Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Art-Angels Stationery

On a recent stationery-buying binge I discovered a fantastic new UK stationer that specializes in distributing greeting cards featuring the work of English and Scotting printmakers who primarily specialize in linocuts. (Linocuts are prints derived from an inked slab of thick linoleum that have been skillfully carved to create a relief pattern, which catches the ink and creates the image, once printed through a press onto paper.)

The company is called Art Angels and is based in Norfolk, England. It also sells gift wrap printed with images by contemporary illustrators and designers. It was founded in 1993 by Chris Cordingly, who has worked for years in stationery design and distribution.

There are several things I admire about the company, not the least of which is that they are open to submissions by everyday artists and illustrators. All of the cards are also printed in the most ecologically-sound way possible, using only 100% recycled board, or they're board manufactured using elemental, chlorine-free pulp from managed forests that have sound replanting programs in place. The envelopes are also made of recycled paper, and even the cellophane wrapper the cards are sold in are made of a corn starch derivative and are completely biodegradeable.

The cards are now available for export to North America, and I was lucky to find these cards below at a local, independent stationery store. You can see my lovely purchases below!

I love the folksy look of linocuts, with their rough edges and boldly printed patterns. These ones are perfect for fall birthdays or special occasions. Having worked as a printmaker myself in the past, I also understand the amount of work that goes into painstakingly carving the linoleum and courageously inking it in multiple colours to hopefully achieve a beautiful image on paper once it's put through a press. It's a tricky but rewarding process.

Mark Herald, "Salad Days."

Robert Gillmor, "Winter Lapwings."
Robert Tavner, "Village." 1966.

Angie Lewin, "Loch with Dandelions."

Edward Bawden, "Autumn." 1950.

Edward Bawden, "Ives Farmhouse, Great Bardfield." 1956.

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