Wednesday, 30 March 2016

MATS: Round 2, Staffordshire.

For the Make Art That Sells Round 2, the assignment was to look at Staffordshire Pottery, like these guys above, which I found in an Antique shop one Saturday. Staffordshire Pottery is lots of hand painted lions, zebras, sheep, people, cats and dogs, with funny but endearing expressions and lots of lovely motifs on them. My Nana tells me that they 'aren't fashionable anymore' when I told her I now want to collect all the funny dogs I possibly can. They are quirky and fun and something that I never considered drawing before, but that's the point of Make Art That Sells - it forces you to look at new subject matters beyond your normal gaze. I thought I'd share some early sketchbook studies with you - some are rough, most are just playing around. I started to use a brush pen more and added colour with crayons. I also got some new gouache for Christmas, 
so experimented and played with them too.

I LOVED drawing Staffordshire Pottery so much! The aim of the assignment was to have designs for plates based on the characters and motifs. Here is my final submission for it:

What I liked the most, though was the characters that I drew in my sketchbook... and I wanted to use them in another way for my shop and myself. Thinking about this, after work one day some work colleagues and I went Riso-Printing at Dizzy Ink in Nottingham. We were making a risograph printed zine in a few hours and thinking about a theme so that we could all design a section and then bind it together as a long concertina book. One of my colleagues had brought in photographs from her childhood, old houses and shops she'd visited in Staffordshire where she was from, 
sooo, I happily started drawing some of my characters to form a Staffordshire zine! 
Here are the layers being drawn up: 

 ..and the final print (my part of the book) is pictured below. I loved Risograph! 
But that is another blogpost, for another day!

Cats and funny-faced dogs on the mind, I decided to re-draw my favorite characters and add in a few more to make a repeat pattern which I intend to screen-print this week on to fabric and make some cushions and maybe even some plush Staffordshire characters to test the water in my shop. 

I'll post and share the material once it's printed! But above is a sneaky peak - I wanted the characters to look funny and weird and not really match! I think some of them 
will look really good as plush toys - I'll let you know how it goes.