Wednesday, 18 August 2010

More exhibition pictures...

We are officially done, uninstalled and rested after a busy week of workshops. The workshops were wonderful, and I think we can safely say everyone enjoyed them!

Here are some more pictures of the exhibition week. Stay tuned for workshop week pics!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Exhibition is here!

Our wonderful exhibition is up and open, so please come along and see us! We are open till Friday this week, daily 10am - 4pm. We are then open again on Monday for our workshop week, but some of the exhibition things will remain, so we have something inspiring to look at whilst we make things.

Here are some photos of the exhibition:

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Installation Day!!

Today we installed our beautiful and lovely exhibition, woop woop!

It took us a while, was a little stressful, and alot of hard work, but I think that everyone will agree that it looks amazing.

There is work by all 3 artists (Anna, Adrian & Paula), as well as work by some members of Phoenix Art Group. It is a lovely mixture of painting, drawing, textiles and other random things that we like!

There was some drama, because Anna bought frames that don't hang well, but don't worry they look just as good on shelves, and the vinyl lettering fought back but Adrian won the battle, well done Adrian! Paula has created a lovely home-y atmosphere with her vintage additions, this exhibition is part art show, part shop, and entirely lovely!

I fear I may be overusing the word lovely, but its true, it is lovely, and beautiful, and spectacular, and better than I thought it could be!

Come see for yourselves, starting tomorrow, 10am - 4pm, Private View tomorrow night (with refreshments, which I must remember to purchase), Unit 20, Wellington Square (thats opposite H&M, one shop along from topshop), Stockton-on-Tees, England, UK, the world.

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!!! and we look forward to seeing you soon...........

PS - I will post photos soon, as soon as I have taken some decent ones!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Meet the Artists....

Here's some info on the artists and their work!

Anna Cole

Anna Cole is a textile artist, as well as a designer/maker, who specialises in Printed Textiles. Alongside her unique art pieces Anna also designs and makes small accessories including bags, cushions, other homewares and some textile jewellery. These pieces are created from her own hand printed fabrics, and supplemented with interesting fabric oddments.

Her recent work has been inspired by maps, which combined with her love of abstract expressionism has led to a series of abstract ink drawings and embroidered pieces. In addition Anna is currently working on a new collection of accessories, to compliment the map drawings.

After studying Textile Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, Anna returned to the North East in 2009, where she has recently been delivering and assisting with workshops in local arts centres and schools on textile printing processes, among other things.

She has also been gaining experience in working behind the scenes in galleries, and will be studying Museum and Gallery Studies at Newcastle University starting September 2010.

For more info on Anna & her work visit her website

Paula Jackson

Paula designs and make one-of-a-kind textiles, teddies, hearts & wall hangings, all made from vintage linens embellished with button box finds. She also paints in a range of media.

In her own words, a little about her inspirations:

"As a child in the seventies I loved going to my grandparents home.

Wooden beds piled high with blankets & eiderdowns, hot water bottles & roaring fires.

Waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread & cakes, china tea sets in glass fronted cupboards, afternoon tea with sandwiches, followed by jelly and ice-cream.

Summer days spent outdoors, watching the rabbits from the hilltop eating a picnic, evenings spent sewing buttons from the button tin onto fabric scraps.

The simple life of yesterday, where money was short but love was plenty."

For more info on Paula, her work and her workshops, see her website

Adrian Moule

Adrian Moule is fine artist working across painting, printmaking and sculptural installation. He has a fascination with the line as a form considering it as an environment. In his 'Conversations' series you can see his persistent struggle to keep the image from dissolving into the lines and forms that make them up. He uses studies from life to engage in a conversation with the act of painting. Adrian has never found it easy to produce a well-balanced painting and even more difficult is his ability to make nice paintings. Over the last few years he has taken an interest in Printing, Lino, Wood Block, Etching and screen-printing. For more information take a look at his Facebook page where his work in uploaded.

Adrian can deliver quality workshops designed to engage people in the mechanics of art making including, printing, photography, drawing, painting, feltmaking, dyes, textiles, design, graphics. He believes the power of creative thinking can motivate and generate a sense of well being.

We look forward to meeting you during our exhibition, don't forget Monday 2nd - Friday 6th August for We Make, then Monday 9th - Saturday 14th for workshops! (which you can book now!)

See previous blog posts for more info, and remember to:


Monday, 5 July 2010


An important form of publicity for an exhibition is a postcard/invite/flyer. These can be handed to people who want to know more, or abandoned in public places for interested parties to pick up. Or sent via lovely snail mail to people we feel should be interested.

Creating a postcard incorporating the work of 3 very different artists was interesting to say the least.

We had to think about symmetry, balance, dealing with different shapes and sizes of images, fitting in all the sponsor logos, and remembering to include when its all actually happening!

And oh yeah, how do you fit lots of words into a 147mm x 210mm space? Its quite difficult, I must say.

Photoshop is a wonderful, and frustrating thing, but eventually the layout was done, and hopefully everyone was pleased!

Here's the finished article:

Those of you who hang around the general Stockton area, or who we like enough to post one to, will receive, or can pick one up, as soon as the actual physical articles arrive. (which will hopefully be very very soon!)

Don't forget, 2nd August onwards, exhibition, workshops, TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!!!!

Booking your workshop place...

In my last post I mentioned that the evening workshops we are running (see workshops, workshops, workshops), require booking a place.

You may now go ahead and book a place.

