Thursday, 25 September 2008

We are busy today and tomorrow getting ready for Alison Hardcastle's solo show 'So Far So Good' which opens here at The Red Door tomorrow evening. So, cancel your plans and pop down to 42 Victoria Street from 6-8pm to share in a glass of vino and to check out some great pieces of work by this talented lady! There are some real bargains to be found in this show so its a great excuse to increase your annual art budget for the night! For those of you who aren't in Edinburgh, we should have all images ready to buy online early next week. See you all tomorrow night!

Monday, 22 September 2008

This week we sadly say goodbye to our super staff member Melanie who embarks on her journey to live a wonderful life in Berlin. We are going to miss her like crazy, but can sleep easier knowing that she is just a two hour flight away. Above are a few things which we think will make Mel smile as she finishes her last minute packing. Thanks for all your wonderful help Mel - we miss you already. xxx

Now, I'm not one to interfere into American politics, but I couldn't help laugh when I came across these hilarious badges from Button Empire. I mean, of course Hockey Moms are 4 Obama!!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Our focus is on Alison Hardcastle this week as we work on last minute bits and pieces for her solo show So Far So Good, which opens this Friday 26th September. We thought it might be nice for you all to share in an interview with did with Alison last month.

Q - Why the title So Far So Good?

A - It's a phrase that's been rattling around my head since I wrote it in my notebook some time last year. I've become slightly obsessed with funny little phrases, idioms and sayings - something which I started exploring when doing my BA and also on my MA. When one strikes me for some particular reason, I tend to write it down in my notebook. I go back through periodically and pick out ones which I think will work on cards, in books or in this case - a print.
As well as wanting to make it into a print, the phrase also struck me as a rather poignant motto for summing up me and where I'm at right now.

Q - We would love to know what makes you tick. Want to share any inspirations?

A - Words, phrases, idioms, saying, language, colours, patterns, structures and buildings, cities and also the countryside (where I grew up and now live again), things found and photographed at car boot sales and flea markets, signs, collections, type, personal experiences and finding ways of collecting, recording and documenting all of the above.

Q - You create a lot of artists' books; do you consider yourself a book artist first and foremost?

A - I always have difficulty pinpointing how I should describe myself when people ask. I end up gabbling about four different titles - Illustrator, Designer, Book Artist and Printmaker. That's not to say that I think I'm such an 'all rounder', more that I have trouble defining myself.
Book artist is on that list, but I don't think it's what I am first and foremost. I enjoy using the other elements of my work and manifesting them into book format, but I don't think I would ever want to concentrate only on making artists' books.

Q - We are really looking forward to seeing some prints from you. Has this been something you have wanted to work on for a while?

A - In short, yes. I've had a couple of years working on my hand screenprinted cards and books. I've been desperate for some time now to get back to printing images. It's such a different process and approach as well as an obviously different outcome. With my other work, its more like designing a 'product' but with prints there is a greater freedom which can be a little scary - but its good to scare yourself every once in a while!

Q - Any chance you can share your design process with us?

A - It usually starts somewhere in a notebook. I'm a scribbler - I write down every morsel of inspiration or idea which comes to me (where ever I am). I also take a lot of photographs of buildings, colours, signs, textures, patterns and anything which takes my fancy.

Once I get back to my studio, I work in indian ink, creating text and pattern, drawing and scanning things in. I then use photoshop to move things around, polish up drawing and create the layers I need for my screenprinting separations. Then it's off to my print room to see how it comes out.

Q - What does the future hold for Alison Hardcastle?

A - Very good question. Nice things I hope!

I would be happy with more of the same - continuing with what I'm doing and building up my cards, books and stationary into a bigger range. I've also become really interested in printed textiles and would like to try printing my own fabric or maybe wallpaper.

