Festival of Crafts

Had fun at Farnham Maltings last weekend talking about my work at the Festival of Crafts. It really made me look at the design process that goes into screen print. Originally I was put forward as a local artist to help create a poster, and shown some examples of what had been designed before. Festival of Crafts has been a fixture now for 20 years at The Maltings, so this was a special commission.

I have quite a few images of coffee pots, and thought that I could use these to illustrate that ceramics were a feature of the show, I added some images from a 1960’s French magazine about knitting and sewing..




This began to look a bit busy, and the text wasn’t so legible, which is obviously pretty important. I then thought well, it could just be typographic – I could use textures within the letterforms.



When I met again with Gemma Curtis, who organises and promotes the Festival of Crafts, we went through again what the main ethos of the show is : a carefully curated selection of work by designer/makers, then we decided together that perhaps it needed to move away from specific representations. I still really wanted to use one of my prints that I thought would be recognisable as my work, and I came upon a print that I’d made in response to a trip to California. The colours are really hot in this picture, on the bottom right is the train to the Getty Museum with a succulent plant collaged into the window, on the left is part of the building (Getty Museum) and over the top is a line drawing of Alexander Calder’s ‘Bougainvillea’ kinetic sculpture.


In lots of ways, Calder is the ultimate designer maker to me – there is a process in making the pieces move gently, casting elegant shadows. There is the idea of testing things, making a maquette, drawing a ‘blueprint’ with scale and materials – all of these things being relevant to a showcase of bespoke craft. So I thought, I wonder what this would look like blue?


I added some sugar lumps falling down, and the deep red looked good against the blue – Gemma asked me to include an element of the Maltings – the building itself perhaps?


Still a few too many things, but the Maltings definitely looked better in red than blue, I think the final edit lost the sugar lumps, but this was the final design…



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