Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Post-christmas reveal!

A mug I made for my friend ; a picture for my mammy...

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Recent Escapades

Here's a wee piece of Xmas-themed promo, and an idea I've been wanting to make happen for ages...and finally found time for. The play is a classic old 'un involving a miser and a disapproving angel guilt-tripping the old geezer into more fitting festive behaviour. The theatre neatly folds and lies flat enough to put in an envelope, and (hopefully) survive a journey in the post before springing back to life!
In other news I also recently rustled up these illustrations for Laura Grime's book of compositions penned by her numerous protegés - a fun and colourful project. Meanwhile I've been working on some new ceramics, some of which must remain under wraps for the time being... but I can show you this bad boy.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Coco Christmas

Hello... Look, I've made a gianormous cardboard advent calendar for the window of the taste-tastic Coco chocolate shop in Bruntsfield in Edinburgh... Behind each window a delightful chocolate-based treat awaits! Recent activities also include producing these snazzy ceramic Christmas decorations and new brooch designs, which will be on sale at the Made in the Shade Barras fair on the 11th of December... and thereafter in my shop most probably!

One more thing... here's a photo of one of the cake stands I've been collaborating on with my mum, ceramic artist Helen Kemp...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Craft to the Max

I ought to let you know about a craft fair I'll be doing with the fair Libby Walker on the 11th of December...(KEY XMAS SHOPPING DATE) This is one of Made in the Shade's new weekly craft and vintage fairs in their new snazzy base in the centre of the Barras, Glasgow's ye olde fantastic market district. Should be fun, the Barras is a proper day out in itself! Libby and I are also doing another fair later this month, more details to follow when I have them...Unbelievable that the shadow of Christmas looms again.
Talking of which, I have also stuck a few new things onto Etsy... and some old things - last year's Christmas cards that is, at bargain, pure knock-down prices. Also a few of the new brooches are on there... I urge thee to ch-check it out.

Friday, 15 October 2010

New Images...

Soon to be produced as cards.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Running low on the Grime Jewels so been painting some new ones - here they are pre-firing.

Friday, 8 October 2010

New Drawing

A newly replenished Etsy and a Website completed

Hello again, now just a wee note to say I've replenished Etsy with a few new jewels and wee ceramic pictures.Also, I recently finished making a website for an artist friend of mine, Louise Gibson, who is a very talented sculptor, based in Edinburgh. Go and take a look at her work!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Istanbul Toy Museum and Other Delights

While I'm remembering, it seems wise to post some photographs I took in the Istanbul Toy Museum. I seem to be developing a minor fixation with such places; if a city has one I will descend upon it. This one was an odyssey to reach, tucked away in Asian Istanbul's dense interior, but after bus, foot and taxi, we finally arrived, and had the place virtually to ourselves. It is chock full of the stuff I love, especially incredible German dolls houses and shops, wind up tin toys and dolls.

Istanbul is actually an incredible place for visual culture, and felt refreshingly different from other European capitals I've visited. Mosques are breathtakingly decorated in ceramic tiles or intricately painted... I enjoyed these Christian mosaics that still remain in Aya Sofia.

And there is the amazingly modestly presented Mosaic museum, housing this incredible Roman floor. Beyond its attractions though, the visual experience of the city itself is full of intrigue and charm ... You are left with the feeling that there was much you did not see, and that you must return someday. Pretty romantic, eh?

A Splendid Weekend...

...That's what I had in Glasgow. Yes, I've returned to Blogland, after a lengthy absence during which a kind-of-summer took place, followed by a proper spell of heat and magic in Istanbul, where I took full and enthusiastic advantage of the panorama function on my camera, yaas!
Anyway, this weekend, on Saturday, I saw these guys, my fave new band, Everything Everything, at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. It was Amazing.

Then on Sunday I dutifully went to church, or a church of sorts anyway. A church for creative types, as originated by these chaps, Hole in my Pocket, who have created their own gently mocking parody of religion in tandem with their amusing exhibition at the Arches.There were sermons (think entertaining/enlightening speeches on different aspects of visual culture)... such as Sebastian Tomb's (founder of A+DS) talk about this geometric map he has designed in order to make the viewer reassess geography. And Gregor Wright's hilarious talk about the charmingly backward world of non-games. Among other wonderful things, there was also ukulele-led mass karaoke, Gary McNair's fantastic role-play as minister and tea n scones to finish. Perfect! The next and I believe, last one, is next Sunday the 10th. (Apparently I may be called upon to do an impromptu sermon should someone pull out!)

After this I trotted along to Welcome Home, which is currently celebrating its First birthday, for which a wonderful newspaper-style annual has been produced, and makers like myself who stock the shop have each donated a piece of work for a grand raffle, to be called at the end of the month. Tickets cost £1 each, and give you the chance of winning one of many delightful items including prints, jewellery and cushions! Don't have any pictures of the wall of prizes to show, so you'd better check it out for yourselves!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Ceramics Commissions

A selection of commissioned pieces I've done this year - mostly in the wedding vein. Should you wish for something similar, it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) you can contact me at the email address opposite! In other news, check out my freshly updated website for new illustration and ceramic work. Jolly good, ta ta for now!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Pre-School Critters

Here's a wee prospectus I've just finished creating for the University of Cumbria Pre-school centre... My original idea was foxes, but suddenly that didn't seem so appropriate any more, in the light of a certain grizzly news story, so frolicking puppies and kittens took their place.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Mari Simmulson

At my most recent craft fair, some kind patrons of the stall remarked upon the relation between my ceramic designs and those of Estonian-born ceramicist Mari Simmulson, active during the 50s-70s. Oddly enough I wasn't familiar with her work... but wrote down the name and have subsequently been enjoying these rather substandard images dredged from google. Charming style and a happy discovery!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Hands Shadows

My illustrative life as ever revolves around the birthdays of family members, father in this instance, and a card inspired by a lovely fold-out guide to shadow hand puppetry I picked up in Pollock's Toy Shop in London on a recent trip. 'Tis a marvelous retail destination, as evidenced by my indulging in rather a lot of pounds worth of toy theatres, dioramas, fold out carousels, scraps and the like. Also in London, among other splendid delights, you can find Pollock's Toy Museum which I wholeheartedly recommend, it's a great day out for the toy-fond among you. I would have taken a ridiculous number of photos had my camera not been maliciously destroyed at a party the night before. Sniffle. Not to worry, I have a new one, digital cameras are cheap as chips these days. Good job, as it allows me to show you some snaps of fantastic David Hockney etchings I recently enjoyed at the Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, alongside the work of Berwick childrens illustrators of whom I am one, kind of.

Also, last weekend's exploits: Libby Walker, pattern designer extraordinaire and ex-eca cohort and I crisped up in the blazing sun while selling our illustrative wares at Glasgow's West End Festival. A blooming good time was had by all, not least our fishy friend, though he didn't enjoy being trampled upon I'm sure.
And Finally, if you're partial to a spot of bird-life you may enjoy my Bjork-endorsed costume at this year's Edinburgh College of Art Revel (read: HUGE Party of the Year Extravanganza.)