Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Earlier this month I ran a sign making & banner making workshop at Farm2Grow care farm in Staffordshire Moorlands.

On the day we learned basic sign writing skills and used experimental print techniques, and eco- paints (we also made traditional egg tempera paint using the eggs laid by the chickens on-site) to create various signage for the Farm open day, to direct people on site, and also made some smaller scale herb labels.

Herb labels made by particpants on the sign making workshop, using experimental print methods- now varnished and ready to be put out in the herb planters!
This week I have been working to complete the banners we started in the workshop ready for the event day on Saturday 1st September. I'm looking forward to seeing the banners up on the day, and promoting the Farm.
Yurt and signs- veiw from the permaculture forest garden

I am also installing and designing the new shop space, which will be opening to co-incide with the event day. The shop will contain local wares and hand made items. The shop will be opening regularly after the event day and we are currently looking for local produce and craft items to sell from the shop. Please come along to the event day or get in touch if you have items you would like to sell.

Completed banners in the shop space which is being developed
So, there's now less than 1 week to go to the FREE farm open day event on Saturday 1st September 10 - 4. Come along to see  rare breed animals, skilled craft demonstrations and craft stalls. There will also be live music and a fresh home grown food as well as a face painter and balloon modeller in the children's corner. Or just come along to sit and relax and enjoy the panoramic views. There are some wonderful raffle prizes on offer (purchase of raffle ticket required- which can be bought on-ste on the day). The main prize is a weekend away in a beautiful Mongolian yurt, and a prize for meal for four at the Famous Black Lion pub in Consall or entry to Consall Hall Gardens- these are just a few of the prizes to be won.

Farm2Grow is situated on the A522 Leek to Cheadle Road ST90AZ. Public transport is 32 or 32A Hanley to Cheadle (get off at blakely lane kennels) from cheadle same bus in reverse.  From Leek - No.16 Leek to Hanley- get off at plough bank wetley rocks and then follow the signs. If you have difficulty finding us or want to know more please call on 07766836006. Please come and help us celebrate the work we have achieved so far, and get involved with an inspring project.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

ARTea/ Backyard brew at OPEN YARDEN

The OPEN YARDEN event which took place on Saturday 4th August 2012 officially launched the Airspace Creative Urban Yarden. See the previous blog post for more about our intentions for the Yarden in the year ahead, and visit the Facebook group here

OPEN YARDEN, AirSpace Gallery

The event was a perfect opportunity to share my ARTea project which aims to promote the use of selected herbs to promote creativity and provide a creative experience. I am interested in the use of organic produce and linking notions of growing, creativity and well-being. Performance, art & life as holistic practice.  I am looking at the concepts of ‘Teaism’ (which represents do much of our art & life) that is rooted in ancient Zen/Taoist practices.
Pick your own herb Tea! ARTea installation, Kate Lynch 2012
Image: Adam Gruning

The backyard brew originated in my own Yarden, it is a blend of three herbs Lemon Balm, sage and mint (sometimes with added nettle). The herbs were growing together in a planter for some time before I discovered how well they tasted together.

Lemon Balm, Sage, & Mint growing together
The ARTea herb planters have been planted and nurtured in my own Yarden this year and it was a pleasure to have visitors picking from them and enjoying their tea making & tasting experience. A herb patch containing a variety of herbs to promote creativity will be introduced into the design for the Yarden taking place this autumn and winter.

“Thus the art of making tea and the art of painting are direct expressions of mindfulness & practice’’ kakuzo Okakura- The Book of Tea
The three planters were installed on the 'Larch Bench' which fittingly, had 3 seats and provided a hub of activity and a space for conversation and for sitting, making and tasting the teas. The bench had  been created by AirSpace Artist Andrew Branscombe for the 'Stocktake' Exhibition which happened earlier this year. I liked the re-purposing of the bench, a lot of this type of re-using and re-purposing activity happens within the gallery- we have many fittings and fixures that appear in different incarnations in exhibitions and projects. We are a resourceful bunch.

Kids and adults alike enjoyed the herbal teas. I intend to roll this idea out in the Yarden and beyond, growing designated herb patched containing selected herbs that are linked to creativity,  offering visitors the chance to pick their own in a performance based  experience and having an ARTea to accompany their art viewing at Gallery…

''...an oasis in the dreary waste of existence, where weary travellers could meet and drink from the common spring of art appreciation'' - Okakura

The project also deals with issues of sustainability-especially in an artist lead space such as AirSpace, where funds are tight. We often serve tea and coffees to visitors here at AirSpace, and I would like to be able to offer visitors a fresh herbal tea which they can come and pick themselves. Growing herbs in the Yarden will save some cash, and perhaps generate a bit of income if we ask for donations for a fresh herbal cuppa. There is also potential to bag up dried herbs to sell or swap, or for individual use.

The copper plant labels were made using experimental print techniques. I will be making more of these labels to accompany the Yarden herbs.

I intend to create artists multiples in the form of a packaged tea experience. There are lots of projects in the pipeline with my ARTea ideas.

“The tea ceremony becomes Art. A ceremony performed not as symbol or allegory but as an ultimate expression of the here & now’ 

With thanks to Adam Gruning, Fiona Waddle & Ben Popple for providing some of the images featured.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


I am currently working on preparations for the Sign making workshop day I am running at Farm2Grow care farm, situated in Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire Moorlands, this Thursday 9th August.

This morning I have been cutting, sanding and painting the reclaimed wood for the allotment plant labels which we will be printing text onto on the day.

I have also been cutting the fabric banners to size which we will be painting text directly onto.

Designs for the Farm2Grow banners

On the day we will explore the Farm2Grow site and design signs that are needed to guide visitors to areas of interest. We will be working on some road side banners to promote the farm and the open day event happening on 1st September 2012, to passers-by.

We will create a range of signs and banners using slate, wood and canvas, along with different experimental print techniques. We will mix some paints using natural pigments and use eco-friendly paints made from natural based ingredients such as clays and plant resins, along with some other interesting and unusual materials & techniques. You will learn how to create your own signs using scrap materials that you can go away to try at home.

The course is now fully booked for the day, I look forward to meeting those who are attending on Thursday.