December 19, 2012

Clever Thinking

We love finding alternative uses for our products (see our earlier Salt Bird post). So we were really chuffed when we were sent in this pic by Raven and Grace Weir who ingeniously transformed our treetowels into aprons. Well done girls you look brilliant!

November 10, 2012

Our new Cities range

We can't believe it's November already! We have been busy in the workshop creating a new range, Cities. A range inspired by our fave cities of the world. Starting off with London and Paris, these limited edition prints would make the perfect gift for any traveller. Check them out here!





August 24, 2012

BLOG CHAT_16 MATT RICHARDS


We would like to introduce you to London based Freelance Illustrator, Matt Richards. He creates fashion, editorial and portrait work. His career started in the fashion industry, designing, developing & managing product however illustration has always followed him on his way.
Matt's illustrations have been used for the likes of Alexander McQueen for Puma, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, and Mary Portas amongst others. His first solo show Musical Views can be seen this summer as part of the East 17 Art Trail in London, www.e17arttrail.co.uk. Also check out more of his work at www.mattrichardsillustration.com


1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
I've only been illustrating full-time for about 3 years but I have always drawn.
As a kid I was quite happy with wet weekends when you couldn't go out and play with your mates as I would draw out my make-believe world. At school, I loved life-drawing and spent most of my lunch breaks in the Art Studio. Drawing continued as a Fashion Designer and when that turned into a more managerial role, I started freelance illustrating in my spare time.

2. IF YOU WERN'T DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
I did quite a lot in the fashion industry and I never consider at all that the door to that has been closed. I'd be happy to go back to that.


I'm really into music too. Not so much now but, I used to put on parties all over London with a friend, Notting Hill Carnival, boat parties down the Thames, that kind of thing. A lot of our followers have grown up now and children mean they can't party as much as they might like, to but we have a podcast to keep the musical connection with them. I think I would be producing music if I wasn't illustrating/designing. Failing that getting outside, something to do with gardening, how about looking after Jamie Oliver's veg patch? He could pay me with food!

3. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE DESIGNER'S/ILLUSTRATORS BLOCK'?
Get unplugged from the computer and get outside!

During the working day sketching is fantastic for getting things going. It doesn't even have to be revelant to the subject you are working on either. I'm sure a lot of creatives get this, but there are times that all I want to do is draw a particular thing. Instead of cramming it into a brief I might be working on, I'll take some time out and get it out of my system via a sketchbook. If drawing for a brief, I have to spend about half an hour sketching anyway to warm-up and get into a flow.

I also find travel always inspirational as it broadens the mind and makes you look at mundane things from a completely different perspective. In a different country in particular, everyday objects appear to the foreigner as fascinating, where the native would take them for granted. Having London on my doorstep is a definate plus as it is so rich when needing to find ideas, inspiration and research.

4.WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I am currently putting together my first solo show for the start of September as part of the E17 Art Trail which is a bit nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. As part of my research, I have been interviewing and recording local musicians,  and all have been absolutely fascinating so far. The aim is integrate their music with the portraits I create, I'm adding information about it as we go along on my website.

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
It's best not ask me anything complicated before my morning coffee & probably some of my best work has happened late at night. I do have the tendancy to forget the time if I'm really engrossed in something. Having said that, I hate wasting the day (particualry if the weather is good). My partner is a morning person so that kind of keeps me in check!

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
I love my coffee, I have an old faithful Bialetti Moka on the stove that makes a pretty decent Latte. While that's boiling up, I'll nip out into our garden to check on my vegetable patch.
I try to resist chocolates, biscuits, that kind of thing,  but I am a total sucker for peanut butter & jam on toast!

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
I'm rubbish with lists so this will be true now, but maybe not next week - Turquiose

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
As above really...How about opening the fresh coffee tin in morning? freshly cut grass? Baking bread? I actually like that smell of boiling tar you get at roadworks!

9. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE DESIGNER'S/ILLUSTRATORS BLOCK'?
I probably wouldn't survive as my record collection runs into 1000's and it's bloody heavy!
My gorgeous 15 year old cat
A Cornet (small trumpet) that was handed down to me from my Grandad that I learned to play at school but by then it was feeling so sorry for itself, it had to be retired and I moved onto the Trombone, and then guitar.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
Oh Jeez! I just looked at my blog feed to answer that one, at the moment I'm subcribed to over 300 blogs and have well over a 1000 feeds to read! If you can find a favourite out of that lot, you are a better person than me! Pintrest is pretty good for inspiration these days too.
I'll have to mention my friend's blog totallywould.wordpress.com as she is a fantastic wordsmith and very amusing with it.

11. WHAT'S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
If you like foot tapping stuff you can check out my own mixes at "Carnivalism"  click here, carnivalism.co.uk also post one song a week as Carnivalism Fridays because, well everyone is in the mood on Friday aren't they?
I've spent the last year putting all our CDs and some vinyl on our server, it's a massive job but great for re-discovering old tracks. I even have some of my mum's old records from her hippy days, from which I think everyone should have a bit of Sandy Denny in their lives particularly as folk seems back in favor these days. But for more random stuff, anyone on Spotify can find me "Carnivalism" open.spotify.com/user/carnivalism I always love to know what other people listen to, it's a great way to find new music so come and say hi on there! 

Musical Views runs from September 1st - 14th
For more information visit www.mattrichardsillustration.com



August 21, 2012

***COMPETITION!!!***

We were thinking, not everyone cooks with salt these days but you still might fancy having our Bliss in the Woods Salt Bird perch in your home. What would you use him for? 
Would you use him for his intended job to dispense salt or something else? We've had some people send in pics of alternative uses which were thought were funny and clever! So if you have a Salt Bird feel free to post a pic of him in your home to info@ourworkshop.co.uk or post in onto our Facebook page, or leave a comment below on how you would use our Salt Bird, we'd love to know! Our fave pic/comment will win their very own Salt Bird or Bliss in the Woods tray if you already have one!




August 20, 2012

Bliss in the Woods at Heal's

We've got some exciting news! Our Bliss in the Woods range is in the Heal's store on Goodge Street.
We couldn't resist and had to take some quick snaps for you. You can also buy the range from Our Shop too.








August 12, 2012

Well Done Team GB!

The London 2012 Olympics are coming to an end later today. We've really got quite addicted to watching it, especially the track, swimming and cycling events. Well done to all the athletes and all the volunteers involved. We came across this post of the London Olympics back in 1908, times have changed - especially the fashion! via swissmiss







August 07, 2012

Behind the scenes - prototypes

We thought we'd share some of the process behind the creation of the Bliss in the Woods range. We worked closely with Creea, a modelmaking agency who developed the prototypes from our drawings. The pieces were sculpted by hand out of a high density foam. It was exciting to see our ideas change from being on paper to actual things we could hold and touch. There was a lot of head scratching and biscuit eating involved to get some of the finer details perfect, which was all part of the process. We started out with lots of product ideas and gradually, through a process of natural selection it turned into the range it is today. It was fun working as a team with Creea and getting the range to the next stage. Check out their website for all of their other creations. Here are some pics of the process and the models they sculpted.











July 26, 2012

BLOG CHAT_15 BLISS HOME


We would like to introduce you to this dynamic duo, Mike and Gabrielle Bliss. They form the British interiors and homeware brand, Bliss Home. 

The company have been established for over 30 years, and was originally set up by Mike and his friend Andy Plant, previously known as Woody Enterprises. They created various successful products from 're-cycled' wood such as mouth clocks, wooden postcards, wooden neck ties.  And Mike designed a cheerful daffodil and tulip table and floor lamps which became an instant success around the world in the 1980's. Then Andy Plant decided it was time to try something different and left the company. The company changed to Bliss Home, and Gabrielle joined.

