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

 KF image 1

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

New Student Volunteers: Cecelia Wood

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Eclectic Mix Cambridge is very happy to welcome Cecelia Wood and Lauren Wilson to their team. They are both illustration students at the Cambridge School of Art and will be volunteering in the run up to the summer pop-up. They are also organising the student area at the event.
They are both very talented illustrators with a passion for making and will tell a little bit about themselves in these blog posts.

About me – Cecelia Wood

So far my time at the Cambridge School of Art has been a whirlwind, filled with lots of work, but so much fun and the chance to learn so much! My work is inspired by nature, its patterns, colours, shapes and textures, and I’ve loved exploring screen printing as a medium to combine these things. I will have framed screen print collages for sale at the pop-up event (take a sneaky peek at the image here).

Framed abstract screen print collage
Framed abstract screen print collages
Cecelia Wood Nature in the City 3D collage
3D Collage

I love layering, and finding the balance in an image: between simplicity and complexity and between abstraction and representation. My favourite material must be paper; it comes in so many forms. The touch and smell of a lovely piece of handmade paper holds so many possibilities for a project!
My work has been moving towards incorporating 3D elements. Recently I had an exciting trip to London as my 3D collage was shortlisted for the Batsford Illustration Prize. At the pop-up event, I’ll be selling framed versions of 3D paper collages, based on my drawings done on location at Cambridge Botanic Garden (see images below).

 

 

 

 

 


Lauren Wilson and I are excited to be presenting a diverse range of our own and our peers’ handmade products in the student area, direct from the workshops of the Cambridge School of Art, all at affordable prices. It’s going to be a great opportunity to engage with the thriving arts scene in Cambridge – as well as a lovely arty afternoon out! Hope to see you there on 10th June!
For more images of my work please see my website: https://ceceliawood.myportfolio.com

New Student Volunteers: Lauren Wilson

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Eclectic Mix Cambridge is very happy to welcome Cecelia Wood and Lauren Wilson to their team. They are both illustration students at the Cambridge School of Art and will be volunteering in the run up to the summer pop-up. They are also organising the student area at the event.
They are both very talented illustrators with a passion for making and will tell a little bit about themselves in the following posts.

About me- Lauren Wilson

I am a multi-disciplinary illustrator and designer hailing from the small market town of Beverley in the North East of England. You’ll often find me at a messy desk mistakenly sipping from a mug of murky paint water instead of the cup of tea beside it- artists everywhere can relate.

My desk space
My desk space

I choose to define illustration in the broadest sense and by no means work within the constraints of pen and paper. In order to be as creative as possible I enjoy working across all realms of design from textiles to film and printmaking to curation. My long founded love for folk and naïve art has informed my practice over time. For me, drawing is a form of play, it has to be fun and it has to not take itself too seriously. Folk art taught me that a great image always strikes the right balance between the subversive and the light-hearted…and that wonky lines are okay!

Combination mono and lino print
Combination mono and lino print

When my time isn’t occupied by a creative endeavor I enjoy spending it watching or reading historical drama, mainly to lust over period costume and wish ball gowns and petticoats were still the norm. I’m also a keen baker so when I don’t have inky hands I probably have floury ones.

To see more of my work and find out about my current projects follow the below link to my website laurenwilson.carbonmade.com or follow my Instagram laurenwilson_illustrations

 

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

Summer pop-up event 10th June in Cambridge

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Summer pop-up in Cambridge

Our Summer Pop-Up Arts & Crafts Event, 11-5pm.

We have a lovely venue for our event, the beautiful St. Andrew’s St. Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Street, Cambridge.

A real celebration of Cambridge and East Anglian designers, working with textiles, jewellery, printmaking and more.

Our speciality is sourcing talented artisans and makers, working to the best standards, and we can’t wait to showcase their wares.

Alongside established makers we will be introducing a student area, run by Cecelia Wood and Lauren Wilson, students from the Cambridge School of Art.

We are also running some drop in workshops so you and your family can partake in some hands on making too!

 

Just a short walk from Cambridge train station, and on lots of bus routes, with the Town & Country Fair on at the same time, there’ll be plenty to see and do.

Some light refreshments will be available, plus the venue hosts the Livingstone Cafe, where they serve a variety of light bites and drinks, all reasonably priced.

So come and spend a few happy hours browsing our stalls, learning new skills and immersing yourself in Eclectic Mix creativity!

You can sign up for the event on Eventbrite page, or stay posted through Facebook.

 

Are you an artist or maker and are you interested in selling at our event? We have a few tables left. Contact us at info@eclecticmixcambridge.com or fill in the form below if you want more information.

 

Pop-up at St Andrews Baptist Church, Cambridge

 

 

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.

 

Enjoying Easter Holidays

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Enjoying Easter Holidays

© Photo by Eva Eland

Whether you are looking for Easter eggs or listening to the St. John Passion, Easter is another mark in time that tells you spring is here and is here to stay for a while.  Let’s hope for some good weather the coming days so all Easter picknicks, egg hunts and first BBQ’s of the year can be enjoyed.

Did you know that eating eggs was originally not allowed by the church in the week leading up to Easter? That’s why people started decorating them instead, to give them to their children (BBC.co.uk, 2012).

Just like eggs, rabbits are a symbol of new life. This cute (and very affordable) lino cut print by Maria Meridian is inspired by the character ‘Fiver’ in Watership Down.

 

 

Petite Rabbit from Watership Down – Handmade lino print by Maria Merridan

 

We definitely get spring vibes with the Retro Bird Map plate by Andy McKenzie.

Bygone Days – Retro Bird Map plate by artist Andy McKenzie

 

Or what about decorating yourself instead of Easter eggs with these springlike earrings by Jackie Lucas from Cloudberry Design?

Cascading berry earrings by Jackie Lucas Cloudberry Design

 

Happy Easter Holidays!