ErinHung

Erin Hung is the founder of bespoke stationery and paper goods company BerinMade, and the author of Paper Parties. We caught up with Erin to discuss parties, papercraft and creativity.

How did your love for paper start?

 As far as I can remember, I have always loved playing with stationery and crafts. Paper was one of the most accessible craft materials as a child so you almost just default to it, don’t you? I grew up in Hong Kong and there were lots of cool Japanese and hand-made paper I could get my hands on, and I remember feeling inspired and really energised whenever I saw rows and rows of paper lined up neatly. It sounds slightly odd but I think most craft-inclined people would agree with me, we get a bit mad over a bit of paper!

Writing A Dissertation Research Proposal When did you decide to start up your own business?

I was working in Christie’s in their Post War and Contemporary Art department in 2012 when I noticed that the winds were changing in how artists ran their practice as businesses. There was a lot of talk about blogs, self-promotion, social media and the cutting out of agents and dealers – it certainly felt like the winds were changing. There was a slow but very sure rise in indie-designers and artists taking control of their work and putting it out there on the internet and I was very inspired by that. I came from a Fine Art background and had always missed making things with my hand. Ben and I had just got married, and I loved the supportive, close-knit nature of the wedding industry. There were so few of us back then. I made illustrations and taught myself to use Adobe so that I could reproduce my work as stationery and invitations. I put it all on an Etsy shop. The rest was kind of history!

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Can you describe a typical working day at BerinMade?

No two days are the same, but a typical day these days would probably be spent working on Paper Parties as well as our upcoming trade show.

I have a ritual of spending a couple of hours in the morning clearing out my emails and then leaving it for the rest of the day. If you want a reply to your email, get me before noon or wait til the next day! During that time, I also diarise all my deadlines, client work and appointments so that they are all dealt with and I don’t miss anything (hopefully!)

People always say tackle the biggest task first, but I always like doing the small easy ones first. By the time I do a handful of smaller tasks (usually more admin-based), I have worked up momentum to tackle a biggie (usually more design based). Lunch will fit in there somewhere and most of the afternoon I am either working on publicity, concepting a client project, or mocking up our exhibition stand. I can have my head down working for a few hours before I come up for air. We work in a shared space with a few other creatives so whenever I feel a little tired, I stick my nose in what other people doing. Probably a bit annoying for them but I love the communal aspect of shared creative spaces.

In the late afternoon, I meet with Ben (also my business director) for any outstanding things we need to decide on that are jointly creative and business-related such as pricing or marketing. Every other day I also speak with my designer Lana, and we’ll catch up on on-going projects as well as new briefs. Then I make a list of the things I need to do for the next day and then leave the studio for the day, and try not to come back to work until the next morning!

What’s the inspiration behind your new book Paper Parties?

I wrote the pitch for Paper Parties in the summer of 2015 having spent 3 years in the wedding and events stationery industry. I think that although paper as a material is a huge love of mine, I also love the social aspect of what it’s used for. I think that creating and crafting is really special when coming from a place of celebration (such as weddings, birthdays or Christmas holidays). Craft sometimes has reputation as something that is for the more introverted, almost grandmotherly, but I really wanted to turn that around and for others to see the social as well as relevant and design-led aspects. That’s what Paper Parties is about.

Paper Parties contains styling tips for several party themes, have you got a favourite theme and if so what is it about that theme that you particularly like?

When I was shooting the book with my team (who are all amazing artists, by the way!) I felt like I responded to the colourful and pastel themes a lot more, but now looking at the book I love them all and I can’t decide!

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Have you got any parties in the pipeline that you are planning the decorations for and if so what are you making?

Not really parties, but we are actually working on a product line of craft-ready kits, with the first being our Gem Gift Wrap sets. I love the idea of making craft kits that are curated by trends and colours so that people can dip their toes in making something but having most of the materials already at hand so that it’s less daunting, and most of all, they are beautiful and design-led.

What is your top decorating tip for party organisers who are short on time but would still like to add some handmade decorations?

