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Pen & Gravy and Modernish Portas Pilot pop-up shop

Earlier this year I posted about a small design company called Pen & Gravy, run by Jamie Palmer, whose beautifully decorated plates and lampshades caught my eye in my local market. You can read the original post and see the work here, or below.

Anyway, Jamie dropped me a line a few weeks ago to tell me he was opening a Christmas pop-up shop, alongside his brother-in-law, Dan, of Modernish, a fellow purveyor of Good Things for your home (more of which below) and some other pop-uppers in southeast London, as part of one of Mary Portas' save-the-high-street pilot schemes (which you'll also find out more about below).

I love Jamie's designs and thought the whole scheme sounded interesting. I hope Mary P's role as saviour of our high streets is being taken seriously by the Government, but it's hard to believe when all you see are big brand chains and Metro/Local supermarkets bulldozering any soul from neighbourhoods (there are five of the latter in less than a mile on one single road near me, it is sickening). But enough of that – let me hand you over to Jamie, who can tell you GOOD THINGS: more about his shop, the scheme and some of the other shops taking part.

Jamie (right) and his brother-in-law, Dan, 
outside their pop-up shop in southeast London
"Hi… this is Jamie. I’m a self-confessed doodle addict who has channelled this addiction into producing one-off, patterned lampshades and plates… I also dabble in a bit of screen-printing when I’m all doodled out!

P&G plates and lampshades, £15-£45; X-large P&G lampshade, £55

Since February this year I’ve been braving the elements to flog my wares at numerous south London markets. However, on 1 December I opened a pop-up shop in southeast London in conjunction with my brother-in-law, Dan, of Modernish Designs.

So how did two dishevelled dads and part-time market traders end up running the Pen & Gravy Vs Modernish pop-up shop? We recently found out about the SEE3 Portas Pilot for Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill [which has been created with government funding following Mary Portas's 2011-commissioned review into the state of British high streets] and put in an application to be one of the first three SEE3 pop-ups shops that will run from 1-24 December (or fingers crossed a little bit longer!).

It has always been an ambition to have our own shop but expensive rents and long leases have always put us off taking the plunge. The Portas Pilot is allowing us to fulfil this dream by offering cheap rent and lots of invaluable support – in return we hope to bring something new and original to the high st which will hopefully be beneficial to other local businesses and the community.

Carlton Ware moneyboxes from the 1960s, £50 (now sold out)
Original travel poster from 1960s designed by Daphne Padden, £80
Norwegian ceramic tray, £30

So what to expect at the shop? Lampshades, plates and screenprints from me (see images at top of the post), mid-century British and Scandinavian graphic posters and ceramics (a few examples pictured above) sourced by Dan...

2013 calendar print by Spring Once More, £16

Crystal Palace Screenprint by Mike Roberts, £15

Lion screenprint by Mashka, £45
Train prints by South London Prints, £15
Cocktail screenprint by Serge Seidlitz, £65
....and a great selection of art and design products from some talented buddies (a selection, above).

You’ll also get the chance to bring out the inner-graffiti artist in yourself by contributing to the ‘Me, Myself, & Kirkdale’ competition doodle wall (above), and participate in some family art workshops. There will also be some late-openings throughout December (details at bottom) where we might even treat you to a glass of mulled cider! 

There are a lots of exciting things going on in the SEE3 Zone including new makers and food markets and the two other pilot pop-ups – Conquer Clothing, in Sydenham, an ethical clothing company, and The Butchery Ltd. Both shops have had amazing transformations and have had very good feedback since opening their doors.

For up-to-date happenings at Pen & Gravy Vs Modernish, please see our Twitter feed. For See3 Portas Pilot for Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill updates, please see the SEE3 website

Hope to see you all at the shop soon!

Find the Pen & Gravy Vs Modernish pop-up shop at: 
161 Kirkdale London SE26 4QJ. MAP

Here are a few of Jamie and Dan's upcoming events...

Fri 7th Dec Late night opening until 9pm

Thurs 13 Dec We're having a private party/viewing from 7pm onwards. A number of artists that have work featured in our shop will be present and there will be special promotions on their work for ONE NIGHT ONLY.  If you would like to come along please email me  If you haven't been down to the shop yet and would like to see the type of products we've got for sale you can check them out here.  

Fri 14 Dec Late night opening until 9pm

Sat 15 Dec Art Teacher Extraordinaire Tamsin Wildy will be running a free Family mono-printing Workshop from 10am-12pm. If you think you might be interested in coming along please can you email me so we get an idea of numbers...

Sat 22/23 More Art Workshops – full details TBA soon

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