Tooled Up: Jody Barton, Thanks for the hammer by John Hooper


Jody Barton’s take on the hammer he was sent, is an irreverent, original watercolour painting. The painting depicts the classic moment anyone who has tried a DIY project will know well, bashing your thumb as you try and hit a nail. 

“So, I like to be involved in things – and generally it’s a good thing. So when Mike Moloney, an old college friend of mine asked me to be in a show he was organising I said yes.

He sent me a hammer in the post – it went by airmail – meaning that at one point the hammer was doing about 500 miles an hour. Fast enough to hammer nails in. Resist any attempt to reference MC Hammer I thought. Or hitting nails on the head I thought. Or square pegs into round holes.

Then I got my thinking brush on and started to think… and think… and think… and then I painted this watercolour of a thumb. Thanks for the hammer!”

Jody Barton was born and raised in a derelict Medieval Theme Park. Since birth he’s been tortured by demons, a veritable St. Anthony for the modern day. His marker pen leaves a blackened trail over every surface, and visions assail him as the Moon rises high and hair sprouts on the pages of his notebooks. While drunk on Equus, a powerful spirit which has a Horse Embryo in the bottom of every bottle, he conducts experiments which recently saw him successfully turn supermarket ham back into a Living Pig. He’s now cured of the demons and living in Sunny California - so there won’t be any more drawings like these in the future. It is his last wish to have his ashes scattered in Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Norwich.

Tooled Up: Chrissie Macdonald by John Hooper

When Peepshow agreed to be involved we sent them a whole range of tools ready for whichever members of the collective wanted to be involved. Once the tools had been dispersed to the other members there were three remaining, so Chrissie Macdonald took each of them on with great results. Each tool was altered with a mix of Chrissies signature paper craft, structural style and a sensitive, yet vibrant colour palette.  

The first tool was an old, slightly blunt plane “The shape of this tool informed the outcome; I instantly recognised it as a figure so added a few elements to enhance this but didn’t want to alter the tool too much as I think it’s a beautiful piece of wood as it is.

Tool: Carpenters Saw

When I first picked up this hand-saw I imagined it to be a large saw belonging to a small creature.

I removed the handle to eliminate reference to a human scale.“

Tool: Screwdriver

Long reach escape device (for accessing air vents).

A group of tools arrived at our Peepshow studio and we ended up with a couple of spares; this little screwdriver was the runt of the set so I wanted to give it a special purpose. 

By extending the handle it now has more of a physical presence and serves as a tool to aid your escape when trapped in a cupboard or elevator. 

You just need to keep it on you at all times.“

Chrissie Macdonald is a London-based illustrator, maker and art director.

As part of Peepshow Collective she works both on her own 3D pieces for clients such as the V&A, Orange, New York Times magazine, Creative Review and Wallpaper* as well as collaboratively with the other members on illustration, animation and installation projects.

Tooled Up: MVM by John Hooper

Original Art & Graft postimageMagnus Voll Mathiassen received a traditional wooden hammer. Having removed the original handle he then crafted a new one from birch. As MVM explains, “I was simply trying to make the tool a bit uncomfortable. A hammer is just a default tool everyone has a relationship to, and therefore easy to create a sense of something uncomfortable just looking at it after the transformation.

The tool actually got quite ergonomic. I failed my personal mission. The thing that I got right was to make the finish on the handle fit the old hammerhead, I think.”

MVM is a graphic design studio established by Norwegian graphic designer and illustrator Magnus Voll Mathiassen in 2009. Magnus was a co-founder of the studio Grandpeople, which received worldwide design acclaim. Magnus currently works on illustration, graphic design, and art direction projects for clients such as Nike, Rihanna, Sephora, L’Officiel Hommes Italia, The Fader, Microsoft, Adidas, Neenah paper, ESP Institute, Little White Lies, Sony Playstation, Rune Grammofon, Bergen International Festival, Intel, Nordic, MTV, Skype, Converse, Rita Ora, and Varoom Magazine.

