Welcome to our all-too-infrequently updated little blog about goings on at Art Van Go - art suppliers to the stars.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Pictures from Dublin and farewell to Stuart

As promised, and after only minor nagging, I managed to get the photos that Viv took of the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin. We thought you might be interested to see the process of building the stand!
Kev, Ruth and Chas on the day they arrived, followed by the bare bones of the AVG stand -
Starting to set up the products -
And the finished thing! -

Ruth directing operations as her exhibition is built -And then taking time to relax, once it's all looking beautiful (no paparazzi please!)This lady is a new AVG friend - she helped on the stand at Dublin. I'd love to tell you her name, but Viv hasn't written it on the photo and (surprise, surprise) Viv isn't answering her phone. Oh well, Mystery AVG friend it is then.
Ruth ran a couple of Learning Curve classes, on the Thursday and Saturday, so here's a selection of her students hard at work.

Looks very inspiring, and as if a good time was had by all.

Then, back at base - I think I mentioned that Stuart is leaving us to go off to work at an exclusive chocolate shop in Piccadilly, so we had to have a little send off for him. Here's a picture of the team, plus wayward balloons. Good one of you, Kevin!

And then a proper one with the balloons under control -
Sadly, Stuart has had to have his ponytail cut off for the new job, so Viv has made him a pretend one from Merino wool, which she clipped to the back of his sweatshirt.

We're all sorry to see you go Stuart, but wish you very best wishes and good luck in your new job! xx

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Christine Benson's Workshop

I thought you might like to hear about a recent two day workshop called 'Elizabethan Elements' run by one of our regular and popular tutors, Christine Benson. The following account comes from one of our most regular workshop attendees, Pam Oliver, who also supplied the photos.
What a wonderful time was had by the lucky people who attended the Christine Benson class on 11th and 12th November.
Christine's work is always beautiful, and uses silk in all of it's forms - this time she produced amazing work based around the theme of the Elizabethan times.
Under Christine's guidance, we were able to learn how to begin to do this ourselves, using the Embellisher, (a machine for needle felting), silk fibres, beads, water soluble fabric and more.
The class was a dream and everyone was so excited with their results. I urge you to look out for future Art Van Go workshops with Christine Benson - you will not be disappointed, but be aware - the class fills up quickly! P. Oliver
Thanks Pam, for the words and the pictures - it certainly seemed that everyone on the workshop had a good time.- and we look forward to contributions from other workshops attendees in the future!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

First of all - BIG apologies that there hasn't been an update on here for a while. It's been so busy with the Knitting and Stitching shows - Dublin and Harrogate.
This is only the second time that AVG have been to Dublin, they went to the very first Dublin show over ten years ago but haven't been back since. Viv and Kevin packed up the van and set off at some ridiculous hour on Monday 27th October, to catch the ferry from Holyhead at 2am, bound for Dublin. (No, none of US know how Viv managed it either!)
They arrived and after finding their accommodation, unloaded the van on the Tuesday afternoon, then went to the pub with Ruth and Chas (Ruth Issett took her exhibition to Dublin) where they had a very traditional Irish meal and several pints of Guinness.
They set up on the Wednesday in the bitter cold - you may remember we had snow over here then - and in fact Ann had to battle with Arctic conditions to get in to open the shop! Meanwhile, back in Dublin, having finished the show set up, it was off to a very up-market Burger restaurant for proper handmade burgers and lots of wine - can you see a pattern forming here?
There were a few teething problems the first day - mainly around having to contend with exchange rates and Euros, but nothing insurmountable, and the lovely part was the really warm welcome that Art Van Go received. So many people came up and said "We're so pleased you've come" that Viv and Kev felt really appreciated and they were begged to "come back next year"
Generally the show was smaller than the other K&S shows, with fewer traders, but everyone was really friendly, and were so pleased to be able to get supplies that they normally find difficult to source.
Another bonus at this time of year was the real 'Mardi Gras' spirit around in Dublin - they really go to town with Halloween. So obviously, that means more Guinness and even more wine.
If we can work things out with the organisers, we really want to go back to Dublin - and we have some big ideas for next year!
Viv and Kevin want to say a really big "Thank You" to all the people they met, who made them feel so welcome, and they say it feels like they have made a whole bunch of new friends.
I was going to put photos of the show on here, but as Viv is still in Harrogate at the moment and hasn't been able to supply any - I am afraid I am just going to have to leave you with the only one I have available. Says it all, really.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Tuesday 21st October