Go for scale! Oldies but goodies like paper pom poms are all tried and tested and have a great wow factor when colour-curated. There are a variety of tissue paper projects beside the pom pom, such as tissue flowers, honeycomb balls, crepe paper chains that you can get a very varied look on a short time scale.

Paper Parties by Erin Hung is available in shops now. Photographs by Charlotte Tolhurst and Lana Louw.

 

Sarah Hamilton (Credit Fiona Murray)LR RGB

Sarah Hamilton is a London-based artist and card designer whose work is inspired by colour, nature and midcentury design. She is the founder of the Just a Card campaign, which encourages people to buy from independent designers and retailers to help them stay in business, even if it’s ‘just a card’. In her new book House of Cards she shares her passion for the very British tradition of greetings cards. We caught up with Sarah for a chat about her favourite craft.

What was the inspiration behind House of Cards?

The aim is to celebrate greeting cards, not only the many beautiful images and wealth of creative talent behind the designs, but also their wider cultural significance. Cards are so much part of our everyday lives, we mark so many occasions with them, yet their impact often goes unnoticed. They provide an income to so many, and also support numerous charities and galleries. The huge role they play in peoples livelihoods was the impetus to my starting the ‘Just A Card’ campaign, which emphases how vital every sale, even ‘Just A Card’, is to artists, designers and galleries. They’re great fun to make, as we hope lots of people will discover from the projects in the book, and they’re even more fun to share.

How did you go about selecting the contributors to House of Cards?

We were keen to showcase a wide range of mediums and varied styles so people could be inspired by new techniques and experiences, or sit back and relax and enjoy a wealth of stunning designs. Co-ordinating this was no mean feat however, though it helped that I already knew, or knew of, many of them for making wonderful artwork, from years of experience in this world. I’d met Jakki Brown from Progressive Greetings as she’s very supportive of Just a Card, and as she’s as passionate about greeting cards as me. I was thrilled when she agreed to write the history of cards chapter. Jehane Boden-Spiers is such a great champion of the artists she works with that I felt she’d be the perfect person to write an honest and informative chapter about licensing designs – she didn’t dissappoint – her chapter is filled with fantastic information. We also wanted to feature some international artists, and this is where Instagram joined the party as I’d spotted Lynn and Kathryn’s beautiful artwork there. 

How did you get into card making?

When I left Central St Martins I was desperate to continue screen printing, but there was the small matter of bills to pay, so I struck on the idea of printing cards. Having constructed a basic, inexpensive silkscreen press I set about printing a range of designs on off-cut paper scavenged from a local business. Necessity is the mother of invention if you’re a recent arts graduate! Fortunately lots of retail buyers loved them, which resulted in orders from stores including Paperchase, The Conran Shop and Designers Guild. Even now, after all this time, card making is close to my heart. I still produce hundreds of cards a year in my studio, alongside prints, drawings and homewares. I see them as pebbles leading people to my work and I’m often told people collect and frame them. The handmade press featured in House of Cards is the very same one I started on all those years ago too.

What is your favourite cardmaking/printing technique?

I began my card making career by hand printing all my designs. I’m a screen printer at heart, and love making cards using delicately cut paper stencils. I enjoy cutting the stencils as much as printing with them, as my bird and oak leaf project in House of Cards illustrates. Nowadays I mix my techniques and enjoy manipulating digital imagery. I often make paper cutouts of shapes on black paper, then scan these into the computer. This gives me the freedom and flexibility to experiment with scale and layout. Whilst all my designs begin as drawings, I find the computer a fantastic tool to extend my visual language. Prints look so different when you alter scale, repeat and colourways and this voyage of discovery is what I enjoy most about my work.

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Where do you find inspiration for new card designs?

Like most artists my inspiration is far ranging, from nature, folk art, music, travels, 1950’s design – the list is endless. I wrote a chapter in House of Cards about gathering inspiration and also about my collections of pebbles, leaves, seed heads and objects. Natural forms recur thoughout my designs, as do images collected on my travels. I hope the chapter will help readers develop an eye for observation and be encouraged to translate this into their own designs.

