Open Call: Charmed

Unicorn by Amy aged 6 & 3/4


“The most fell and furious beast of all other is the Licorne or Monoceros, his body resembles a horse, his head a stag, his feet an Elephant, his taile a bore; he loweth after an hideous manner, one black horne he hath in the mids of his forehead, bearing out two cubits in length: by report, this wild beast cannot possibly be caught alive.” – Ctesias (circa 400BC)

Charmed’ will be a collection of work from illustrators, artists and designers from around the world in response to the theme of ‘The Unicorn’

All submissions will be showcased in an online gallery and a short-listed selection, curated by Spike Dennis, artist, imaginator and established connoisseur and creator of Unicorn-Porn, will be exhibited at The Print Market Project Space, 41 Market Road, Canton, Cardiff CF5 1QE from Wednesday 26 September through to Sunday 14 October as a part of the 2012 Cardiff Design Festival.

Please feel free to respond to the theme of ‘The Unicorn’ in as literal or metaphorical manner as you wish.

“The Unicorn itself is a lunar creature, and as such it constantly fights with the solar lion.” – J Williamson (1986)

The Unicorn is an imaginary creature and so let your imagination loose in responding to this brief. But don’t forget: ‘Unicorn‘ translates as ‘one-horn’.

If you’re in need of further information and inspiration visit

How to get involved:

  • Create a piece based on ‘The Unicorn’
  • It is FREE to submit work to ‘Charmed’
  • The deadline for the exhibition selection will be midnight (GMT) on Monday the 10 September 2012
  • Your work will need to be of sufficient resolution that you will be able to produce a printed edition for the exhibition should your work be selected
  • All submissions will be included in the online gallery at
  • The exhibition will take place during the Cardiff Design Festival in October 2012.
  • Images for exhibition should not exceed 420 x 297mm ( landscape or portrait)
  • To enter email a low resolution jpg or pdf to charmed[at] (Maximum file size 4Mb)
  • Please supply your name, website address (optional), contact phone number and email address along with a brief description of your work.

  • About The Print Market Project:

    The Print Market Project is a print studio aiming to provide both the facilities and expertise to allow for progressive, diverse and exciting print related projects to be undertaken. The studio works with individuals and small groups in the creation and production of prints, across a range of process. We are able to work with artists who are experienced printmakers and need a place to create new prints, either one-offs or editions; but more fundamental is our ability to work with artists from a variety of disciplines in the development of their work using print as a vehicle for their practice.

    The PMP has the expertise and facilities to support your print needs and is keen to support artists in a Master Printer or technician capacity.

    Print Market Project CardiffCardiff Design Festival Logo 2012

    Mothers of Africa Sponsored Quilt Project

    Mothers Of Africa quilt square by Maggie Cullinane
    Handmade fabric square by Maggie Cullinane

    An Open Call to all Crafters

    My friend and colleague Maggie Cullinane has initiated a sponsored quilt project in order to Raise money for the medical educational charity Mothers of Africa.

    There is an open call to all crafters, makers, quilters, stitchers and artists, or anyone else who fancies picking up a needle and thread to make a square for this fundraising quilt which will finally be sewn together by Maggie.

    If you don’t feel that you have what it takes to whip up a square for Maggie’s Quilt then you can sponsor the quilt by visiting her Just Giving page here where you can also view some of the squares that have been submitted so far.

    If you would like to make and donate a square for this project then please email csad[at] for more information.

    The deadline for submitting a square is the 15 August 2012.

    Background Information

    It is often said that childbirth is the most natural thing in the world, but sadly all too often Mother Nature needs a helping hand. In the western world, we take it for granted that when we have our families there will be midwives and doctors to keep us healthy and see that our babies are brought safely into the world. In many parts of Africa, women are not so lucky.

    The facts

    • The number of mothers that dies in childbirth every single day in Africa is equivalent to a full passenger load of a Boeing 747
    • In Africa, a woman’s risk of dying from treatable or preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth over the course of her lifetime is 1 in 22, compared to 1 in 7,300 in developed regions.
    • In a country like Benin, there are 11 anaesthetists in a country of 11 million. There are 140 anaesthetists in Cardiff alone!

    Textile Art by Castle

    Rachel Castle |

    Rachel Castle |

    I stumbled across these works by Australian artist/designer Rachel Castle last week whilst looking for inspiration. She describes these works as embroideries although they appear to be appliquéd with combinations of brightly coloured felts on flax or linen. Either way I like the aesthetic punch they have.

    I was on the lookout for inspiration for my unicorn-porn embroideries.Although I’m very happy with the way the works have been progressing I feel that the development of the work will require me to place the central unicorn content in a greater context. At present the unicorns just float on the fabric but I’d like to develop the surround, possibly in a way that reflects the unicorn tapestries of old. These old tapestries often used floral motifs relevant to the symbolism of their time but I’d be keen to update this and create something that is more fitting for my contemporary unicorn works.

    A lotof contemporary takes on the unicorn associate the creature with rainbows so I was particularly drawn to Castle’s ‘Large Rainbow’ (top) as it presents quite a different approach to composing a picture of a rainbow. They also reminded me of Takashi Iwasaki’s embroideries which I’ve gone back to have a second look at.

    You can view much more work by Rachel Castle on her wbsite which also includes a large number of typographic textile pieces:


    I COULD HAVE DONE THIS.. from Briar Mark on Vimeo.

    This video shows the making of a piece of work for Briar Mark’s iCraft project. It’s a cracking body of work which explores handmade processes in the context of graphic design.

    After I started stitching onto paper a couple of weeks ago I’ve stumbled across a couple of artists working in a similar fashion. Technically they’re much further along than I am but that’s to be expected since it’s a new direction for me. One little thing that I have noted from the work I’ve come across so far is that I can use the same hole twice. It might sound obvious but it’s not something that I had considered and it has given me a couple of new ideas with regard to developing this work.

    You can see more of Briar Mark’s work on her website which includes some lovely cross stitched QR codes:



    Ref: DMC Embroidery Threads

    Yet More Mail Art

    by @Corr_

    by @fish_face

    by Marnie Blair

    More Mail Art Submissions

    by @JenJenByrd

    by @LaylaHolzer

    by @MandaBathory

    by Emma Richardson

    by Toby Joe Holzer