It would appear that me raising quite valid grumps was listened to, and actions are already becoming quite visible on site. Hurrah!! So, now we are back to a bouncy happy Hippo which is probably a relief to some. And then the most awesome people turned up with some new work for the shop so it was a double whammy of a good week.
This is a piece by Andy O'Boyle who creates the most fabulous pieces out of cast bronze, and according to his daughter Daddy is amazing (which he is) and that he uses earwax to create his work. Not entirely sure that bit is true, but the end results are simply stunning and the tactility is such a lovely thing to have in the shop. What was lovely about meeting Andy was that his daughter is right, Daddy is amazing, and because he was very much in agreement with us that art should be accessible. He was uncomfortable with folk not being able to touch his work, after all if you see something of this scale your first reaction is always going to be to touch it so he seemed quite relieved that you cannot find a 'do not touch' sign anywhere in our shop. Art should be accessible, it's not always something that should be locked away and merely admired by those in white gloves nodding and muttering 'yes I can see what he is trying to express here'. Andy creates fun in these bronzes, there is a subtle whimsy coming out of the fact that he is extremely good at what he does and therefore is comfortable in his own work. Next time you visit, come give the ducklings a pat on the head!
And then Katherine arrived! We've known Katherine for just over a year now, from doing a craft fair many moons ago where I had always admired her skill in both design and the quality of her products. And we're not the only ones to notice, since we last met she's racked up several major clients so we were extremely touched that she was happy leaving her work with us. Katherine uses her own designs to create the most gorgeous silk scarves, ties, glasses cases and basically anything else she can think of - and each with amazing levels of detail and quality of finish. Again, she was of the opinion that her work needs to be touched and felt so again she was relieved not to see 'do not touch' signs around the shop. Her attitude is very much one of it's silk, you need to be able to see it and touch it to appreciate it so please don't just fold them up in a cabinet. And already, in true Hippo style we've put her in touch with people that might like their own designs on some of her work. Almost forgot, she also runs courses and has offered to run some for us later in the year. With her skills and attitude I can see folk walking away with some amazing designs they didn't realise they were capable of.
So, a week really does make a big difference to a tired and slightly frazzled brain! We started the week feeling ignored and on the hunt for new sellers and ended the week on an even fuller shop of amazing work and inclusion on site posters. And the best bit is, it's only February so what else can we achieve in 2013? Apologies as there are loads more new sellers that I will be showcasing over the coming weeks, so please don't feel left out if I can't get to your favourite for a while! Hippo xx