After attending Pulse back in May, I’d already added it’s sister fair Top Drawer to my calendar (although it’s not open to the public: press & trade only). I pencilled it in for the Monday, but then In The Window invited me to join them for a screenprinting workshop with Daniel Heath on the Sunday, so I moved a few things around. I can always make time for screenprinting!
I met with Emma and Fab, and together we navigated the overwhelming amount of stalls to find In The Window’s innovative pop up print room installation. Built by Jardine Couture, the structure provided both a flexible working space for resident printmaker Daniel Heath and a 3D representation of In The Window.
The screenprinting workshop was very easy going, and had a steady flow of people hovering to watch and possibly try their hand at it. Daniel talked us through the process of how he prints his wallpaper – yes, hand printed wallpaper! Not only are his designs beautiful, but the whole notion of the wallpaper being hand printed is amazing, right? It’s like having a print on your wall… but covering the whole wall!
Naturally I wanted to have a go (but I was pretty nervous that something would go wrong!) and you can see some of the action as I made a little vlog of the workshop & a few other things that are nice to look at:
After screenprinting we turned to explore the rest of Top Drawer… Oh blimey, it’s massive. This is only half of it! Looking out over the stalls there was one that really stood out to us, can you guess which? Not only because it was a big flash of pink, but because it was the Pantone stall!
Graphic Designers just love Pantone – we go crazy for it! Which is a bit odd I guess because it’s essentially just a coding system of colours. Maybe it’s just the simplicity, the way they make products look cool and the beautiful range of colours. Anyway, how can you not enjoy those mugs all laid out in colour groups?
After I’d finished hot-desking at Pantone, we spied the Moxon stand. I’d seen a few bloggers posting about the Thabto simple magnetic frames on Instagram, and as I’m a bit of a print hoarder I’m always on the look out for nice ways to display prints (see my latest home ware post) I wanted to pop over for a closer look.
Moving into the paper area, we were drawn to the colourful prints and patterns of Wrap, whose stationery is just beautiful.
One of my favourite discoveries was Octaevo, who have such a quirky and colourful but simple and elegant brand. They sell gorgeous notebooks, book marks and amazing paper vases (which I’m pretty sure I’ve admired in the ARAM gallery before).
We bumped into East End Prints (whose fair I vlogged about a little while back) and also Veronica Dearly, whose work I’ve admired on the internet for a while now. Her style is awesome and her humour is amazing – definitely recommend that you check her out for any cards and presents you might need in the future!
After 5 hours, we were all Top Drawer-ed out. SO EXHAUSTED. Who knew that looking at a lot of pretty things would be so tiring? We only covered a tiny percentage of the stalls in 5 hours, so I’m not sure if it’s even humanly possible to cover the whole event but I loved the stalls that I did stop & chat at.
Did you visit Top Drawer or a similar fair? Feel free to share any tips you have. I think there needs to be some kind of guide written on how to survive these events, because this:
— Natasha Nuttall (@natashanuttall) September 11, 2016
Hands up if you’re with me…
P.S. Some images thanks to In The Window! (They’re the ones with the nice blurry backgrounds 😉 ha)