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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The ACOFI Book Tour visits Comma Shop in Oxford

On Wednesday 25th May I visited the wonderful Comma Shop in Oxford to give a talk about ACOFI, eco fashion, illustration and social media for creatives... and this is who I met!

Written by Amelia Gregory

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

Last Wednesday was my second night on the ACOFI book tour last week – and my first time visiting the lovely new Comma Shop on Iffley Road in Oxford. Comma Shop has only been open since last October and it’s a truly wonderful little store that stocks all kind of goodies. I arrived in brilliant sunshine so it was easy to spot – gleaming like a brightly coloured gem in this mainly residential area, intermingled with car dealerships and hippy cafes. This part of east Oxford is enjoying something of a renaissance thanks in part to the newly refurbished Pegasus Theatre in a nearby side street.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma CorrellACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Gemma Correll
Details from Gemma Correll’s mural for Comma Shop.

Gemma Correll has done a truly wonderful mural on the wall as you enter Comma Shop and everywhere hand made and unusual items have been stacked in expert manner. Dave quit his job in IT to start an innovative designer tea towel business with his partner Sally who was formerly in marketing. To Dry For showcases the work of up and coming designers and the window of Comma Shop is used to showcase the tea towel artwork.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave Emery
Dave Emery of Comma Shop.
ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 To Dry For tea towels
To Dry For tea towels in the window.

ACOFI book tour Comma ShopACOFI book tour Comma Shop postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop

It comes as no surprise to find that Dave grew up in shops: his parents always ran small shops, and despite the fact that he saw what long hours they had to work he has clearly caught the bug too. He also previously worked as a merchandiser, which would explain his knack for putting stuff together. Who else would have thought of interspersing my Roger La Borde cards with designs from everyone else? Yup, he’s got an eye, this one.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Roger la BordeACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Dave and Sally
Dave and Sally. Sally has had to take some time out of the business due to the unexpected early arrival of their first child – but I was glad to meet her a bit later in the evening.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges

From 6pm attendees began to dribble into the store and we set to making some fab little fabric rosettes with Anna Butler from Custom Made UK, who was on hand to show everyone (including the children and the men) just how easy it is to make these fun little badges.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Custom Made UK button badges from Anna Butler.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna ButlerACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badgesACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Custom Made UK button badges Anna Butler
Just some of the lovely button badges that were produced in a jiffy.

Anna also runs classes at Darn It and Stitch – the brains behind this new Oxford based haberdashery shop and teaching centre is Jo, who turned up with her partner Luke and friend Sally. Her store is part of a growing trend for a return to hands on creativity – it seems we just can’t get enough of it these days, and I for one heartily approve.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Jo Darn It and Stitch
Jo of Darn It and Stitch.

Many of the goods stocked in Comma Shop are one offs. Amongst those that really stood out were the gorgeous intricate papercut framed artworks of Helen Musselwhite – if you’re an owl fan you can’t go wrong! And I loved the Charity Shop Orphans – reappropriated with a lick of bright paint by Emma Harding. She also produces a zine if you prefer your collectable items in print.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Helen MusselwhiteACOFI book tour Comma Shop Emma Harding Charity shop orphans

Other stuff I love: the fact that Jack Teagle has committed one of my favourite art pieces to print in the form of a greetings card from Toasted. Comma Shop also stocks cards produced by Rachel Wilson, who was on hand with boyfriend Ben to help serve the Juiceology juices and G & D ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Toasted Jack Teagle
Toasted card by Jack Teagle.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop JuiceologyACOFI book tour Comma Shop G & D ice creamACOFI book tour Comma Shop Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy ice cream
Rachel Wilson and Dave Emery enjoy some raspberry and chocolate ice cream.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Dr.Hauschka
Love the Dr.Hauschka samples displayed in a pottery log and some vintage jelly moulds!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford London Walks Baudade
One of the first to turn up was Joanne, known as Baudade. She’s just published a new comic book, London Walks! with the Tate.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Will Mccallum
Will Mccallum, aka Art of Activism, also popped in to buy a book. Although he sadly wasn’t able to stay for the talk his purchase was much appreciated! And it was nice to see a friendly face from someone who is doing good stuff in the world.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Oxford Good Biscuits
It made me very happy that Caroline of Good Biscuits (whom I met at Wood Festival) not only came along in person to drop off her delicious creations – vanilla melts, vegan chocolate buttons and chewy pistachio cookies, nomnom – but she also stayed to listen to me talk. What a lovely lady, who was inspired to start a healthy sustainable biscuit brand after her job in local authority led her to work with local food producers. Make sure you try some Good Biscuits if you’re in the Oxford area.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop Drew and Jo
Drew and Jo. Also present was Drew, who is the press officer for Wood Festival. I wasn’t sure why he looked familiar and then it suddenly twigged that I had met him at Wood, but only when it was late and very dark. Fortunately his unmistakable bush of hair gave him away!

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Later on we were joined by another member of the Truck clan, younger Bennett brother Chris, with girlfriend Beehive, who was teaching clay model making at Wood Festival. It really was an Oxfordshire love fest for me last week!

The Oxfam Fashion crew
The Oxfam Fashion crew. Apparently the biggest employers in Oxford are the university, publishing (of all sorts) and Oxfam… which has it’s global office there. So it was nice to see quite a few Oxfam types in attendance.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Sarah PlantACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 custom made uk
Sadly Sarah Plant of Ferment Zine did not stay for my talk but it was nice to meet someone that I have chatted with on twitter. And we also had a very small visitor in the form of Aisha, who enjoyed making a fabric button.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Laura and Helen
Laura and Helen. Laura Hill Lines works at Bridget Wheatley and is hoping to launch her own jewellery brand soon, featuring big uncut gems. I can’t wait to see what she produces!

Malaika Aleba
Malaika Aleba is a Canadian staying in Oxford over the summer and a writer for the Sierra Club.

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 postcardsACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia DuckACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Anastasia Duck

Last but very not least it was really lovely to see Michael aka Anastasia Duck – who is a fashion blogger who came along to my launch party at 123 Bethnal Green Road back in January. Not only was it great to see a friendly face but I am very thankful because he did a very speedy and good write up of the event, which you can read here. I like his description of me as being ‘haphazard’….heehee

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011 Jo and Michael

Don’t forget that my final ACOFI Book Tour date is at Tatty Devine Brick Lane with Biscuiteers on Tuesday 7th June. Akeela Bhattay has just posted a very lovely blog about the last event in Covent Garden. See you there x
Here’s who I gave my talk to:

ACOFI book tour Comma Shop OxfordACOFI book tour Comma Shop 2011

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2 Responses to “The ACOFI Book Tour visits Comma Shop in Oxford”

  1. badaude says:

    So delighted to meet you too! Very best wishes for the rest of your tour!

  2. Amelia says:

    Thankyou! x

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