Monday, 22 August 2011

Boot Sale Booty

Haven't been to a car boot sale in a while, but we went yesterday. Picked up a few bits of pottery, which i was happy with. The puzzle jug was just a pound! 3 quid for the little sgrafitto jug of Weare Giffard Hall ( which I'm fairly sure is Harry Juniper). I actually see that the pot has spelt it Gifford, with an O instead of an A, maybe that's how come I've ended up with it! The other pot at the back is lovely, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to know much about it.... anyone? Five pounds for that one, it's about 12 inches tall, some kind of spoutless jug. Also saw quite a nice John Solly (at Winchcombe) slip trailed dish, but they wanted just a bit too much for it... well, for a boot sale!
... and Yes, I have a pink and yellow kitchen... keeps my mood up!!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Yep, I'm a notter, no pottery getting made here.
I have to remember I'm not a potter (yet). It's just an 'interest' (quite a consuming one).
I've really had to focus on my regular work and sorting this website/shop thing out, along with all the usual day-to-day stuff. Shop should be open for business in about a week. I'm still not sure about this blog re-design, I may revert to the old grey one, or I may just tweak this one a bit more. How's the grey text, can you read it ok?)
Here are a couple of things that I've made, or am working on. It's not much and i still need to find the time to look into getting them all fired. I will get there, It's just taking me longer than i would like. The wheel is still unmoved in the lounge. I'm guessing jakki would like it out now!

This bottom mug/tankard was inspired by this old one of mine (below). I just joined 3 strips and used off- cuts stuck roughly on, with white and black slip. It's quite a manly beast! I hope it survives to a finished glazed product, i quite fancy using it myself.

I took the boys to a Medieval day at a local castle on Sunday. I thought they might like all the Knights, horses and jousting etc. They enjoyed the toys they'd brought with them more! typical. I even asked them what the best bit of the day was.."the ice cream"!! I did get to see some lovely pots though, made by 'Jim the Pot' at Trinity Court (very popular with the re-enactment crowd)
There were some nice big jugs and a lovely water cistern in use..... why didn't i think to take a picture??

Anyway, there will be more pots soon (I feel like I'm losing my pottery readers). I've still got to make a pot for Hank's ashes (our cat, who we had to put to sleep a few weeks ago). I've just got to deal with the actual stuff that pays for our lives first.

Bear with me.

Friday, 12 August 2011

My New Website

Finally It's here. Not the full monty just yet, but i decided to just get it out there and put the shop and a few other sections on as i sort them. I just couldn't do the 'big reveal', with all the extras. It's easier on me this way. Hope you find your way around it ok. Just click on any pictures and it should reveal more and more.

Book Covers

This is a cover i recently produce for Jakki's Mom's self published book (you can get yourself a kindle copy here, paperback version will be coming out soon) I've done quite a few book covers over the years, some more successful than others. I consider this one a success, but i guess it's only truly successful if it helps to sell the book, that's the point of it's existence after all! It was more work than I'm used to, as being self published, i had a lot to learn about the template the publisher uses and all the technical requirements. I seem to have done a lot of technical learning lately, what with my new website and online shop
It was nice to have total control over the entire design. Sometimes you can have a nice image spoilt by some unsympathetic type splashed over it. Other times and i have an increasing bugbear on this one, 'Marketing' have their say. 'Sales and Marketing' when did their voice get to become so loud? I say this as i was reading an article at the weekend about the new film of the best selling book One Day, by David Nicholls. In an interview with the lead guy, Jim Sturgess, he said that once he started working on the film all he saw were people walking around with the book and it's distinctive orange cover . Orange cover?!!! Marketing must have been kept out somewhere. They like blue, they like yellow. That's it, no other colour allowed. Blue books sell, bottom line. Well, this orange one has sold... lots. That's the thing, you get a book that sells well and it's blue, so all they want to see are blue books. Eventually all books have a blue or yellow cover and an orange one stands out!
I know I've done the yellow'ish thing above, but i wanted this book to use the 'system' to not give it any disadvantage out there.
I tried once to get a brown/amber coloured cover design through once... imagine!! what was i thinking? Anyway, it never ended up brown, it ended up... all together now... BLUE! I have managed to do a black cover, twice!... so all hope is not lost. It's just a strange situation. Often i will work with the publishers for weeks shaping a cover design and then they eventually have a meeting with Marketing and they just reject it, after all other parties were happy. Crazy, crazy, crazy.
Rant nearly over now...
I always feel a bit sorry for the authors in all of this. They spend years researching and writing  these books and they could get anything for the cover, whatever the publisher/ marketing think will sell it.
I know on various projects I've worked on the author has had final say and occasionally want a little change. I've found that frustrating as you almost feel that maybe you should have just been working with them from the beginning. Get something they're happy with, that they feel sums up their book, but also has the benefit of artistic input and design sense.
Hey, what do i know? It's just a thought.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Design Tweak.. Don't Panic!

Yes, the beloved grey has gone from this blog. I thought a lot about the background colour when i set up my blog, i often struggled with 'white type on black' or 'black type on white', especially at night when I'd often do my blog catching up. The white screens were just too dazzling and the black screens with that white type, just messed my eyes up too much, especially on particularly long posts.
However, I've switched to the white for the sake of harmony. My new website and shop designs have white and look like they belong together, even though they've been created separately. It figured I should get my blog into the 'family', so the change has happened. I hope the grey type still helps 'ease' the reading.
It won't be long until the website/shop/blog trinity will be resolved and put out there. Just the shop pricing and postage to figure out, It's all stocked. Stay tuned!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Parallel Universe 2011

Some days i feel a little like this

and other days!...

I've recently reworked a batch of my original drawings that i did for the original series, which i blogged about here. These updated ones are going on my new website, which I'll do a big launch for soon... well, I'll tell you to go look at it!... still got a few things to add/resolve.
My online shop will be up soon too, so I'm trying to get it all together. I'll be selling off my original artworks from the Parallel Universe series, along with various prints and anything else i can think of! I'm excited to finally have it all under one roof, website, blog and shop... and to have total control over it all. I hope to change it up fairly regularly to keep it all fresh and current and will add and remove various projects as i go. It's not going to be a museum.

just for good measure, here's the original Anger Management art.

I know they have qualities that the digital versions (above) don't, but to be honest i just can't handle it's limitations and folk wanting to commission them and not getting that. It worked for these because i had total control over content/colour etc.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Hastings Stade Deckchair

This was my design for a competition, here in Hastings, to design a deckchair to be used in a public space next to the new Jerwood Art Gallery. The Jerwood will hopefully give the town another boost when it opens next year. I've just seen the list of winners and sadly my name isn't among them. They were supposed to be site specific, the area in question is down where the shore based fishing fleet still works and it has a rich past. I've worked my 'Wish List' theme on various local characters and events and amusements, past and present.
I've only seen 3 images of winning entries, but at least 2 of them are just generic seaside imagery. One just has ice creams and ice lollies over it and the other just a typographic treatment of the old "oh i do like to be beside the seaside' song. What's the point? it has no bearing on the space, the history. I'm hopeful the other winners are a bit more specific. Do i sound bitter?.... just frustrated. Sore loser?... No, but i'm a much better winner!!