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Fishink Walks

August 3, 2015

Friday was a great day for a walk along the river. It was all about greens, purples and oranges. Again I was amazed at how many interesting elements of nature you start to notice, when you slow your pace of life down a few notches.

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Looking up I saw how the leaves and depths of colour had layered themselves under the sun.

Good job I had my trusted ‘steed’ to point out the way : )

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Butterflies were everywhere, although getting a still photo was quite a challenge in their busy ‘flutter-by’ existence. I think their spot of sun-warming helped my task somewhat. The thistles were just about to explode their seeds.

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Great to see some bees out in force (I do worry about their plight) and an array of butterflies and moths, who’s names I don’t know.

Luckily the Butterfly Conservation Organisation site helped me identify a Speckled Wood, a Comma, a Gatekeeper, a Meadow Brown and an Orange Tip, but I wouldn’t have known without their help.

There’s still time to help Sir David Attenborough with this year’s Big Butterfly Count, record your findings and enter them online before August 9th to be included. It all helps to give a bigger picture of what is where over this island of ours.

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I was fortunate to spot this young rabbit dart across a nearby field, just moments before my lurcher did. Glad too that she was on the lead at that point, or it may have turned into a day at the races !

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There was a collection of dragonflies around, but most were too fast to be captured on camera.

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A lovely tranquil outing and a peaceful change for my dog too, who’s often to be found leaping around the shoulder high grasses, like some enormously overgrown grasshopper / gazelle ! We all have different interests I guess : )

Boo Jump

Please share my blog, your thoughts and enjoy your week everyone.

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Cats, Ceramics and Fishink Cards

July 31, 2015

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I was browsing the internet the other day and started noticing yellow ceramic lions everywhere, especially those made by some of my favourite makers like Lisa Larson and Aldo Londi.

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I love the Lion by Jen Collins over at Bolden Ceramics and the Baldelli reclining lion at the bottom. His smile makes me smile too.

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I started thinking that although I’ve created many dog related designs…

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I feel that I’ve somewhat neglected the cat world and so decided to redress the balance !

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As you can see I had some great fun trying to capture some of their quirks and idiosyncrasies.

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Needless to say they soon became 3-D Fishink cards.

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They are hand made, come in a varied range of colours and are £3 each plus (p&p) or 4 for £10.

As a special treat, I can create a message inside for you and post them to an address of your choosing too. Great for birthdays, surprise hello’s or just a ‘hey remember me’.

Message me if interested or find more on my Fishink website.

There are 12 of each of the dog and cat designs. Do please comment and share my blog, thank you.

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Modern Publicity 1955-56 Part 5

July 29, 2015

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Welcome to part 5 of a selection of mid century wonderfulness from the Modern Publicity annual for 1955-56. Don’t these adverts just ZING with personality and humour !

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Even in the 1950’s stores and shops, the display stands must have made the customer look again and smile.

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Wonderful shapes and dynamic movement here.

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Great use of colour and line too.

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I’m liking this cat piggy (or should that be ‘kitty’) bank !

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More to come in this series, or just type ‘modern publicity’ into the search box on my blog for similar posts. Happy Midweek everyone, don’t forget to share.

Aldo Londi Mid century ceramics for Bitossi

July 27, 2015

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Aldo Londi was born in Montelupo in 1911, and started working for a ceramics manufacturer when he was 11 years old. After being taken prisoner in South Africa during WW2, he returned to Italy and in 1946 was appointed artistic director at Bitossi. He held that position for over 50 years, and created thousand of designs for vases, jugs, animals, candle stick holders and other objects.

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Mark Hill Publishing tells us more about Raymor . Who was a US import/ distribution company of home goods and home décor, that by the 1950’s was bringing the work of some of America’s and Europe’s best modern designers into American department stores and boutiques. It was Raymor who helped bring fame and notoriety to Bitossi ceramics.

I love his ceramic birds and their beautiful textural marks and imprints.

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Some great shapes and colours.

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The Rimini Blu collection of ceramics was created in the early fifties by Aldo. This collection of vases and animals is characterised by their unique blue colouring and irregular texture. Today the collection is regularly the subject of research both for it’s artistic value, stylistic charm and historical importance, with each piece bearing the Bitossi stamp.

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I find there is quite a variation in style across the animal range. From the scarily gouged-out eyes of the cat above, to some rounded and smiling creature forms further below.

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Those Rimini Blu’s must have been a common site in the sixties and seventies.

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Aldo made many forms and styles of ceramics.

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Quirky lamp-stands made out of birds, fish or horses.

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And many, many shapes with such a variety of decoration.

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Probably his most well known or recognisable work were the horses and bulls.

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These also came in different colours, however the blue glazes were still the most desirable by far !

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There’s an interesting article over on The Vintage Post explaining how to tell the difference between a retro ceramic piece and a modern day version. Does anyone remember some Londi pottery in their home or perhaps have a piece today ?

MIF, The Whitworth and Fishink’s New Work in Manchester

July 24, 2015

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Hi everyone. It’s been a busy couple of weeks lately. Culture, Art, a commission and two new shops to sell my work in, has really kept me occupied. Firstly let me say a resounding WELL DONE to the Whitworth Art Gallery who at the start of July was awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015. It’s the largest arts award in Britain and the biggest museum prize in the world. It is awarded to the museum or gallery in the UK that is judged to have best demonstrated excellence, innovation and imagination. I’m delighted that it went to a Manchester Museum but more importantly, to the Whitworth, which has always been a favourite of mine.

