Tomorrow sees something special hit Sunspel’s Spitalfields store, in the form of two lads from Peckham. Hugh and Nathan will be in the shop doing what they do best: playing with paint and huge stencils, from what we can gather. Presuming there’s more to it than that, we grabbed five minutes with the pair to iron out a few key points.
Tell us a bit about Peckham Print Studio; when was it set up, why and who is involved?
Peckham Print Studio is the joint venture of Hugh Barrell and Nathan Bryant, set up in August 2012 as a studio providing facilities for printmakers, artists and illustrators alike to produce new work and participate in workshops. The studio also runs a comprehensive commercial screen-printing service, something which has become the forefront of what our studio does. At the time we felt there was a serious lack of screen-printing facilities available in London for people like ourselves to continue our practice. Up until now it has only been the two of us though recently Thomas Murphy has joined the team as a part time assistant.
You had a pop-up at Boxpark recently, how did you find the experience?
The pop-up print studio at Boxpark was a spring board to launch our online shop which currently sells small editions of screen prints by a selection of incredible artists.
During the event we hosted live print workshops involving the artists and members of the public. It was a beautiful way of showing the accessibility of the medium and the result was amazing. Everyone who came down got their hands dirty and left with a piece of printed material. For those that had never experienced the process leaving with the knowledge of something new and a successful screen print was very satisfying. It also became a great way to bring more exposure to a group of artists whose work we've followed and loved for a while.
How did the collaboration with Sunspel come about?
When Sunspel approached us we grabbed at the opportunity to work with one of Britain's most iconic menswear brands. What started out as an edition of prints on 100% cotton paper has evolved into an all day event printing onto 100% cotton T-shirts.
Sunspel are a collection of lovely people producing high quality garments. They retrieved some archival adverts from the 1940s and it seemed appropriate to reproduce them in a fashion that suited the craft of their product. Hand screen prints for hand crafted garments.
What can people expect from Thursday's event?
Thursday will be a great way for us to show what we do at a professional standard, while remaining accessible. We hope that people who buy a garment and select a design can enjoy witnessing the production, an opportunity that is rare.
We also love talking to people about what we do and how we do it. Even if someone just wanted to observe we are happy to give them the low down.
Do you have a favourite Sunspel piece?
From personally owning some of their staple items such as the jersey polo, we appreciate the understated simplicity. However seeing them branch out into exploring print and more tailored garments like their first coat is something that we really admire.
What's next for PPS?
Over the summer period we will be working hard with two great artistic groups in Peckham. We are printing the covers of Copeland Book Market's newspapers and a selection of special artist designed tote bags for the Art Licks Weekend. Further aboard, during August we will be part of Druck Berlin, a screen-printing festival in Germany's capital.
We are also currently in talks with artists to produce new work for our online shop by the end of the year and along side everything that’s going on we are both involved in our own creative practices.
And finally, what's on the PPS stereo?
One half electronic, one half metal. Luckily we are beyond stereos now otherwise a fight may have broken out.
Peckham Print Studio will be at Sunspel from 11am-9pm.
Interview: Zoe Whitfield