We've been wanting to commission an exclusive product, just for us, for quite a while now. Partly as part of our work supporting designer-makers, but also just because new limited edition things are exciting! We kept seeing exclusive products created by our clever designers pop up on Instagram, and wanted to have a go ourselves.
Firstly, we had to decide what we wanted to create. There were so many options- jewellery, cards, prints, clothing... in the end, we thought a tote bag would be a good place to start. Practical, unisex and useful (especially with that pesky 5p bag charge).
As soon as we'd decided on tote bags, we immediately thought of working with Pirrip Press. A screen printing and design duo based in Bristol, Alex and Georgie create colourful modern designs with a sense of humour. We knew they'd be perfect for capturing the spirit of the Old Fire Station.
Pirrip Press from Bristol Short Stories on Vimeo.
We gave Alex and Georgie a very loose brief around the idea of 'making' and the tools they and other makers used. This is the design they came up with...
We absolutely love the design and the way it captures so many different making tools, and the use of the shop exterior as a guide for the shape (and the sneaky 40 to indicate our address!) The bags themselves were printed by Mikee at Vinosangre, a DIY hand-pulled screenprinting company from Cornwall, since Pirrip Press didn't have quite the right kind of facilities for printing fabric at that size. We chose a slightly heavier duty canvas style rather than the usual flimsy cotton kind, to ensure they were sturdy and good value for money.
Here's a little from Pirrip Press about the process of getting the design and bags together-
We've been selling our work with the Old Fire Station for a while now (over a year in fact!) and were really pleased when they approached us to collaborate on a product for the shop. After we decided on tote bags, Harriet gave us some pointers about what she thought the Old Fire Station's customers & visitors would like, and what would best represent the place. We focused on 'making' as a theme, and started work on illustrations of the instruments of making. The design itself alludes to the Old Fire Station being a physical space for the fruits of all our labour, so all the craft and artistic endeavour under one roof! The place is represented as a factory of sorts with all the making goodness inside. We ended up having the illustrations as negative space, kind of like one of those shadow boards that craftspeople keep their tools on.
It's fun to work on different projects with different people, and something like this collaboration gives us a nice challenge! Plus we were able to get our pal Mikee at Vinosangre on board for the printing!
We also spent some time designing a special label to explain the collaboration and a little more info about what we do here at the Shop. Also, expect to see more of this pattern popping up in the shop soon...
The bags are a limited edition of 50 and cost £15 each. Bag yours now! (Sorry, couldn't resist another pun...)