Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Industrial designer Marek Reichman meets graphic designer Peter Saville

In this episode of Only Artists on BBC Radio 4, the industrial designer Marek Reichman meets the graphic artist and designer Peter Saville.

Marek Reichman has designed cars for some of the world's best-known marques and is currently chief creative officer at Aston Martin. Born in Sheffield, he graduated from Teesside University with a degree in industrial design and continued his studies in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art.

Peter Saville was in his mid-20s when he created renowned album covers for Factory Records' bands including Joy Division and New Order. Since then he has worked with leading fashion designers and musicians and was appointed creative director of the city of Manchester.

I really appreciate the work of Peter Saville (see my previous blog post about him and his work), and this radio conversation gave me a better understanding of the systems he uses in his design process.

I was particularly fascinated to hear about how he transformed the alphabet into a colour system.

It was his interest in computers that lead him to allocate a colour to the numbers 1-9.

Saville explained: “The colour alphabet came from the fact that I understood the floppy disk contained coded information and I wanted to impart the title in a coded form - therefore I converted the alphabet into a code using colours.”


1 = A

2 = B

3 = C

24 (2 and 4) = X

25 (2 and 5) = Y

26 (2 and 6) = Z

This was then used for the Blue Monday album cover.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

A scattering of letters

I want to experiment with combining the various character patterns into a single image, and have created some smaller square cards that I will then cut up into triangles and arrange in a tessellating pattern.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Only Artists - Writer Tracy Chevalier meets ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal

I came across a fascinating conversation between the writer Tracy Chevalier and the ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal when catching up on older episodes of the BBC Radio 4 programme, Only Artists.

Tracy Chevalier has written eight novels including the international best-seller Girl with a Pearl Earring. Her latest book 'A Single Thread' is set in Winchester Cathedral. 

Edmund de Waal is a ceramicist and author. His book 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' is a family biography about the loss and survival of art objects through time. His porcelain installations often respond to history, museum collections and archives.


The conversation took place sat at the potter's wheel in Edmund de Waal's studio. As de Waal demonstrated the process of making a small cup, he spoke of the importance of touch and the connection with the material.

Chevalier agreed and the two authors discussed how, when writing they use pen and paper as opposed to using a computer because their mind is connected to the hand which is connected to the paper, and they think at the pace of writing, not typing. Chevalier also noted how she likes to be able to see the 'road maps' of edits - the bits that she has crossed out, the mistakes and edits. Although 'track changes' does a similar job, she finds these hard to follow. Both shared the importance of feeling what they are doing without overworking it; for de Waal this is in clay, for Chevalier, this is in words. 

Chevalier spoke about the importance of authenticity, and remarked that she can't write about something well unless she has done it herself.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Artwork delivered for Newcastle University Fine Art Postcard Auction

I have just delivered the latest marginendeavour artwork to Newcastle University Fine Art Department to be included in the 2019 Postcard Auction.


Each year, the fourth year Fine Art students of Newcastle University raise funds to finance taking their degree show to London. As part of their fundraising, it has become tradition to host an annual Fine Art Postcard Auction. Artists from across the UK, ex-alumni and students have been asked to submit their creations ‘on a postcard’ (or any other preferred format) to be exhibited and auctioned professionally. 

The auction is always a popular event, attracting artworks from acclaimed local and international artists and interest from galleries and collectors nationwide.

This year the auction will take place on Friday November 29th 2019 in the Newcastle University Fine Art Building. 

4:30 pm - Doors and bar opens
5pm - Silent Auction commences 
6:30pm - Live Auction commences 

Artworks will be displayed in The Long Gallery before the event.

For those who cannot make the event, there is also an option to go on the postcard auction website  to view and bid on the works.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Katie Watson Studio Visit

Entering somebody's studio can be like getting a glimpse into their brain. One's studio can be a place for making, experimenting, playing, producing and testing but it can also be a place to contemplate, think and reflect.

When I visited Katie Watson's studio she said that it had been a really good exercise for her to treat my visit as an opportunity to organise her work and form a display of the things she had been working on.

There was an exciting vibe - not an exhibition, but a working process. Some work in progress, some work finished, some research giving an insight into ideas behind the work.

I am drawn to such shapes, patterns, the repetition and the colours within Katie's work. I enjoy the sculptural nature of the paintings as she works on wooden boards rather than canvas. 

Katie is interested in the language of instructions and building. Signage, flat pack instructions, warning and safety notices. She uses the shapes and colours from such things.


I couldn't help notice (perhaps because I also am guilty of this) that Katie's use of colour within her work is mirrored in the things around her. Her blue desk lamp alongside the orange mug with blue lid is surprisingly similar in colour to the work on her wall directly above. Art and life really do blur!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Odd Combo - an enjoyable evening discussing collaboration

marginendeavour would like to thank Matt Pickering, Jill Tate and Theresa Poulton for inviting us to speak about our collaborative practice at their Odd Combo event held at The NewBridge Project last night. Thanks also to all the people who attended the event, posed interesting questions and contributed to the discussion.

It was fascinating to hear from Lesley Guy about TOTALLER, the collective that she belongs to. Although they approach making work in a different way to marginendeavour, there were plenty of things that we agreed upon such as the importance of trust, being honest with each other and enjoying working together.

Monday, 4 November 2019

ODD COMBO - marginendeavour discuss collaboration - Wednesday 6th November - 6-8pm, The NewBridge Project: Newcastle

Odd Combo
Wednesday 6th November
The NewBridge Project : Newcastle

Odd Combo: How to make working together work.

Whether you've been practicing collaboratively for years or don't know where to start, this informal and open forum will explore the nuts and bolts of collaborative and collective practice.

The event will be a roundtable discussion introduced by artists Theresa Poulton, Jill Tate, and Matt Pickering, and is an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with other artists with a shared interest in working collaboratively and collectively.

We will be joined by artists Helen Shaddock, David Foggo and Lesley Guy who will share their own experience and learning from their work on collaborative projects. We welcome individuals with any level of experience or interest in collaborative practice to join the discussion or listen in.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided!