Monday, 23 January 2012

Meet our studio artists: Lucy Newman

From a cosy corner of the Parlour’s studio comes video artist and animator Lucy. As the first resident artist in the studio when it was founded, the space simply wouldn’t be the same without her. Part Ruscha, part Hockney with a dash of the Orient; her dexterous leather shapes are a sight to behold, indeed.
The colours, sights and sounds of her trips from Iceland to Istanbul are explored in her work as much as her curiosity and interest in modern culture and new technologies.

How did you become an artist?

I have always liked drawing and taking photographs. As a child, I used to draw animals from books using oil pastel on sugar paper, which is fairly consistent with what I am doing now.

Describe a recent project.

I’ve been using the Brushes iphone app to draw with. You can only use your finger plus a brush or eraser, so you have to be very loose and simplify the subject right down. But you have a complete palette of colours with you and you can sketch on the spot wherever you like, batteries permitting.

I’ve also have been working with the intriguing shapes formed by unfinished origami projects. They are abstract but at the same time instantly recognizable as origami and they give the impression of being planned and considered, not at all random.

I am going to get them laser cut from Perspex and try some experiments with casting them. They are small multicoloured flat little sculptures which could be editioned.

Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

Being out and about. Visiting places.

My work environment.

The lifestyle, science and nature and history pages in the media.

A big variety of films.

Who or what are your artistic and professional influences?

Ed Ruscha for turning every day words in to paintings.

David Hockney for his studies of unremarkable hedgerows and grass verges and for exploring new technology.

Photo journalist Inge Morath’s colour images showing stories around the world.

But probably the greatest influence comes from friends and colleagues.

The Papered Parlour has had a big affect me. I now have the urge to find out how to make everything, rather than buy it. With craft projects, you have to work slowly and be very methodical and be prepared to make mistakes at every stage. It is a good way to work.

How would you describe your style?


Strong flat colour.




There is some humour in it too.

How has your work evolved?

I’ve become more comfortable in doing what I want and following my instincts.

New web technologies like Blogging, Flickr streams and Vimeo have made it easy to show designs, short notational videos and photography enabling others and myself to get an overview of my practice.

Watch Prehistoric Landscape on Vimeo here.

What will you be doing in 10 years.

Learning the latest version of Adobe Creative suite.

Describe your hometown.

Brighton. The smell of the sea. Sound of the seagulls. Seaside colours mixed with Regency terraces, an ‘oriental’ Royal Pavilion. And being high up on the hills or the Sussex Downs.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?

Zoologist, Ambassador, TV Presenter.

Where else in the world have you lived?

Nowhere else but London and Brighton, but I am making up for it by taking trips, and I can’t believe it but I’ve taken the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing.

Monday, 9 January 2012

New studio artist: Sarah Kelly

Our very newest addition to the parlour is the jewellery designer Sarah Kelly who runs Saloukee. Sarah visited the studios over the summer initially and stayed for a long chat with us. She loved the space from the start and following the publication of her first book, Paper Jewellery, she took the plunge and joined us. Now she’s settled into her desk, surrounded by books, materials and clean, iconic fashion and art photographs to draw on for inspiration.
Shortly after she moved in I asked her a few questions about her intricate designs and influences.

How did you get started? Have you always wanted to be a jewellery designer?

I've been creative for as long as I remember but at school I was always pretty academic. It wasn't until A level that I had my first real chance at proper jewellery making, sitting on a workbench getting my hands and clothes dirty. I found selecting a university course pretty tough and was choosing between studying English Language or Jewellery Design. I opted to follow my heart and didn't regret it.

I graduated in 2005 with a first from Loughborough University and began my career freelancing in London, Paris and Amsterdam and was even lucky enough to design jewellery worn by Angelina Jolie! It wasn’t until 2008 after I’d had some time to travel, work for some other companies and gain a little life experience, that I decided to follow my creative dream and set up my own design business, Saloukee.

Where do you find inspiration?

