Archive / December 2011

skip rat

I’ve been going to the local dump for about 8 years now. Not really for artistic purposes, just occasionally getting rid of old carpets and the normal household scrap. I can never, however help myself  nosing around and end up bringing more back than I arrived with. I got asked to leave today for taking pics and rifling through this lot (top picture). It always makes me feel ill how much great stuff is thrown out – they do a lot of recycling, but mostly it just gets buried in a landfill. Depressing. What will those Aliens think when they dig it all up in 500 years… So far I have salvaged a box of 8 cinni Camera’s, various chairs and cabinets, a library book trolley, boxes of old photos, vintage picture frames and a lovely little ladder. There’s a pecking order amongst the lads who work there as to who gets the pickings to sell or keep. You’ve got to speak to the right person if you want something, and of course cross their palms with silver, or paper as it were. The place is huge, but I didn’t get a chance to take pics of the bicycle & lawnmower mountain or the redundant TV & computer skyscraper’s. They’ll probably have a Christmas tree & plastic toy corner next week too. What a waste. I’ve just realised that I’m still doing the same thing that I was when I was 20, as in the bottom pic, taken on a rubbish dump in Pforzheim, Germany, 1993. What a skip rat.



I’m not one to go to churchyards in search of dead Artist’s, but I was in the lovely little village of Ambleside in the Lake District, Cumbria a few years ago and someone had mentioned Kurt Schwitters was buried there. After a wander around with my baby girl asleep in the pram I found it. I was expecting it for some reason to be older looking, and maybe have some collages or tributes around it! His grave was unmarked until 66′ when they errected this stone, but his body was later disinterred and reburied by his son in Hanover, his home town. I felt I should pay a little homage to his legacy so I found some wild flowers and some cardboard at the back of the church and improvised with my swiss army knife. His unfinished (1948) Merzbarn has now been restored in nearby Elterwater.


collage sketch

I’ve just found this collage sketch from my Folio Society project. I was playing with the idea of memory & identity loss. It was never used, but was a good step towards the finished cover.

french letters

I’m working on a private commission for someone living in France. First hitch – I think I’m going to have to invent come accents marks for these old scrabble tiles..







JCDecaux own most of the Europe’s outdoor advertising hoardings. Here are some lovely fat strips I liberated from my local one this morning. They are indeed the most beautiful collages in their own right. I like to think of it as recycling the leftovers of Capitalism.

scary monsters

Brilliant Birthday Card. Thankyou Harry Cropper.

crispin finn

If you haven’t already, get your 2012 Crispin Finn Year planner here.  They’re gorgeous and I’m on my 4th. Even the bags they come in are screenprinted.  You don’t often get beautiful hand made functional design at a brilliant prices, but here you do.

last post

Last Postal Dates to get stuff before Christmas from my lil’ old shop.

UK – Tues 20th Dec

Eastern Europe, USA & Canada  – Fri 9th Dec

Western Europe – Mon 12th Dec

Rest of the World – Sorry, Tues 6th Dec

see bass



Can you believe this is the first Bass book ever? A mint birthday surprise for me too. A little known fact was that his wife Elaine was as much a part of the work as he was.. ‘Behind every good man…’ as they say…I’d have to agree. Their work was always functional and beautiful, the holy grail in design, and at the heart of it was usually alluringly simple hand rendered illustration and type. One of our favourite Bass title sequences is the beginning of Scorsese’s Casino. If you’ve got 3 minutes watch it all. A mesmerising and clever combination of pulsating Vegas neon contrasted with tiny falling gansters. A wonderfully simple and powerful metaphor charting the mobs descent into hell. On another note check this interview out with Saul on ‘Money vs Quality Work’ “You have to futz, you have to noodle”. Class.

FOUND alphabet1 Comment

A found alphabet mainly cut from old record sleeves.