Today I made my way down to stafford , a thirtyish minute drive down with my parent involved her leading me the wrong way ending up in tesco car park, saying I chewed gum like a cow chewing cud and then paying for parking despite it being free on a sunday was relatively good.
I made my way through the town up to market square where the “Shire hall gallery” is located. My main reason for visiting after recommendation by my tutor was to see the Craft shop and the current exhibiton there called Made in the middle. No sooner I walked through the gallery doors I headed for the craft shop , filled with a wide variety of stocked items by artists near and far it was very inspirational to see so many different styles and unique pieces in one place.
What did the shop sell then? There were a variety of makings arranged and displayed throughout the shop and more delicate items were stored in glass cabinents. I made note of the particular artisits whose work really caught my attention and fueled my curiosity ;
In the left side cabinet as I walked into the shop were a series of printed handmade books displayed neatly one above the other. The pale cover’s depicted one colour prints of ferns leaves and a large tree, bound together with handmade papers and wrapped in brown string with a tag which really complimented the books themselves!
The shop was unindated with Jen Rowlands products, the main three I noticed took the form of :
- Sketchbooks ( square 8×8 inch)
- Small jotters
Her style of drawing uses a very detailed line technique in sepia tones which then lay on top of three individual colours that contrast well together ( such as fuscia , beige and white). Her theme of drawing was split between an old collection ( I asked the shop assistant) of floral designs and a newer collection of birds ( ducks , geese , owls) and it was interesting to see how currently in the market “bird designs” are becoming quite popular as I see them more frequently on bags, scarves, clothing, books, stationary and cards.
I brought one of Jen Rowlands cards home with me , priced at £3 I felt this was higher than I would usually pay for a card (then again I am a student not a tightwad) . I wasn’t able to catch how much her sketchbooks were selling for but the jotters were priced at £4 ( size A6 ish ) .
This has to be the first time I’ve seen this kind of notebook , made by a business called “Pumpkinsputnik” these books were around about A5 ( if not slightly smaller) size. The cover made from watercolour paper it displayed a mix of floral themed photographic images that appear to have been digitally edited then printed onto the covers of each notebook.
Each book was sealed in a cellophane pocket with a printed label placed on front ( logo of the business) , I really like how the font is unique and also appears in two different colours . The books themselve were priced at £7.00 which I felt was a really reasonable price since the books are very sturdy, unique , of good quality and are a limited handmade item.
Due to the length of my blog post today I’ll be back later with a part two to show what I experienced of the Made in the middle exhibition and share my overall opinion on my day out in stafford.