Things is unintentionally feeling a bit British this week, acting like a tall glass of Pimm’s on a sunny afternoon. We’ve got the new issue of Granta giving it that infamous reddish tea stain colour, an illustrator providing the sprig of mint, and two creative newspapers giving that spicy gin-based zing. And not forgetting an exotic appearance from a Brazillian studio that becomes the juicy, tropical fruits that dress our heavenly cocktail of innovative imagination. So come on, it’s time to put down that milky cup of tea and take a big (responsible) swig of delicious Things!
Recently I watched a programme about hoarders and their insane stashing of objects. It was pretty frightening – when you haven’t seen your carpet or your cat for five years, there’s a problem. But collecting in moderation is fine, which is why I loved looking through Brazillian studio Arnold’s compilations of their favourite creative things happening where they are right now in a small zine called Viva. Like a mini scrapbook, the issues are cute, well designed and provide a real source of inspiration that showcases a variety of interesting designers, illustrators, architects and artists.
S.E.H Kelly: Some British Makers vol.1
I wish making clothes was a skill was ingrained in my genetic make-up as I’m terrible with a needle and thread. I’ll attempt sewing a button or two, but by the end of the day they’ll be hanging perilously from a mountain of Arran knit clinging to frayed thread. So it’s always nice to come across good makers of clothes that immerse themselves in what they do, like S.E.H Kelly a two-person company based in London.
They sent in this lovely newspaper, Some British Makers vol.1, of their three month long visits to various British makers of things like buttons, wool and other lovely, locally-produced products. It’s a great introduction to the company but also an insight into the family-run craft business that have mastered excellence over the years, with nice big images and some history about the company and the machines they use.
John Freeman and Michael Salu: Granta #119 Britain
Jubilee weekend is coming up and everyone’s starting to feel very British especially with the Olympics looming its sweatband-clad head around the corner. Even Marks & Spencer has got in on the act by releasing a range of very British lunch goodies – the mini bakewell tart being a personal favourite. So it’s no surprise that the spring issue of Granta is all about Britain and a celebration of the nation’s past and present detailing the human interactions seen in a range of contexts. The usual high standard of writing is there with contributions from Simon Armitage, Mark Haddon and Tania James among others in the mix. But it’s the cover art directed in collaboration with Sir Paul Smith of the cracked bone china tea cup that really got us shivering and eager to start singing Rule Britannia.
Lorna Scobie Illustrations
“Concertina” is one of my favourite words. It seemed so magical when I first learnt it and since then I’ve relished the opportunity to use the word whenever I can, because if you notice it’s a word rarely used in normal conversation. So this brings me onto the work of London illustrator Lorna Scobie who’s presented her lovely animal prints in – wait for it – concertina form, so that we may display all the critters together. As an animal lover, birds, tigers, iguanas and mooses are sprinkled throughout her jungle of work and there’s a lovely freehand style to the illustrations that take me back to the stacks of animal books I had as child.
Andy Ainger and Nico Taylor: Underline Magazine Issue 1
I love a good showcase of nice things and issue 1 of Underline Magazine does not disappoint. Aiming to curate some of the best in visual treats through photography, typography and illustration to writing ventures in the future, it’s a lovely thing to look through while ignoring a pile of work or household chores to do. What I like is the variety of new work from photographs of lighter-strapped peppers by Alistair Casey to a simple line drawn illustration of a children’s playground by Linus Kramer. Laid out simply it’s also the lack of text that feels so nice and refreshing what with a newspaper normally so word-laden.