January has been a busy month for us. We might have to lie down for the whole of February. The first thing to happen was that we were invited to sell some of our cushions and lampshades at the wonderful Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. This feels very flattering because it houses the work of the person who designed my favourite typeface Gill Sans Serif.
If you have never visited this charming museum it is well worth a trip. Snuggled in next to the church in Ditchling, East Sussex, it "holds an internationally important collection of work by the artists and craftspeople who were drawn to the village, including the sculptor, wood engraver, type-designer and letter-cutter Eric Gill, the calligrapher Edward Johnston (responsible for the famous Johnston typeface used for London Underground), the painter David Jones, the printer Hilary Pepler and the weaver Ethel Mairet."
The building itself started out as the village school but was bought in 1985 by sisters Joanna and Hilary Bourne who turned it into a much loved museum. In 2013 Sir Nicholas Serota re-opened the museum after after a major refurbishment and has since been awarded a host of architectural awards.
For those lucky enough to live near by there is a long list of workshops and events to enjoy. We went to The Big Steam Print this summer and witnessed Rob Ryan printing his wood cut with the aid of a steam roller.
Here is a link to a little film of the occasion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOCV_LJC5U8.
The shop itself is part of the beautiful café space and packed full of lovely stuff, often designed and made locally, that relates to the subject matter of the museum. I particularly like the specially commissioned Ditchling Museum tea pot.