Mike has collaborated with Sebastian Conran and produced the award winning Equilibrium range of home accessories, and this then led onto working with chef, Nigella Lawson's kitchen range. And more recently has been collaborating with popular graphic print designer, Orla Kiely on her kitchen range. We were first approached by Bliss Home to work with them back in December 2010 and have been working with them since to develop their Bliss in the Woods kitchenware range. To find out more about the collaboration and to view the full range, check it out at www.ourworkshop.co.uk
To view more of Bliss Home, go to www.blisshome.co.uk

1. HOW DID BLISS IN THE WOODS HOMEWARE RANGE COME ABOUT?
Mike: For ages we have wanted to develop a range around animals that was very British, contemporary and cool. We didn’t want to do twee or too modern and needed the range to have a broad ‘family’ appeal. A kind of British morph somewhere between Jonathan Adler and Alessi but affordable.

2. HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK WITH OUR WORKSHOP?
Mike: Simply searching for designers online 


3. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Mike: Working with talented people.


4. WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS OR ICONS?
Mike: David Bryne
Gabrielle: David Bowie


5. WHICH PRODUCT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD DESIGNED?
Mike: Bicycle
Gabrielle: iPad


6. WHAT'S THE PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR CAREERS SO FAR?
Mike: Remaining in business for 34 years.
Gabrielle: Still speaking to each other after 34 years!


7. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WANT TO WORK TOGETHER?
Mike: We're married so it just kind of happened.


8. WHO MAKES THE MOST TEA?
Mike: 50/50



9. IF YOU HADN'T SET UP BLISS HOME, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'D BE DOING? 
Mike: Struggling as an artist. 
Gabrielle: Working in an office.


10. DID YOU HAVE A PLAN B, OR IF YOU WERE NOT A PRODUCT DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Mike: A tennis professional in my dreams.

11. YOU TRAVEL A LOT WITH YOUR JOBS TO SOURCE PRODUCTS AND MEET SUPPLIERS. WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE WORK TRIP AND WHY?
Mike: Two answers - Hong Kong – always changing, inspiring and full of energy. Portugal – pragmatic people, very pro-British and plenty of unheralded surprises in the country. 
Gabrielle: Same as Mike.

12. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT ON THEIR CAREERS TODAY OR HOPING TO SET UP THEIR OWN BUSINESSES?
Mike: You need tenacity more than talent, a thick skin and a clear vision of what you are going to do.
Gabrielle: Be prepared to have a go at whatever your dream is – if you fail at least you won’t regret not having given it a try.


13. ARE YOU A NIGHT OWL OR AN EARLY BIRD?
Mike: Early bird.
Gabrielle: Early bird.


14. IF YOU WERE TO BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT THREE THINGS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
Mike: Gabrielle, Imogen and Chloe - my wife and two daughters.
Gabrielle: Mike and my two daughters.

15. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE BLISS IN THE WOODS RANGE?
Mike: Peacock measuring spoons.
Gabrielle: The Salt bird, just loved seeing them in the factory all lined up!


16. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT, ANY EXCITING PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE?
Mike: Some beautiful handmade products for Nigella, some great new textiles, tins and vases for Orla Kiely, new Vintage kitchenware with the Hemingways and some gorgeous new kitchen tableware for London Underground using archive posters of Kew Gardens. 









July 03, 2012

For Mini Eco Warriors

This is such a great idea. The toys convertible packaging transforms into the toy itself, reducing waste to a single piece of recyclable paper. Brilliant. We found this on SwissMiss.



May 17, 2012

Cool Blog Alert - Tamsin Allen Creative

We thought we'd bring to your attention to a super inspiring blog by our art director friend Tamsin. She writes about the things we love including branding, design, photography and interiors. We always direct our mouses to her blog for a fix of daily inspiration. We really enjoyed a recent post on the iconic Selfridges brand. Being obvious fans of yellow we are ever appreciating of this amazing British brand whose design is beautifully consistent and recognisable. Great stuff Tamsin, long may your blogging continue!

 http://tamsinallencreative.wordpress.com/







February 29, 2012

Calling all performers!

