Roses and pirates at Guild – in Bristol

In Bristol this weekend, I popped into Guild, a Bristol institution which since 1906 has been selling the best of modern design in gifts, accessories, and home-ware. In their gallery on the first floor I got chatting to artist, photographer and illustrator, Anthony Lewis Churchill, whose work was on display.

Behind an exotic display of scarves and other accessories, Anthony was demonstrating how to burn the edges of velvet with a candle to make fringed scarves and rose corsages.

Anthony Lewis Churchill at work
He told me that he had started experimenting a few weeks ago, having found a length of velvet and been inspired by a magazine showing this season’s floral trends from the catwalks. Already he had been commissioned to provide some crimson and cream velvet roses to adorn a bridal gown.

Rose corsages and their inspiration

Anthony’s main occupation, however, is as a creator and performer of puppet shows which he performs throughout the holiday season in summer and pantomime season in winter. In between, he has been writing and illustrating a children’s book – a tale of a pirate who sails the seven seas in an upturned top hat, and meets with many adventures, which he is now looking to get published.

Also on display was Anthony’s artwork inspired by the sea and natural world and beautiful photographic cards from a recent visit to Berlin, which he found even more inspiring than Paris.

Overwhelmed by so much creativity, I asked Anthony how he came to all these different projects and he told me that for many years he worked as commercial retail designer, creating window and store displays for major department stores. But after an illness seven years ago he had decided to take a different direction and focus on the things he loves.

You can look out for Anthony’s puppet shows this Easter and summer holidays at Cadbury World in Birmingham, where he will be putting on his Pirate Puppet Pantomime, aided by a crew of monkey pirate puppets. If you fancy a little flower power, or are interested in Anthony’s book illustrations and other work, you can contact him by e-mail at monkeybpirate@aol.co.uk

Check for the best hotel prices in Bristol and book here.

You can see more photos from the Guild exhibition on my flickr site here.

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