MVM’s work has been exhibited at Chamount International Poster Festival, Somerset House, and London’s contemporary graphic art fair, Pick Me Up. MVM has been featured in a number of worldwide publications including Musikraphics by Victionary, Supersonic by DGV, Cover Art and Logo by Laurence King Publishing, 1000 Supreme CD designs by Maomao, Eye Magazine, Grafik Magazine, Computer Arts, Varoom, and Tokion.

Tooled Up: Santtu Mustonen, Digitized Artefact by John Hooper

Original Art & Graft Post

In Digitized Artefact, Santtu Mustonen has employed 3D printing to produce a transformed replica of a screwdriver.

As Santtu explains, “The tool had a very strong organic touch because of its material and age. By attaching a few found twigs with a rubber band onto this rusty screwdriver, the instant result was something even more natural and life-like. It transformed into an irregular, organic-looking creature with a very unfinished, sculptural touch. 

This quickly assembled sculpture was digitized by phone camera and sent to a 3D printer. After a couple of hours, a perfect, lifeless, bright white copy of the tool sculpture was finished. It now presents itself in stark contrast to the original item – created using futuristic, everyday tools. Modern crafting.”

The resultant artwork retains the intended organic nature while also being reminiscent of heavy artillery and the plastic toy soldiers from childhood. A strange juxtaposition that works exceedingly well when paired with the wooden base. 

Santtu Mustonen is a Finnish illustrator living and working in New York City. Organic patterns, natural science and movement inspire his work, which combines handcrafted and analog textures in a digital space. He animates various textures and visual imagery by using a three-dimensional modeling program to alter the space and sense of motion within his dynamic illustrations. Santtu’s clients include Nike, Architecture for Helsinki, Zeit Magazin, Granta Books, Husky Rescue, Wired Magazine, Phish, Flow Festival, The Caravaners, (Capsule), The Red Bull Music Academy, and The New York Times.

Santtu’s work has been exhibited throughout Europe including at Make Your Mark Gallery, G6 poster exhibition, and the 140th anniversary exhibition of the University of Art and Design Helsinki in Helsinki, Pekka of Finland group exhibition for Dutch Design Week in the Netherlands and for Recyclart Art Center in Brussels, and Illustrative Festival in Berlin. 

Santtu has been featured in numerous publications including Computer Arts Collection Publication, Sight Unseen Paper View, Viewpoint Trend Forecasting magazine, and Super Paper.

Tooled Up: Emily Forgot, Fancy Footwork by John Hooper

Original Art & Graft post here

Most of the original tools used in Tooled Up were part of a great find on ebay - a giant toolbox full of old wooden screwdrivers, saws and other craft ephemera. Hidden in a secret compartment were these beautiful set squares, with gold detailing in the corners. 

When we first saw them we thought they would be a great fit for Emily Forgot and her playful blend of character, simplicity and craft. We weren’t disappointed when the set squares made their way back to us - by combining the two set squares, adding wood for a heel and toe, drilling holes for some eyelets and adding laces they have been transformed into a pair of legs called Fancy Footwork.

As Emily explains,Legs are a recurring motif in much of my commercial and non commercial work, albeit usually drawn digitally so I felt it was appropriate and I also felt it would be fun to create away from the computer, Much of my type based work is seeing something illustrative within the letter forms so I approached the tool with the same thought process.”

Emily Forgot is the appropriately curious moniker of London based Graphic Artist Emily Alston. Having been working in the creative industry since graduating from Liverpool school of Art & Design in 2004 she has amassed a diverse range of international clients, from cultural institutions, advertising, retail, publishing & editorial. Along side commercial endeavors Emily produces personal work in the form of limited edition prints and ceramics. Her work has been exhibited both in London and abroad most notably in 2007 at the “Fragiles” show as part of the prestigious Miami Art Basel.

