Ply Guy

Laser cut ply and Earthborn water-based dye

One "great" thing about having your house turned into a building site is that you can go in at the weekend, make a right old mess and not even bother to clear up! What used to be our living space made and excellent place to drip-dry 100 dip-dyed robin's breasts. Laser cut from 3mm ply, they're this year's Christmas send out.

Plywood Christmas robin maquette 2014, side

Plywood Christmas robin maquette 2014, 3/4 rear

Plywood Christmas robin maquette 2014, package


I don't get to read as much as I'd like so sometimes a graphic novel can be pretty handy (let's face it, they're not as demanding as their wordy counterparts). I love Brecht Evens' sumptuous and inky gorgeousness, but lately I've had a craving for content that only women's work will satisfy!

Roz Chast's "Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?" and Vanessa Davis' "Make Me a Woman" both had their moments, but "Probably Nothing" by Matilda Tristram is simply wonderful throughout. Now I'm a full-on fan, I'd recommend it to anyone… loudly!


4 charity Christmas card designs: Partridge, Forest, Robins and Yule Log Shack
As the season gets into its full festive stride, it's been nice walking past our local Paperchase and seeing some of our commissioned designs in the window. None of Paperchase's in-house styles credit the artists though (I should hang around in-store, telling people 'til I get turfed-out).

The Sledging Penguin's still looking strong and the Resplendent Reindeer's survived a bit of extra bling to the baubles, but my favourites are these four woodcut designs for the cube packs… I mean, 24 cards, what a bargain!


Shady Characters

25cm drum lampshade with jungle pattern from Lisa Jones Studio

25cm drum lampshade with jungle pattern from Lisa Jones Studio

We're planning a couple of more styles of these drum shades and hoping to streamline the assembly stage (i.e. get a bit quicker at making 'em). Edward made the zig-zag base prototypes by hand and, even by his own admission, they took ages. First job for the new year: cost their properly mechanised manufacture!

25cm drum lampshade with strawberry pattern from Lisa Jones Studio

25cm drum lampshade with strawberry pattern from Lisa Jones Studio


Other Animals

Popped through the super-swish sliding door of Victoria Miro on Saturday to see a collection of Alice Neel paintings, My Animals and Other Family. I figured it'd be a child-friendly show, and it was. Almost!


Hang About!

Hand-printed Hedgehog character garment hanger from Lisa Jones Studio

Hand-printed Hound character garment hanger from Lisa Jones Studio

Hand-printed Mole character garment hanger from Lisa Jones Studio 
Some of the things we make have a ridiculous labour-to-profit ratio, maybe one day we'll find that UK manufacturer to make all our dreams come true. These new children's garment hangers are a pretty good example but, boy, do we love 'em... it's especially rewarding when someone notices the mole's Le Corbusier specs!

Hand-printed Hedgehog character garment hanger from Lisa Jones Studio


Confettii-like paper shards from spent firecrackers in the street. Lewes Bonfire 2014
I enjoy the aftermath of "Bonfire" here almost as much as the world famous mayhem which proceeds it. Every smoke stinky street is lined with the red paper of spent firecrackers and still smouldering stacks of discarded torches. You gotta hand it to the townsfolk, they know how to go collectively nuts on one night a year… or two, if you count the canon they discharged on my street at 6am!


I know it's Halloween and all, but I was still ill-prepared for the horror of seeing our little roundhouse without a roof today. That's me standing frightened among the builders who assure us that, from now on in, they'll be more and not less to look at. Pity you can't see my shoes though; they're wildly inappropriate!


I stopped visiting Frieze Art Fair when my generation started doing dinner after an opening instead of going dancing. Still, there's always a glut of great shows in the capital. Kai Althoff at Michael Werner is simply something else; if you're near marble arch you could do worse than check it out.

Also made it to our old friend's show at Hanmi Gallery, Maple Street. There's something so romantic about Tom Gidley's palette right now, though I'm not sure he'd thank me for saying as much. Here's his recent painting of Edward (Mr Lisa Jones Studio). Behind the ceramics, it even looks a little like him... must be that dark-ringed eye area.


With so many new styles in the range last season I thought I could maybe cool off on the card designs for a while. Still, here's a redrawn version of our ancient Pet Box and a cute-as-a-button inky sunshine for new babies.


Thanks to Bernard Lodge for forwarding comps to The Brighton Art Fair. I’ve never been before but I wouldn’t pass-up the chance to see more of his splendid work so I headed down with our truculent and restlessly wriggly toddler.

Last year we bought an abstract map print and we’ve got a keen eye to a couple of others, only right now we’re pouring resources into a build and heaping stuff into storage for six months!

Like his wife (the equally talented and prolific children’s illustrator, Maureen Roffey), Bernard is characteristically dismissive of his skills, but there’s still time for you to decide for yourself; the fair runs all day Sunday.

Please leave something for me!


Trade fairs tend to ape the structure of little towns in their layout and, to date, we've been quite lucky with our neighbours. Though last week we were especially fortunate to spend a few days in the good company of Ligne Claire illustrator and Kenny Everette lookalike, Robbie Porter.

We also saw some lovely new bits'n'bobs from our competitors: Wrap's stand looked even better than last year, while Francesca Iannaccone's open window illustration is just plain gorgeous. And who could blame us for picking up a couple of things at cost, like these stripy Moroccan bowls from Skoura.


Managed to get these bold, bright and graphic zigzag lamp bases finished in time for the trade fair earlier this week. Phew! Pity we can't make them quickly or inexpensively enough to wholesale… yet.



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.