Edwina’s got STYLE.

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To celebrate my new found residential location, I thought I’d write a little something about Edwina Ellis.

(besides, anyone with the name Edwina, definitely deserves a mention)

Edwina designed the new kickass masthead for the Times and is responsible for the Bridge series of four one pound coins, and for a new two pound coin (there it is above).

She’s also the fine lady who taught me wood engraving at uni and has a rather endearing Australian accent. 

As you can see, she has MAD engraving skills, a keen eye for detail and designs for purpose like a BOSS.

She’s also doing some great stuff for engraving as a whole; having recently developed printing apparatus using laser-cutting technology and has recently worked with Intaglio Printmaker to develop a range of engraving tools.

Check them out…

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They’re really quite beautiful objects.

This particular type, with bowed sides, is called a spitstick.

Which is also a pretty great name.

Well hello there London.

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So I’m now officially a LONDONER.

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s happened.

And is definitely a big fat change from rural Welsh life.

Looks like we’ve traded all the bountiful fields, crystal clean air, trusty welsh folk, abundant wildlife, tractors, the flowing river Teifi and a rather mellow pace for some questionable grass, general pollutants, DANGER, badman gangsters, one-legged pigeons, hubbub, the dirty river Thames, and a general feeling of over suspicion.

But, on the PLUS side, at least we now have a kickass shower, lots of pals nearby and Dennis the postman does seem very nice.

Oh, and I get start a new academic adventure in the museum of dreams.

I guess that’s a bit fat BONUS.

So, yeah, hello Hackney. 

I hope you will be kind to us.

I have a sneaky feeling you will.

And, to quote king Simba, “Danger? Ha! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger.”

Nicely said my liege, nicely said indeed.

Tools are intrinsic to social relationships. An individual relates himself in action to his society through the use of tools that he actively masters, or by which he is passively acted upon.
Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality, 1973

Le Chemin du Fauvisme

"The eye of the artist has not seen things that are not there, but has seen more completely what is there already. Artists, like prophets, are not looking at a world no one else can see; they are looking upon what everyone else sees but seeing it differently. Where we see shades of grey, a great artist might see explosions of colour."

Gerrard Kelly
We need an economy that makes things again. And I’m not alone in thinking this. The generation that built the web is tiring of the immaterial and is turning back to objects: to 3D printing, to laser-cutting, to Arduinos. And maybe they can — as with the web — transform hobbies and eccentricities into industries.
Russell Davies
Hands…are a delta in which much life from distant sources flows.
Rainer Maria Rilke

So I’ve just discovered THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH.

Tucked away in Ozzano Taro, a small neighborhood in Collecchio, in the province of Parma, is this museum of everyday life- a beautiful collection of every day things. Here objects are displayed in mesmerising ways, with some tool or other occupying every available nook and cranny. 

This modest collection is the result of a lifetime of care, hard work and patience of primary school teacher Ettore Guatelli:

“These are humble things… but some of them are incredibly ingenious, poetic in their humility, and loveable…That makes you want to understand who was there, and what was behind these objects. It makes you want to know in what way and under what circumstances these items were used”

Have a little look at these photos . I’m sure you will agree, quite a magical looking place.

Definitely know where i’m going next year.

HELLOOOO PARMA.

…craftsmanship draws no attention to itself; it lies beneath notice, allowing other qualities to assert themselves in their fullness…Craft is a means of getting to a finished form well. Like a hunter in a snowy ground, it must obscure its own tracks
Glenn Adamson Thinking Through Craft 

Just picked up my Autumn copy of Printmaking Today and read about this little project.

This 45 minute documentary looks at modern British wood engraving, exploring it’s many uses and profiles the lives of todays practitioners.

Looks lke a good one.

Oh, it also features ten minute interviews with a handful of engravers, including Miriam MacGregor and my engraving teacher (and all round TOP lady) Edwina Ellis. 

Nice work Tin Films, thumbs UP.

making things people want BEATS making people want things
John V Willshire