Tuesday saw the return of a very popular tutor - Frances Pickering - who was teaching a two day workshop entitled "Textured Treasures". As those of you who have been to a workshop with Frances previously - beautiful little stitched books are her speciality and these were no exception. This time the covers were made with calico, which were then embellished with lace and hand stitching, and the pages contained vintage haberdashery and other memorabilia, resulting in real treasures.

Frances was, as always, ably assisted by Jim. I'm not sure if he was responsible for the raucous laughter that kept coming from the workshop, but certainly everyone sounded as if they were having a great time!

Quite a few regulars in attendance - plus Cheryl who had come over from Australia especially for this workshop! (I think she may have called in to see relatives over here too)

Needless to say, we did have a member of staff on the workshop - Pam was back again (she's got a bit of a thing about books), but we managed to take the photos while she was out of the room.
Incidentally, we'd love to include examples of finished pieces of work from classes here, so if any of you do finish something (come on - it does happen sometimes!) we'd really like to see them. Bring them in next time you're passing, or email us a photo and we will include it on the blog - I'm sure others would love to see what you've done.
If you haven't got round to booking yet, there are still a couple of places on each of the following workshops :
Multifarious Muslin! - a two day workshop with Pauline Verrinder, Wed 29th & Thurs 30th Oct
Acrylics - Textures and Impastoes with Lupe Cunha on Friday 31st October
Taking Risks with Watercolours with Vanda Campbell on Wed 5th November
Give us a call for more information on 01438 814946
Another busy couple of weeks coming up - the van is off to Dublin next week for the Knitting and Stitching show over there, then back here to prepare for Harrogate.
See you soon

Friday 17th October 2008

Friday 17th October saw two of the Art Van Go staff, Shelagh and Pam, having a sneaky day off so that they could take part in the Ruth Smith workshop "Folded Secrets" (We can't seem to get rid of them, even when they're not working!) They (and the other workshop-ees) spent the morning folding papers into various boxes and envelopes, and then later assembling them to make beautiful books which opened out in all manner of ways, which will then be decorated. Can't wait to see the finished results girls!

Later that day, was the private view for Ashlie Green's exhibition 'Analogue Exposure' - intricate and abstract photographs created on film and polaroid using plastic of lo-fi cameras to produce unique results.

Ashlie has just completed her degree, and attained a 2.1 in Photography - we are all very impressed Ash, both with the degree, and the fantastic work in the exhibition. Well done!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

K & S Alexandra Palace

Welcome to the very first post on Art Van Go's blogspot! We intend to use this to let you know about workshops, new products and events at Art Van Go, and to generally keep in touch. Please feel free to forward the link to anyone who you think may be interested in our goings-on. We'll welcome your comments (preferably nice ones!) and any suggestions for things that you'd like to see included.
Here's us at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace - this is just before the show opened -
Kevin - as usual in his subtle "exhibition" trousers and crocs - that's what happens when you get dressed in the dark Kev.
Shortly after opening -

Jane demonstrating various printing methods to the obvious delight of the crowd!

As you are probably aware if you have seen us at previous Shows, Ruth Issett is at regular at Art Van Go - leading inspirational workshops and demonstrating for us at the shows, but on this occasion we had to manage without her, as she had her own Exhibition at Alexandra Palace entitled "Connected with Colour". We were able to take a few quick photos before the show opened, and caught Ruth and Chas chatting to Maggie Grey.

The photos can't begin to do justice to the fabulous colours and vibrancy in Ruth's work, but everyone who saw the exhibition raved about it, and more than one has told me that it was their favourite exhibition at the show.

Well done and congratulations Ruth.
We had a really busy show as always, the numbers of visitors may have been slightly down on previous years, but certainly we were rushed off our feet for the whole four days. Just time to unpack, before reloading the van and heading off to K&S Dublin, followed by Harrogate.