design Tag

When the Design Museum announced a few years ago that they would be moving to Kensington I was so happy. It’s previous location was a pain to get to and was far too small to do their collection justice. Also, you had to pay to get in just to look at the general collection which was not the best start to a visit.

The Commonwealth Institute in Kensington has been a wonderful but essentially, redundant building for decades. Previously, it’s purpose was to display wonderful objects from the Commonwealth countries around the globe. I have very vague memories of visiting it when I was a child, but since it’s closure, we have only been able to admire the wonderfully unusual architecture as we whizz by down the high street on the bus.

The Design Museums take over of the building is a real masterpiece. Designed by architect John Pawson, it’s a gloriously spacious building which leads you gently up and around it’s space. The various details are really noticeable. One of my favourite features were the cork triangle tiles. Triangles and geometry are a theme seen throughout the interior which I really enjoyed.

With the new space, they have been able to display their permanent collection in a really engaging display. Walking around the exhibition you experience design from transport, medicine, home decor, fashion and technology through the decades. It was fascinating.

For those that like beautiful objects for the home or need ideas for gifts, the Design Museum now has two shops. One is located closer to the high street and is independent to the museum itself, whilst the other is located just inside the main entrance to the museum. I have found the shop to be a great place for buying presents.

Find out more about the Design Museum and what’s on show by clicking HERE.

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

My DIY Mini Makes challenge is still growing strong. I just finished week 2 and made two really cute air dry clay pieces.

It’s all a bit of trial and error, but I am trying to have low expectations on how things turn out. However, this week, this didn’t really apply as a pinch pot mug I made up went spectacularly wrong during the decorating stage, it had to just go in the bin.

I replaced it with a pyramid ring holder which I decorated with black ink stripes and a gold tip. It’s so far my favourite, but with 10 weeks still to go, that could easily change.

Other makes include a small vase for my air plant in navy blue with white splatters and a small blue bowl with black spots inside.

I’m hoping I can build on some ideas I have, but some I feel may be too complicated with such simple clay.

Follow along on Instagram to see them first with #AlicesMiniMakes

Mini MAke_02b_Alice Potter_2016

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

I focus on making small objects such as bowls and ring dishes. To decorate, I tend to use acrylics as they sit on the dry clay quite well. My favourite paint is Golden Acrylics gold. It’s like painting with liquid gold leaf. You can see it on the ring holder below.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

UPDATE:

After these air dry clay makes, I didn’t manage to continue with my challenge. I think this is a reflection on my nature where I can remain focused on challenges like these for a few weeks, but always get distracted quite quickly. As an example, I have tried to dip my toe in various Instagram challenges like daily drawing, and I always get so far before I want to do something else. This is definitely something I want to work on in 2017.

I set myself a challenge to make an Air Dry clay mini object every week for 12 weeks. I want to be spontaneous and see what happens. Maybe my objects will be greatly improved by the end.

Week 1 is complete and here is my first Mini Make of my 12 week challenge. I ended up making a simple plate which measures only a few inches wide. Keeping them small is one of the constraints I have decided to give myself.

I used white air dry clay that I actually brought from Tiger (so it’s really cheap and easily available) and made a simple ring dish, painted with pink acrylic. The dots were done with a black sharpie but when varnishing they bled a bit. This is definitely a real learning curve for me to see what works and what doesn’t.

I’m using this one to keep my rings in now because I love the colour and design of it.

Air dry clay is a wonderful material to use for beginners and young children. You don’t need any special equipment and your makes don’t have to go in the oven which is a big plus. It’s a great activity to do with any young people you may know as you could make decorations for christmas, gifts or letter to spell out their names.

If fun DIY’s are something that might interest you I would love to direct you to my Pinterest board called DIY And Craft. It’s packed with simple projects and includes some fun makes to do with air dry clay. This project is particularly fun looking and so SIMPLE! Who wouldn’t want to make a dish shaped like a pineapple, and imagine making a whole fruit range as a present for someone.

