The Botanical Collection - from sketchbook to rubber stamp

We're often asked where we get our inspiration, so here's a little insight into our new Botanical Collection which originated in the greenhouses of Kew Gardens. I spent a fabulous day there back in July gathering ideas about shapes and form.

Here I am looking slightly gormless (but really I'm just deep in concentration).

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As you can see from my sketchbook pages I recordered a lot of colour. This is partly to the benefit of my other illustration projects, but also, the act of looking that is necessary for a long colour drawing really imprints the shapes I'm looking at on my memory. Once I was back in the studio I barely need to look back at my sketchbooks to get ideas for making personalised rubber stamp designs....

... although the sketches do crop up when it came to taking photographs of the sample stamps.

You can see the whole Botanical Collection and order your own personalised stamps by clicking here.

Jenny has been doing a drawing a day since 1st September 2014. You can see them all at www.instagram.com/jennybloomfield/ or follow @jennybloomfield

Bloomfield out-and-about: Small Town Ink print day, Leeds

Just in from a great afternoon at the Small Town Ink print day at Leeds University, and writing an uncharacteristically prompt blog post while I have half an hour to spare.

It was aimed at students, designers and creatives who lack knowledge of real old fashioned print processes. There was an emphasis on letterpress with workshops where you could make your own print on some large galley proofing presses and small Adana-style presses (Richard Lawrence made derisory comments about the Adana, but the name of his press made of 'proper metal' escapes me*).

Both Print Project and Richard Lawrence  (print engineer "My kicks is getting ink to stick to paper") gave informative talks and had their presses set up for everyone to have a go. They were both a mine of information and it was great fun, I got my hands nice and dirty.  (A great warm up for the Letterpress course Rolfe and I are booked on next month!!).

There were also some tempting prints and zines for sale and I easily disposed of my designated £20. 

Richard Lawrence showing off a  precious Thom Yorke special edition sleeve he printed... only one was ever distributed to some lucky so-and-so who has remained anonymous.

Richard Lawrence showing off a  precious Thom Yorke special edition sleeve he printed... only one was ever distributed to some lucky so-and-so who has remained anonymous.

My first print.... which was, incidentally, nicked by someone when I left it to dry (students, bah). 2nd go wasn't as gloriously bright.

My first print.... which was, incidentally, nicked by someone when I left it to dry (students, bah). 2nd go wasn't as gloriously bright.

on the 'non'-Adana

on the 'non'-Adana

The actual Adana

The actual Adana

Nick from the Print Project

Nick from the Print Project

Richard Lawrence with an Artists book he printed

Richard Lawrence with an Artists book he printed

Lino and wooden type combo

Lino and wooden type combo

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* I've since worked out it was a Sigwalt.

Bloomfield out and about: People-sketching and more

A rare journey south for Bloomfield this week. First, a posh lunch with an old friend in Ottolenghi's Nopi (I'd recommend the Courgette fritters, Valdeón Cheesecake and Venison; I was too busy nattering and scoffing to take any photos which was remiss of me).

Then an afternoon with no particular purpose in South Kensington in vague search of inspiration.   

The V&A: I was particularly taken with this German 17th century swirly-whirly fairy-tale wrought iron, complete with imps, that could be a 21st century papercut and begs to be made into a Christmas card.....

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... but then got terribly distracted by sketching people amoungst the exhibits.

V&A sculpture gallery

I fought past the legions of Spanish school children to the Natural History Museum where I didn't make much past the iconic entrance and more people with exotic backdrops. 'People-sketching' - like 'people-watching' but with a pen.

Natural History Museum

Finally, more scoffing at Shrimpy's where I caught up with Rolfe before dashing for the train back up north. 

Here we are about to tackle dessert. 

Mental note: At our next meeting we must - simply must - have a more sophisticated shot taken.