Our friends at Team London Bridge are looking for street performers for the London Bridge area during the Olympics. We designed a little poster for them to help advertise it. So if you can balance a ball on your head or are just an all round outgoing person with a talent, do get in touch here...

January 25, 2012

BLOG CHAT_14 DACIO LAMOUNIER



We'd like to introduce you to a good friend of ours, Dacio Lamounier. Dacio is a Creative Consultant and founder of Casa Lamounier. He studied Interior Design and in Brazil and ventured to London when he was 24 to explore the diversity and intensity of this city. Since moving to London he has worked in Harrod’s and for the international team at The Body Shop, creating inspiring and innovative Visual Merchandising displays. From there, Dacio went on to become Head of Creative Design for Notcutts, a national chain of garden centres.

In 2011 he founded Casa Lamounier to help realise his dream of running his own consultancy and helping brands to develop their creative ideas. Check out Casa Lamounier's newly launched website here.


1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
As a Creative Consultant my passion for design started in Brazil where I had my own Interior Design business, moving to London lead me into Visual Merchandising and Marketing, working for companies such as Harrod’s and The Body Shop. Setting up Casa Lamounier was definitely the next natural move in my career, helping brands to develop and flourish by finding their niche using trend intelligence and bespoke services.

There are great trend websites out there; there has never been such great information on hand. Our main differential is that we collate the most influential and relevant trends to our customers and translate them into practical actions to help them get ahead of their competitors.

2. IF YOU WEREN'T A CREATIVE CONSULTANT WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I love what I do! Helping brands to find solutions, improving their appearance, seeing their progress is very gratifying but if I wasn’t doing that I would definitely be working in the fashion industry as a photographer or designer.

3. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME A DESIGNER'S BLOCK?
I leave the office and go for a good walk in places I haven’t been before.
Sometimes we take it for granted, but living in London is a great privilege. You can find inspiration almost everywhere.

4. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m working on a new trend safari expedition in Brazil – watch this space!

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
Night Owl definitely! Mornings are for cockerels!

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
Macaroons and a macchiato

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
Red

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
Because I’ve worked with fragrance development, I love perfume and find the entire process fascinating. My favourite scent is Carnal Flower by Dominique Ropion – it’s Intoxicating.

9. IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU SAVE?
My cat Sargent, my Mac (with all my photos and music that mean so much to me) and my vintage camera collection

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
I have a few:
for fashion I follow bryanboy.com and bainser.com
for business tips: Seth’s blog - sethgodin.typepad.com
and of course Our Workshop blog for amazing design tips and new talents.

January 22, 2012

Our Shop featured...

Ashley from Live Like The Boy blog, contacted us back in December to do a blog chat on us about Our Shop. Check it out here... Thanks Ashley!

Our Sale continues...

We've placed more lovely products into our crazy spring clean sale! Grab yourself a treat from For You and For Home sections now. Grab them while you can!

January 16, 2012

Crazy Spring clean sale starts here!

We’re having a Spring clean sale! To kick start our crazy sale, we have up to 50% off the For Work and For Kids sections. Stock up on some quirky, colourful stationery or treat your little ones to some cute toys and making kits! Also don’t forget to keep your eyes on our Facebook page and twitter where we’ll be letting you know of more sale offers in the coming weeks!

January 12, 2012

Happen Projects

We stumbled upon this great project, based in East London. Various artists and designers collaborated with small local businesses around Dalston to create bespoke installations between the shopkeepers and the artists.To help boost the high street. Happen Projects organised this project, called the Exchange Series. The great thing was Hackney Council helped to fund the project. The installations actually end today, however you can take a peek here and find out more about the project. Artists that took part were, Hato Press, Damien Poulain, Alexandre Bettler, Aurelie Dellasanta, Olivia Hegarty, Pipa Greenbank, Sarah Cockings, Laurence Owen and Agi & Sam. Hato Press are a graphic design and print collective, they used their riso colour test prints that they had produced from printing flyers, posters, zines in 2011, to make up the wallpaper of their window installation. Which was really effective, and great as all materials were recycled. See BBC feature here.
Images from Happen Projects.


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