Now that I have started the ball rolling, I'd also aim to do more exhibitions and continue printing images. I feel I have only scratched the surface so far and I'd like to see how I could really push my work in this direction. Lots to do!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

As sad as we are that summer is over, a change in season signals a whole new exciting collection of purses, belts and bags from the talented Kate Sheridan. So as we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Autumn/Winter 2008, now would be the perfect time to come in and grab yourself a bargain in our end of summer Kate Sheridan sale. With everything from tote and satchel bags to passport holders and keyrings, there's sure to be something summery to keep you smiling throughout the winter months. x.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Meet Penny Sage everyone, I'm sure she'll be glad to meet you, and you'll want to be introduced to Lovers and other Monsters too. Above are snaps of a few of my favourite threads that this exceptionally talented young designer has been building of late, each piece is a true treasure. Every item is a complete mixture, firstly, like you could have as easily walked into an abandoned old house in the woods, climbed the stairs to the attic, and in among all the other Beautiful gems found something that feels like this, nostalgic and loved, then add the progressive intellectual approach to the shape and the pattern cutting, and you get something completely fresh and new. This is the clever, charming young label you have just been waiting to meet.....

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Alison Hardcastle 'So Far So Good'

Alison Hardcastle is an illustrator, designer, book artist and printmaker from York making handmade screenprinted books, cards, stationery, prints and contemporary paper-based products in her home-based studio print room.

Inspired by randon bits of text, idioms, phrases, mantras and mottos which pop into her head, plus colour, patterns and shapes, devised from things seen in day-to-day meanderings, Alison's work displays and combines bold patterns, hand drawn lettering and illustrative elements.

'So Far So Good' is a collection of screenprints and collages that gather together all of these inspirations, ideas and drawings which Alison scribbles in an assortment of notebooks. This will be her first solo exhibition with us at The Red Door which opens on Friday 26th September. We will be posting lots more about this exhibition in later posts so stay tuned.

The lovely Amy from 'Cake with Giants' and I have been emailing away to each other since early June and yesterday out of the blue, a wonderful wee parcel arrived and made us all smile. Amy's creations under the label 'Vanilla Bug' are playful and cute yet but also have some serious attitude. We now have a fresh bundle of handmade felt brooches and badges to share with you all. Thanks Amy! x

For those of you who haven't come across Amy's creations, check out her website or her blog which has some gorgeous bound books, illustrations and design projects which I am sure will inspire you all.

Monday, 8 September 2008

We just had a lovely couple from Stockholm in to visit us this morning. They had found their way to The Red Door with a recommendation from the Ostermalmsnytt newspaper which comes from a central suburb of Sweden's capital. It was great to read the cutting they were carrying (which they kindly translated for me ) which featured Edinburgh as a travel destination and The Red Door as the place 'to get proof of urban trends and to come across some very promising up and coming designers.' Thanks!

Stockholm as been on my list of places to visit from some time (fingers crossed I get there before Christmas) and judging from these photos below (from Lookbook) the individualism of the city is still very much alive. I think I might books tickets very soon!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Well, time for another solo show at The Red Door and this month, the talented artist who takes the spotlight is Alison Hardcastle with her show 'So Far So Good'. We will be keeping you updated with interviews, write ups and images from Alison over the next few weeks. The opening night is Friday 26th September so mark it down in your diary. More on this to come.........

September signals the end of the festival here in Edinburgh meaning that things wind down to normal pace again. September also means that Edinburgh opens its doors to the public in the annual Edinburgh Doors Open Day which allows us all to explore some of Edinburgh's most architecturally, culturally and socially significant buildings - all for free. We get to wander down closes, climb stairs and peep through wee windows whilst exploring an amazing mixture of both heritage landmarks to some of the city's newest architecture.
Doors open day kicks off on Saturday 27th September this year, so remember to check out their brochure (which is available around the city or online) so you can make the most of everything thats on offer. I know I will!

For those of you in London, duo Revenge is Sweet are due to open their exhibition 'Love/Hate' in East London's The Flea Pit Bar on Friday the 19th September. Time to grab some great prints whilst enjoying a night out!

Monday, 1 September 2008

What better way to celebrate a change of season than with the supercute Belle and Boo 'My Favourite Spot' series. Pop in store to see the latest arrival of Belle and Boo prints and goodies xx