Can you describe your workspace for our readers?

We have an unusual Mid-Century house in Dulwich, South London. It’s set in woods, with views over the trees towards the city beyond. My studio is at the top of the house with large windows which maximises light and views. It has a woooden floor painted white and is clean and tidy…ish, with shelves of objects and colour swatches pinned up for inspiration.

Tell us about the Just A Card Campaign, what made you start it?

The Just A Card campaign aims to encourage people to support artists, designers and independent shops by stressing that every sale, even ‘Just A Card’ is vital to their livelihoods. The idea came from the quote ‘If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought Just A Card we’d still be open.’ This simple observation, by gallery owners who’d recently had to close their gallery, prompted me to act. We so need to encourage people to support wonderful independent businesses, so they survive and flourish, otherwise we’ll lose them. The campaign goes from strength to strength. There’s now a wonderfully committed  team of  seven artist/gallery owner volunteers working on it. At Christmas we had a 1.3 million reach on social media. It makes me so proud to see how many people value our amazing creative community. Read about the campaign and meet the team on Justacard.org

Do you also like to send and receive cards in addition to designing them?

I love sending and receiving cards! Christmas cards especially are such a lovely way to keep in touch over the years. I wish more people would write personal messages inside – I love hearing what my friends and family are up to. There’s a very interesting chapter in the book about the history of cards, written by Jakki Brown from Progressive Greetings, which talks about our nationwide passion for sending and receiving cards. Jakki is as passionate as all of us at the Just A Card team are about the joys of a handwritten card.

9781910904572House of Cards by Sarah Hamilton is out now!

Photographs by Fiona Murray and James Balston

Kerry Lord

Kerry Lord is the founder and creative director behind TOFT – a UK leader in the manufacturing of homegrown woollen yarn and the design of DIY fashion knitting and on-trend crochet kits. Kerry is the author of three bestselling books, including Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium, published by Pavilion this autumn. Here, Kerry’s shares her crochet story and the inspiration behind her books.

How and when did you first discover crochet?
I first picked up a hook when entering my final few weeks of pregnancy. I had been a knitter for a number of years, but had truly always viewed crochet as something very difficult and if I’m honest not particularly desirable. I think there was a real lack of inspiring crochet patterns even as recently as three years ago. Thankfully that’s all changed and there’s no better time to learn to crochet.

How has your love of crochet developed since then?
In a word, obsessively. I still can’t believe what a whirlwind the last three years have been. I do still turn to two pointy sticks when I’m looking to make something to wear, but the rest of the time I can’t imagine not having a hook in my handbag.

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What was the first crochet item you designed? What inspired it?
I spent one determined night on You Tube learning the ‘single crochet’ (or as I now know, the British double crochet) stitch. The next day I sat down on the sofa and crocheted what would become Bridget the elephant from my first book Edward’s Menagerie. She did of course have some limbs inside out, (and her eyes were perhaps a tad wonky), but as soon as I shared my creation with my colleagues back at TOFT I knew I was into something.

Tell us about your new book Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium?
Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium is a very unusual pattern book. Rather than giving you a fixed number of projects, patterns and their accompanying instructions, it provides the building blocks, technical tuition and inspiration to enable you to make an almost infinite number of unique projects.

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Poetry Coursework Help Describe, if you can, your creative process when coming up with a ‘monster’ for Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium.
My creative process when designing a new monster will be very similar to the process I am asking others to do when using the book. You flip through the shapes to select a head, arms and legs that the your fancy, and then you move onto selecting colours, patterns and any added extras like tails or wings. Sometimes I will sketch out my idea first, but at other times I just start with the yarn I’ve got closest to hand and see where it takes me. Ever taken time to think about what the creatures at the bottom of your garden might look like, or visualised the dishevelled hairstyle of the sock monster who lives in your washing machine?

