illustration of reading dog with real illusration book
A friend got Julia Schonlau's 1000 Illustrations for Children (Quarry Books, 2013) as a gift this Christmas and complemented us on our contribution. I didn't know how we'd ended up in any book until I checked the emails and found all the correspondence from Sept 2012.

While I admit my memory does give me cause for concern, it makes our inclusion an especially nice surprise. To be featured among so many fantastic real illustrators is properly humbling… thanks Julia!


Geodesic Doom

architectural curiousity, Shoreham

Unless they're world famous, say, The Golden Gate or, more latterly, Øresund, bridges tend to connect destinations rather than form destinations in themselves. This being said, I was curious to see the new Adur Ferry Bridge on a recent visit to the Shoreham. Replacing the charming-but-reedy walkway, cast from concrete in the 1920s, this glass and steel hybrid for pedestrians and cyclists has transformed the way people use the town.

cast concrete footbridge 
On the way home we take the coastal road, flanked with warehouses and processing plants, more like massive machines than buildings proper. Kingston Baci lighthouse is still there, topped inexplicably with a bronze sphere, but something else is missing; the dark geodesic dome that glowered like an HQ for sci-fi baddies.

One day planning and conservation officers will get their knickers all twisted over odd, outmoded structures like these but, for now at least, they're preserved for posterity on Google Street View.


Tasche & Tapete

Google translates this as 'Bags & Wallpaper', it's the title of a 2014 calendar that utilises some of the old geometric patterns we made for gift wrap way back in 2006. I didn't even need to search through old artwork, Dumont grabbed the files from a CD accompanying the book, Cutting Edge Patterns and Textures, Estel Vilaseca, 2008.

Each of the initial three designs were named after some of the heraldic bears that lived in Ludwig Hoffmann's Bärenzwinger at Köllnischen Park, Berlin: Tilo, Maxi and Shnute. We caught sight of them once in the depth of winter when the sensible bears are catching serious shut-eye.

• b/w bear pics, 1950 and 1983, via the German Federal Archives


Last week we took full advantage of a lull in stormy weather and caught the tail-end of Philip Guston and Basil Beatie at the Jerwood in Hastings. Here's my son talking me through the finer points of British abstraction... before making his own composition in macaroni cheese from the café upstairs.

The work of HAT Projects, the building itself is a worthy addition to the coastline; the ceramic cladding appears black like surrounding fishing huts, but has an added oily pearlescence. I'm baffled to learn of local pressure to resist gallery plans, after all, if this town has another attraction they keep it very well hidden.


Happy New Year!

Pssst! Rumour is there's 20% off everything in the Lisa Jones Studio Shop this month. Simply enter the code HOORAY at the checkout and begin 2014 with bargains.