Meet the Maker – Kirsty from Riddell Doodles

Our featured maker this week is illustrator Kirsty Riddell from Riddell Doodles. You can find her prints, cards, wrapping paper and tea towels in our pop-up shop.

Hi Kirsty. Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I live in London and work part time as a SEN (Special Education Needs) Teaching Assistant whilst working on my artistic practice.  I have always been interested in the arts, especially being brought up in a musical family, and have been drawing since I could hold a crayon!  I studied Painting at Camberwell College of Art and then went straight into TA work after graduating.  I started to slightly loose touch with my art practice whilst working at schools, until two years later I decided to apply to study Art Therapy.  It was through creating artwork again for the portfolio for this course I realised how much I missed the art practice.  I started up an Instagram account (@riddelldoodles) just to see if there would be any interest in my artwork and to put myself out there as an artist again.  The feedback and response I got from this Instagram account was amazing and is actually what led me to develop my artistic career further.

What  inspires you?
When I start a drawing I don’t have a pre-conceived idea of what the overall image will look like, being inspired by observing and responding to the world around me; shapes, colours, patterns, emotions, sounds etc… This allows the process to unravel and for the piece to find its own conclusion.  This mindful approach that I have developed feeds my art practice.

What are your plans for the future?
I am very excited for future projects where I have been really focusing on collaborations with other artists.  I love being able to bounce creative ideas with others, and think it is important to find ways of doing this if you work by yourself!  This also means I have been able to work in fields I never thought I would and to learn about so many different aspects of the artistic industry.  So far I have been developing work with a fashion designer, an upholsterer and origami artists. The origami greeting cards I have been working on with the amazing artists from Origami 4 Fun are currently on sale at the Urban Makers East pop up shop.  I’m very excited for the development of much larger pieces we are currently working on to release in September 2017.   For more information on the collaboration with Origami 4 Fun you can check out my blog



Meet the maker – Jenni Allen

Hi Jenni. Tell us a bit about yourself 
I am Jenni Allen, a London based printmaker. About 2 years ago I decided to focus more of my time on printmaking, which means I spend about 3 – 4 days a week cramming in what I can, to produce, sell and exhibit my work.

I make limited edition, screenprints which are all handprinted. I also design a small range of notebooks and greeting cards.

As member of a fantastic printmaking studio in East London, I have access to an abundance of screenprinting equipment so all the printing work is done there. At home, my living room table is where all the clean work happens; drawing, painting, collage, etc. Any other vacant surfaces can also become victim to the piles of ideas and source material that I seem to accumulate in vast quantities.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by all sorts of things really, but I’m particularly drawn to simple forms, block colour, pattern and order. The inspiration for my current range of prints have come from varied sources including the details of modern architecture, particularly churches, natural history imagery and simple geometric cut outs which enable me to play with composition and colour, during the printing process.

I am also really inspired by the maker community who are so supportive, including collectives like Urban Makers East,  (shucks) who organize  really useful events. Their markets give artists and makers the opportunity to sell direct to the public, which gives a good indication of how their work is received in the big, wide world.

What are your plans for the future?
Getting my work into more galleries/shops is a big one for me this year so it has been a brilliant start to see my work amongst others at the UME pop up shop.

“Collaboration” is a word that has been lingering in my head for a while – My work easily fits into the category of ‘surface decoration’ so it would be great to work with a ceramicist on a project. Ceramics is something I would love to have a go at myself but I can’t see that I could fit it in right now. Ceramicists be warned, I am on the look out!

You can find Jenni Allen’s Prints and stationery in the shop until 7 May

Meet the maker – Brass and Bold

Hi Elsa. Tell us a bit about yourself 
My name is Elsa Gomez. I am from Spain but have been living in London with my son and partner for the past 13 years. Much of this time has been dedicated to running a portrait photography company and working in a boutique. I have always been a creative person enjoying design, fashion and the aesthetics of materials which led me to creating my first jewellery pieces. These were very well received through sales in the boutique; which encouraged me to expand and develop my range. I opened Brass and Bold on Etsy in September 2016  and now have the opportunity to participate in the Urban Makers East pop-up shop in Fount London.
What is inspires your work?
I believe you can be inspired by just about anything! I am a very visual person and soak up just about everything and anything that has the potential to be exciting and creative.
London is a fantastic place for richness in visual terms so I supposed this is my biggest inspiration. I relish honesty in materials use with simple design and very much look to modernist Architecture and linear style for stimulation. I love simple geometric shapes and the work of Alexander Calder, for example, feeds into my jewellery ideas.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently attending a silversmith course which I absolutely love. I will be soon creating a new collection combining sterling silver and raw brass into rings and earrings. I love these two materials  together.
I will also continue to establish Brass and Bold as an exciting and innovative new company increasing my online presence and social media awareness. I also plan to participate in more collaborations with other creative people on projects such as Urban Makers East.
Elsa Gomez – Brass and Bold 
Want 10% off Elsa’s Jewellery? Please come and visit us tomorrow – we’re open from 10 – 5