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Photo above shows Ai Weiwei’s installation, Still Life (1995-2000), a mass-display of thousands of Stone Age axe heads and an iconoclastic gesture designed to offset the value and importance of these ancient objects. The Gallery is set in such beautiful grounds, here’s another image above of the trees at the back of the building.

This painting really caught my eye, such wonderful use of colour and texture.

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While the Manchester International Festival (or MIF) has been entertaining the masses with a huge selection of art, dance, theatre and music. I spent a very sunny lunchtime basking in the European vibe of Albert Square, with stone baked pizza, live music, and some friends to keep me company….what’s not to like.

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I booked to see two events. ‘Neck of the Woods’ with Charlotte Rampling.  A modern day re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood … which, to be perfectly honest … I’d be most happy if I never had to sit through it again in my lifetime! and ‘The Skriker’, which I’m off to see next tuesday, with the wonderful Maxine Peake. This has had amazing reviews and I’m very much looking forward to experiencing it.

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Other show highlights included the contemporary ballet ‘Tree of Codes’ and hearing the Estonian choir ‘Vox Clamantis’, sing ‘Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fatima’ at the Whitworth Gallery too. On a work front, I’ve just completed this commission for a customer from the Sale Arts Trail.

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I’ve also started selling some new cards in Make It in Chorlton.

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I’ve designed some hand-made gift tokens and a flower and bird range of cards for ‘Floral Affair’ in Chorlton just next to the Horse and Jockey Pub on the Green. Pop in and get a beautiful hand-made card with your very stylish bouquet of flowers all in the one shop.

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Also I’m still adding to the Fishinkblog Instagram Page so please follow me online too.

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PHEWIE! a pleasantly tiring few weeks, but I’m now in need of a bit of this… lol !

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Hope you are well too. Do keep reading, commenting and sharing Fishink blog. Thank you.

Modern Publicity 1955-56 Part 4

July 22, 2015

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This is the fourth post created using the illustrations and adverts from the Modern Publicity annual for 1955/56. I’ve recoloured quite a few of the black and white images, just to give them a lift. We start with some people based ads.

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Then a few that zoom in on their subject matter.

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Animals in advertising are never in short supply.

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I’m liking this chef-hound, I wonder what the advert is for ?


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Finally a couple of adverts from the back of the annual. Sheer genius !

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Posts still to come from Modern Publicity 1955/56, but if you’d like to see more today, then type ‘modern publicity’ into the search function on my blog. Enjoy.

Tibor Reich The rebirth of his mid-century textiles

July 20, 2015

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Tibor Reich was one of Britain’s pioneering post-war textile designers, who brought modernity into British textiles. His company, Tibor Ltd, made its name by providing cutting-edge designs that were popular with both the public and major businesses.  Born in Budapest Hungary in 1916, Reich developed a love of European modernism from an early age. In the 1930s Reich studied architecture and textiles in Vienna, before leaving Europe, with the spread of Nazism, to study textiles at Leeds University. Already a published and award winning designer he moved to Stratford upon Avon in 1946 to set up Tibor Ltd.

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It was at his 19th century mill that Reich developed his unique ‘Deep Textured’ textiles. Known for their colouration and three dimensional textures, Tibor fabrics were the first examples of modern, jacquard textiles in Britain. Commissioned to produce textiles for many of the key post-war projects including the Festival of Britain, Concorde, Royal Yacht Britannia, Coventry Cathedral and QE2, he also supplied all the major contemporary British furniture manufacturers including Gordon Russell, Race, Hille, Ercol and G-Plan.

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Although Reich’s work was typified by innovation and invention, one of his favourite sayings was, ‘Nature designs best’. To use natures designs in his work, he developed the revolutionary ‘Fotextur’ process by which detailed photographic segments of natural objects were re-organised to make patterns and designs. For this he won a Design Council Award in 1957. He further developed Fotextur with his 1960 Colotomic range which, based on a photograph of an atom, brought a new perspective to colour matching within the home interior.

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Tibor was very much an artist whose medium was by no means just textiles. During the 1950s he designed his studio pottery range called Tigo-Ware which later was produced by Denby. Known for its black and white Scandinavian simplicity it crossed tradition with modernity by depicting Hungarian folk art, with the simple contemporary shapes of the 1950s. Throughout his 80 years he also drew prolifically exploring pattern, Hungarian folk art, female forms, nature, colour and texture. Each theme was re-occurent throughout his work whether on his weaves, prints, pottery, drawings or photography.

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In 1955 Tibor designed his own experimental house. It was to become one of Britain’s uncompromising, pioneering modernist homes of the 1950s, which was used as both laboratory, showroom for his textiles and a gallery for his model car collection which by the 1980s was the largest in Europe.

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A rare example of both a designer and manufacturer Tibor was a true ‘Renaissance Man’ of the twentieth century whose place in design is unique. Tibor Reich, ATI, FSIA, FRSA, received the Textile Institute’s Design medal in 1973 for his contribution to the 20th Century textile design and his influence on public taste.

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His works are held in the V&A, National Museum of Stockholm, Leeds University, Geffrye Museum, Whitworth Manchester, Shakespere Centre, VADs and the Reich family archive. The archive totals in excess of 30,000 works.

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In 2013, Tibor’s grandson Sam, reopened the company, making some of Tibor’s designs available once again. Fabulous work ! See more here.

Many thanks to the Tibor Reich Website for the information about his life and work, and good luck to Sam.


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