Tuesday, 28 February 2012

'Happy prints' new in stock

We had glimpses of it over the weekend - sunshine. Let's hope more is on its way as I for one am 100% bored and fed up of cold, wet, rainy days.

But hey never mind that - some fab new screen prints from Mr & Mrs Yoke have just arrived at Atelier - and they're bright enough and bold enough to cheer up even the gloomiest of days.

They're giant A2 sized so make a lovely bold statement in any room. And at only £40 a pop the price will make you smile too. A selection is available unframed from our online shop and we also have some framed pieces which will be making their way to the gallery window at the end of the week. Pop by if you need a bit of cheering up!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Dobbing in the big boys ...

One of the great things about buying work made by small independent artists is that you know you're getting something very special and unique. Designers spend a great amount of time getting their work just right and will have done many sketches and made up many samples before you get to see the end product in galleries like Atelier. So it pains me to tell you that the giant retailer Claire's Accessories has been stealing designs from the London based jewellery design duo Tatty Devine. Do they not have any designers of their own to come up with ideas - surely with the profits they make they can afford a whole team of them. What's particularly annoying, other than the whole plagiarism malarkey (which quite frankly is bad enough), Tatty Devine, who are pretty big on the indie scene - design and make their jewellery themselves here in the UK. Claire's Accessories, however, will no doubt send their designs off to some far flung corner of the world where people are paid pence an hour. This means that NOT only do they steal the original design they also go the whole horrible hog and and undercut the original artist. They should be ashamed of themselves. The find out more read Tatty Devine's blog.

This isn't the first time I've heard of this happening, back when I first opened the gallery a small indie designer had just had an original design stolen by Paperchase. After embarrassing coverage in the national press, Paperchase claimed it was an outsourced design agency responsible for the error and retracted it.

Only a month or so ago I was approached by a maker who sent me images of her work asking if Atelier would represent her. The work had come straight out of the book The Artful Bird by Abby Glassenberg (which happens to be a favourite craft reference book of mine). It made me hopping mad as the maker had done a big mailer to lots of UK galleries claiming the work as her own. I contacted the maker and Abby and the first reply back from the maker was that she hadn't copied the design because she'd used different fabric. WHAT? Anyway in fairness, once she'd had an email from Abby pointing out that being inspired by a piece of work is one thing downright copying it is actually very very wrong and against copyright, so the maker withdrew the work.

On the British high street money talks so it's up to canny shoppers to make a statement with their hard earned cash. Support small independent designers, buy from independent retailers and shop local where you can. That's how you change things. Quoting Gandhi - BE the change you want to see in the world.

Oh and in case you're wondering the photo at the top of the blog isn't mine. I checked that I could use it before I did and I have added a link to the original owner - just click on the pic.

Friday, 17 February 2012

New creative workshops

It might have been cold (very cold) and miserable outside but inside Atelier it's been a veritable hive of creative activity. We've repainted and re-jigged the space and now have a wonderful giant chalk board so that you can see what's going on. We've also brought back our wonderfully huge table for making and a doing. And talking of making and a doing - we've been busy making up gorgeous samples ready to launch our new creative workshop programme. Now you can see what lovely things you'll be able to make here at the gallery. We have a workshop programme for grown ups as well as programmes for older children.

It's very exciting as this was the original vision for Atelier way back in July 2010 - can it be that long now? The plan was to have a beautiful space offering gorgeous hand made goodies from talented local and British makers AND to have a space where people could come along and learn new skills, have fun in a relaxed environment and make really cool stuff. Hopefully our new workshop programme fits the bill - you'll have to let us know! The next phase in Atelier fulfilling the original vision is for me to get back to ceramics and have a fully functioning working gallery ... I'll keep you posted on that one ...