On Wednesday my ‘Partner-in-Craft’ Hannah and I went to the London Sketch Club in Chelsea, an amazing club formed over 100 years ago by newspaper illustrators and designers looking for somewhere to hang out, drink gin and oogle (I mean paint) naked ladies. We visited not so much for the ‘smoking and conversatione’ advertised here but to see the silhouette artist Charles Burns and his new book Mastering Silhouettes, A practical guide to silhouette portraiture showcasing Charles beautiful work.
Using surgical scissors and squares of black paper Charles cuts silhouettes ‘live’ (no bright lights and profiles shadowed on walls for him). He has cut silhouettes of the great and the good including the Queen for her 80th Birthday (as Hannah said ‘a bit like making stamps then’) and now me…
Not entirely convinced about my nose, would quite like to snip a little off the end but pretty impressive for 90 seconds work. When I get the chance I shall try my hand at mastering silhouettes but for now I am pleased I have finally mastered the spelling of it.
I don’t want to blog about this website presentandcorrect because I’m scared if I tell you lot about it you’ll buy all the stuff and there won’t be anything left for me. Maybe though you won’t feel as desperate a need as I do to own some 1950’s Czechoslovakian bon bon bags or some vintage money bags with nice typography and some holes in them. (Why not?)
I don’t know what I’ll do with them when I have them apart from save them for A Really Special Occasion in A Really Safe Place (for A Really Long Time probably).
They also have lots of useful things like …. um … these …
for putting paper clips in.
My lovely friend over at thetreasurehunteruk first mentioned this site on her blog and I am forever grateful to her. She is a good spotter of good things.
In my youth I learnt to make these origami hearts to impress the boys when down my local pub. (It works. Fact.) I used the silver paper from inside cigarette packets but these days you’ll probably have to find other more readily available paper; maybe the random club flyer or free magazine that is always lying around.
Now I am sharing the love for Valentines Day. Enjoy!
I also learnt to make a pig and an elephant. But they were only used in emergencies … when prettier, wittier girls were present.
I don’t remember how to make them now. I guess I didn’t have to make them that much.
Saul Bass is probably my favourite and my bestest graphic designer. When I’m stuck on a project I pop down the internet and have a little look at some of his work.
Y’know the iconic Hitchcock posters?
That’s him. The super slick logo for United Airlines? That’s him. The stylish and fun film credits for it’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World?
Yup, that’s him.
(If you have a spare minute go take a look, it’ll make you smile)
So, I’ve heard tell of a children’s book that Saul illustrated in 1962, Henri’s Walk to Paris. Searches on ebay proved fruitless (or expensive) but now finally it has been reprinted and is widely available again. The mighty Amazon delivered it to my door 4 weeks earlier than they said (good work Amazon Elves), and it is as beautiful and inspiring as I imagined.
Go buy it.