Costume history, haute couture fashion, interiors, architecture, finding a problem and solving it in a beautifully aesthetic way.

What's one of the most important lessons you've learned about being freelance?

I think to stay true to your vision. Making jewellery from paper poses questions from probably 85% of the people that I meet and I realise the type of jewellery that I'm designing is not your usual high street bling. I simply have to remain focused on my final goal, be a bit stubborn that and know that if I'm determined enough it will happen.

Who are your artistic influences?

Zoe Bradley – paper sculptor who has worked with some high profile advertising and editorial clientele. Her dexterity with paper is jaw dropping and her vision for large-scale work is always so beautifully executed.

Hannah Marshall – fashion designer whose sharp tailored designs are to die for! Not only has she been applauded for her great design in Vogue (my ultimate dream press) but she’s business savvy and still seems to have time to party and smile with the best of them too!

Sophia Coppola - film director and producer to some of the most dreamy films and advertising campaigns I've had the pleasure in watching. Her vision during for the film Marie Antoinette exhibited the perfect frivolity to allow the viewer’s mind to run wild, I am in awe of her talent.

What's your most important tool or material?

My hands … no part of my process would be possible without the use of my hands! I recently learnt to snowboard and have been praying each time I hit the slopes that I come back with both wrists/hands intact!

How would you describe your style?

I'd like to think it's clean, elegant, meticulous, innovative and visual.

If you could do anything else besides being an artist what would you do?

I've had many romantic notions of being an architect. I'm particularly in love with contemporary Japanese design. In reality I'm sure the maths part of architecture would hurt my brain a lot though!

What are you working on now?

My first book was published in November so my head has been in the clouds for a while. I'm excited about being a newcomer to the parlour in 2012 as my plan is to come up with some innovative new jewellery collections which are bigger, bolder and more 'out there' than my previous work. It's great to be around such an energetic vibe and I'm hoping this will give my new making and designing some momentum.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Notes from the artist studio

The artist studio is bustling with activity these days at all hours of the day and night. What's awe inspiring to see is how many diverse and engaging projects are all on the go everyday at the parlour.

Here are a few highlights this month from our brilliant studio artists:

Filmmaker Rino Pucci won a prestigious Italian photojournalism award this past month for his short photo documentary, One Day on Two Wheels, following five Londoners and their bikes including an 80 year old who cycles to the pub!

Paper engineer Helen Friel's gorgeous designs were featured in a four page photoshoot in the Stylist a few weeks ago,

and illustrator Kareena Zerefos' work was included in Taschen's Illustration Now Vol.4,

and photographer Sam Roberts has just returned safely from a week of filming in Mali at the International Peasant Conference Against Land Grabbing.

So many incredible projects and stories. We look forward to sharing more updates on the amazing work of the studio artists!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Bespoke Interiors - Handprint your own Wallpaper!

Charged with learning a new skill and creating a unique piece for her home, journalist and self-confessed non-artist Trish Lorenz found her way onto our handprinted wallpaper course with Jemma Ooi of CUSTHOM Design. Over an afternoon Trish and a small group of ambitious budding wallpaper designers created their own bespoke roll of custom wallpaper incorporating an initial inspiration, from fresh flowers to a favourite design on a quilt.

Pictures of the finished wallpaper printed on the day and ready to be hung:

And this one with beautiful leaves and fruit.

You can read Trish's full article in the Guardian Weekend Magazine.

Create your own roll of wallpaper at our next class! Masterclass: Handprinted Wallpaper with CUSTHOM Design 29 January 2012. More details

Friday, 30 September 2011

Designer Maker Market at the Parlour

The list of London designers and makers taking part in our October 22 and 23 Open Weekend in Clapham keeps growing!

From fabulous prints and homewares, to gorgeous leather accessories, and one-of-a-kind jewellery there's bound to be something for everyone at our maker market.