You have been involved with all aspects of TOFT, from alpaca shearing, business management and designing to workshop instructing – what’s your favourite part of your job?
The variety of every week is the favourite part of my job. In the last ten years I really don’t think two days have ever been the same and that keeps me and my team very motivated, flexible and very adaptable to respond rapidly to trends.

Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium is available now. Don’t forget to share a pic of your monster creation online Phd Thesis Antimicrobial Activity #edsflipbook

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esther

Paper-folding fanatic Esther Thorpe runs her own origami business, Origami Est, and is the author of Paper Home where she shares 15 origami projects to make for the home. With some 13k followers on Instagram, many will already be familiar with Esther’s beautifully styled photographs of her paper creations. Here Esther talks about her new book and her love for origami.

It’d be impossible to put a date on it, exactly when my obsession with making things from paper began. Even when I was at preschool I remember endlessly making paper homes for my cuddly toys. My parents were brilliant at encouraging me to be creative, even though creativity wasn’t something that came naturally to them.

My mum would frequently take me to exhibitions both locally and further afield, and I distinctly remember being struck by the beautiful work of Bridget Riley on a visit to
the Tate Gallery in London. This sparked my fascination with geometric pattern, and with Bridget Riley books, of which I have a library!

At school, art, design and maths were my favourite subjects, and when I went to university to study graphic design, I discovered that origami marries these three passions together beautifully. Throughout my degree and since, I have enjoyed stretching myself with more and more complex models and still find there is nothing more satisfying than transforming 2D square sheets into 3D models.

I live in a small seaside town in the south east of England, with my husband, daughter and two house rabbits, Hugo and Florence (my paper offcuts nibblers!). I enjoy being a mummy by day and a ninja folder by night. I find origami truly addictive and I hope my book Paper Home will inspire you too. There are projects of varying levels of difficulty: some are straightforward and quick to complete, while others are a little more time consuming, but
well worth the effort.

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If you are a novice, the Triangular Basket or the Star Garland is a good place to start. Mastering projects that use a similar origami technique is also a good way to develop your folding skills; for example, the Photo Holder, the Cube (Geometric Mobile) and the Vase are all based on the same origami module (the sonobe).

Feel free to dip in and out – the photo step-by-steps should make it easy to pick up where you left off. I also find a good cup of coffee and a little background noise helpful
when getting my fold on! Whatever works for you, relax and enjoy your creative process.

Esther Thorpe

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Extracted from Esther Thorpe’s new book Paper Home, available now. Photographs by Kirsty Noble.

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Join Esther Thorpe at Popup Café in Deal on Saturday the 11th where she will be signing copies of her new book Paper Home and demonstrating how she creates beautiful origami objects for the home.
 
When: Saturday 11th June from 4pm
Where: Pop Up Café, 16 High Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 7AE
Free event

llamacollagecarnival

Get creative making a quirky llama character using collage. Name him, stick him on your wall, give him to your friend, instagram him! Llama templates and cutting guides will be provided – all you need to do is cut, stick and decorate to your heart’s content!

 

Where: Drink, Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX
When: Monday 9th May 2016, 7:00pm
FREE event!

Click here to find out more…

 

 

chinelo and dress

Chinelo Bally wowed the judges of ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ with her freehand approach to pattern cutting, and in her book Freehand Fashion she lets us in on the secret of how she does it. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet and be taught by Chinelo this Spring.

Freehand Cutting Workshop

This is a fun and exciting sewing workshop that focuses on Freehand cutting garment construction. Participants will be creating this stylish and versatile maxi dress. The key skills that will be taught on the course include, freehand sleeve drafting, fitted bodice with side bust darts, bias cut skirt, zip insertion and bias binding.

When:
Saturday 14th May 10am – SOLD OUT
Saturday 11th June 10am – SOLD OUT
Where: 33 Vicarage Lane, East-Ham, London, E6 6DQ
Online Physics Assignment Help Price: £90.00

Participants can get a signed copy of Chinelo Bally’s book Freehand Fashion at £15 (25% off)!

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Click here to find out more and to book tickets

 

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