#nofrillsfriday - why do we make and create, why do we consume?

Forgive me, I don't really like people.

En masse that is, it makes 80% of us our worst selves.

When gorgeous, lovely, naive and optimistic dreamers ask:

"Why can't we all just get along?"

I can tell them why, It's called commuting.

When people revert to a base survivalist instinct during that peak of human mass activity and lose all sense of respect and manners, how can we expect them to be kinder at the big stuff? Especially when the small stuff seems like a mountain. Having said this when another fellow commuter holds the stead fast sincere, politeness and manners I adhere to, they restore my hope that my most cynical instincts aren't true. 

So, between my bin stealing neighbours and my ill mannered commuting cohort I felt pretty grumpy this morning. 

That was until I took the time during my morning e-mail check to randomly read an article in Forge Art Magazine

Like a lot of the best magazines its a free digital mag. I've been to NYC many times as my oldest BFF lives there and also publishes a free digital mag, Clutter Magazine, a perfect read for your designer vinyl fix and DIY toy/art makers. However I had never been to a little shop in Brooklyn called Desert Island. Its now on my 'to visit' list next time out. 

Image courtesy of Forge Art Mag

Image courtesy of Forge Art Mag

A feature on Desert Island's owner Gabe Fowler resonated deeply this morning. We are both long time comic and zine buyers. We are collectors/hoarders of physical shiny things. I only download music if its free or comes with a vinyl record I've bought. I want the physicality of liner notes and the ritual of choosing and opening a case/sleeve. 

The article writer, Matthew James-Wilson makes an astute observation that I know to be true about my experience of browsing and buying from comic book shops:

"I believe what the store truly specialises in is exposing people to the work that is waiting to leave an impact on them and giving them the confidence and platform to continue making art themselves" - Matthew James-Wilson

As makers ourselves and enablers of others creativity we rely upon the physical exploration of materials and how creating connects to our own personal experience and identity. Just as a book can leave a mark, jewellery can act as armour and an expression of who you are.

My favourite comic is a ltd, hand bound, sketch cover version of Jeffrey Brown's 'A.I.E.O.U' - he's a pretty big deal now after transitioning from writing and drawing about relationship anecdotes for indie publishers to observations on parenthood in the Star Wars universe stocked in your local supermarket. There is a reverence to handling and opening this precious book and the honesty and sincerity of those relationship moments that are universal hits home in their rawness. Just thinking about the first time I opened that book, upon its arrival gives me slight goosebumps and a sense of awe at that little book.

The article inevitably explores the impact the internet has on the demand for print media. I don't buy digital comics, even though I know I don't live in a house big enough for all of my stuff.  Do we lose something if we only gorge on culture and art through a screen? How does the filter and distance that provide impact upon our experience with those images and words?

"I guess if I have a fear as someone who's basically getting older it's that a younger generation will be totally fine with coldness of the internet, and to me its all alienating about culture. I don't want culture to be cold. I want culture to be warm. I want it to be about human interaction." - Gabe Fowler

The tactile nature of opening a book, breaking a spine, handling your jewellery and putting it around your neck. Your decision to invest in these things and undertake the ritual of these acts creates a connection that each creative maker hopes for.  Makers create firstly for themselves and then hope it can only find meaning and an aesthetic interest to strangers across the world. 

Seeing you wear our jewellery and your feedback makes me feel a little less alone, a lot more purposeful, and a little bit like a sea of change could happen on that morning commute to make it a little less frustrating and a bit kinder. 


#nofrillsfriday 06 - the silent bob of frilly speaks

You'll rarely hear from me. I'm the tech destroyer whose typos and long sentances require Adrienne's eye to curb.  

However, unless I take control occassionally then you will be inundated with doggy fun; like this snap of Adrienne getting her seaside fix with Louis. This sea living yearning of Adrienne's, and the loss of my much loved arcade at Newquay in Wales, has seen us develop some new designs that we'll be bringing out soon. 

What do you love about seaside holidays? Let us know and it might make its way in there too!

Adrienne at Hoylake beach with Louis

Adrienne at Hoylake beach with Louis

Besides the seaside, this week has been full of creative inspiration so I thought I'd give you a quick run down.

Luke Chueh x Clutter Kickstarter

This week has seen my oldest BFF head back home to New York but Miranda's company, Clutter Magazine, just launched a killer designer toy kickstarter with artist Luke Chueh. I had the chance to check out the prototypes back in October at New York Comic Con and they are perfectly sized to induce Hamlet quotes as you hold them aloft.  Seeing this project get successfully funded in 14 hours pushes us to continue to make and create.

  Luke Chueh's 'Dissected' Designer Toy

 Luke Chueh's 'Dissected' Designer Toy

Over The Garden Wall

It's important to continue watching cartoons and reading comics well into adulthood. Whilst I'm normally a Teen Titans, Rebels and TMNT girl, this new show on Cartoon Network is endearing, dark and oh so shiny. The older brother, Wirt (pointy red hat), is voiced by Elijah Wood. The narrative of two brothers on a creepy, perilous journey to find their way home has a surreal note. With a nostalgic, classic, Americana cinema edge to a Japanaese Amigurmi aesthtic it is deeply beguiling. You'll still be able to catch up if you check it out now.

  Wirt, Greg and Frog (aka Kitty and Wirt, name TBC) - Over the Garden Wall

 Wirt, Greg and Frog (aka Kitty and Wirt, name TBC) - Over the Garden Wall

Flame Off 2015

As I've yet to get the chance to read this weeks comics, the last inspiring highlight was Flame Off! 

Purple and grey Effetre glass rods

Purple and grey Effetre glass rods

The name alone makes me want to strike a waving hand, dance move. Adrienne has had a days lampworking tuition with Tuffnell Glass before, which sparked us buying a kiln and torch. Today was my chance to melt glass, spark an interest and ensure Adrienne had enough faith, that I wouldnt burn our office down when I attempt it. 

Having made a few beads today, I am all systems go for honing the skills so that we can realise some of our mixed media jewellery designs. Just gotta get set up and practicing! If you're scared by the thought of a hot torch and glass melting, then the pretty glass en masse should seduce you to take up a new craft.

If you're a lampworker or have had a go then we'd love to see what you've made. Please share your creations!

Mustards and Orange Effetre glass rods

Mustards and Orange Effetre glass rods

Other News

Our secret project is a go! But shhhhh, its still a secret for now so you'll have to keep checking up on us or subscribe to our newsletter so that you don't miss  out on the news. 

We were also lucky to be picked for the Blog and Buy Sale 'Spring Wish List'. There are so many great makers and designers that we'll be sharing our favourites in its own post. If you ever feel pressured to trawl the internet for a great gift then start there first for a curated list of top picks to help you on your way.


We've recieved many shiny magazines in the post this week ready for our #magazinemonday blog review; so check back in with us on Monday to see what we've been reading!