Tag Archives: Kultivera

Last week in Tranås – explorers’ map and bird patterns

22 Aug

In time for this weekend’s art festival here in Tranås I’ve completed an illustrated map of the antique and second hand shops in town. It folds down to A6 size – and out into a one sheet map locating 10 shops to visit. There’s also a rating system so visitors can colour in stars depending on how much they like each shop, and a notes area to jot down what bargains or treasures they discovered. These are being printed for the tourist centre, and also distributed to all 10 of the shops on the map. I am pleased to be able to leave something useful for the community alongside the workshops in book binding and screen printing that I ran during my stay. Transition Tranås will also be using the map. Here are some pictures:





Here is a photo of my first customers for the map – a German couple who were visiting the Eriksberg Museum for a tour of the fur exhibition with Gustav. I loved their matching jumpers.

german visitors and map

Here is a geometric bird design – screen printed onto fabric last week. I’m looking forward to working with this design some more.
geometric birds

T shirt printed with the bird design – it also looks like Matt here has a feathery front, out in his natural habitat….


So, today is my last day in Tranås, where I have been living and working as an artist in residence for just over 5 weeks. Here I have had the opportunity to create, explore and develop my practice as a printmaker and designer, as well as take in some very beautiful surroundings. I’m therefore very grateful to Kultivera, to Eva, Peter, Colm and Elisabeth for such a warm weclome here; to Carl and Soren at Epic Youth Centre for letting me use their screen printing facilities; and to the antique and second hand shops for allowing me to draw the objects in their shops. I’ve got many more ideas for patterns and illustrations to create when I get home. I’m bringing some examples of work back home to Wales and am planning an exhibition next year. What I’m also taking home is a renewed creative mindset – to making time within my practice to play. I’ve found that I’ve been most productive when  experimenting with new ideas, new techniques, rather than trying to plan a design from the start. The pieces of work that grow by themselves, more spontaneously, have often been the beginning of stronger designs. I have some exciting projects on the way this Autumn – including an interactive children’s book and another map design. More news on this soon. 


Here we all are. It’s been a blast – thanks guys x

Dispatches from Tranås: open day, exhibitions & experiments

16 Aug

There’s a noticeable freshness to the air this week. The lake feels a few degrees colder and in the forest nearby the rowan berries and rosehips are glowing a rich red. Autumn is on its way – and it is not long until the end of the Residency so I’ve been eager to make the most of the time left here. Working to deadlines has always benefited me creatively – wherever there’s a constraint, time, space, colour – then my designs become more playful and less forced.

So it was helpful last Saturday to have an open house here in Kraftverket – and the night before I was busily screen printing more patterns to display at the event.

Here is a picture of my exhibition – a collection of pattern prints inspired by second hand and antique objects.

open day1


My work is now on display for a week in the window of antique shop Inspiration ab. The screen prints are surrounded by the objects that inspired them – from an old kettle to a traditionally painted cockered to a globe that lights up. This little exhibition will be up for a week – so for those of you reading who live in Tranas, please take a look. Otherwise, enjoy this picture:


This week I have been playing with other techniques, now that the second hand patterns project feels complete. Here are some things I’ve made using water pens to draw with watercolour paints, and also some paper cut designs.
lamps pattern
geometric birds
houses jetties
birds for Emma

I’m also working towards creating an explorers’ map of the second hand shops – loppis – in Tranås. Pictures coming soon. It’s just one week left here now – I’m planning to make the most of it!

Tranås week 2 – antiques, allotments and a flat pack cabin

1 Aug

I have spent the last week photographing, drawing and colouring objects from the shelves of second hand shops. The placement of the objects around the shop is sometimes intentionally interesting and other times accidental or dependent on the space available. So sometimes a sewing box will sit near to a deer skull, a scary plastic doll not far from a potato masher, and so on. I love these combinations! They raise questions and are the beginnings of stories – how did these unwanted, valuable or curious things from different places end up sharing a shelf, or shop floor?

second hand items1

I am grateful to Udda Ting and Inspirationab for their hospitality – and to the Swedish artists at the residency for teaching me some basic explanations to ask to draw in each shop. Christina and Christian who own Inspirationab were so kind – they made me a cup of coffee and space to draw, as well as introducing me, and my project, to their customers.  I’m going back there on Friday and hope to visit other shops across Tranås throughout my stay.


I have several washing lines of these images! From them I am designing patterns, using various media – paper stencil, gouache and even some screen printing at the Epic youth centre at the end of the week. Every day I’ve been noticing patterns – in the combinations of these objects, in the windows of buildings, patterns on birch tree bark, reflections in the lake and of course the constellation of insect bites building around my knees. I am drawn to both their simple repetition and more complex constructions.

I also visited the fur museum and drew some of the machines, tools and coats created at the height of the industry here in Tranas. Here are a few sketches. The models in the photographs look like paintings, with their smoky 60s eye make up.


Kraftverket, the building where we are staying, was a factory to make machines before it housed the fur production. The grandson of the man who built the factory in the early 1900s came to the building to visit us and brought with him photographs of the workers sat outside the building as well as the mechanics and work inside. The original window arches are beautiful (the building is now plastered). The men sport fantastic moustaches. I wonder what they are thinking – I’m planning a few character studies here. It’s fascinating to learn about the previous incarnations of the building – now that the industry and founders are gone, it is important that its stories are remembered. From copies of two of the images, I created the this collage which combines the outside and the inside of the building.

photo manipulation

This week we went on a road trip and visited Vandalorum, an exhibition venue for Swedish and international contemporary art and design. The building is designed by Renzo Piano, creator of the Pompidou centre and the Shard. It is three large barn-like buildings, joined with glass corridors to allow for time to reflect between exhibitions. There we encountered the work of Swedish designer Mats Theselius in his solo show, The Universe of Mats Theselius. He is an avid collector of objects – lego, saucepans, drums, spoons, Braun hair dryers, National Geographic Magazines…and these objects have inspired his design of furniture in unique ways. A Yamaha drum, and a chair that shares many of the stylistic features are displayed together; a cabinet made to measure for a collection of magazines; a coat based on the patterns of birch bark. He has also created a ‘flat pack’ piece entitled The Hermit’s Cabin. Photos below.

IMG_0104 adult lego for blog Mats Theselius exhibiton for blog Cabin for blog small Cabin for blog IMG_0102

It was perfect timing for my project with objects (and my enthusiasm for typography, packaging and functional design). I have some ideas for new work inspired by Theselius’ approach.

Last weekend we went to Colm’s allotment. The sheds here are as beautiful as the houses, with some people having a full on painted cabin on their patch. We harvested peas, raspberries, blackcurrants….and on Sunday afternoon I made some body scrub from the lavender collected. Oats, lavender and olive oil…a complete guess but it works a treat.

allotment for blog

For the rest of the week I’ll be preparing some images for screen printing and developing the pattern work.  I’ll be running a workshop on book making at the Tranas Library next Thursday 8th August and going to Malmo next Tuesday to explore. Our morning swims are continuing – as are our meetings with the cat who seems very keen on our breakfast.