29 March 2021
Throughout March we are sharing a series of posts in which we meet some of the makers whose work you can find in the Kettle’s Yard Shop. This week we spoke to Bath-based makers and designers Rosie Flo. You can view Rosie Flo’s Pop Up Art Gallery in the shop here.
Tell us a bit more about yourself
Hello! We’re a husband and wife team called Roz and Steve, and have worked together since Roz left the Royal College of Art a year before we had our first daughter. Together we are ‘Rosie Flo’. We’ve always juggled work and childcare between us and apart from Roz teaching one day a week at Central Saint Martin’s and Bath Spa University, we’ve continued to work as a duo for 24 years.
Our two daughters were the inspiration behind our self published Rosie Flo colouring books. ‘Just add heads, legs and arms’ is the only instruction printed on the front cover, allowing children to bring their own personalities, stories and imagination into the fanciful outfits and scenes printed on the page.
Tell us more about your studio and ways of working
The popularity of the colouring books enabled us to move away from graphic design as a service for others and into designing and publishing our own work. It gave us the confidence to leave our home town of London 13 years ago and move to Bath where we we’re able to live somewhere big enough for us both to work from home. We’ve dedicated the nicest room in the house as our workspace and enjoy the large windows overlooking Bath and beyond.
Our 12 Rosie Flo and Johnny Joe colouring book titles then led to other colouring products such as posters, postcards, tree decorations, and activity sets. The Fashion Show followed by the Pool Party, both award winning activity sets, enable children to colour and create their own three dimensional worlds. Between us we’ve spent months cutting up card with scissors and a scalpel, trying to work out how best to make our products work and fit together! This last year we’ve finally invested in a laser cutting machine which makes cutting card less arduous but is also getting us to think differently about materials and products.
At Kettle’s Yard we stock your Rosie Flo Art Gallery. What inspired this latest pop-up?
The imaginative play that takes place once children have created their own world is what currently interests us the most. Our aim is to come up with ideas and products which we like and which are fun but aren’t overtly ‘educational’. Rosie Flo’s colouring Art Gallery stands out as one of these where children get to colour and curate their own gallery space. The simple act of constructing, colouring and playing familiarises children (and adults who love to help) with famous works of art but they absorb it ‘through the back door’ rather than feeling the weight of imposed wrote learning.
Do you have a favourite object or artwork at Kettle’s Yard?
We love the House and the eclectic collection. Some favourites are the Mandala spiral stones and the Ben Nicholson landscape on the first floor.
Do you hope the pop-up Art Gallery will encourage children to visit art galleries and museums?
We’ve had feedback from customers who have said their whole family got involved with building and colouring the Art Gallery, especially during lockdown, and another who bought one for a child whom she said was completely obsessed with visiting galleries and missing them at the moment. Our own daughters used to positively groan when we told them we were all off to visit a gallery but now when they tell us they’ve visited one with their friends we feel a little pang of joy.