Work together, love this world, be honourable and stay wonky - now if there are any words of wisdom we are trying to live by this year it has to be those of fabulously quirky print company Aardvark. We just love the cheery messages adorning the beautifully handcrafted prints and mugs we have here at The Hambledon.
The brainchild of artist and designers Lesley and Pea, the pair moved from London in 2008 to open the Aardvark Tea Room & Gallery in St. Leonards, East Sussex. As well as serving legendary soups and fabulous cakes the cafe showcased British art and crafts, including their own - which sold so well they were forced to pass the tea and cake baton over so as to concentrate on printmaking.
Today, the design duo are kept busy printmaking for such names as the V&A. Inspired by their love of "handmade signs, typography, village halls, fruit cake, tweed overcoats and twice-fried chips", their business champions the handmade and "skills and crafts such as typesetting and sign writing which seem to be on the edge of extinction."
The linocuts are lovingly carved and printed in their ramshackle studio while the broadsides are made with traditional wood and metal type and are printed on a vintage Heidelberg press at Adams of Rye - "the best old-school printshop in the world." It's no surprise then that when asked what they would do in their wildest dreams, the answer included taking over Adams to "continue the letterpress legacy"...as well as buying a piece of land near their favourite pub and keeping rescued lurchers and a donkey.