the process and I consider myself a rather eager person when drawing, I just can’t wait to see how an illustration will look once it’s finished!

Where do you see your work taking you in the future?

Yulei: Well, I’d like to try to some more challenging image narratives, like graphic novel.

Yulei's concertina story, on sale at the pop-up event
Yulei’s concertina story, on sale at the pop-up event

Kez: Possibly editorial illustration, creating images for magazine articles, or advertising or book covers. Or maybe designing sets for the theatre as I enjoy thinking about designs and ideas in 3D.

Joana: I definitely want to follow a career in animation, most likely at a small or medium sized British or American company, but I’d also love to create children’s books or even a graphic novel at some point. I’m pretty much open for anything that gives me the opportunity to tell a story.

To see more of their work, find them on social media:

Yulei: https://www.behance.net/mozyl

Kez: Instagram: Kez_Illustration/FB: KeziaHulseIllustration

Joana: fizzledlines.tumblr.com

Come and see their work for yourself this Saturday – find them in the new Eclectic Mix Student Art area!

Artist in the Spotlight: Charlotte Cotterill

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up on the 10th of June, we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Charlotte Cotterill is an illustrator who recently graduated from the MA Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.  She will be selling her fun and quirky illustrations and prints at our pop-up, and we decided to put her in the spotlight for this post.

How would you describe your work in three words:

Illustrated, quirky, humorous

Charlotte Cotterill Illustrated Map of Cambridge
Illustrated Map of Cambridge by Charlotte Cotterill

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you? 

Because handmade products are unique and I enjoy the process of creating things of my own design that people will enjoy looking at and having in their homes.

Charlotte Cotterill Lino cutting
Cutting the lino blocks to create original prints

 

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Linocut prints (all printed using a traditional press or hand burnished), original watercolour illustrations, concertina books and illustrated maps.

Charlotte Cotterill
Charlotte Cotterill Linocut print

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

My favourite part of the process is when I am developing ideas and working in my sketchbook, whether it’s for a book, a character, or a one off illustration or linocut designs. I feel free in my sketchbook and have a lot of fun exploring all the possibilities.  The worst part of the process for me is formatting a designs to be digitally printed when its something like a greetings card as I much prefer the process of creating an image.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Things and people I see in my everyday life usually inspire me; this is especially true when I am working on a picture book idea but also applies to something like my map of Cambridge.

 Charlotte Cotterill prints on rack

Artist in the spotlight: Katie Farrell from Mabel Fox

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers with a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Katie Farrell from Mabel Fox is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Katie’s enchanting lino cuts are a treat – they will be available to buy at the Pop-Up event so come and see them for yourself.

 

Describe your work in three words:

Enchanting – Scandinavian – Art

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Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

I think that owning a handmade item means more than something mass produced, it feels more personal and special. Every one of my prints will be slightly different as they are all hand burnished, I think their imperfections add to their charm.

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Hand burnished, limited edition, lino cut prints of woodland and garden creatures, either framed or unframed. I will also have small versions of these prints, framed in simple white frames, great gifts! There will be greetings cards, bags and cushions featuring my prints, plus aprons and tea towels.

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

When I make a print with a new linocut design for the first time, seeing it in different colours is so exciting. Then to see the reaction from the person the print is named after, that is priceless. The worst part is mounting and framing the prints, bit laborious but worth it in the end.

Where do you get your inspiration?

After designing a linocut print for my newest niece’s christening– Evelyn Bunny – I was inspired to design a print for each of my children, nieces and nephews, for example; Daniel Fox, Connor Wolf, Edward Squirrel and Charlie Mouse. My style is influenced by Scandinavian Folk art.

Grey image KF 4

Mandy Knapp at Creative Reactions

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Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp was thrilled to be partnered with Dr Sander van der Linden for the Creative Reactions aspect of this years Pint of Science festival.

Every May, scientists and researchers are invited to deliver their talks at local pubs, which makes a lovely change from them just sharing the information with their colleagues in the lab or college. What an opportunity to tell the general public all about their research and passion!

Three years ago, Mandy Knapp and Karen Jinks set up the pilot for Creative Reactions, where artists were paired up with each of the speakers, and each artist made some work in response to their talk. It’s a fantastic opportunity for creatives to access science directly, and exciting for the scientists to collaborate and see how their work can be interpreted.

So this year Mandy has got the subject of Fake News to grapple with. Dr Sander will be using lots of medical metaphors in his talk, and Mandy has taken this on board with the work she has made. He talks about vaccinating the herd against Fake News, and Mandy has enjoyed exploring this concept, referencing Rene Magritte’s Treachery of Images. The resulting potent image features a pipette, which is a play on words, connecting to Magritte’s ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe.’ Her work called ‘The Treachery of Fake News’ will be for sale, along with some single dose vaccine cards.

You can book your free ticket here.

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

What does ‘handmade’ mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

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What does 'handmade' mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

Mandy Knapp is an artist from South Cambs, and we have been asking her what ‘handmade’ means to her.

My own space

“I am very lucky to have a small print studio in my garden, so I can take myself off to my own space and make, without having the distraction of computers or mounting housework.

Cup of fruit tea in hand, and with music from my phone, I can shut myself off and get printing. I never seem to suffer from creative blocks. Because my time in the studio is often snatched and precious, I always use it constructively. As with many people, I have work and family commitments to juggle, which makes studio time very special.

 

 

Happy accidents

For me, the ‘hands on’ inky nature of printmaking is just delicious. When you are manipulating freshly made pigments, where the viscosity is never constant, using found textures to ink up and run through the press, you are never absolutely sure of how the print will turn out. With experience, you have of course a rough idea, but I really enjoy the happy accidents that occur along the way. The resulting work has a very much handmade, individual look that I want to convey. I’m not interested in producing multiples of a ‘perfect’ image. I like making bodies of work, but each piece is unique. I hope people like that, and feel they are taking away something individual that cannot be copied exactly.

Artists invest a lot of themselves in their handmade pieces. What a wonderful thing to own a representation of a particular artist/maker. Its such a personal thing, and we should not lose sight of this. Who wants ‘massed produced’ when you can spend the same amount of money on something with individual beauty?”

Mandy is helping us with social media and we feel very lucky to have her on board with Eclectic Mix Cambridge. She is always smiling and full of ideas. She will also sell some of work at our next pop-up event on June 10th.