Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Q&A with Andy Poplar from [Vinegar & Brown Paper]

Tell us about the work you do and the types of materials you use.

As a contemporary glass etcher I take vintage or iconic pieces of glassware and try and bring them to life with the tools of typography, wit and my own slightly askew way of looking at the world.

Where do you produce your work? Does your working environment form part of the inspiration for your art?

I’m based in Harrogate and work out of two studios – one in which I design, the other in which I etch.  But the most important part of my work is done inside my head.  Whether it’s waiting for some traffic lights to turn green in Otley or visiting a museum in Venice I can pretty much pinpoint the exact location for each and every idea for a piece that I’ve come up with so far, and I believe that if you look at the world from the right angle…close one eye a little and give it a chance to…you can find inspiration in absolutely everything.   

Is your art your main job? 

Well, technically I started doing this when I was a full time stay at home dad, but being as my daughter starts school for real in September I guess the answer’s yes – yes this is my main job. Trite as it may sound though, it’s not a job - this is pretty much what I do to keep myself entertained as much as anything else.  If anything, it’s therapy.

How did you get started?


Advertising Creative gets burnt out by the industry.
Becomes stay at home dad.
Has an idea about etching glass.
Sets out to mend his head with [vinegar & brown paper]

What work will you be exhibiting at the Saltaire Arts Trail?

They’ll be etched vintage lab glass & milk bottles, ink wells & sweet jars, Victorian mirrors filled with quotes and a few one off special pieces.

I’ll also be doing a limited edition of 10 small etched lab bottles of an exclusive new design* to celebrate this years Saltaire Arts Trail.  

Do you work in any other mediums besides the work you will be exhibiting at the Arts Trail?

Aside from the etching, I do have an ongoing book project called ‘The Library Of Verisimilitude’ that will one day get finished.

One day.   

Where else can we see and buy your work?

There are several stockists of [vinegar & brown paper] throughout Yorkshire, including The Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge, PASH in Easingwold, Handmade in Bradford, LimeLace in Harrogate, Chirpy in Chapel Allerton, Lost & Found in Holmfirth, Rural Arts in Thirsk.  You can also find me slightly further afield in America, Australia and Finland (I know – Finland).

My largest stockist is super cool Brighton based

But the only place you’ll find the full range is at

(Where I also take commissions).

Tell us about your most exciting or memorable commission?

I’ve just completed a commission for three large etched apothecary jars to go in one of the gardens competing in this year’s RHS Chelsea Show.  (Which is pretty cool – hopefully Alan Titchmarsh will spot them.

I’ve also done commission pieces for two bona fida rock stars.
Both from two of the biggest bands of the last 25 years.

(Think Manchester in the 90s).

What was it about the Saltaire Arts Trail that made you want to apply to exhibit?

Just before I began [v&bp], I remember picking up a flyer for SAT and thinking – wow, this is the kind of place that real, proper Makers and Artists display at, one day this is the kind of event I’d like to do.

Have you participated or visited the Saltaire Arts Trail before? 

Last year’s Saltaire Arts Trail was the very first event that I had ever done, I was very nervous and had no idea what to expect. Since those three days in May 2012 (Many thanks to 6 Harold Place) things have not stopped going a little crazy for [vinegar & brown paper].  It’s all been a bit weird to be honest.

What is unique about it and how does it differ from other events?

Both the Open Houses and the Makers Fair manage to attract simply the finest mix of Artists and Maker’s in the North – everybody wants to be at Saltaire in May. The atmosphere literally tingles with creativity.

Could you leave us with one more interesting fact about yourself or your work?

I have a (very) short story in the fastest selling book of short stories ever published in the UK.  (I believe the book’s success had less to do with me and more to do with the fact that one of the other authors first initials were J.K. - though as with everything - I could be wrong).

*design thought up whilst waiting for traffic lights to turn green in Otley.

[Vinegar & Brown Paper] are part of this years Saltaire Arts Trail Makers' Fair

1 comment:

David Brown said...

I would love to be this arty - creating things like this is a real talent. I tried to make traditional sweet jars for retro sweets, but it looked awful so now buy them ready made. We can but wish for talent!

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