Embracing the odd, the everyday & the sometimes surreal Emily Forgot’s playful visual language and image making continues to innovate, evolve and surprise. With each new brief comes new ideas and fresh inspiration resulting in each client having a tailor made solution. Turning her hand to anything from illustration, retail display, print design and visual identity she prides herself on approaching all briefs with creative thought, originality, humour and beauty in mind, whether the work be a commissioned piece or a flight of her own fancy. Her enthusiasm, curiosity and eye for detail have stood her in good stead so far gaining recognition in publications such as the Creative Review, Vogue, ID, and Grafik magazine as one to watch.


Art & Graft original post here

Sometimes the best ideas truly are those that are the simplest and laced with humour. Armed with a fine carpenters saw BCMH crafted a perspex fulcrum to create a… wait for it.

… Seesaw!

And we absolutely love the simplicity of the adaptation. BCMH are known for their slick branding across digital, exhibitions and print for clients such as Uniqlo, V&A and the Royal College of Art. And the Seesaw is the perfect compliment to their portfolio of considered and sympathetic work. 

BCMH have also branded this years Design Junction event which is also running during LDF. In charge of all the branding and visual output for the event. They have crafted an identity centred around a directional chevron device and Le Corbusier display font which can be “turned up or down” depending on the required function. The campaign also features photography by Art&Graft regular collaborator John Hooper, who also photographed all of the tools for Tooled Up

Tooled Up: Duchess by Kustaa Saksi by John Hooper

From Art & Graft

Another Hugo & Marie artist, Kustaa Saksi is well known for his stunning Jacquard Hypnopompic tapestries and the playful, fantastical worlds that appear throughout his work. 

His transformation of the supplied screwdriver mirrors the craft, detail and sensitivity to form that is present in much of Saksi’s work, to give rise to an enticing and curious character. 

As Kustaa states, “The screwdriver had obvious feminine features with long sensual neck and sexy hips. I certainly wanted to create an eminent female character around it. I wanted to attire her body with a thick, soft cape made out of wool. Together with Suvi Savola, we crafted the aristocrat dress with custom-made Jacquard weave.”

Photo: John Hooper

Finnish born illustrator Kustaa Saksi builds fantastical worlds of playful, paradoxical, and troubling yet inviting shapes, environments and psychedelic atmospheres. Combining organic qualities with uniquely detailed textures with energetic color palettes, Kustaa’s clients include Nike, Sony Playstation, Vespa, Swarovski, AT&T, Microsoft, Nissan, Levi’s, Nokia, Adidas, Lacoste, and Issey Miyake.

Kustaa’s work has been exhibited worldwide including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Nike Showroom 1948, Artifact Gallery in New York, CentroCentro, Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid, and Dray Walk gallery in London, Nemo in Portland, Maxalot in Amsterdam, Old School in Singapore, CCP in Philippines, Art Gorillas in Bangkok, the Main Post Office Gallery, Helsinki, the City Hall in the Netherlands, Espaces Commines and Louvre des Antiquaires, and Artazart in Paris. 

Kustaa has been featured in numerous magazines and publications including Elle (Italy), Form (Sweden), Form (Germany), IDN (Hong Kong), XLR8R (USA), NEO2 (Spain), Milk (Hong Kong), RMM (Hong Kong), Dazed&Confused (UK), Style Monte Carlo (Monaco), +81 (Japan), Mono (Japan), Étapes (France), Grafik (UK), Shift (Japan), ZOO (UK), Territory (Singapore), Juice (Singapore), Inquirer (Philippines), Manila Bulletin (Philippines), Bon (Sweden), Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), Nuke (France), Nylon (USA), Playboy (Philippines), Wad (France), Flaunt (USA), Viewpoint (UK), Designer (Singapore), Iceland Review (Iceland), Computer Arts (UK).

Tooled Up: Joel Hopkinson, Reverie Saw, Red Kite by John Hooper

From Art & Graft

I am going to mirror the release of images by Art & Graft over the coming days. I will also duplicate their information about the images. Continuing below:

When we got in touch with Joel about the show he had an idea at the ready and an ace large vintage saw to go. Originally he had planned to etch and print onto the metal, however, after a few setbacks it became apparent that this wasn’t going to be feasible. 

