Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Northern Design Festival - A Cup of Attaya

As a part of the North East annual Northern Design Festival, I decided to head down to B&D Studios to check out one of the current exhibitions, 'A Cup of Attaya'. I'd previously met company founder Lalya Gaye last week, where I misleadingly whacked her bouncy strawberries on the wall (I felt rather sheepish when I realised they weren't actually to be whacked...), but today, warmly welcomed me with a cup of delicious West-African Attaya tea and Swedish chocolate biscuits, I spoke to her to find out what Attaya Projects is really about.

After about a decade of moving between research, teaching and freelance work, Lalya discovered how much she loved the installation aspect of digital media arts. She set up 'Attaya Projects' (named after the delicious West-African tea) as a platform for like minded digital creatives to network and showcase their works. The company also offers consultation for the designers and workshops to those interested in learning more about digital media arts. Lalya's own work is inspired by the connection between physical and digital, and she has worked with sound, fabric, steel and urban space including trees.

'A Cup of Attaya' is a showcase of some of the work created by Attaya Projects, and includes electronic textiles by Teresa Alme, and a top secret (well bit of a secret) project with local designer Bettina Nissen involving a 3D printer and a ukulele...

On Thursday 17th Oct you can take part in an interactive live text stream with Andrew Wilson. Just pop into B&D Studios, say hello to Andrew and have a read of the instructions, then wander around Newcastle and text him whatever curiosities you may come across. As there are numerous mime artists, buskers and street musicians etc on Northumberland Street nowadays, including the infamous 'funky bassist' who dropped in to say hello during our chat, there is sure to be enough goings on to keep a lively and engaging stream...if you need any more persuading, there will also be free cake!

All photos copyright at Attaya Projects

To find out more, check out these links:

Twitter: @AttayaProjects

Written by Melanie Kyles.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Make and Mend Market

Last Saturday we took a wander down to the Make and Mend Market at Grainger Market. It's on every month and alternates between Grainger and The Star and Shadow Cinema (Ouseburn). It always worth a look in as it's a complete mix of talented local artists and craftsmen. Here's some of our favourites. 

First up is one of our F6 members (not that we're biased) Chris Folwell AKA Dabble Dabble.


Chris is a Newcastle based freelance illustrator and print maker. He can be found at many a local market selling his handmade silk screen limited edition prints. He's also happy to work on local or community based projects. Have a read about his work here (go on they're truely brilliant) or chat to him on twitter @Dabble_Dabble


Nigel Maughan, The man behind 'March Hare Cartoons'. Now these aren't just your average Zines they range from 'Granny Sooker and her talking Verruca' to 'Lassie, the adventures of a border sheep farmers wife'. Alternative and funny. Guaranteed to raise a giggle. 

Then there was 'What Mammy Made Next'. Taking recycling and upcycling as their inspiration two mums take on the craft world making vintage themed items for around the home. We loved the paper brooches and rings.


Purple Magpie - These guys use polymer clay to create cute novelty jewellery. They're also known for manipulating the odd record or two into a funky clock or decorative bowl. 


Tin Can Sally - These beautiful pieces are handmade from pop cans. She upcycles something seen as an everyday item, transforming it into stunning unique statement       jewellery.


Ben Holland - Ben is an artist and illustrator. He creates unbelievably fine detailed drawings using pen and ink. Have a look through his work and your sure to recognise more then a few local buildings. Amazing. 

Jessica Catherine - These pieces are absolutely beautiful handmade ceramics. She sells a range of products from jewellery, homeware and gifts. If you ask nicely she may even customize an item especially.


Last but most definitely not least, the Make and Mend organising Queen - Brittany Coxon. This wonderful market is all thanks to Brit who took over as organiser. BUT not only does she do that, she also sells her handmade greetings cards. We had some on display at our Late Shows event back in May and they practically sold out. The Wonder Woman card being a particular hit. Fun, quirky and worth the money.

If you like what you see check out the next one - Sat 2nd November (Grainger again)
We recommend it. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

ELEVON - 4 Days To Go

A while back we brought to your attention the new exciting fashion event in town that is Elevon. Now it's just less than a week away from the show, which is being held at the Vermont Hotel on Friday 18th October. The event will showcase the best up-and-coming talent from around the world, including London-based Jessica Lucille Tait, Fitri Alamasjah from Indonesia and local menswear/womenswear designer Natali Dufferwiel.

Here's a little more about these designers to get you all excited before the show...

