A chance to play in the studio!

By happy coincidence this Saturday we had already (a) tidied up our studio (ahead of a visit by Channel TV…) and (b) finished all of our Christmas orders, which meant we could play with our new vacuum table!

We almost bought an entire studio-full of bargain-price screen printing equipment recently but couldn’t afford to get it shipped over, so our vacuum table is a home-made affair with suction provided by our Henry hoover. Happily Denyse and her son Arthur are very resourceful and despite a lack of any engineering training and heavy pregnancy (in Denyse’s case) seem to manage to produce all of the equipment we need. Next up an exposure unit!

Here are some of the monoprints we produced, using simple stencils and collaging pages of a copy of ‘Les Miserables’ that we rescued from a skip. We often use text by Victor Hugo in our work because of his connection to Guernsey. The prints are embossed with our logo – not necessary but we LOVE our new embosser.

Seagulls over Fort Grey
Seagulls over Fort Grey, an edition of one. £25.
Chickens and Egg
Chickens and Egg, an edition of one. £25
Chickens and Egg, with quote
Chickens and Egg, with quote. An edition of one. £25. Quote reads “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

 

If any of you are interested in screen-printing on paper here are some thoughts:

1.     You don’t need a vacuum table to print; we have spent the past year printing without one. But for printing on paper, especially to register a multiple-layer print, it helps as it stops the paper from moving under your screen.

2.    Ink dries a lot quicker on a paper screen than on a fabric screen. Give the fibres of your screen a good soaking before you start printing and sponge off excess water, and flood the screen in between prints or at least any time you need to faff around cutting more paper etc.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas/solstice/Hanukkah/holidays and a fantastic 2014!!!

A shop of our very own!

Iris and Dora Pop-up shop
Iris and Dora Pop-up shop

Iris and Dora Designs is taking over the OSA pop-up shop for the week, in support of Autism Guernsey. We’re getting installed tonight (Sunday), we are exhausted, but we’re pretty pleased with ourselves too and hope we can manage to get some people through the door.

So, far we have learned:
1. The radio is ace! We were on BBC Radio Guernsey last Monday to promote the shop. It was a bit of a last-minute thing, but we ended up having quite a rambling talk for an hour. We’d encourage anyone with a fledging business like ours or an interesting creative sideline to approach the radio as it’s free publicity and apparently people do listen (we weren’t convinced anyone was listening but it turned out our printer was and was rather alarmed at the deadlines we were promising). It’s not intimidating at all, but for less chatty types, you could always join forces with others and descend en mass – we took Andy from Autism Guernsey with us and found the experience enjoyable.
2. Make connections. So we do feel this pop-up is a great opportunity to showcase Iris and Dora, but the experience has been all the better for joining forces with two other creative types (in addition to Autism Guernsey, who invited us to run the shop with them). Warren Hall, a sailmaker with a workshop in St Peter Port, is working with us on a range of bags made our of upcycled sails, which we are launching this week. The lampshade below is part of the range inspired by the Serendipity sail. The sail has been around the world twice so is guaranteed to hold quite a bit of hedge veg for years to come! Daniela of Rustique Guernsey revamps used furniture. Another  upcycling devotee! She has loaned us some of her beautiful pieces for the shop. They are also for sale and she, too, will be donating 15% of profits to Autism Guernsey.
3. Time your shop opening with the Christmas lights going up on Smith Street. Just kidding. We had no idea, but it does make the street look very festive.
shop window, smith street
shop window, smith street
1 week only, pop up shop
1 week only, pop up shop

Album cover design

Research for this latest project was easy — it involved listening to Jack McGahy’s songs over and over again. And he’s good!! (Though he is family, so we’re bound to like him.) He describes his music as folk pop and his tunes are extremely catchy.

Scary Love by Jack McGahy
Scary Love by Jack McGahy

So the album is called “Scary Love” and the design is Hammer-Horror style. Have a listen: http://jack-mcgahy.bandcamp.com/track/scary-love

And if you want to hear him live he is playing at our studio launch, 7th September, 2:30-6:30 at the Studio, Rex Stationers building, Ruette Bray, St Peter Port, Guernsey. Everyone welcome.

 

Screen printing in the open air — good idea?

So today we ran our first screen printing workshop. Ever the optimists, we decided an outdoor event, open to anyone and everyone, would be a reasonable first forum for us. We LOVED it and hope the 70 or so people who tried out screen printing with us enjoyed it too. Here are some of the finished products:

dolphins, hearts and other lovely screen prints
dolphins, hearts and other lovely screen prints

And a few more:

Dogs and scooters along the seafront
Dogs and scooters along the seafront

The workshop was part of Arts Sunday, which by the way was a wonderful event. We didn’t get much of a chance to see the other stalls and workshops, but Guernsey’s St. Peter Port seafront was buzzing and the music drifting on the (alarmingly strong) winds was pretty fantastic. Here’s our pitch, right on St Peter Port’s marina:

Screen printing along the harbour in St Peter Port
Screen printing along the harbour in St Peter Port
open-air-workshop
open-air-workshop

Here we are in action:

Getting ready with the red ink
Getting ready with the red ink
What a lovely array of colours!
What a lovely array of colours!
Screen printing ink pots
Screen printing ink pots

Lessons for next time:

– you can’t have too much masking tape

– you can’t have too many cupcake stencils

– woolly hats and hot chocolate are useful, even in June

We leave you with some happy campers:

A new swimming bag - good work Iris!
A new swimming bag – good work Iris!

 

Lovely t-shirt Freddie - did you make it yourself?
Lovely t-shirt Freddie – did you make it yourself?