Follow along on Instagram using the #AlicesMiniMakesMini-Make_01_Alice-Potter_2016

Mini-Make_01_Alice-Potter_2016

Wow! This year has flown by for me. What has actually been 12 months feels like 6 and it surprises me how much you can achieve in that perceived time-frame. Below I am going to outline a few projects that have stood out  for me, and some personal things from this year:

1. WWT Waterlife Magazine

I was happy to start the year working on an editorial project for a trust that I admire and am passionate about. When I was 15, and in the first summer that the Wetlands Centre was open (around 2002 I think), I did my work experience feeding birds, planting rice paddies and getting sunburnt. It was wonderful! Having the opportunity to create illustrations for their magazine was like re-visiting an old friend.

Waterlife Magazine_09

2. France

It’s become my second home this year having visited Paris, Lille, Epernay, Reims, Chalons en Champagne and Nime on multiple occasions. Here is a photo from my trip to the South Of France in July.

Le Grau De Roi

3. Make Art That Sells

At the end of October I signed up to the Lilla Rogers Studio Make Art That Sells course. That turned out to be an excellent decision, as during those short 5 weeks, my creativity improved and I had a new passion for designing again. I have since signed up for the Assignment Bootcamp starting in January, and will be joining Part Be of MATS in March. My drawing pencil is tingling with excitement already!

Week 2: Home Decor

Pretty Suzani_02

 

 

4. My Boyfriend

At the end of November I celebrated 1 year with my boyfriend, Aurelien. He’s French, which will explain all the visits to France this year. We have been very lucky to travel as much as we have and I look forward to more future adventures with him.

Eastbourne Portrait

5. Secret Projects

In November I worked on a really exciting project with a great client. The brief was wonderfully free and open, and I look forward to sharing the results in 2015. I also signed a temporary contract with Cinnamon Joe Studio, and have been busy designing new prints for stationery and kids clothes. Since MATS, I have a new sense of what I want my career to be, and being a full time freelance designer for a studio like Cinnamon Joe is that dream. If things go well with them, I hope to be able to share with you some of my sold designs out there in the world.

6. My Niece

What a gift she really is! It’s such a wonderful pleasure being an aunt and it has made family get together’s all the more special. When you come from an exceptionally small family like I do, any new addition is greatly received and my niece Phoebe has certainly had an entertaining 1st year. Here is a little picture of her about a month before her 1st birthday.

Phoebe

 

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I have made a big decision today. One, that I hope will greatly affect my career in a positive way and help me grow as an artist and designer.

The decision I made was to join Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells e-course. I have consistently been impressed with the quality of work from graduates of the course and thought that this may be what I need to supercharge my work.

Many people often think that I have quite a successful career as an illustrator, and whilst I have had some good projects and clients over the years it’s never been as busy as I would like. Designing for the commercial market and particularly for fabric, gifts and stationery and kids clothes is my ULTIMATE DREAM, and I hope that Lilla and this course will help re-direct me on the right path to achieving that.

The course starts on Monday, and yes, I am feeling a little nervous and overwhelmed. I feel like I am going to school for real, for the first time. I have even found a brand, spanking new and empty sketchbook that was on a shelf ready for all my feverish drawings and ideas.

I’m ready for a new challenge and I’ll keep you all updated with the course in a couple of weeks.

 

This week it’s a slightly biased post as I am sharing one of the patterns designed by my boyfriend Aurelien. He is soon about to launch his first lampshade collection and you can see one of the first prototypes at the manufacturers below. The collection is very geometric and graphic and they will mostly be screen printed in black and white onto the cotton shades.

We are obviously very excited and eager to find stockists who may wish to find out more about them lamps. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested.

Aurelien_02

Aurelien_01

 

 

I have been working for the past few days on  a personal project illustrating old family photos and portraits. It’s been something I have intended to do for a while, and sifting through all the photos, and being inspired by a Charley Harper illustration, I decided to go for it. Currently, I am about half way through, but wanted to share the work in progress. It was also interesting to see another new idea come out of the work, which you can see in the last picture.