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.
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.
I love paper. I love the way it is super versatile and you can make it do pretty much anything you think of. I once made it do this for a photoshoot. If you want to make something similar you can watch an instructional video I did for HobbyCraft a little while ago, it shows you how to make these giant flowers.
Anyway I digress… The other day I stumbled across the beautiful website of Paper+Cup Design. After having a good look round I found they had just released a book full of their quirky and cute designs. I received mine in the post this morning and though the projects are quite simple they all have the delightful design aesthetic that I love.
If you are new to crafting, want to make something with your children or just want another book to coo over and be inspired by then get yours here.