Featured Stockist: Papersmiths

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UPPERCASE magazine is available in some really beautiful shops around the world. Today, let's take a look at Papersmiths, a stationery, book and magazine shop in the UK.

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The store is located in Clifton Village in Bristol. "It’s full of independent boutiques and coffee shops and a short walk from Brunel’s famous suspension bridge."

The store opened in October 2014 and specializes in quality, design-led contemporary stationery and paper goods. "From notebooks to pencil sharpeners and fountain pens to scissors, we've handpicked items from the best designers and makers across the globe. Our carefully considered curation of books and magazines includes interior, architecture, graphics, music, fashion, film, travel, food and children's titles."

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"Our customers are all very interesting people. We are visited by lots of creative people with good taste. They might work in design or have a passion for calligraphy, writing, sketching, photography or just good design!"

Papersmiths will be opening a London location in May. You can also shop online. Issue 33 should be available there soon!

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Surface Pattern Design Guide: Jennifer Moore, Monaluna

Surface Pattern Design Guide: Jennifer Moore, Monaluna

Jennifer Moore started out as an illustrator. Now she owns her own organic fabric company. "I loved art as a kid, but never really believed I would do it as a career. I have a clear memory of myself in a fourth-grade art class, working on a lush purple-and-blue mandala, and wondering if I could figure out a way to do that for a job. I decided that was ridiculous—no one would ever pay anyone to draw pretty patterns—so I took a winding path to finally doing this as a career."

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Surface Pattern Design Guide: Shannon Newlin

With the Second Edition of the Surface Pattern Design Guide included in the current issue, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of the artists featured in the first edition of the guide which was published in spring of 2014 as part of issue 21 (sold out).

Shannon Newlin

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"After being featured in the 2014 Surface Pattern Design Guide I went on to submit my work to the West Elm in Charlotte, North Carolina," says Shannon Newlin. "They gave me the opportunity to sell my art in a month long art show and also become a West Elm LOCAL artist. In addition, I began licensing my work to manufacturers as well as annually participating in several indie art/craft shows. The art pieces shown here are just a few favourites from these shows."

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"There have been several wonderful career opportunities since being featured in the 2014 issue." At the moment, Shannon is particularly excited: "I will have my first fabric line with FreeSpirit this spring!! It will be shown at the May 2017 Quilt Market. I am really looking forward to sharing this vibrant collection soon!"

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The first edition is available as a free download over here.

Surface Pattern Design Guide: Bessie Smith Moulton

There are 100 portfolios presented in the Surface Pattern Design Guide, 2nd edition (published in the current issue #32). They were selected from 744 submissions from readers worldwide who represent a variety of styles and levels of experience—from students to seasoned professionals. Though there are plenty of digitally-created patterns, there are also artists who use more hands-on methods like linocut, mono-printing or textile manipulations.

Bessie Smith Moulton of Babayaga Exquisites is a multimedia artist who has concentrated on the book arts for the past two decades, although her love of design extends to all materials. The last few years she has explored textiles and surface design. Her fabric designs are derived from naturally dyed plant material or various printing techniques, sometimes enhanced with embroidery or by collaging fabric patterns.

Bessie tells us more about her work and amazing studio on stilts:

I retired from my work as a graphic designer a decade ago and finally have been doing the artwork I have always wanted to do, making artist's books. Also, by combining my living situation with that of my longtime partner, I was able to build a studio of my dreams. Previously, I did my art and design work in nooks and crannies, on the dining room table, or in spare rooms. 

Click on the image to enlarge. Photo by Dana Hutchins.

Artists can work wherever they are, under any conditions. My studio is a bonus. It's large enough to hold workshops or studio visits. It is like a bird's nest built on stilts, over a pond, surrounded by trees and nature. There is a small Japanese garden below. I have named it Baba Yaga after the witch in the Russian fairytale who lives in a chicken coop, which moves around on chicken legs. 

Click on the image to enlarge. Photo by Dana Hutchins.

It is a place where I can go to be contemplative, study, or find inspiration. It is a comfortable place with all the materials at hand to do textile work, monoprinting, collage or multimedia that go into making artist’s books. 

Bessie in her basement studio.

Bessie in her basement studio.

