Last Saturday saw 300 tablecloths hand printed at London Printworks Trust once again pressed into service at London’s largest outdoor meal. I was commissioned to produce this epic napery in 2007, by Clare Patey for her amazing event: ‘Feast on the Bridge’ which is part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival. The key elements of the design were to be ink drawn ‘food stories’ collected from Londoners. Every day I asked people for stories, and the next morning would transfer them onto screens for immediate inclusion on the cloths, to be placed in plate shaped roundels in the colours of Southwark Bridge, a faded viridian and an old gold. It was a mammoth task, and luckily I had some very dedicated helpers, like Lola Milne, and Lilly Williams (pictured above.) Also of course unstinting support from the printworks team, every one of whom gave me a memorable story!
In the spirit of environmental good sense, (a central theme of Feast on the Bridge) we re use the cloths every year, even though they are a little faded in places. we get to the bridge at 7.30, and it takes 3 hours to lay out the cloths! I also have a stall each year collecting fresh food stories, this year I listened to and drew 54 new ones, images to follow. Each narrator is given a copy of their own story to take home, and another copy gets pasted onto a display so that visitors can read them as they appear.
Only trouble was the moody old Thames Festival photocopier had given up the ghost, so we very boldly and gratefully borrowed our friend here, the copier from LPT, who performed like a dream, despite never having been outdoors before.
Thanks so much to all who let us run off with the photocopier, and apologies to those who were still waiting for it on Monday morning.