Tuesday, 26 October 2010

white night or white horses....

There are a few things that I find particularly exciting about the design process - the sketching, the thinking, but one of the best elements has to be the learning.

I find it such a wasted opportunity when designers (of any discipline) churn out ideas that have already been seen in another guise - surely we get our kicks from thinking up mad, weird and wonderful ways of doing new and exciting things? Maybe it is just me, but when I design I try and touch the moon - then figure out how I am going to build the damned ladder to do it.

Designing is challenging, and we should challenge ourselves (and our clients) every day.

But sometimes, no matter how much you plan, design, learn and invent, things can merrily gallop into your path, causing you to have a change of plan.

And so it is with our White Night proposal.

I planned for an ethereal, glowing and fluctuating installation, drifting and rocking next to the beautifully skeletal West Pier for White Night 2010 - this coming Saturday night. With the expertise and help of others I learnt about the rise and fall depths of the local tide, the natural drift, how to produce a double anchor system that would work with different wind directions, how to launch the boat, how to retrieve it, what a timed swell is and how it could cause our little boat a huge problem.

I learnt about the fishing boats of Brighton and why there aren't many about, the underlying structure (or lack of it) of the West Pier, and how great a high pressure front is and how nasty a low pressure front can be.

But knowledge can sometimes feel like a bad thing, hence the phrase 'ignorance is bliss'. And when I looked at the extremely complicated weather predictions for the West Pier area yesterday, the bits I had learnt showed me something I didn't want to see. A phone call to the wonderfully helpful and patient experts at the Brighton Seafront Office confirmed my fears.

Saturday night would be great if I wanted to do a bit of surfing at 1.00 am, with a 5ft swell over 12 seconds, but not so favourable for a little 1960's timber dinghy, full of wind generated LED's, next to a large and imposing metal structure.

'mini murmurations' will not float for White Night Brighton 2010.

Instead, she will be located on the beach (well above the high tide mark!) with her rods and LED's wafting in the breeze, albeit from a static base.

But Mother Nature is not to be messed with, and I would rather this than be swimming frantically out to the installation at the ungodly hours of the morning trying to stop it smash into the Pier. My risk assessment is complicated enough thank you.

So there we go - all have agreed that the low pressure looks ominous and even though I am a bit miffed, there is not much I can do. Instead, we will float her on another date when the gods of the sea are having a quiet snooze rather than the planned knees up this weekend.

Best laid plans...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Free Pumpkin Packs Fly...

we were blessed in Brighton to have a wonderfully summery day on Sunday, which made our free pumpkin pack giveaway for 10.10.10 - the global do something day - a much warmer and drier experience than it could have been.

so, donning our vintage style 'ice-cream sellers' tray (which we made from an old mesh bottomed bulb tray) I headed into the centre of Brighton to the very aptly named Gardner Street to begin the giveaway and encourage people to get into their gardens and reduce their food miles.

there were three varieties on offer - Hundredweight, Winter Festival and Marina di Chiogga and very soon the green fingered (and willing converts) were snapping up the free packs, which held two little seeds and a pot saved from our show gardens this year.

within an hour, all 100 packs had gone to new homes - from students to OAP's, families with gardens and 20 somethings with a tiny plot.

and all for free.

so - if you got one of our free packs you can now visit our website www.clairepotterdesign.com to download your free, paperless growing and recipe guide.

and if you didn't nab any free seeds do not despair - you can still download the pdf and make the tasty recipes with your local, seasonal produce available now - try Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin Risotto, Pumpkin and Cobnut Pie and Pumpkin and Maple Syrup Cupcakes (from our chums at the Simple Pleasures Cupcakery).


Thursday, 7 October 2010

10:10:10 - are you doing something this Sunday?

The very observant of you will notice our new little 10:10 Blog logo, which makes a temporary appearance on this post and a permanent appearance on our side bar.

So, what is 10:10? Well, in it's own words:

10:10 is a movement of people, schools, businesses and organisations cutting their carbon by 10% in a year

And we have signed up. We aim to be as eco friendly here at claire potter design as we can, and this is another way we can show our commitment to the global cause. visit the 10:10 website here to sign up and get more info.

PLUS, 10:10:10 (10th October 2010) is the global day of doing, and we will be doing something nice on the streets of Brighton to help people reduce their food miles, grow at home, bake something tasty and with a bit of recycling thrown in.

We will be in the city centre, handing out 100 'Pumpkin Packs' which include FREE mini packs of pumpkin or squash seeds, along with a little plant pot to grown them in next spring (which are left over from our 2010 show gardens).

AND there will be a little temporary page on our website where the lucky recipients can get growing instructions for their pumpkins, along with recipes for their use!

But don't worry - if you don't get a free Pumpkin Pack you can still download our Pumpkin PDF and get the recipes for yourself!

Hopefully see some of you on Sunday! (we will be in the North Laines and the Lanes of Brighton, from around 10am.