I have an area in the basement of the house where I do printmaking, make paper, prepare cyanotypes and other crafts such as pottery, metal and glass work. 

Joseph Campbell said it best, ”To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity…a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be… a place of creative incubation.” 

For 99 other profiles of Surface Pattern Designers, pick up the current issue of UPPERCASE magazine.

A new design for the new year

I ordered a  Pom Maker  tool and went a little overboard on making pom poms this Christmas!

I ordered a Pom Maker tool and went a little overboard on making pom poms this Christmas!

I got this far and ran out of yarn! fortunately, my mother in law haD a good supply of yarn and I was able to keep POM and carry on.

I got this far and ran out of yarn! fortunately, my mother in law haD a good supply of yarn and I was able to keep POM and carry on.

The wreath wasn't done until after Christmas, but at least it will be ready and waiting for next year's festivities! Or perhaps I'll just bring it indoors to enjoy year-round. It's nice to pet it once and a while!

The wreath wasn't done until after Christmas, but at least it will be ready and waiting for next year's festivities! Or perhaps I'll just bring it indoors to enjoy year-round. It's nice to pet it once and a while!

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a lovely holiday and are feeling rested and ready for the year ahead.

As I mentioned in my newsletter today, one of my goals for 2016 was to revamp this website. It's the digital window into what UPPERCASE is all about and very often the first in-depth experience someone will have with the magazine before they subscribe or see a copy in person. The site really needed some focus and a much stronger home page. And in the backend, I've had my site hosted with Squarespace for a decade (!!!) and the navigation and organization was getting out of hand.

I've been thinking about the redesign for months—gathering ideas, jotting notes, saving urls on websites that I like, musing about it, wishing it would magically get done by itself... but my print projects always necessarily take the forefront of my to-do list. And readers will know that I put out a LOT of pages in 2016. Four magazine issues and the 544-page Feed Sacks book! 

With my workload done for the holidays and some mental space to tackle a medium that's quite a bit different than print, I started fleshing out the site redesign. I selected a new Squarespace template (I'm using Five) and got the basic framework ready. Full screen video on the home page has been on my wish list for years and I'm happy that there's the support to make that very easy to do now. With issue 32 fresh from the printer, I shot three different videos, trying to get the best possible result. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the video on the home page, but I'm sure I'll improve it with each subsequent issue. I'm a learn-by-doing sort of person!

After a very pleasant and mostly technology-free Christmas, on New Year's Eve—in that concentrated flurried feeling of having to get everything clean, sorted and ready for the change of the calendar—I dove in to the redesign. (Do you feel like that on New Year's Eve? I even felt compelled to clean the inside of my microwave. And I enjoyed doing it!)

The new design went live yesterday and there are still some elements to smooth out and improve upon, particularly on the blog page and some typographic elements... but the best thing about it is how this online renovation makes me feel enthusiastic and energized about the work I'll be doing in the coming year. A fresh new home for the new year.
 

coming up next

There are two new volumes in the Encyclopedia of Inspiration in progress: Botanica and Stitch•illo will be coming your way in the first half of the year. (You can still order the set and Feed Sacks will ship right away or you can purchase the books individually.) I have more plans and projects that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

And of course, the mainstay and core of what I make and do: UPPERCASE magazine. The January/February/March issue is on its way to subscribers and will soon be at stockists worldwide.


be published in uppercase

Want to published in the spring issue? The open calls for submissions are posted and submissions are due January 16.

Last weekend to enter the Surface Pattern Design issue!

This example is by  Catarina Guerreiro , a Portuguese print designer who submitted a nice selection of prints.

This example is by Catarina Guerreiro, a Portuguese print designer who submitted a nice selection of prints.

The Surface Pattern Design Guide call for entries closes on Monday, September 12 at midnight in Calgary. No exceptions! Don't wait until the very last minute, either, since your artwork needs time to upload to the system. The UPPERCASE + Windham Fabrics New Design Competition also closes then—to be considered for this contest, just click the appropriate box on the form.

Issue 31 is on press today! Mailing data will be finalized next week, on Thursday, September 15, so make sure you've subscribedrenewed or updated your address. (Don't forget to use the code "fallforit" for $15 off subscriptions and renewals.) 

Have a nice (pattern-filled?) weekend!