For my work experience i wanted to really get the most out of it i could, so when thinking of who to work for i considered what i wanted to do most. I decided to try and get something in the print sector and that’s what i enjoy to experiment with the most, and then to get something in the sewing world. I landed my first choice for both! so my first two weeks were at Lovenskate, a small, independent skateboard company based in Tottenham, London. Lovenskate don’t just print their own skateboards, clothing and merchandise but also print for shops, designers and so on. Just a few names they do work for are Carhartt and Vans! I enjoyed everything about my experience there, i got to stay with a few good friends and see allot of London, including the London underground…. that was an experience in itself.
While at the Lovenskate studio i learned new techniques such as discharge print and their method of doing it, how to use a print carousel, their particular way of coating and cleaning screens, what size and mesh count to use for certain types or designs, how to create multi colour/layer prints, a different way of exposing screens, how to print on skateboards. I cant say enough about my time here, i loved every minute of it, the team of guys working there are small but close knit and i spent evey day there with a smile on my face.
My second placement was just as perfect for me as the first. I worked at Rock-ola reborn, a small independent vintage store based in the Cardiff Fashion Quarter. during my time here i worked in the store, re arranging the shop, styling and dressing manneqins and general customer service. I also worked at the new design studio where i upcycled vinatage clothing, and made new garments (mainly 2 pieces), all work was a built up to an upcoming event called Lushism. Lushism is an upcoming art, fashion and music event held in cardiff. I took part in a photoshoot, where i styled clothes and hair on the models being featured in the event, this was even filmed to be aired on the new TV channel Made In Cardiff on the 19/12/14 at 8pm! it was absolutely fantastic, please see my blog for pictures of the shoot and behind the scenes.
In conclusion i have an absolutely brilliant time during both placements and really feel that i got everything possible from them. Both are happy to work with me again and Daisy from Rock-ola even wants to joint forces this summer in the sewing studio to see what we can cook up!!! I am ending the yer a very happy and fulfilled student!
One of the first things that caught my eye when starting at Rock-ola was the interior design of the store, it reminded me of my current subject theme, 90’s Brights and Clash. Naturally I commented and James told me that the got inspiration from artist and designer Camille Walala. Even her name was intriguing so I went ahead and checked her website and fell in love!! Her use of bright colour and bold abstract design is perfect inspiration for my project. Walala uses her designs for fashion, interior and exterior design and anywhere she can! Her work is fantastic so please check her out 🙂
Today I started work at my second placement, Rock-ola Reborn. It is the main store of many quirky independent stores located in Cardiff Fashion Quarter, specializing in retro and vintage fashion, handmade gifts, music and more. Rock-ola was actually a store opened by Daisy’s mum from ’84-’92, they started off by introducing UK and American vintage clothing which was a big hit and then continued through the scenes from post punk and rockabilly to the early 90’s rave scene.
Now owned and run by James and Daisy (an awesomely creative pair of lovebirds) the store has everything retro, ranging from fur, denim and sequins, hats, bags and shoes, to books and vinyl! My role while working at Rock-ola will be to help in store, serve customers, advertise, dress mannequin’s, fix and up-cycle and generally give a helping hand! I will be working on two locations, one in store and also at the new studio where i will make garments, up-cycle, style and help with photography for an upcoming fashion show that Daisy is putting on this month, im really excited to be part of this, i will be taking loads of photos so keep your eyes peeled!
My last few days at Lovenskate were really interesting as they were working on loads of new products. They were planning on screen printing on some skateboards which i was really looking forward too, but the board order didn’t come in unfortunately.
I got to learn how to push more than one colour through the screen to get a nice mix, so i took the opportunity to print onto my denim jacket using part of my colour board from my current project. I am really happy with how it turned out, i used luminous oil based inks in yellow and pink, creating a mix which made a bright orange.
A good tip i learned off Stu was to put the colours into triangles so than when you push the ink through the screen the points of the triangle meet, making a clean mix in the middle. see the pictures!
The guys at Lovenskate like things to be perfect, so when we were printing their new hoodies i was put on tag duty, this meant that i ripped out the size tag tht came as standard in the jacket, then use the heat press to print the Lovenskate tags! it really made the items look more professional and gave them a personal touch.
As i’ve been using the heat press in uni loads for my current project i didn’t need a tutorial on how to use the press, i just set the timer for 10 seconds and got started. The machine used in the studio was much smaller than the one in uni, so it was very easy, although if i were making designs rather than printing small tags i would much prefer the bigger press!!
So as part of my field module I chose to do some work experience, where I am expected to arrange my own exprience and clock up a total of 20 days work with companies or designers of my choice.
I decided that I would try and get two placements so that I could get as much out of this as possible. My first choice was to apply for a skateboard company called Lovenskate, I have a friend who is sponsored by them and I keep up to date with them through networks like facebook and instagram. The reason I wanted to work for Lovenskate is because its a small operation and they hand print everything. After a few short email’s I secured my placement with them! Another plus is that their studio is in London, so I get to go and stay with friends and live the dream!
After a 4 hour bus journey I land in London, its a big and scary place is that London but I survived it. I stayed in Greenwich and worked in Tottenham, which meant I had a near 2 hour journey every morning, consisting of Londons DLR, the underground and train. I’d be lying if I said this journey didnt make me cry at least once during my stay… It was just too early to deal with the human traffic, thousands of people, all underground and they just run at you! I got used to this very quickly thouh and soon blended right in.
On arrival at Lovenskate I was introduced to the gang and shown the ropes by Lovenskate founder, Stu. What a wonderful human, so passionate and creative, he is most certainly living the dream, his job consists mainly of two things, printing and skateboarding, his two favorite things!
The print studio was small but adequate with everything needed to print radness all day long. Two other skate companies, Witchcraft skateboards and The Palamino skatestore worked from the studio, so it was close knit and alot of fun.
With Stu running the game, Lilli helping him and James as full time printer I got straight to work! During my first week I generally helped out with all jobs, counting stock, cleaning, preparing and exposing screens, boxing orders, and listened to awesome music all day. I absolutely loved it!