out and about: feltmistress, treasure and geekhood

I mentioned at the end of blog post last week that I’d gone to see an exhibition by Feltmistress and Jontofski, Hey! Who’s This Guy?, but arrived at the party too late and missed the whole thing. Argh! So this week I made amends, and while Philip Reeve was visiting for the Science Fiction panel event, we went back. And it’s fabulous! Look at these dudes!

Feltmistress (Louise Evans) and Jontofski (Jonathan Edwards) are this amazing couple who live over in Wales and produce mind-boggling amounts of some of the best artwork you’ll see in Britain today. You might recognise Jonathan’s work from The Guardian Guide, and Louise used to specialise in making wedding dresses, but I think she’s making her felt creations pretty much full time now. They work together on them, Jonathan making drawings and Louise crafting them. Often Louise won’t be allowed by her clients to post images of the finished work right away, but she’ll take photos of details and post them on Instagram, and I love seeing them come up. (If you’re on Instgram, definitely follow feltmistress and jontofski, and the same on Twitter: @FeltMistress and @jontofski.) I think they’re having a big illustration exhibition at Foyles next month, follow them to stay posted. The display at Nobrow will run until 23 June.

Isn’t this guy great? His name’s O’goob, and apparently he was surrounded by a celestial ring of Tunnock’s teacakes at the opening, but they’ve all been snarfed up. I had to meditate on that for awhile.

Asymetrical-collared blue jumper knitted by comics artist and craftswoman extraordinaire Ellen Lindner

Two peas in a pod, really. (Hey, did you see that Philip’s Predator Cities quartet has been republished in the USA with brand-new covers? Americans, go get these books, starting with Mortal Engines; you’re in for a treat.)

If you haven’t been to Nobrow yet, do go have a look! They’re an amazing example of a bunch of people who had a love for a certain aesthetic and set up their own publishing company, which is ever growing and expanding. The Nobrow aesthetic features limited palettes of flat colours with a screen-printed look, with a modern twist on folk art, and lovely paper that smells wonderful when you crack open their comics and art books. Their London shop is located on Great Eastern Street and the nearest station is Shoreditch High Street. They’re also a great presence at indie comics festivals, so look out for their tables.

Here’s a peek into their back room. So many lovely books!

If you’re looking for a good place to eat after your visit, you can’t beat The Breakfast Club, which we discovered while wandering about near Hoxton Square. But look out, one of the customers has been sitting in the back corner for an awful long time and he’s a terrible conversationalist.

We were trying to find a computer supply shop to get a memory stick for my next-day event in Oxford, and saw an odd collection of stone fountains and garden ornaments in front of an old church building. Curious, we poked our noses in the front door and, oh, my! It was like we wandered into somewhere you’d only find in a book.

It’s a treasure trove of reclaimed odds and ends, possibly the world’s largest, I can’t imagine anything more extensive.

The rooms go on and on, and you never know what you’re going to find next. It’s like a museum, except much less predictable.

Do have a peek if you’re in the area! It’s called Westland London and it’s rather magic.

Just one more thing; after my day pirating in Oxford, we stopped by Waterstone’s Oxford Plaza for geek cake.

And great costumes! This guy from Stripes publishing house whipped up this baby in the office that day with a bit of cardboard, ink and packing tape. NIIIIICE.

Here’s the reason for the party:

And here’s the author, Andy Robb, with Philip Reeve and golden-caped Louie Stowell.

Ah, and here on the right is YA book review Sister Spooky, looking very Geek Glam.

I was the first to dive into the cupcakes but Philip took time to get his photographed first.

We were surrounded by Stormtroopers and elves and superheroes, which felt worryingly normal, as they’re just like the costumes I usually see at comics festivals (such as MCM Expo). Does this mean my social circle are geeks, or is geek going mainstream?

I suppose we could read Geekhood and we might get some insight into this. Thanks for the cake, Andy, Waterstone’s and Stripes!

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