Jessica Lucille Tait

For classic feminine workwear pieces, check out these beautiful separates by recently graduated Jessica Lucille Tait. The aim of her womenswear range is to create comfortable yet stylish pieces which adhere to company dress policy, and we love her fresh, wearable approach to vintage-influenced fashion. She gets bonus points for keeping an eagle-eye on the stunning costumes on Downton Abbey, as you can see on her social media!

For more on Jessica, check out these links:

Fitri Alamsjah

We love the feminine geometric style of Fitri Alamsjah's 'Flawless Haru' collection ('Haru' meaning spring where the sakura starts to bloom). The simplicity of her garments show off the origami detailing to perfection, and we love how the collection is so pure and romantic! She applies a similar style detail in her main line which is available online, with gorgeous summery coloured tops and dresses adorned with simple yet effective folding techniques.

For more on Fitri, check out these links:

Natalie Dufferwiel

Last but not least, check out Natalie Dufferwiel's edgy works. Specialising in both womenswear and menswear, her clothing is shown to be dark and dramatic with a dominatrix twist. Her latest collection, which will be showcased at Elevon and inspired by Gareth Pugh, sets to be just as impressive with elements of futurism in her designs.

For more on Natalie, check out these links:

To avoid missing out on this exciting event (there were only 30 tickets left for sale last time we checked!), here is a link you can buy your tickets from:

Remember tickets include VIP goodie bags full of branded goodies as well as an after party at swanky cocktail bar Livellos, and this is a fantastic opportunity for an exclusive look at some of the best up-and-coming designers!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Stu Murray-Borbjerg's Bespoke Caps

If you haven't already heard us mention Stu (he has been part of the 'F6' family for over a year), let us give you a brief introduction to his work. He specialises in large scale pieces that have a distinct street-art feel, and he achieves their textural and emotive quality thorough the use of mixed-media. Here are some pictures from when we interviewed him in his studio earlier today:

Quite recently, Stu has been given the challenge of working on something far smaller than the large canvases he's used to, in the form of individually painted caps. Using masking and electric tapes as resist, he implores similar techniques as his larger scale work by layering spray paints and using chalks and acrylics to create wearable, personable art.

We spoke to Stu earlier today to discuss his latest project...

F6.Studios: Hi Stu! How are you?

Stu Murray-Borbjerg: I'm alright, how are you?

F6: Good thanks! Tell us about your new project and how you went from doing canvases to doing caps?

SM: Well I suppose it's not really as though I went from doing large canvases, I mean, it's always kind of been something that I did...about a year ago I tried one and made it for myself. I wear a lot of caps, I wear a lot of hats and stuff (laughs) people know me by my caps so it wasn't such a major transition.

F6: Do you find it challenging going from such a large scale to scaling it down to the size of a cap?

SM: Yeah, yeah it is, it's a different type of challenge as I'm quite gestural because I work so big in the paintings that I do. It tends not to be so much accurate detailing, it's gestural work and strong brush strokes, and, er, yeah energetic whereas this I have to be patient or meticulous in the way that I go about the practice of it.

F6: Sounds good, so the caps that you've done so far, what are the stories behind them?

SM: Well like I said it was just about a year ago I made the first cap for myself, and I bought some more in they were kinda just sitting in my studio, and I thought you know what, I'm gonna have a play round with these. Been looking at the idea of identity in fashion and art,  people's identities and how they choose to express themselves, so I played around with this first cap that I've got here, and I posted it up and people got interested and said  oh commissions, commissions, commissions! Make me one, I want this, want this, then I get to know their personalities, get to know what colours reflect who they are, and kind of get their sort of style, and I'll try and reflect that in the work I put on the caps.

F6: That's great I bet you'll get a lot of people coming up to you nearer Christmas, asking for personal gifts.

SM: Maybe I will, we'll see nearer Christmas!

F6: Wait and see! Do you have any plans on top of the ones you already have?

SM: Yeah I'm doing these in series, I mean they've very commercial, you know it's not something I would say is a reflection of the type of thing I already do, but I mean if people like them, people wanna buy them I'll continue to make them.

F6: I think they definitely reflect your style, like your drawing and painting style. You can see your larger work on the caps.

SM: Oh good, good yeah I'm glad to hear that my style's translated from the walls to the caps.

F6: It translates well. Looking round your studio you have a few curiosities, please explain the monkey costume in the corner with the duck mask.