Check out the designers' websites below to get a taste of their work:

Zeena Shah, printed textiles

Mary Kilvert, illustration

Nat Thakur, leather accessories

Charlotte Fleming, prints and illustration

Nadia Sparham, ceramics and homewares

Becky Wood, cards

Eleanor Lamb, fascinators

Sooze Ferguson, jewellery designer

Ovannak and Delphine, prints

Maite Diez del Corral

Denise Rawls, cards

Francesca Marcenaro, jewellery designer

Adam Martin, t-shirts and prints

Holly Clifton-Brown, illustration

Hannah Battershell, handmade books, badges, prints

We're very excited to have so many fantastic artists taking over the Parlour for the weekend!

So put the dates in your diary now and come to the Parlour for a lovely weekend of art, design, music and cake!

October 22 and 23, 11-5pm, 7 Prescott Place, Clapham

Thursday, 22 September 2011

You're Invited! Open Studios Weekend October 22&23

We'll be throwing open the parlour doors in October for a weekend of art and design, a boutique market, live music and of course delicious home-made cake!

From milliners to textile designers, photographers, illustrators and jewellers, our studio artists are a talented and creative group! Over the weekend you'll get a rare peek into their working spaces and a chance to learn more about how and what they do.

If you can't wait until October, click on the names below to see some of their work:

Nick Hamilton

Nicola Harvey

Sarah Burnett

Diane Templeton

Jessica Templeton-Smith

See you in October!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Parlour girls hit the boot sales!

Over the bank holiday weekend we headed out of London to hunt for vintage gems at one of the biggest car boot sales in the country, in Surrey.

People often ask where we’ve managed to find the unusual, kitschy and whimsical pieces that decorate every nook and cranny of the parlour. From the wrought iron staircase, to the stripped wood beams up to the office loft and the gorgeous period mirrors and delicate chandeliers. Many parlour details have come from scouring car boot sales over the years for the perfect find, so below we thought we'd share with you some of our best tips for car boot sale success and links to our favourite boots in the London area.

Parlour girls’ boot sale secrets:

*Wake up early! When we arrived at Hook Road Arena car boot at 7.45am on Bank Holiday Monday the parking area was already a quarter full, so if you’re really looking for something special or antique get there when the dealers do which is whenever the boot opens or as early as you can possibly manage, otherwise stalls will be picked over!

*We love lists: Make a list the night before of what you’d like to find. Whether you’re decorating your kitchen, looking for 50s inspired old signage, London posters or prints, storage units, roller skates in size 9, or a new library, the more specific you are the more focussed you’ll be on the day and the more likely you’ll find what you’re after amidst the mountains of stuff for sale.

*Set a budget: Even with a £10 budget you can find loads of bargains at car boot sales, so decide what is on your list and what you would reasonably pay for it and base your budget accordingly.

*‘Is it on the list?’: The tendency at car boot sales is to get so excited by the bargain prices, haggling with sellers and the sheer volume of things being sold, that you go into overdrive and end up buying a lot of useless, unnecessary junk. Try to stick with the list you made the night before and keep asking, ‘is it on the list?’ Of course even the best of us can't always stick to the list whenever you never know what incredible thing you might find...

*To haggle or not to haggle?: As we were leaving the car boot on Monday I glanced down at a book bin on the ground in front of a stall and saw a book which I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I stopped and asked how much it was and the woman said a pound. I fished the coin out of my purse and handed it to her. She looked surprised, ‘You’re the first person to actually pay the amount I’ve asked!’

It’s true I’m not very skilled at bargaining and when the difference is between a pound and 50 pence it doesn’t bother me to pay what the seller asks, but over the morning I did hear many people trying their luck offering 20 pence when the seller asked for 50. Claire, who is a boot sale pro did manage to barter at almost every table for furniture, cutlery, vintage signs, a 50s working iron and more.

Our favourite car boot sales:

Hook Road Arena Car Boot Sale – over 900 stalls and 6,000 shoppers! Opens to buyers 7am, every Sunday

Chiswick Community School Car Boot Sale - 1st Sunday of the month, opens to buyers 8am

TimeOut’s Guide to London Car Boot Sales

Have fun treasure hunting!