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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Prints Charming: Aardvark-on-Sea

You'll have noticed that Team Sluttery is gearing up for autumn BIG TIME. Tights have been purchased, coats have been unearthed from their mothballed depths, and I've bought a woolly hat shaped like a cat's head. (No, I'm not too old to wear it. Shush now.) And while I love autumn as much the next girl, I predict that as the days get shorter and the sound of the heating bill hitting the mat becomes ever more ominous, I'll need something to pep up my soul. This cheerful O Happy Day print from Sussex-based printmakers Aardvark-on-Sea might be just the tonic I need. Doesn't it make you smile? I reckon it's worth every penny of the £35 price tag for its smile-boosting properties alone.

Lesley and Pea – the couple behind Aardvark – work from their studio in Hastings Old Town, and do a lovely line in letterpress and linocut prints. They’re probably best known for their yearly manifestos – the latest of which is 2012's Fairness Manifesto. That phone number at the bottom? You guessed it – it's a direct line to the Houses of Parliament. This print is just £12.50. You can't say fairer than that. 

I'm a sucker for a choice quotation, so this Jerome K. Jerome print is certainly floating my boat. Ahem. Sorry. *Cough* It's £25.

This Sussex Moths print has set my heart a-flutter. It's a collaboration between Aardvark and Zeroh Studio for The Hastings Moth Project – if you're in the area, look out for Zeroh's beautiful geometric moths on buildings around town. At £50, it's pricier than the other prints, but ever so pretty. 

Aside from making merry with woodtype and ink, Lesley and Pea also run nearby St Leonards' Wonky Women's Institute, for which they've designed this Wonky WI print. It's vaguely terrifying, yet hilarious, and it's £25. All profits go towards helping the Wonky WI be more, well, wonderfully wonky. 

All these prints are signed open editions, and many are available framed for around double the unframed prices I've quoted here. Aardvark also has a series of limited edition prints, but you'll have to be quick if you want one – once they're gone, they're gone! 

Expect lots of new designs in the coming months from the Aardvark duo – they got themselves a new mechanical press earlier this year and are raring to create more prints inspired by their current obsessions, cake and revolution. Amen to that, ladies. 

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