Simply email us,, stating your name, email, which workshop(s) you want to do, and on which day.

I will then email you back and say congratulations, you officially have a place!

So I now await all the hundreds of emails............


The Drop In Session Workshops are now also very generously sponsored by the Phoenix Art Group, in association with Awards for All, and the Northern Rock Foundation.

Which means we can have more materials, and offer you more things, yay!


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Workshops, workshops workshops.....

Here is a plan/timetable of the evening workshops we will be doing during the second week of our exhibition. Each workshop will be 2 hours long (we are running 2 at once, as there is plenty of room in the shop).

Screen Printing – Monday 9th August, 6-8pm, £12

Come along and learn the basics of screen printing. Design and cut your own stencils for a 2 colour print onto a t-shirt or a tote bag. Bring black and white ideas and an apron!

Lino Printing – Tuesday 10th August, 6-8pm, £12

Come along and learn the basics of the traditional relief printmaking technique of lino printing. Cut your own design, then, using a printing press, print your image onto fabric, paper or a tote bag. Bring ideas and an apron!

Etching – Wednesday 11th August, 6-8pm, £15

This beginner’s workshop in etching will cover the details in theory of the process of etching and a practical opportunity for you to develop your own print. We will be using the safe process of copper sulphate on Zinc so that there is less chance of any tummy upsets and you can access it more easily.
Design your own plate, then create a print on fine quality paper using black and white with at least one other tone. Bring ideas for small designs, remembering you will have to think in reverse, and an apron!

Needle Felting – Monday 9th August, 6-8pm, £12

Learn the simple but effective technique of needle felting, which can be used to embellish, create or sculpt textile pieces. Once you know the basics you will learn how to make your needle felted fabric into anything, from lavender filled hearts, to keyrings and cushions. Bring ideas, and any fabric you may want to embellish!

Teddy Bear Making – Tuesday 10th August, 6-8pm, £12

Learn the basics of teddy bear making, including designing a pattern, sewing up and decorating. Design and make your own quirky character to take away. Bring ideas and any fabric you might want to use.

Handbag Making – Wednesday 11th August, 6-8pm, £12

Learn the basics of creating your own handbags, a great way to recycle unwanted clothing. You will learn about designing patterns, lining your bag and adding straps. Design and make your own bag to take away. Bring ideas and any fabric or clothes to recycle!

Places are limited to 12 for each workshop, so book early to avoid disappointment! (please note booking will open on 1st July, stay tuned for details!)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Story of an Exhibition - Part 1 - The Application Process

The first part of any exhibition is applying to actually have the exhibition. In April of this year I received an email from Arts Development at Stockton Borough Council about empty shop space available in Stockton Town Centre, a project called “Meanwhile….. in Stockton.”

At first I thought, hmm I’m not sure I can do this, a whole exhibition by myself? I haven’t been doing that much of my own work lately. Then I thought of two other local artists, who had met recently, and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for us to work together again.

Next was the meeting to discuss what exactly we would do with the space if we got it. I love these kind of meetings, they’re always a bit crazy, lots of ideas flying around, trying to get 3 creative people to mesh their ideas together is a mission. Eventually we came up with a week of an exhibition/shop, including some of each of our work, curated by me into some semblance of order. Following the exhibition we planned on a week of workshops, using each of our skills to give the people of Stockton a taster of lots of different things. Of course it was even more of a mission pinning down a two week period between then and October, when all 3 busy people could be free, but eventually we figured it out.

So I filled in the form and off it went to the council for a decision. Filling in the form is more complicated than it seems, you need to make what you want to do sound exciting, different, new, unique if possible, to increase your chances of being accepted. It’s a little like writing a personal statement. It took me a lot of thinking, drafting and re-drafting before I was happy with the result.

A couple of weeks later the verdict was in, we had the space and a small grant to pay for materials and publicity, for both the exhibition and the workshops. Yipee!

Stay tuned for the next part in story of an exhibition, coming soon!

The Button Box & Easel

We Make – Monday 2nd – Friday 6th August: During the first week The Button Box & Easel presents an exhibition/shop featuring the work of local artists Anna Cole, Paula Jackson, Adrian Moule and members of the Phoenix Art Group.

Each of the artist’s individual style is completely different, with the inspiration for their work drawn from subjects such as nostalgia & childhood, as well as florals, local landscapes and maps. This seemingly random combination is brought together by the three artists shared love of art as a method of relaxation, art for improving well-being, and art as fun!

The work featured will include textiles, embroidery, and accessories alongside painted, drawn and printed works.

You Make
РMonday 9th РFriday 13th August: Following on from the exhibition is a workshop programme that gives you the chance to make your own! There will be daily drop in sessions from 10am Р3pm, during which the artists will be available to provide mini workshops on various printing and textile techniques, such as screen printing, lino printing, collagraph printing, wet felting, needle felting, appliqu̩, and making your own accessories. Drop in sessions are free, although there may be a small charge for some materials.

In addition there will also be a programme of evening workshops, from Monday – Wednesday, where you can spend a more intensive session learning a specific technique or process. These workshops will cost £12, and places are limited so they need to be booked in advance, either in person, or via email. Stay tuned for more details of these workshops.

This is an exciting opportunity to see some of the fantastic work of some of Teesside’s local artists, as well as learn some new techniques and create some art of your own!

This blog will document the process of applying for and organising such an event, and will include more information on each of the artists involved, as well as lots of information about the workshops, and how to book places.