SM: The monkey costume in the corner with the duck mask? Erm...well the monkey costume is a six and a half foot furry monkey costume, and I'm just over five foot, so as you can imagine I didn't really fit into it. I woke up in it one morning and no idea where it came from to be honest, it's story unknown. It's sort of lived in the studio it's been my pet in the corner...

F6: Complete with a ducks face...

SM: Complete with a ducks face, it's a hybrid, you know, a new species! The duck mask was just a play thing, you know I liked having a laugh and the Ugly Duckling reminds me of my time in Denmark as well, obviously written by Danish writer, Hans Christian Anderson. So I kind of put that on myself, and now this is the hybrid monkey duck in the corner of my studio...he doesn't do much but he's company on an evening!

F6: He fits in the room quite nicely! Thanks for inviting us into your studio, it's been lovely to talk to you and hope all goes well with your cap commissions.

For anyone wanting to contact Stu with enquries, here are some details:

Mobile - 07889351299

Email -

To see more of Stu's work, check out his album on the NE1 Art Collective Facebook page:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Halloween in Newcastle

With cold weather creeping in and Christmas trees already appearing in John Lewis (yes, really!), we're well aware that Halloween is just around the corner. We have searched high and low for the best tickets in town, and with something to cater for everyone, you're in for a treat!

'Tatty Devine' Workshops at Baltic Mill

Being hands-on, creative types, we were delighted to discover the opportunity to create our own Tatty Devine necklaces for under fifty quid. The Tatty Devine bone necklace workshops are held at Baltic Mill on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October. We are sorely temped by these workshops, as not only do you learn how to make and take away your own necklace, you choose everything from the chain length/style, perspex bone colours and Swarovski crystals *swoon*, meaning a totally personal piece of jewellery for just £39.95. Catch you at the crystals!

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

'Horror Week' at Tyneside Cinema

For those of you into films, you'll be spoilt rotten at Tyneside Cinema this year. Watching the pennies? Keep an eye on their surprise 'Free Film Nights' with special drinks offers, which include 'Zombie Week' (23-25th October) and 'Horror Week' (28th-31st October). Looking for something more unique? Tyneside are also screening Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' on 31st October as a part of the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations. It would be rude not to take advantage of these screenings, and we'll look forward to a sneaky free film (or three).

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

'Drive in Horror Films' at Ocean Beach, South Sheilds

Ok so maybe this one's not strictly Newcastle but thought we would give it a mention as it sounds quite appealing. Ocean Beach at South Shields is holding a drive-through cinema event from 31st October till 2nd November, where films are shown on a large screen and the audio is played through your car radio! Films include horrors such as 'The Cabin in the Woods' and 'The Ring', as well as family friendly 'Monsters University' and 'Grease'.

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

Student Lock-In at Rose&Alice Vintage Boutique

If you happen to be a student looking to avoid the costume craziness of Newcastle this 31st October, we may have found the perfect place for you. With an exclusive 20% discount, you could find yourself locked in vintage heaven at newish boutique Rose&Alice Boutique from 6pm till 8.30pm.

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

Lates at Life (31st October)

As the event title suggests, Newcastle's Centre for Life is open late, 8pm till 11.45pm to be precise. Prepare to expect special cocktails, a talented local DJ, their brand new Frankenstein 4D motion ride and plenty of Halloween-themed excitements...having already experienced this last year, we can vouch for a night full of indulgent fun and curiosity.

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

Warehouse 34 - 1st Annual Monster Ball (Sat 26th Oct)

We're excited about this exclusive event being held at the industrial venue Warehouse 34 in Hoults Yard...Keltie Cochrane's 1st Annual Monster Ball is strictly fancy dress, and the event, which is in association with Cancer Research UK, includes a charity raffle, auction and even a hog roast (which is included in the £22.50 tickets)! With sponsors from Hotel Du Vin, Sherlocks, Gusto Restaurant and Bar and As You Like It to name a few, this event looks set to be a big one.

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

Alone in the Dark - Halloween Night Ghost Walk (31st October)

This one isn't for the faint hearted but sounds perfect for anyone looking for a genuinely terrifying experience. The Halloween Night Ghost Walk tells the history of what is supposedly 'one of Britain's most bloody prisons', and you'll be guided through their candle-lit corridors. The event is hosted by paranormal investigators and will include a seance in the castle dungeon, table tipping and Ouija Board. Only for the mega brave or mega sceptical.

To find out more and book tickets, check out:

Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought and you can worry about the important stuff, like what costume to wear and what wigs you need to buy! Let us be the first to wish you a Happy Halloween, and we hope you have a wonderful time however you choose to spend it!