Meet the Maker – Ellie’s Heirlooms

This week’s Meet the Maker is Ellie from Ellie’s Heirlooms. 
Hi Ellie, Tell us about yourself
I am an artist with a passion for story telling and preserving the past. I am an actress and designer with 2 gorgeous girls and an incredible supportive and hardworking husband. We work from home as well and try to make as much of our own as we can. Whilst making clothing, we grow veg and my husband keeps the roof on. We love being East and also are very drawn to the countryside, we love getting away form the hustle here in central london. We now have another family member, Rolo our pet puppy and whilst i print and sew in the kitchen, he is learning not to eat the left over thread and get out of the way as I race around the kitchen table.
Urban Makers East from L'ETABLI LONDON low ©La Cabine de Margaux-41
What is inspires your work?
 I have always loved fabric and collected it for many years.  Combining this with the inspiring ‘Make do and mend’ initiative in the war where printed linen was used as seed sacks to provide fabric for rationed clothing, my heirloom project was born. I spent a lot of time researching these incredibly bold and bright designs of the 1940s and the practical element that each sack would come with pattern to form a much needed dress. Then this fabric, which as I discovered as I investigated more,  represented a huge part of a woman’s life for many centuries.   It was often given as part of a dowry and then kept for years which would have meant a lot of domestic laundering alone.
Antique linen, especially imperfect sheets, carry a history and represent an aspect of the unspoken domestic world for women. I feel once this is  re-made and repurposed with images of wild nature, it honours this past and gives it another life that is practical and beautiful.  This is what drives me to make each piece individually.  The response I have from those that have given me linen from their great grandmother and seen what it has become, is one of the most fulfilling aspects from this small unique business.

Ellie's Heirlooms

What are your plans for the future?
I have many prints and designs I am longing to make, I always have new images and shapes buzzing around my head. But the practical plan is the sets for the summer for babes and a wonderful new wedding range! I am currently finalising the insect range which will be in the Urban Makers pop up next week.

Meet the Maker – Limehouse Ceramics

This week’s Meet the Maker is Elizabeth Macneal from Limehouse Ceramics. As suggested by her business name, her studio is in Limehouse, East London. She has come a long way since her days as a Management Consultant. You will find her unique ceramics in our pop-up shop until 7 May.
Hi Elizabeth, tell us a bit about yourself
I make ceramics in the little shed at the bottom of my garden in Limehouse, East London. I used to work as a Management Consultant, but I really missed doing something more creative and had always dreamed of setting up my own business. My Great-Aunt is a potter, and after doing an evening class I was hooked! As well as making ceramics, I am also a writer – I won a scholarship to study on the Creative Writing MA at UEA.
What is your favourite thing about being a potter?
This is a tough one! I absolutely love throwing, particularly due to the idea that I can turn a lump of earth into any shape I want. Throwing vases is particularly liberating, as there are so few restrictions in shape. At the same time, absolutely nothing beats seeing somebody tag me in a photo of my ceramics in their new home – I feel such a sense of pride that I made something which they now love and look at / use every day!

What are your future plans?
The success of my ceramics has been incredible, and in a way it has really taken me by surprise! I’m going to be appearing at a lot more markets – which is great as I love meeting my customers. I will also likely take up a few more retail opportunities – as of January this year, I’m now stocked in five shops. I’m also hoping to start running classes soon. One day, I would love to own a shop, shared studio and cafe.


Meet the maker – Anabelle Lucilla – Jewellery

Throughout our time in the pop-up shop in Fount London we will be featuring a designer maker each week. Our first featured trader is jewellery designer Annabelle from Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery.  Annabelle is lucky enough to have a studio in Cockpit Arts, who are an award winning social enterprise for craftspeople who currently house 170 small businesses.  

Hi Annabelle tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi My name is Annabelle Lucilla and I work from my studio in Hatton Garden, the famous jewellery quarter of London.  I have won numerous prestigious awards including the 
British Jewellers’ Association award for design excellence.  I have a fascination in intricate surface decoration and sculpture; I transform and scale down my hand drawn etchings into beautifully tactile, dynamic 3D narrative objects.  


What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from ancient civilizations such as the Hellenistic period and Ancient Indian architecture. I am driven by reviving historical techniques which reflect the imperfections, textures, organic fissures and textures of times past.  my
 creations are not just aesthetically beautiful but are tiny vessels carrying hidden messages of light and hope. She channels important messages of the treasures in life that cannot be bought, for example, love, compassion and freedom. 


What are your future plans?
I will be working on a new collection very soon, I have loads of ideas sketched on so many pieces of paper! I am taking a trip to Spain soon to get some inspiration  – probably to Barcelona to visit the beautiful architecture, or another coastal destination.  The new collection will include lots of bold, unexpected shapes and links with intricate etching and surface textures, as well as small shields and fans with etched animals on them signifying different meanings.


If you would like to visit Annabelle’s studio please contact her to arrange a visit.  Annabelle will be with us until 7th March.