DCA Shop Designer Q&A: East End Press


19 September 2017

If you've been in DCA Shop recently you may have noticed some colourful new printed creations by East End Press. Ellie Hodesdon is the designer behind this Glasgow-based studio and recently visited DCA to host one of our Craft Sunday workshops where she helped attendees to create their own screen printed bunting. As well as her own colourful garlands, she also creates printed pencil cases, decorations, coin purses, clocks and much more. We caught up with her to find out more about her creative process and where she finds her inspiration.

Hi Ellie! We love how your colourful printed products are looking in DCA Shop. Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to start East End Press? 

Hello! I started East End Press because I had been living abroad and moved back to Scotland and couldn’t get a job! So I started printing things and selling them to make some money and slowly, from there, East End Press became a sustainable business.

Where do you find the inspiration for your bold and bright designs?

I love bright colours and am always drawn to traditional folk art and traditional crafts. At art school I loved looking at old North American quilts and had a book of eastern European paper cuts that I always looked at for inspiration. I loved the simple shapes and patterns and the bold colours. Recently I have been looking at a lot of Mexican tin art, I love how decorative it is yet uses quite simple shapes and limited colours.

"I love bright colours and am always drawn to traditional folk art and traditional crafts."

What does a typical day at the studio look like for you?

I am lucky to have a beautiful bright space in the east end of Glasgow for my studio. A typical day starts with a walk for Frida, my little dog, and then an hour or two of emailing and admin (Instagram stalking!). I then do whatever I’ve planned for the main job of the day, which is normally printing of some description, before packing up orders or products. Then Frida and I will have another little walk up to the post office and a little break but really, every day is different so there's no proper set plan! Also people are always popping in to drop stuff off or to collect things so every day is varied. I am happiest with a good podcast on, a printing rack full of finished prints and a coffee in my hand!

You recently hosted a Craft Sunday workshop at DCA. What do you enjoy most about sharing your skills and why do you think it's important to do so?

I really enjoyed my Craft Sunday at DCA! I think it's really important as a maker to get out the sanctuary of my studio and meet other creative people (nearly half the people at my Craft Sunday were art teachers!) because otherwise I live quite a solitary existence. Also I think it's really important to share skills because I think it's easy to have a perception that craft processes and methods are impossible to do at home or do with out tonnes of kit or a ‘proper’ studio when, in reality, most processes can be adapted to be done with limited equipment, materials and space. I think it's really important to make craft and making/designing accessible and not intimidating! 

"I really enjoyed my Craft Sunday at DCA!"

Who are your favourite designers and makers?

There is a french illustrator called Nathalie Lete whose work I love - the colours and subjects and charm of her work is just perfect! I also love the work of English printmaker Sarah Young and, more locally, Hesjan Goods make the most beautiful little baskets made from woven hama beads. As a concept they shouldn’t work (when I think of hama beads I think of those ugly things you make as a child that you iron) but they are actually the most lovely things. I have three on my windowsill with plants in and, along with my papermache bowl with a topless mermaid that I found in Paris, they are some of my favourite belongings. 

Thanks Ellie! You can find a range of East End Press cards, pencil cases, brooches and tea towels in store now and if you fancy getting creative and learning a new skill take a look at our upcoming craft workshops

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