Two-colour risograph of wayward robot smashing through walls
Workbots, Lisa and Edward, will be operative this September on stand Q42 of Top Drawer.

The trade fair initiates at Kensington Olympia on Sunday 14th and termites Tuesday 16th, so there's plenty of time to engage those social circuits in direct interface!

Bleep! End transmission.


Made pretty good use of a well-rainy bank holiday by heading off to Ivan Chermayeff: Cut and Paste at Bexhill's De La Warr Pavilion. Such a sunny, cheerful show. The kid's creative area didn't particularly interest the boy, though he did spend a while in front of the accompanying documentary… before demanding Octonauts on the iPlayer.

Image: Drinking Fountain, 1969. Via AIGA Design Archives


Albeit in a slightly different location, our funny little mill was once sketched by Turner. Having severed one worker's arm and seen-off a highly unfortunate woman, it finally succumbed to flame in 1909. Hopefully we'll add another layer to centuries of history here with last week's granting of full planning permission for extensive alterations.
Finished mostly in burned black larch, this new structure may still look a ruin. And, if obtaining permission was tough, getting the thing up on a slender budget could prove even tougher. Still, we're celebrating. These are Edward's original sketches; insufficient for builder's measurements but good enough for building impressions!


This season our fluorescent Octopus print is juggling junk in the Good Stuff section of ANORAK magazine. All press is a plus, though a mention from something you admire is much better!


Pretty Pastels

Great to be included in a shoot for September's GoodHomes Magazine, thanks to those equally good guys at Molly Meg!


I'd had this broken Isis CLOCK clock knocking around forever, but was recently inspired to dig it out after noticing an Isis RADIO radio on Pat Albeck's cluttered studio shelves.

Thing is, after fitting a new movement, I figured the white plastic was so sun-yellowed that it might as well be actually-yellow!

Vinyl dye is perfect for plastics, it permeates the surface and is less prone to unsightly scratches... apart from where I dug my nail in to test if it was dry. It wasn't.


The boy's managed to get off to sleep these past few stormy nights after some tiny white lies about how the awesome power of nature unleashed "is really nothing to be frightened of". The scaredy-cat cat, however, has been sleeping on my chest, with lightning-lit saucer eyes staring straight into mine at every peel of thunder.


Saddened to read of the death of bass giant, Charlie Haden (1937–2014)... but, boy, what a legacy to leave behind! Could post a link to Alice Coltrane's mesmeric Isis and Osiris or his own Song for Che from Liberation Music Orchestra (pictured, Haden far right), but here's the seminal Lonely Woman with Ornette Colman.


Reading Nina Stibbe's Love Nina this month has been a joy, not only does it evoke a strong sense of time and place (literary Camden in the 1980s), it's quietly hilarious too.

Nina's missives are so astute that the whole reads like a loosely structured but knowing narrative, written with all the cultural/emotional bite that's usually brought by hindsight.

Sad to say the hardcover jacket's a bit blah, while the new paperback cover's a travesty of ill-fitting populism… the US edition's my favourite so far.



Here's some of our 6 new mug styles for summer. If you enter the code "SCHLUURP" on the shop this week there's a 20% introductory discount. Let's face it, if you read this stuff you really deserve a treat!


Martin Amis reckoned he'd have to suffer "serious brain injury" to write books for children. Characteristically overstated, for sure, but I'd have to suffer something similar for cars (and maybe popular team sport) to seem suddenly interesting. My ambivalence was replaced this week by minor thrill as one of these zipped past.
The internet tells me that the VW Polo Harlequin (or Harlekin) dates from the late 90s and was initially developed to showcase the available colour range. With only 3'800 distributed worldwide, I may never see another... even if I pay attention!

pics via here


The boy turned two this week, so we celebrated by indulging his love/hate relationship with steam trains at the very local Lavender Line. Mamma and Papa bought him a pair of those Sun San sandals, some grey Bensimon and, less seasonally, some red-allover wellies from M&S.

That's right, just shoes!

Luckily he has a handful of friends and relatives who'll occasionally smuggle him toys.


Hairy Who

I like to screech the bike to a halt outside at least one of our local book dealers and check out the roadside bargains each week. On Wednesday I found a curious catalogue for a UK touring exhibition from 1980. 

Who Chicago? is an overview of Hairy Who (and affiliates), a group of Chicago Imagists. Running counter to the C20th abstracted and intellectual turn, much of the work is seriously ugly, untimely and ultimately compelling. Hopefully this documentary will make it to the UK soon.



Beige steel Dawes bike with Belleri moustache / porteur bars, Brooks Champion saddle and Carradice bag

Can't believe it only took a tyre pump and a bit of lube to get me back in the saddle, I haven't cycled since motherhood! The boy shouts BIKE!-BIKE!-BIKE! all the way to the child-minders and when the sun shines it's just like Jules et Jim... only with kiddie-seats, crap scenery and no polygamy.

Unidentified touring frame with Cinelli bottom bracket


Made it to the Dulwich Picture Gallery show of Hockney prints yesterday... the last day! Not quite as manic as it could've been, half the population were off somewhere watching football... I wish they'd disappear more often!


Gold-filled Spaceview with Uniform Wares strap / band
It was Edward's birthday this week so I bought him some fudge. He also picked out an expensive strap for his Bulova Accutron. We first saw the Spaceview in a video outlining the ethos of architect Richard Rogers, and it's an interesting looking thing, but instead of ticking it emits an electronic whine that makes the cat frown.
Hans Hollein (1934-2014)
Image: European Centre of Volcanism, 1994-2002, Auvergne, France


Pick Me Up

One-colour screen-printed illustration of cat on patterened kilim rug

One-colour screen-printed illustration of dog on patterened kilim rug

London's graphic arts festival, Pick Me Up, previewed Weds and opened proper Thurs. Unlimited asked if we'd like to contribute, so we thought we'd take opportunity to show off four new screen prints.

If we like animals and textiles, what could make more sense than a suite of creatures on carpets. Here's Couscous, Beigel, Paprika & Nutmeg.

The level of detail took Edward a little bit longer than usual to draw… he even demanded a new rOtring art pen! Go join a union.

Two-colour screen-printed illustration of cat on patterened kilim rug

Four-colour screen-printed illustration of dog on patterened kilim rug


Happy Easter

Claes Oldenburg, Fried Egg, canvas, dyed cotton and expanded polystyrene, 1966-71
Thought Claes Oldenburg's Fried Egg (1966-71) would make a suitable Easter post, but I hope your super-sized egg is made from something tastier than canvas, dyed cotton and expanded polystyrene this Sunday!

Image found here


We spent the best part of last week eating our way around the London streets like Pacman. Moments before I booked an hotel, a friend offered us her garden studio flat. In the light of these beautiful spring mornings, it felt more like a summer house.

Yellow painted beam

I'd intended to visit more galleries but so many were between shows. I did check out the Serpentine's additional new Sackler Space though. Martino Gamper: Design is a State of Mind is well-paired to the concurrent Haim Steinbach show, Once Again the World is Flat; both explore notions of display and place the shelf centre stage. The show flows seamlessly into a shop that's curated by Momosan.

Library Sheves

The boy stayed with his grandparents and had an exhibition of his own... in crayon on their wallpaper! We all came back a little bit fatter.