If a musical genre title needs hyphenating, I was once warned, you should should steer well clear... the same apparently goes for food. I find myself more in the finding-hyphens-quite-useful camp. For instance, the whole life's work of trumpeter Donald Byrd (1932-2013) is no less astonishing for falling either side of one hyphen or another.

This Feb we also bid farewell to Bob Godfrey (1921-2013), whose personality has been so colourfully outlined by this week's obituaries. It's curious to hear Godfrey's long term collaborator and national treasure, Richard Briers (1934-2013), in a less familiar turn, narrating artist Ryan Gander's 2008 video, As it Presents Itself - Somewhere Vague.



Dinosaur lays wake to village
Meet Vegesaurus, he's not really as destructive as he looks, although he can get a bit testy without his full five-a-day.

Strictly speaking, I know they're fruits he's shovelling down his Jurassic jaws, but can't you cut me some slack? Fruitisaurus makes him sound plain frisky.


Risograph Galore

A3 Risograph 
I'd intended to get these guys all dressed up in new frames for their photo shoot, but they looked so cheerful emerging from the packaging in Wednesday morning's half-light, I just had to reach for the camera.

Much as we love to print by hand, labour can make the silk-screen process a bit expensive for childrens' walls. These A3 Risographs are far more reasonably priced... though I'm hoping adults will enjoy them too.

We first used the method for a V&A Museum commission some time back and they're strangely deceptive beasts; outwardly resembling a regular old Zerox copier, inside they marry disparate printing techniques to deliver something quite unique.

The paper needs to pass through the machine to receive each colour, which makes a mockery of precise registration, while the colours themselves are limited and can't be mixed (although, in truth, subtleties could be achieved through overlays or halftones). Despite these clunky limitations and inbuilt imperfections, they have a wonderful quality that's utterly matte and simultaneously somehow luminescent.

A3 Risograph You can snap 'em up here.


A Close Watch

John Donne book + ceramic table lamp

Like most long-term lovers, all industry interests aside, Valentine's was never writ particularly large on our calendar. This year I almost understand why couples might need a designated date to ignore the day-to-day drone and focus afresh on their spouse. If only momentarily.

I've spent more time than ever with my partner these recent months, but parenthood and bereavement means I've missed them exponentially. Of course there's a whole new level of intimacy, not just the visceral stuff, but the stream-of-consciousness baby talk; spontaneous and improvised songs and characters that sometimes take you so far beyond the realm of sense, you wonder if you'll ever come back.

Maybe today we can recall the calm constant centre of our very minor maelstrom. Or maybe not.

Happy Valentine's, boot-face.



History repeats itself; first as tragedy, then as farce. At least that's how Marx famously paraphrases Hegel. For me, it's equally true in reverse... even when something looks farcical it can still feel pretty tragic.

• Awesome anthropomorphic "Amlash" vase, 8th century BC
• Wade money-box/figurine (promo tie-in with defunct retailers, Rumbelows), 1980s


Mr Loverman

There's a whole new generation out there who'll have missed the towering misogyny and unrepentant homophobia that is Shabba Ranks, and yet I still hope to inspire some Champion Lovers with our latest Valentine, Mr. Loverman. Any affinity with the West Indies ends there though, visually this design's all Eastern Block.