An excellent example of the problem solving nature of the creative process, Hopkinson instead cut the metal and crafted a wing from the blade. 

Joel Hopkinson’s work is predominantly fine ink drawings and the level of detail and care present in his 2D work is reflected in the delicate, sweeping lines of the wing. As Joel states,  “Tools can all be seen as charged instruments of potential, representing an optimism and state of flux. This is particularly true for finer made hand tools that exist as objects of craft; often these tools are emblematic of their own function by being expertly made, and aesthetically considered, indeed they become collectors items of material value - rare specimens. 

From a more personal viewpoint, as a maker; these fine hand tools whilst fitting the hand pleasingly, hold the promise of things to come, a material realisation of the imagination; as if all the dumb inert matter in the world can be transformed with the elegant sweep of the expert, the incisive swoop of vision; and then, at the end, with the uncut wood still in the vice, the big saw can be hung back up on its peg to be gazed at, maybe to be more of an idea of a tool than one to be used.”

Photo: John Hooper

Whilst studying sculpture at Camberwell College of Arts, Joel Hopkinson fully realised the importance that drawing had to his artistic practice - a constant source of both contemplative thought and expression. 

As this expression evolved, drawing and its process became the core of Hopkinson’s activities, moving toward what at first seemed to be a rigid and disciplined approach - using very fine ink pens to create intircately detailed pieces. This way of working has become an immersive and organic process, where the production of the drawing and its subjective matter have been intertwined. Once started, both conceptually and physically the drawings instruct their own destination. 

This sometimes labourious methodology affords an opportunity to reframe and look again at the subject.

Tooled Up: Deanne Cheuk, Mallet 01 by John Hooper

More words from Art & Graft:

As with any group show, after defining the initial brief and concept it was time to narrow down the list of artists and designers we hoped would get involved. As we went through our top picks we found that a fair few were represented by the brilliant Hugo&Marie

Having got in touch with the Hugo&Marie team in New York we were then able to reach out to some of the artists that they manage and see if they wanted to be involved. Luckily Deanne said yes and a wooden and rubber mallet set off across the Atlantic to her studio. 

The approach to the tool followed her strong use of colour and pattern, however, with the differing rubber and wood the material needed to translate the design to the surface had to be a little unusual. 

Nail polish was used as paint because the different surfaces of the mallet - the wood and the rubber - needed a solution/type of paint that would adhere to both surfaces and provide a shiny finish. Once I chose the medium, the size of the brushes really dictated the pattern.”

The resultant Mallet 01 piece is a beautiful, highly tactile ode to ornament, fashion, delicacy and patience.

Photo: John Hooper

Deanne Cheuk is a New York-based art director, illustrator and artist. She has been commissioned by such companies as Nike, Relabld, Lane Crawford, Cole Haan, Converse, Swatch, The Lincoln Motor Company, American Express, Levi’s, Target, MTV, Olay, Sprint, Nickelodeon, Dell, The Gap, Microsoft, Urban Outfitters, The Guardian, T magazine and The New York Times Magazine for her illustrative and stylistic approach. Cheuk’s artwork is inspired by nature, utopia, space and being, often distorting realistic representation into fantasy. Her first book is called ‘Mushroom Girls Virus’. 

Deanne has exhibited work worldwide in a number of solo and group shows including at 222 gallery, Rocket gallery in Japan, the Redefining The Line exhibition in California, Deitch Projects, and Lorimoto in New York, the New Grand Tour Show in Beijing, If You Can Collaborate in London, BCC group show in New York, and at the Monster Children Gallery in Australia.

Deanne has been featured in numerous publications including Time magazine, Tokion, Theme, Elle Girl Korea, WAD magazine, Vogue, Computer Arts, Lucky Mag, and Dazed & Confused.