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Colourswatch: The Paper Edition
I always like the feeling of sitting down at my computer to finally put all the ideas that have been running around in my head onto paper. Well, it’s not really paper, but you know what I mean.
As our lives adjust to the many changes technology has bought, the whole paper-less thing, there is still something so visceral about writing a letter, sending a card, or making some notes in a book. I still have a huge notebook that I keep all my thoughts in, and try as I might, I can't really use a computer to do that. I always have little pictures, and doodles in the margins to remind me of what I was thinking (at that point in time). I used to be able to fully rely on my memory to keep all my thoughts intact but life and its busy nature makes sure I can barely remember my own name (let alone the names of my children who I constantly mix up) some days! So notes on paper it is.
I got a lovely handwritten note as a thank you for an engagement present recently, and I was so chuffed when it arrived in the post that I kept it on my desk. I went to the launch of Curio Noir’s new candle Tobacco Nights, and Tiffany Jeans, who handmakes the candles, gave everyone a small handmade perfumed wax curio and a handwritten note thanking us for coming. Again, the little note is stuck to my computer, a quiet reminder of pretty, thoughtful things in a busy world.
So all of that got me thinking. Added to that, a brilliant book arrived for me to review, and it sort of pushed me in the right direction for this month’s COLOURSWATCH. This month is all about paper. We are covering books, art, paper-mache, and wallpaper.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of going along to the Glassons opening on Queen Street in Auckland. They have really taken a step up with their clothing, and with their newly re-vamped flagship stores in both Queen Street and Newmarket. Look out Dunedin, you are about to get the makeover treatment soon. So I got to look at the two things I love: design and fashion – all in one place. The two things that caught my eye were the pretty vases from Anthropologie in the US (just because I LOVE them), and the paper-mache heads on the walls. After a little bit of digging around by other people (Anna-Lise at Showroom 22) I got to find out who actually made them. Delia Burke is an escapee from Northern Ireland now living on our fair shores. She has just moved up from Nelson to Auckland, and we here at Thread.co.nz think she is fabulous. Each of the heads are handmade by her. I am always a sucker for the handmade process as opposed to the mass made – each thing is a little different when handmade, so what you own is unique. You have to love that. The heads range in price from $300-$450 with her starting to make some smaller ones soon around the $100 mark. Please note each piece is bespoke, and made to order. Her contact details are email@example.com. And have a look at the ones in Glassons Queen St next time you are in; the heads are covered in pages from antique books, and some of them are a bit racy.
While we are on the subject of art, Beatrice Carlson’s new exhibition at the Letham Gallery is a bit of an eye opener. Truly a multimedia exhibition with Carlson working in photography, digital painting, etching and printing. The exhibition is running from 8th – 24th June at the Letham Gallery in Ponsonby. It is worth a look… especially for the splashes of colour. Featured above is the limited edition print, Point of View $1150.
We can’t really look at paper without the obvious use – wallpaper. I am so incredibly happy that wallpaper is being used so much at present. It is a good counter foil to flat colour and gives you texture and pattern ON THE WALLS! What is not to love? This month we are featuring the handmade Sparrow in Blue by Catherine Martin for Porters Paints. The dirty sky blue is just gorgeous and would work well with soft white walls and joinery. You could easily use this on just one wall, at the head of a bed for drama and colour. It comes in 10.5m rolls, 530mm wide with a 508mm pattern repeat. As it is handmade, it takes approx 3 weeks to arrive and is $308 a roll. Happiness on a roll of paper. Find PORTERS at 90 Anzac Ave Auckland City, ph 377 6008 or www.porterspaints.co.nz
When Madeleine (now 15) was a baby, Saturday mornings were my lie-in days. It was pretty much the only lie-in I ever got, so I would hide under the covers for as long as was possible. My husband Mark would keep her occupied with walks in Queens Park as a rule, as we lived in London. One morning I woke up to her shrieks of laughter in the next room and this strange ripping sound. It went on for quite a while until I just had to get up and find out what the noise was about. I walked into the lounge to find Madeleine waist-deep in ripped newspaper and Mark merrily sitting there watching her ripping The Times into long strips. It was a gorgeous moment between father and daughter but I could instantly see what the problem would be. I quietly walked over to her and put a storybook in her lap and she just picked it up and ripped the page in half. Oops! We had to change every book she had to cardboard pages so she couldn’t rip them… So imagine my delight when we got a book called Cut Up This Book by Emily Hogarth in the mail recently. A book you can really cut up!
The author, Emily Hogarth was studying textiles at Edinburgh University when she started using paper to make her sharp, bold stencils for screen-printing. Her paper cutting has just evolved from there and she now integrates her unique designs into illustrations and graphic design. This book is not for the clumsy or someone who likes to finish projects quickly, this is a book that requires time, and precision but it is most certainly worth the effort. From artworks, to greeting cards, gift tags and keepsakes – this book has it all. I particularly love the tree and window decorations, as they remind me of the ones my parents have from my childhood, as my Danish Godparents sent them each year to us… and I still love them now. You will have to start off slowly with this book, and carefully, as you will be using a scalpel blade. The book supplies the templates to cut, and even the card as well – and hopefully after you have cut up the WHOLE book, you can get on to doing your own designs. Cut Up This Book by Emily Hogarth is distributed by New Holland Publishers. It retails for just $24.99 and is available now.
By Anya Brighouse
26 June 2012